How to get a job as a python (or any other language) developer

How to get a job as a python developer


The economy is in the toilet, blah blah blah. Luckily for the few people who are smart and willing to work on themselves for free,Its not that bad.


One of the things I like about this field, is that its very merit based : you write good code, you’re in. There’s a large amount of programming jobs with good pay available without a degree. Also, you can start on your own , from the laptop or pc you already own, at no extra cost. The main barrier is yourself (as always).



Tutorials

go through the djangobook tutorials (http://www.djangobook.com/en/2.0/index.html),

the djangodocs tuturials (https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/1.5/intro/tutorial01/) ,

and then www.learpythonthehardway.com

The order doesn’t particularly matter, but if you don’t know how to use the windows command line , and windows powershell, (or terminal for linux/osx), start with the command line crash course (http://cli.learncodethehardway.org/book/)

after you’ve done these three, then branch off into whatever subset of python you are interested in.

Stackoverflow.com is invaluable for finding answers to tricky coding issues, All the developers I know use this site, it is a godsend. Make an account, ask questions, and help others with theirs , the latter part will come in handy, I explain further down


Portfolio

get a portfolio together, work on improving it gradually, either by improving your initial apps in your portfolio , or by making new apps

create a bitbucket or github account, and learn how to use git version control or mercurial version control (find out what these are if you dont know, very important)


Job Listings

Scour though job listings for python developers, and look at what the recruiters want. There’s ancillary things that will crop up often in terms of job requirements, identify them and add them to your skill set.

Stackoverflow.com has a careers section (http://careers.stackoverflow.com/), which at the time of writing this, is invite only, the way to get an invite is to assiste people with their queries on the main site..so all the people with access to the careers section has evidence of knowing what theyre talking about, the more the better. Mention your account on there and your contributions on your CV.

e.g Things like database knowledge (postgresql, mysql) & front end knowledge (html, css, django)

When you’ll get a job you’ll be a junior python developer, but don’t just look at junior dev job listings, look at mid-level to senior dev job listings to get an idea of other things that might be useful



Interviews


After a solid 30 days of python practice (or however long, up to you), start applying to jobs. The usual stuff about sorting out your cv applies here. Don’t not apply for a junior dev listing because you think you’re not good enough yet, let the recruiter worry about rejecting you, put your bid in regardless.


When you go on interviews view them as fact finding missions the pressure is off, if you get offered a job, great, if you get rejected, find out what is lacking, and use this info to streamline your efforts. I did an initial round of applications, got rejected from all of them, and used the info about where I was falling short to my advantage

After a while when you’ve improved your skills and are more confident, do another round of applications, rinse and repeat

Another note about interviews, sometimes you’ll get recruiters who clearly know absolutely nothing about programming, and are reading off a checklist of things a programmer should know.
This is ok in theory, but in reality you’ll get questions like “what developer tools do you use to do your job?” , which is retarded, they should be asking “what can you do, what have you done”…you wouldn’t ask a carpenter “what brand of hammer do you use?” , but there you go, people are stupid.
I pointed this out to one particular recruitment person, they nodded (It was over the phone but you get what I mean) and after I finished the explanation they simply repeated the question. Didn’t care whether I got that job or not after that interview if I’m honest.

The above is a condensed version of what I did, I got a job after my second round of job applications , and the length of time from starting to learn python, to getting a job as a python developer was 8 months ..It’s doable faster if you spend more time programming, I averaged about an hour a day. The time period felt like ages, but trust me, its worth it. I’m currently sitting on the toilet in my new place writing this up , on my new macbook pro. And I’ve just realized I’ve run out of toilet paper.

GT6PuQ9.png


Not many people have the inclination to code, or the patience, if you do , you’re set. I’ve already got a bit of passive income coming in from leasing out an improved version of one of the apps I made during the period before I got my current job. It’s not much, but a start is a start.

Good luck
 

Ensam

Ostrich
Gold Member
Great post!

What's the salary range for junior developers? How much free lance/part time work is there?
 

OSL

Ostrich
Gold Member
Great writeup, FrenchCorporation.

Some questions:

1. Why did you choose Python over other languages?

2. You had no programming experience before moving forward with this 8 month process? What were you doing to pay the bills while teaching yourself Python?

3. 30 days of practice before applying to jobs seems extreme. It's not just about getting past the interview but also actually performing on the job. However, your point is that you want to figure out what they are asking for in terms of what you DO need to know, right?

4. What was the general process of coming up with the idea for your app and then making it a viable commercial reality? Let us know the marketing end of it all in particular.
 
iknowexactly said:
did you already know how to program in another language?

Nope, I had no previous programming knowledge

youngmobileglobal said:
Great writeup, FrenchCorporation.

Some questions:

1. Why did you choose Python over other languages?

2. You had no programming experience before moving forward with this 8 month process? What were you doing to pay the bills while teaching yourself Python?

3. 30 days of practice before applying to jobs seems extreme. It's not just about getting past the interview but also actually performing on the job. However, your point is that you want to figure out what they are asking for in terms of what you DO need to know, right?

4. What was the general process of coming up with the idea for your app and then making it a viable commercial reality? Let us know the marketing end of it all in particular.

1. As I said above, I had no previous programming knowledge, so one reason I chose it due to its easy-to-read syntax.
Another is that there are quite a few jobs for it, I did job searches by programming language on quite a few jobsites, and there were a lot of jobs knocking around..The fact that I got interviews after stating I only had very little experience also means theres a lack of python programmers in the UK

And i have friends in the field, they also reccomended python to me, as well as ruby and C++, but i chose python as my first language, I will likely start learning a complimentary language to python at some point.

