Bay area saturated with bootcamp grads?

Bay area saturated with bootcamp grads?
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#1

Hi,

I am trying to transition to front end development from computational sciences research. I recently completed Udacity’s front end nanodegree (I did way more work for each project than required in order to develop an impressive portfolio). I’ve been applying to companies in the bay area (that’s where I live) )for the past few months with no luck. I looked up the linkedin profile of the companies I applied to and noticed that almost ALL of them have hired bootcamp grads from elite schools such as hack reactor, app academy, dev bootcamp etc.

I can’t afford the high tuition of these bootcamps so other resources such as FCC, Udacity are my only options. I am almost done with FCC’s front end course and will work my way through the data visualization, backend projects and hopefully the non profit projects while going for meetups on the side and trying to network my way through an interview at the least.

But honestly, I am feeling very demoralized and dejected as I feel that I am no match to the bootcamp grads as their curriculum is highly intensive and they seem to be way more smarter and talented than me. Even though bay area is known to be a job haven for software developers , It looks like you should either be a CS grad(preferably from MIT, Stanford or UC Berkeley) or a bootcamp grad to even get an entry into the companies in silicon valley.

Any encouraging thoughts and advice will be greatly appreciated.


#2

Have you thought about expanding your job search to other areas? The bay area is extremely competitive, and if you’re trying to get your foot in the door, it might benefit you to look in places where businesses have a more difficult time attracting talent. I work for a company in a small town and hiring is much more difficult for us. If you show some promise and ability to learn, you can probably get a position like this, stay there for two or three years, and get the experience you need to level up. After three years of experience, it shouldn’t matter what bootcamp you’ve been to, etc.


#3

Have you tried connecting with people via various tech Meetups happening near you? I am finding that meeting people face to face outside of the typical hiring process is really helping me in lots of ways: First I’m learning a LOT about this industry (that you can’t pick up from blog posts or WIRED) by surrounding myself with folks who are at all stages of their careers. Second - it’s been a great way for me to meet people who are about to be hiring - well before they place an ad or hire a recruiter. Third - Attending conferences & apply for scholarships if you are able - showing others you are truly interested by making an investment of your “free” time to become a better developer is bound to return the cost of attendance in new friends, mentors, and connections - not to mention all of the amazing learning opportunities that happen before, after, and during the conf!
Best of luck!!!


#4

Thanks @rug3y and @tinyinkling for your helpful replies. I have been to a few meetups here and there but guess I have to seriously start attending multiple meetups every week and actively invest in these events. And keep working through FCC. I prefer bay area as this is where my family lives, I am trying nearby areas like sacramento but there are very few developer jobs there.


#5

I think you can still make it work in the bay area, but you’ll have to hustle more. You may be able to get into QA position or other non-developer job in a company that you’re interested and prove yourself. After some time you might have a shot at moving into a developer position.

There are no easy answers but you can do this if you put your mind to it.


#6

Are you looking for a Junior Position or for an Internship? Because if you don’t have any start up working experience at all, could be hard to find a Junior Position… My first experience in a start up was intense. Even if I had worked before, it was totally different from my previous experience. I had to work fast and accurate (no mistakes allowed) and with almost no guidance. I risked to be fired in the first two weeks of work. But then I get used to such rythms and I could understand why it was so difficult to find a job in a start up. It’s a very competitive environment. But don’t loose hope, keep trying and you will find something :wink:


#7

@alodavi, that sounds scary. This is the kind of work environment that I am petrified of . It looks like the no mistakes, ship code on day one and zero guidance culture is highly prevalent in the bay area. They just expect you to know everything on day one. I just feel that to get that kind of skill sets one needs to either go to one of those intense bootcamps or graduate from MIT, Stanford etc.

But I will keep trying and hope I land something suitable to my abilities.


#8

I don’t think you need more skills or knowledge to begin this career. One of my collegues was a grad Computer Scientist and got fired after two weeks anyway because he wasn’t a good team player. I think that employers evaluate much more soft skills (like communication, endurance, proactivity, team play, independence etc…) than other things. The priority in a start up is getting things done as faster as possible. And the most of the time it’s not about what you actually do, but what you show them. That makes sense if you think that we are all human beings and need to trust the people we work with. Job interviews, new challenges, problems that you don’t know how to solve… All this stuff is scary, but you have to show that you can do it (even if it seems impossible) and that they can count on you. Even if you think that is all about programming, you will spend half of the time talking with your collegues, understanding what they actually want from you, changing what you’ve already done because someone changed his/her mid, documenting, presenting your result and convincing the others that you did a good job. It is stressing, but it is part of the job.


#9

@alodavi, that sure helps. Thanks for your valuable tips and advice. I guess I just have to believe I can do it and fake confidence till I make it.


#10

Have you focused your search on junior dev roles? I like jrdevjobs.com but there are a lot of other resources that provide jr dev job listings too. That’s ultimately what worked for me. And I got a Rails job in Sacramento.


#11

@Ruby-Rachel, Thanks, I will check jrdevjobs, if there are any other resources you used for entry level job search, please let me know. Thanks for your help.