Is it getting harder to get a Web Development Job?

My sister says that programming jobs are becomming more competitive as more people get into the field.
When I googled this question, I got mixed answers. However, most of the results said that Web Development is growing and in demand. Of course, its especially hard to get any job if all you have is 2 years of teaching yourself and a solid portfolio.
What do you guys think? Is it getting harder to get jobs in this field? If you have gotten a job, how hard was it? What did you have to do?
Also, do you have any suggestions for what I can do to help me get a job?
Thanks :slight_smile:

i think it’s growing. when you factor the number of bootcamp grads, self-taught, and CS grads, it’s becoming more competitive. but there’s always availability for real talent. that said, landing that first job is always the hardest

It’s extremely regional, but the skill gap is growing. If you’re in the US, you can look at the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics Employment Projections yourself.

This probably should be obvious, but what is the Skill Gap? What does it have to do with getting a web development job?
Thanks :slight_smile:

The term ‘skill gap’ refers to the difference between the number of jobs which require a specialized skill and the number of people who have that skill. Nationally, there are more jobs being created that require skilled programmers than there are skilled programmers entering the job market. What this has to do with getting a development job is that there are more programming jobs then there are qualified people to fill them (in other words, there is negative unemployment).

Now having said all that, I want to point out that I said ‘qualified people’. Many people think that because there is such a need for developers that it should be easier to get a first job without proven skills. However, it is often less expensive for a company to keep a position open and be short-staffed than to hire someone who doesn’t have the necessary skills.

TLDR: Once you have built the skills and can show those skills to potential employers, then the job market is very favorable (dependent on location) - but it is very necessary to have those provable skills.

5 Likes

Thanks! That makes a lot of sense! I know that the answer will probably be “it depends”, but what would you say are the skills needed to get my first job? Right now, I’m thinking I will be ready to apply for jobs once I start the projects from the ‘Information and Quality Assurance’ certificate of the the beta and I have some personal projects that I have built on the side for my portfolio.

I can’t speak too much to this question because I’ve only worked in roles that really do require a computer science degree or equivalent.

I’ve been told several times by recruiters that there is a big demand for developers and that the demand is greater than the supply. That’s the overall position. However, most companies would rather have someone with at least 1-2 years experience. So getting a first job can still be challenging.

The good news is that companies are pretty open-minded about your background. As long as you have the skills, and you can demonstrate that you have the skills, then you stand a good chance.

For that reason, absolutely the most important thing you can do is create a really strong portfolio. It needs to look good, and the code behind it needs to be of a high quality. Ideally, all the projects should be responsive, cross-browser compatible, tested, and well-documented. Although it seems hard to believe, having a good portfolio could actually give you an advantage over someone with a CS degree.

On top of that, do your market research carefully and make sure your skills match what is in demand. I made the mistake of spending too much time on Node and MongoDB. Nobody uses it! I wish I had switched to MySQL and PHP ages ago…

Last thing: it’s a good idea to get an introductory level of skill in a variety of languages. Spend two weeks each doing Java, C#, PHP, Python or Ruby. There are lots of good reasons to do this. First, it will give you a good general education in software development. Second, it will introduce you to important concepts (such as OOP). And third, you can put these skills on your C.V. A lot of recruiters will discard your C.V. if it lacks a particular keyword, even if that isn’t essential to the role.

^ I’d add Elixir and/or Golang to that list of programming languages you mentioned. I’ve been seeing them in job postings (for full-stack or back-end positions) more and more this year.

working a few months as a temp or contractor on a horrible company can also help you set the foot on the door.

Network. Network network network. Its invaluable to have people speaking up for you and rooting for you to a potential employer. Its one of the main reasons I decided to attend a local bootcamp, but regardless, you can network by going to tech events, meetups, tech conferences, strike up convo, get to know people, make a good impression, and let it be known you are on the hunt.

Pretty much everyone I came across would lead to adding them on linkedin and sending them a copy of my resume (just in case!). Having someone personally pass along your resume to hiring along with being able to say…I met this person and they seem like theyd be awesome to work with, carries a ton more weight than being one of hundreds replying to a job ad.

I’d say Portfolio + Networking + Algorithms and Data structures practice = Locking a job.