2.I was a bouncer ..going from working nights and getting attacked by trannies to working days in an air conditioned office has been interesting

3. Yes exactly, I went into the interviews with no expectations, was just looking for info from the horses mouth on what they want, rather than second/third hand info, it was invaluable

4. When I was doing the tutorials, I would think about what other uses there could be for certain bits of code/functionality in the tutorials, brainstormed a few, and got to work on my own projects after i finished the tutorial
What your project is doesnt matter as much, as nearly of the things you will code are transferable skills.

As for marketing, there was none, people I know, knew that I was coding, Id mention to them what i was currently working on when they would ask, then some of them would mention how they needed something similar for their small business, I kept my mouth shut, went away and worked on creating it, even if they didnt want it its still something I could add to my portfolio.
I leased it out to them for a low cost,and refined the apps as I went. Theyd mention it to other people and these other people contacted me..the setup was already there so it was pretty much extra money for no extra effort.

I dont even have a website advertising it, just an email address and my phone number.Purely word of mouth so far

speakeasy said:
Why would one choose Python vs Ruby vs PHP?

pythons easy syntax was a pull for me, as it was my first language
ruby is also a good shout for a beginner ,

you can do scripting and object oriented stuff with python, not sure thats the case with php
edit: according to the graphic above apparently you can
 

Thomas the Rhymer

Ostrich
Gold Member
None of your links work, bro.

And that bit about the toilet... too much information.

Otherwise a great writeup.

Do you have any opinions on codeacademy.com? I've started doing the python course on there a few days ago.
 
Thomas the Rhymer said:
None of your links work, bro.

And that bit about the toilet... too much information.

Otherwise a great writeup.

Do you have any opinions on codeacademy.com? I've started doing the python course on there a few days ago.

my bad, copy and paste them into the browser or google them

I used codeacademy , but I didnt reccomond it in the op, because when I initially used it, I tried javascript, and I noticed I could pass some of the lessons, even if what I entered in was wrong

And I found the learning method for the other tutorials more effective than code academys interactive approach
 

...

Crow
Gold Member
frenchcorporation said:
my bad, copy and paste them into the browser or google them

I used codeacademy , but I didnt reccomond it in the op, because when I initially used it, I tried javascript, and I noticed I could pass some of the lessons, even if what I entered in was wrong

And I found the learning method for the other tutorials more effective than code academys interactive approach

Edit the links, add a space before the closing parenthesis and the link will work.
( http://cli.learncodethehardway.org/book/ )

Great post, I tried using Codeacademy but got bored too quick. "learn the hard way" is great though, or so I've heard.
 

RichieP

Pelican
Really nice info OP! Great example of setting your sights on something then making it happen.

How do you like the actual work now you've got it? Good points, bad points of the job? That info would be great.
 
RichieP said:
Really nice info OP! Great example of setting your sights on something then making it happen.

How do you like the actual work now you've got it? Good points, bad points of the job? That info would be great.

I enjoy the job, constantly learning challenging things so the days fly by
Helpful colleagues, im the youngest guy by quite a bit, all the other developers have a lot of experience, this job has sped my learning up a lot

as for bad points, its a regular nine to five job, but the aim is to be self employed, this job is neccessary to to get to that point so Im not complaining

The company also gave me a few grand to relocate which was nice
 

...

Crow
Gold Member
frenchcorporation said:
as for bad points, its a regular nine to five job, but the aim is to be self employed, this job is neccessary to to get to that point so Im not complaining

The company also gave me a few grand to relocate which was nice

Hey OP, I have a question. Do you think taking a regular class would be good or rather just self study to get it done faster? A beginners class is like 3.5 months long and semester is about to start.

Thanks
 
Cattle Rustler said:
frenchcorporation said:
as for bad points, its a regular nine to five job, but the aim is to be self employed, this job is neccessary to to get to that point so Im not complaining

The company also gave me a few grand to relocate which was nice

Hey OP, I have a question. Do you think taking a regular class would be good or rather just self study to get it done faster? A beginners class is like 3.5 months long and semester is about to start.

Thanks

I prefer self study, so you can study at your own pace, wether thats faster than the regular class or slower than it

One problem with classes is that it might teach you things you dont want or need, which is a waste of time..learning it on your own with a particular goal in mind e.g. getting a job will keep your learning streamlined, a lot of regular classes are more open-ended

but id take the lesson, as long as it didnt involve any credits, so you can go there and take what you want from the classes, and ignore the rest, without worrying about failing the class

ballsyamog said:
Great write up +1 how hard is it to learn and how long did the learning process take for you?

its methodical and straightforward, how difficult you'll find it depends on how quickly you can learn new ideas, so its very subjective
 

Player_1337

Pelican
Gold Member
For those who are unaware:

When applying for cs/engineering positions that involve programming, the technical interviews typically involve multiple phases and are grueling. Essentially, it's like taking a standardized test (there is a comprehensive pool of commonly asked questions and topics you can brush up on), except you're using a white board or communication software like Skype (typically in initial screening interviews) and asked to tackle difficult questions on the spot in front of other engineers.

Some helpful resources in order to attain a better idea of what you're in for:

Cracking the Coding Interview (pdf)

Programming Interviews Exposed (pdf)
 
thanks Op i have just started code academy over a month a go, currently learning java script and i have found coding to be fun, but now i am going to get serious about it.
should i learn all the programming languages available or special in a few and if so which ones?
thanks for the info.
 
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