Before taking a leap of faith in a startup world, I’m as a freelance programmer at the same time partnered with digital agencies and other freelancers which are my friend too. In freelance world, you need to remember that your projects doesn’t secure your financial forever. If you sleep, so does your business. Unless your business is run by your own employees (if you have). But I don’t think it’s a sustainable and scalable business after all. So I’ve decided to seek a job after completed my bachelor degree. After I graduated from the local university, I applied some IT jobs through a famous job portal but it was unfortunate for me because lack of working experience and maybe the expected salary was too high for them.
Therefore, I continued applying on other companies directly. After 2 weeks, I got an interviewed session invitation with the local Fin-tech company. But this time around, I was so lucky. I secured a job as a software engineer in mobile development. After 3 months of probation period, I’ve been offered as a senior software developer with the increment of salary. Same goes to the second company that I joined but on 2016 I left that company because of the management issue. Even though on that time my salary was quite high for a person with only 1 year of working experience. Then, I founded my own startup with my partner in the early of 2017 in a recruitment field. The reason why I build my own startup because of the freedom of time & money (in progress, still struggling up until now but I believe my idea will solve those ongoing problem in recruiting people). Since then, I realized that there’s a lot of problem encountered for those who applied position as a software developer especially in Malaysia. In this article, I’m just focusing in Malaysia region specifically on what does the employer seek and candidates need.
5 Things to Do When You Apply for a Software Developer Job
Here’s what you do want to do when you apply for a software developer job:
1. DO be well prepared and set self-taught mind set
Be an active learner instead of a passive learner. Great employers only hired great talents. So if you want to be the great talent, always learn new things, involve with open source projects on Github, solve some programming issues on Stackoverflow and mingle around with intelligent people. The more you don’t know, the more you become an expert. There are a lot of learning portal for free such as Khan Academy, Coursera and Kaggle.
2. DO care your attitude and lower your ego especially when come to your so called “expertise”
There are a bunch of potential candidates fail to answer the technical assessment sent by us. If they act honest by telling us that they couldn’t answer those the technical assessment because of difficulties, lack of knowledge and no exposure on that assessment, we can forgive them. But for those that fail to NOT answering the technical assessment because of their ego, which can be too easy for them and waste of time, it is obviously a red flag for us to continue persuade them. Our technical assessments are dynamic and customizable based on the current industry and client standard in order to reach technical performance that is required. It was an attitude issue since the last century and still figuring out on how to educate the society. Don’t be like Rick.
3. DO your research regarding to your expected salary based on local market rate
We believe this portal could assist potential candidates to do some research regarding their expected salary based on the local market rate. Based on other employers and also our experience dealing with high demand potential candidate, the recruiters and employers will choose the most relevant salary if there are similar talents and skills on the same job position offered. It can be really competitive when the expected salary mismatch. Based on my previous working experience which is in my first former working company, I asked for 1.8k USD but got rejected instead they offered half of my expected monthly salary. Just be careful when you demand a high salary in order to avoid miss opportunity.
4. DO master your programming skills instead jack of all trade
Do you ever heard polyglot programmer? If no, the term referring to a programmer that have capability of knowing or using several programming languages. But do you ever heard about this proverb, “jack of trades, master of none”? Compared to startup world I believe the co-founders do a lot of things such as product development, business development but do not get trap about this. Yes you can learn a lot of things but PRIORITIZE and MASTER your specific programming skills because at the end of day the job description will fit based on your expertise. If not, it will be mismatch. Even the overload A.I can’t help you that. The keyword is FOCUS.
5. DO improve your personality traits from time to time
If you hang around 5 confident people, you’ll be the 6th.
If you hang around 5 intelligent people, you’ll be the 6th.
If you hang around 5 millionaires, you’ll be the 6th.
If you hang around 5 idiots, you’ll be the 6th.
If you hang around 5 broke people, you’ll be the 6th.
This quotes explained your circles. For us it’s very important because it affects your action and judgement. The personality traits can be improve from time to time depends on their surroundings. Our technology based on Big 5 Personality also provide this kind of service to monitor the candidate personality and behavior in duration between 6 to 12 months, depends on target subject and requirement (still in alpha phase). If the candidates have significant weightage traits like openness or emotional range and introvert, thus, the possibility to be hired is high (depends on total scoring). We believe the employers not only focusing on technical skills but they are also looking for culture fit.
3 Things Not to Do When You Apply for a Software Developer Job
And here’s what not to do when you apply for a software developer job:-
1. DON’T always keep asking and pressure the hiring manager (sometimes everyday)
One day equal to 24 hours (23 hours 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds) and there are about 366.242 2 stellar days in one mean tropical year (one stellar day more than the number of solar days). Working hour in Malaysia is around 8 hours per day. Some of the recruiters will check their email early in the morning and on evening they do some business development or whatever it takes to make a successful hiring. So they have limited time to response or entertain you everyday. Don’t let desperation lead you to disadvantage whereby can get you disqualified. Is your job-seeking behavior proactive or just plain desperate?
Hiring manager only a human, not A.I or superhuman.
2. DON’T put everything in your resume, if not is shows NOTHING
If you put everything, you only track NOTHING. Like I said, NOTHING. A lot of candidates put everything in their resume including their hobbies, working experience at McD, programming skills indicator (how the f*** they been measure, is it based on self-claim algorithm?). The hiring managers doesn’t care about your hobbies or pets, unverified personality traits, cover letter with your childhood memories, instead of just straight to the point. Show what they wanted to see and not what you have.
If you put everything, you track NOTHING.
3. DON’T bullshit
When it comes to diligence part, some of the candidates try to cast some black magic on their hiring managers. But most of the acts were fail because the given fact was not true. For example, when the hiring manager ask you to justify the technical assessment or project that you have done, the candidate explain it in outrages term and explanation but still, it does not relevant to the original question.
At the end, we all still need money to survive and a human will always make mistakes and fragile.
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