Here are 10 steps that can help you get a job in programming without experience:
1. Improve your coding skills
One of the best ways to get a programming job without experience is to improve your coding skills. You can do this without formal education or working as a programmer, though both are great ways to learn. There are many free resources online that can help you learn to code, including full classes, articles and social media forums where coders give one another advice and share their knowledge. If you can prove to a company that you already have strong coding skills, they’re more likely to hire you.
2. Create a portfolio
A programming portfolio is a collection of projects you’ve created and coded. Having a portfolio available for employers to review can be valuable, as it shows them you have the skills necessary for the job even if you have little experience. It’s helpful to have as many examples of your code in a portfolio as possible, so employers can see your range. There are online services that allow programmers to host their coded projects, and these sites can act as your portfolio.
3. Build your online presence
Many interviewers search for a candidate’s name online, and this practice can be even more common when you apply for a job in programming or other tech areas. It can be important to build your online presence so that when they search for your name, they receive useful and positive search results. Consider starting a professional blog or website where potential employers can learn about you. Content could include biographical information, posts about programming, such as instruction articles or opinions, or your portfolio.
4. Network with other programmers
A wide professional network can be extremely beneficial for programmers, as programmers often share knowledge and information about potential jobs. Get to know other programmers by attending meet-ups, conferences or interacting with them online. You may find people who can help you improve your programming skills and give you tips about finding jobs that don’t require experience. A network is also valuable once you have a job because you can continue collaborating with your programmer friends on challenging projects.
5. Earn certifications
If you don’t have work experience as a programmer or a degree, you can make your application unique by earning certifications. There are many programming certifications that can prove your expertise with different programming languages or special software. For example, the Certified Associate in Python Programming certification can show employers you’re well-versed in the Python programming language. Certifications vary in cost, length and requirements, so explore the details of different options to find the one that suits your needs.
6. Take part in coding challenges or competitions
There are many coding challenges and competitions available for programmers that have a variety of rewards, such as certifications or other proof of your skill. Some companies monitor highly regarded coding challenges and may hire programmers who place well in competition or show promise. Taking part in these challenges is another great opportunity to practice your programming skills and improve your code. You may also build your network by talking to fellow participants.
7. Write a strong resume
A strong resume is always important, but it can be especially vital if you have little or no experience. Create a simple, straightforward resume that highlights any of your tech-related skills, experience or achievements. This can include the programming languages you know, certifications you’ve earned, courses you’ve taken or coding challenges and competitions where you placed well. If you have a professional website, include the URL and make it easy for any employer visiting the website to find your portfolio.
8. Build projects
While learning to code and searching for a programming job, create small projects. These are a great opportunity to improve your coding through practice and you can use them in your portfolio. Coding projects can show your skill and prove your ability to write the complete code for an application or website. The projects don’t need to be extremely complex or time-consuming, but it’s important that they have a high level of quality.
9. Contribute to open source projects
Along with creating your own projects, you can also showcase your coding skill by contributing to open source projects. You can find these projects by searching online, talking to other programmers or having an active presence in programming communities where people might post about them. Contributing to open-source projects often involves writing code or testing code that somebody else wrote. These can be great opportunities to improve your skills and learn from other programmers by observing their work.
10. Accept gig freelancing jobs
While seeking a full-time programming job, you might pursue gig freelancing jobs. These are usually one-time jobs and involve smaller projects. Many people hire programmers for this kind of job, such as online content creators, small business owners, individuals and other freelancers. Gig jobs are a great way to gain programming experience, build your portfolio and promote yourself.