Being a professional developer of any kind includes not only expertise regarding various programming aspects but also experience. In this article, we’ll show you how to improve yourself as a candidate and be more appealing in the recruiter’s eye by focusing on both expertise and experience-related matters.
Find reliable sources of knowledge!
Learning how to code can be easier if you use the right sources. Here are some of my recommendations:
- Books - an ultimate must-have of every programmer: ‘Clean Code’ and ‘Clean Architecture’ by Robert C. Martin
- Best screencast sources: https://www.driftingruby.com/, https://gorails.com/ (if you are a student, you can gain access for free through GitHub’s Student Developer Pack)
- Newsletter with Ruby news that worth subscribing: https://rubyweekly.com/,
- Documentation that also has a collection of resources for those just starting out with Ruby: https://ruby-doc.org
- Ruby on Rails documentation is a literal mine of information for every RoR enthusiast: https://guides.rubyonrails.org/
- Style guides you might want to check out: https://github.com/rubocop/ruby-style-guide, https://github.com/rubocop/rails-style-guide
- Exercise base: https://www.spoj.com, https://www.codewars.com
What might be the most common mistakes made while studying?
Surely not learning SQL. We might think that we don’t need it as ActiveRecord automatically covers the basic actions related to SQL. But later on, the process gets more complicated and some of your future work may require a better understanding of this field.
The second biggest mistake is delving into Rails without solid Ruby skills. It might seem like an appealing idea in the beginning, especially when you discover how enjoyable it is to build full apps with a use of gem packs. However, in the long term, lots of pitfalls might occur in your career as a developer if you do not have an in-depth Ruby knowledge.
How to gain basic experience before landing a Junior Ruby Developer position?
You do not necessarily need to do an internship to gain valuable experience, sometimes executing your own projects might be more beneficial. How can you do it? Try to build a simple application on your own. For instance, you can craft apps such as Trello. Remember to set your goals high, adjust them to the situation and learn from your own mistakes. Ruby-related gigs might be a hard thing to find for the newbies in the industry but rest assured that there is always a way to gain experience, either on your own or with a company.
How to prepare for an interview for a Junior Ruby Developer?
Depending on your potential employer, the interviews may follow various scenarios but there is a one sure part in most of the cases – object-oriented programming. You should not only know what it is exactly and how it works but also be able to thoroughly explain it. The most common mistake is that candidates know it but have troubles with presenting the concept of object-oriented programming. Let’s not forget that stress can ruin everything, so you definitely want to be prepared in the areas that will surely appear during the job interview.
Should I have a portfolio?
Nowadays, it is undoubtedly important to invest your time in building and updating your portfolio. A programmer’s way to show the work is through GitHub repositories. In that way, you can show your work to the outside world; just list on your CV those projects which can be perfect samples of your work and present your code to the recruiters.
Where to look for job offers?
There are three conventional ways to search for job offers: LinkedIn, job portals and websites of companies you want to cooperate with. Let’s take a closer look at them:
LinkedIn – the underestimated power of this platform amongst programmers is yet to be discovered. It’s a perfect website to present all of your projects, skills and build your network. This place might help you find compelling job opportunities and get in touch with recruiters. If your profile is built well, you can even expect to be given some offers.
Job search websites – you can find portals dedicated to IT professionals and use those general ones with offers from different industries. It is definitely worth using both of them, especially as a beginner on the job market.
Company's website – is there a place where you would like to kick off your career? Follow their website. In most cases, their sites have a subpage dedicated to job offers. Remember to peek there from time to time as often those websites might be the first place recruitments are announced.
Beginnings in the IT industry might be hard, that is why constant learning and challenging yourself is key to your success. Don’t get discouraged by mistakes, they happen to the best. Try using some of the sources of knowledge mentioned above, and don’t hesitate to start your own mini projects to try your hand!