I’ve graduated from computer science 6 years a go. Since then I just lived with my parents whilst trying my hardest to improve my disability.
Now I am ready! Now I feel great, now I feel like I should have felt at 23. Now I want to start work. But is it too late?
A lot of people ask this question but it’s all people that want to change careers. I on the other hand never had a job. Doesn’t past work experience matter?
In terms of skill I have them. I might need to polish some of by projects, and maybe create something to show my current skills better, but I do know how to use node, react and their respective ecosystem. I do have the knowledge for junior position is not higher, but I am paralysed by the fear of the fact that I have no work experience of any kind
If you think about it, the projects and exercises you do becomes your experience. Let’s say for example you make a dozen practice websites or apps, even if you didn’t make them for a specific client you still made them. You still took the time to think about the project requirements, design it, figure out the UI, the functionality. Your skills and the experience you gained honing and using them will show in your code and in your portfolio.
Not really (though @RandellDawson makes an excellent point though about it depending on the employer), if your skills and portfolio are strong and you can actively display those skills in an interview, that’s really what counts. And again just working with whatever still counts as experience. Okay maybe you don’t have real world experience in the sense of working previously with a design firm or freelancing on you own, but if you got what it takes and you can show you’ve got what it takes, that’s huge plus to a potential employer.
Here’s the thing…there’s nothing saying you can’t knock out a few freelance projects while you’re on the job hunt. Not only will that be current work you can show in an interview, but that’s also adding to your work experience. You can see if there’s anyone around you locally (friend, family member, small business) that could use a website or an app done (I’m using both because I’m not sure which end you’re looking to focus on). Heck, you can take an already existing website or app and try to improve it as practice and something for your portfolio.
Of course it is going to matter to some employers. You will just have to work harder and create a portfolio of development work which stands out among all the others. You can starting working now and add experience to your resume by doing freelance work in your local community.
Great. I though someone that worked in KFC would get the job as they show that they can work, where as I not having had work at all - regardless of how awesome the portfolio is - would not get a job due to never having held a job before (and being 30)
If two job candidates had the same education and basically the same apps built, but one had a consistent work history (non-development related) for 5 years, then I would say if I was hiring I would want the person who had some kind of work history. Why? Because it shows a commitment to something. For some employers if two candidates have the same work experience but one candidate has a computer science degree and the other a music degree, it is quite possible the computer science major would get the job, because they may believe the computer science major would have more algorithm development background than the music major. Another scenario might be two candidates both having same development experience and both have computer science degrees, but one candidate has an MBA. If the hiring company is thinking about how this position could grow into a management role as the business expands, then the candidate with the MBA might have a better chance at the job.
The point is there are so many variables (known and unknown) which determine why one candidate is picked over another. All you can do is create a spectacular portfolio which highlights your strengths and search out for companies which “need” your strength. It may take 10 times as many interviews for you compared to someone with more job experience to find a company which finds you to be a “good fit”, but if you search hard enough and are realistic about your salary expectations for your first job, then there will be a job out there for you somewhere.
Hmmm…An employer is going to want a very good reason as to why you were able to graduate with a CS degree but couldn’t go to work immediately thereafter. Depending where you are, it may be illegal for the employer to ask about your disability. However, you should be prepared to explain the nature of the disability and, more importantly, explain the rehabilitation efforts to overcome their concerns about your employment gap.
I would suggest this: In your portfolio website, be completely upfront about your disability. Have an entire page that documents your rehabilitation and how you worked hard to be in an employable state today. The goal is to show that despite having no work experience, you worked hard at overcoming your disability and becoming employable. Your story should be inspiring!
Combine that with some killer projects showing off your skills and contributions to open source projects. Then, you should have a solid chance at landing a job.
you have more experience than me… I am 29 , didn’t go to college and have had warehouse type jobs since the age of 16. last year in January I started teaching myself webdev. using any resources I could find. I just got hired as a software developer mainly in asp/net for my first developer position. I never even touched c# this past year but they saw my motivation and hired me on 2 months ago. so no it’s not too late and if it’s what you want to do, do it !
My TA is 29 and just got a job as a front end developer in Austin, TX.
He was a teacher before and had no experience. He also had no portfolio and did not contribute to open source.
He just studied hard and worked hard to find a job and proved that he was capable.