2023 is a year of opportunity for developers seeking new jobs. Many developers are leaving their roles in favor of jobs offering better pay, company culture, and growth opportunities. With a large amount of job listings for developers at all levels, this trend won’t be ending any time soon.
If you’re open to new opportunities, there has never been a better time to enter the job market as a developer. We know the job search and interview process can be long and tiring. However, the right plan and mindset can help you streamline your job search to get a job you love.
Today, we’ll discuss 8 job search tips to help you on your path to a developer job you love in 2023.
There are an abundance of unfilled job listings from junior developers through senior developers. With the world having gone remote during the pandemic, companies have had to adapt by accelerating their digitalization and automation strategies. Stack Overflow has quantified that lockdowns accelerated cloud migration by three to four years. The increased demand for software, cloud solutions, and web presence has led to an increase in technical job openings ranging from DevOps engineers and software developers, to skilled programmers to successfully lead newly-formed low-code development teams.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates an above-average growth rate for the following roles between 2020 and 2030:
And yet, according to a pulse survey by Stack Overflow, while over 70,000 technical roles were open, only 20% of respondents were actively looking for jobs, while 54% were open to opportunities but not actively looking. While there’s a large quantity of opportunities open to developers, a sizable amount of developers aren’t taking actionable steps toward their job search.
Developers who are actively looking stand a chance at finding more satisfying jobs. The most adaptable companies have learned that to retain developers in a competitive market, they must invest in their growth and offer more satisfying work conditions. In what’s known as “The Great Resignation,” the tech industry saw a 4.5% increase in resignations in 2021. Among other factors, increased workloads during the pandemic heightened developer burnout. The desire for better working conditions, as well as an influx of competitive job listings, have already prompted many developers to move on to better roles.
Here are a few things you can gain by seeking new developer job opportunities in 2023:
While the job hunt can be a long process at times, there’s a lot to gain by looking for new job opportunities this year. It may seem like a daunting process, but if you break your job search plan into digestible chunks, you can celebrate each step as you bridge the gap between you and your dream job.
The job interview process consists of several rounds, and each round is meant to evaluate a different part of your skillset. The coding interview assesses your programming skills and problem-solving abilities, while the behavioral interview assesses your soft skills and cultural fit. If you’re making the leap to senior level positions, you’ll want to prepare for the system design interview, an integral round that assesses your design skills and your ability to apply system design principles to real-world problems.
Before getting overwhelmed, just know that you don’t have to know everything before the interview. What’s important is that you study enough of the fundamentals and practice applying them to a diverse set of problems. In the likely event that you’re asked a completely unfamiliar question, your foundational understanding should be enough to help you apply theory and tackle the new problem.
Every company uses a different tech stack. Look into the programming languages, frameworks, libraries, and APIs that your potential employer uses, and highlight your experience accordingly in your resume and cover letter. You may not have obvious work experience with certain technologies, so be sure your application clearly points to any internships, open-source projects, or volunteer projects where you applied a given technology. If you don’t know everything about an employer’s technologies, be honest. Any skill gaps that are a deal-breaker will be addressed in your phone screen with a recruiter.
Companies might also have interview processes that are unique to them. If you’re interviewing for a big tech company, there’s luckily an abundance of forum threads and company-specific coding interview guides that can prime you on what to expect. In many cases, you can apply what you learned about a company-specific interview to interviews at other company or startup.
Your soft skills are just as important to as your technical skills. Soft skills will help you build rapport with colleagues and stakeholders. Your ability to build positive and supportive relationships with the people in your workplace will help make your team happier and more productive.
For the most part, your soft skills will be assessed from your responses and demeanor during interviews, especially the behavioral interview. You’ll also want to highlight some soft skills on your resume.
Here are a few soft skills that recruiters and hiring managers look for in programmers:
Just as software development is a team sport, so is getting noticed for a job. In fact, after landing their first job, most people land their next job opportunities through their network. Hiring managers have more confidence in candidates who are backed by a strong network. It can take time to build your network, but it’s never too late to start. Even if the results aren’t immediate, you never know when the people in your network will help you get noticed or alert you to future job opportunities.
