In Career Advice, Clutch Team, Job seeker, Thoughts

I heard about this new podcast, CareerJS, through the NY JavaScript slack channel. It’s hosted by three JavaScript developers, Jeffrey Biles, Erik Hanchett, and David Tang, who discuss SW developer career tips/strategies.

One of the episodes, Creating a Personal Brand as a Software Developer, is tailored for software engineers generally, and not exclusively people working in JavaScript. On it, Jeffrey, Erik, and David discuss the huge impact online personal branding can have on your career as a dev. As they rightly point out, it’s really really easy to google people – whether it’s a prospective employer or a first date, your identity is just a few keystrokes away. So why not control the content people find about you?

They go over a couple suggestions to ramp up your online presence and bolster your career:

  • Write and maintain a tech/project blog or a portfolio website. You can include particular challenges you’re tackling at work, personal side projects, group work…anything that showcases the engineering work you’re currently doing and what you like to work on.
    • One of them pointed out that this has the added benefit of potentially allowing you to influence what you’re asked about during interviews at tech companies. Instead of giving you FizzBuzz or algo problems, if your interviewer has seen your blog they might be more inclined to ask you about what you’re working on/interested in.
  • Become a prolific tweeter. They didn’t get into much detail about this one, though they mentioned that if your goal is to become recognized as a “famous” or influential engineer, this one’s a must.
  • Tis better to set up a personal site than to use a Medium blog for your primary online profile. Again, if you want to become recognized, a personal site allows you to show your style/creativity, rather than a generic blog site with templates like Medium.

  • Do you need a LinkedIn? Here, there’s a weighing of pros and cons. LinkedIn is fast becoming the way employers find and vet candidates, but it’s also a cesspool of bad recruiter spam. 

    One of them mentions that all the jobs he ever had were through LinkedIn/recruiter connections, but another feels a LI profile is minimally useful and only maintains his in case employers ask about it.

  • Setting up a screencast or tutorial series. Teaching, if you’re dedicated and consistent, can be a rewarding way to grow your online presence organically. You’re offering an immediate and direct value add + harvesting the gratitude of other engineers in the community.

Overall, Jeffrey, Erik, and David have an amazing thing going with their podcast series and hope they keep it up! I’ll definitely be tuning back in from time to time.

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