Austin Coding Academy
February 21, 2019
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Looking for your first web development job in Austin can seem extremely daunting. This is especially true if you are new to town and don’t have a built-in network of friends to help you get a foot in the door at a tech company.
But fear not! We’ve rounded up some great resources and events that can help you find a web development job in Austin. Take a look:
1. Go to Career Fairs
Career fairs are a great opportunity to get a feel for different companies. Unlike submitting an application and hoping you hear back from an employer, career fairs allow you to meet recruiters and managers in person.
Getting a little facetime gives you the opportunity to sharing your personality and enthusiasm with potential employers. This connection is much more valuable than all the stats listed in plethora of applications buried in their email folder.
2. Use Job Boards to Find Web Development Jobs in Austin
Of course you can always type “web development jobs in Austin” on Monster, LinkedIn, Indeed, and other popular job sites. But if you haven’t noticed yet, these sites are getting very saturated.
For more tailored results, here are the places to look:
For Web Designers and Developers:
- Authentic Jobs
- Angel List
- UpWork (formerly elance and odesk)
- We Work Remotely
For Web Developers:
3. Build Out Your Professional Network, Both Online and In Person
You might be surprised how often people land jobs through their network. The cliche “It’s not what you know but who you know” is so common for reason. Getting an awesome web development job in Austin means building your online network and going to meetups. If you’re already doing those things, kudos. You’re killing it!
However, if you’re new to the scene, here are some groups and meetups you should check out to start meeting other movers and shakers in Austin:
- Austin Refresh Meetups
- Austin Coding Academy Meetups
- Capital Factory Events
- Austin Digital Jobs Facebook Group
- B.A.S.H.H. (Big Ass Social Happy Hour)
4. Find a Mentor in the Industry
Now that you’re rubbing elbows in Austin’s development community and your LinkedIn network is growing, it’s time to find a mentor in the tech industry. But be careful not to be a phony; make sure you are building genuine relationships with people you trust and admire. When it comes to asking for help from a more established person in the industry, here’s a good rule of thumb: aim to add value first and ask for value second.
Once you feel like you’ve connected with someone in the industry, try experimenting with small asks until you can build up to asking for an in-person meetup over a coffee or a pint. Use this time to casually discuss your job search, your skill set, and provide insights about what kind of career opportunities you’re looking for. Their experience in the Austin tech scene can give you an inside track, especially when it comes to the interviewing process. They can also point you in the direction of more specialized events, meetups, online communities, or other resources that might help you on your path.
Here’s a great guide to connecting with possible mentors through social media.
5. Practice Mock Interviews and Questions
Once you have a mentor and have built a good rapport, you may want to ask to practice a mock interview with them. Most likely, you will stumble a few times and eat some humble pie, but this practice can be really helpful.
GitHub has a great resource of front-end developer interview questions. The internet is swimming with example questions and answers, so don’t be shy with your Googlin’ skills.
Here are two resources to get you started:
- A video about how to prepare for a job interview
- What hiring managers want to see in a portfolio
Bonus: Paid Internships
If you are still struggling to get your foot in the door, and are willing and able to put in another three months of “on-the-job” training, there are plenty of startups and tech companies (such as uShip, IBM, and Dell) that offer decent paid web development internships somewhere in the $25-$28/hour range. These companies use their internship pools for new hires, and most entry-level jobs are filled this way.
It’s a full-time job finding a job, and every little advantage helps. Doing these five things will help you position yourself for not only short-term gains, but long-term success.
Good luck, and may the function be with you.