Networking is like an alchemy through which you turn perfect strangers into your advocates and mentors. You can build your network by attending networking events, participating in meetups, open-source projects, hackathons, or leveraging social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn. Ask the people in your network (neighbors, friends, and family included) if they know a relevant contact in a company or role that interests you. Often, people are more than happy to meet and share their tips or experiences. While posing questions on forums and boards can yield insightful responses, you can make a lasting impression by meeting someone in-person for a coffee instead (safely, if you can).
Even if you specialize in one language or framework, you want to show your adaptability as a professional in the constantly evolving world of tech. You don’t need to be proficient in all the latest technologies, but dabbling enough to talk about tech trends such as virtualization can position you as a great employee to train into new skills, should your company ever need it. That being said, the more you know, the more dangerous of a candidate you become. Learning new programming languages, libraries, and APIs is always a good idea if you have the time.
Here are a few actionable ways you can catch up on the latest technologies and highlight your willingness to learn:
Don’t be too humble! It’s incredibly important to publicize and advocate for your work, both within and outside of your employer projects. After all, hiring managers don’t have time to search the web to find work under your name.
There are many ways to get your work out there. If you don’t already have a Github account, make one and publish your code there! Github serves as your portfolio and will help recruiters sniff you out. Update your developer story on Stack Overflow for added visibility. If you’re applying for web developer jobs, build a website that you can present. You can also write a blog or contribute to publications on Medium. Whatever you do, be sure to update and link to your work in your LinkedIn profile and relevant application materials.
You can’t find a job you love if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Imagining and defining the conditions for your ideal job is going to be important to your job search. Remember, you want to move to a better position than you were in before. If you’re leaving a past role because you weren’t satisfied with the company’s code quality or growth opportunities, then you should dream big on what your ideal job could offer instead. Perhaps you want a job where you feel valued and have comradery with your team. Or perhaps you’d like to work for a company that has similar values or transparent leadership.
Being confident in what you’re looking for will serve to narrow down your job search and impress employers. Hiring managers need to see that you’re goal-oriented and able to articulate why their job opening compelled you to apply. And remember: You’re not the only person who has to show off during the job interview! You should also evaluate your interviewers. Ask questions to screen whether they’re going to be a good fit for you.
If you’ve been interviewed and turned down, you’re not alone! In fact, you’re better off expecting several rejections throughout your job search. While scouring Stack Overflow, Reddit, or Quora, you’ll find success stories from programmers who faced tens of rejections before landing their dream job. It’s best to view each rejection as a step closer to the job that’s right for you. Don’t be quick to take it personally. As an anecdote, sometimes hiring managers have already informally selected a candidate and are only interviewing other candidates like you as a formality.
That being said, the most resilient folks embrace failure as a learning opportunity. You can reflect on your answers and see if you have some room for improvement. If you’re not sure what you could do to improve, turn to an outsider for their perspective. While it’s uncommon for HR to provide constructive feedback, you can always do a mock interview with a peer and see what their feedback is.
No matter how experienced of a developer you are, interviewing is an entirely separate skillset. It might take some time for you to gain confidence. Every interview is a great opportunity to practice, but until you get interviews lined up, it’s important that you invest time and energy in interview prep.
Whether you’re looking for an entry-level job or a senior position, the market is full of opportunities, and we hope you feel empowered to reach for them! While we hope these job search tips help shorten your job search, you may want to buckle up and see this is a long-term project. The truth is that the job search can become a lengthy process no matter which industry we’re in. We know it can be daunting to invest the time on the job hunt, but with the right plan and mindset, you can shorten the path to your dream developer job.
At Educative, we love helping developers advance in their career. That’s why we’ve gathered all our interview prep resources in one place: Interview Prep with Educative. Nearly 1 million developers are already using Educative to excel in their careers and get the jobs they want. You’ll find company-specific guides, tutorials for coding and system design interviews, as well as interview tips from industry experts.
Join a community of more than 1.4 million readers. A free, bi-monthly email with a roundup of Educative's top articles and coding tips.