The Junior Developer’s Ideal First Job Is…


Every developer needs to start somewhere, job-wise. These days, the most exciting prospects exist in areas such as the cloud and data analytics; and given the business world’s reliance on delivering services through the browser and crunching customer information, those sub-industries seem unlikely to cool down anytime soon.

Here’s a quick breakdown of where to start your job hunt if you’re just out of school and seeking your first (or second) developer gig:

Cloud Development

If you ever wanted to plunge into one of the most dynamic parts of the tech industry, head for the cloud. The average job as a cloud-platform developer or administrator requires at least some knowledge of several programming languages, including Python, Ruby on Rails, and Perl.

Those who go for the administration side of things can increase their career power by earning certifications such as CCSK, CompTIA Cloud Essentials, and Google Certified Deployment Specialist.

Database Development

Working for a massive enterprise might sound boring for those tech pros with a startup mentality, but corporate life does have its benefits, including the chance to work with some gargantuan systems. Enterprise architects (EAs) must not only boast software engineering and development experience, but also the “soft skills” necessary to effectively communicate with stakeholders throughout an organization.

Before the junior developer can aspire to become an EA, he or she must gain working familiarity with Oracle platforms, IBM DB2, and Microsoft’s SQL Server—the technologies that support many corporate databases. (They’d also be well-served to learn about the automation software that’s taking over many database-related functions.) Once they get a firm sense and a lot of experience in how databases work, they can aspire to larger roles architecting enterprise infrastructure.

Mobile Development

While the massive size of the iOS and Android app stores makes it hard for any individual app to make an impression—at least not without a bit of luck and a ton of hard work—developers with the right combination of skills can always find work building software for smartphones and tablets. If you’re interested in iOS, learn Objective-C and Swift; if Android tickles your fancy, know Java. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft’s Windows 10 will end up widely adopted as a mobile OS.

3 Responses to “The Junior Developer’s Ideal First Job Is…”

  1. I didn’t go to school and don’t have money for it so as a self-learner learning the front-end development, it’s really tough to find your first development job. I live in Seattle, WA and I’ve been looking for about 5 months with no luck. Any advise?

  2. Jennifer

    Hi Treki,

    Looking for your first job in any industry can feel like being a newborn fawn learning to walk but, don’t worry, you’ll get there. And definitely don’t look down on yourself for being self taught. That takes initiative and curiosity, two very important traits in any field. In this industry, the way to your first front end developer job is to show what you can do.

    If you haven’t done so already, sign up for a GitHub account and participate in projects to gain some developer credibility. Get a LinkedIn account to make connections, join front-end developer groups to learn from others, and make yourself available to recruiters and businesses you’re interested in working with/for. And build a portfolio site for yourself to show potential business partners and your peers what skills you have learned, what types of work you’re looking for, and where you can be reached.

    Even if you haven’t worked on any actual (volunteer or paying) projects yet, mock up a bunch of “case study”, fan sites, or one page sites for friends to show that you know how to code and that you can create a variety of projects. By creating your own app or sites, you are showing, aka proving, your thought process, skill set, and style to potential bosses and clients.

    And lastly, what is your personal brand? You don’t have to be anyone you’re not; in fact, the goal is to be the best version of yourself where you are in this very moment. Put that into your web dev portfolio site and when you’re crafting your professional image on social media so people get a better idea of who you are (aka why you’re awesome!) and how you’d fit into their company.

    Lastly, here are some resources I’ve found really helpful with junior dev & portfolio-building questions: Laurence Bradford’s and Travis Neilson’s Dev Tips channel on YouTube.

  3. Hello jennifer
    I am self-taught and looking for front end developer job but there’s no
    Recruiters dont even care about self taught and entry level. They only have sr developer jobs. I got my portfolio and few more projects. What
    should I do further to get
    considered. Any suggestions