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​Getting a job in the West Country as a web/software developer

Posted on October 01, 2015

One day the world will explode in a supernova of syntax errors, if-then statements and while loops. Until then developers are going to continue to be in demand. If you eat clean code for breakfast (figuratively), can breathe life into app ideas scrawled on a napkin and have the meticulous eye to find elusive coding errors in a snap, then you can expect a fabulous salary and the opportunity to work on exciting projects. The more you know, the further you go.

Here’s an intro to getting a job in Devon (and beyond) as a web or software developer.


What type of developer roles are there?

Forgive us for stating the obvious. Development, programming and computer science encompasses a huge set of job titles: from rocket scientist and analyst programmer to web developer and mobile app developer. Whichever path you take, you must have the ability to understand and use a range of different programming languages.


What qualifications do you need?

Wind the clock back to a decade ago. A relevant degree - such as computer sciences - was an important pre-requisite for development roles. Flash forward to today and it’s becoming less and less of a big deal. What matters is a thorough understanding of at least one programming language. If you studied at uni, great. If you taught yourself in your bedroom, that’s fine too. As long as you can demonstrate a working knowledge of - and experience with - your language(s) of choice, there’s nothing stopping you.


What soft skills do you need? More than you thought...

You might work in a binary world, but employers do not want a binary person. A good set of brawny soft skills is essential. For starters, working in business as a software or web developer means communicating. Properly. You may have to check in with clients to keep them up to speed. Or explain complex concepts to middle managers who insist on describing your job as “writing gobbledygook”. The growth of development teams in SMEs means you will need to be able to turn the nightmare of collaborative coding into a dream of productivity. And - of course - it goes without saying that you will be a fantastic problem solver. Easy, huh?


What should you mention on your CV?

Stop being so humble. You do phenomenal things with C#, JavaScript and Python. But for now English is the only language that matters when it comes to showing your skills.

Just like your code, your CV needs to be clean, clutter-free and concise. A link to an online portfolio is a no-brainer. You should also be specific about how you have worked in similar industries or on similar projects to the role you’re applying for. Demonstrate the range of languages you can bend to your will. And indicate how you keep pace with an industry that changes at warp speed. Finally, remember it’s not all about your technical skills. You may have been made to feel like a robot that churns out code by previous employers, but your next one is hoping you have a personality. Show it.

The recruitment process: Showtime for your skills

Telephone interrogations are rare for developer roles. The most common first step is a face-to-face interview with an HR manager or line manager. There is almost always a second interview too, most likely with someone technical who will be looking to make sure you are everything you claim to be.

Before that you will likely have to take a competency-based test to assess your skills. (At home in your spare time, unpaid.) Expect to be asked for a rationale on the decisions you have made. Your recruiter will be able to tell if you pulled an all-nighter at the eleventh hour, so take your time and be thorough.


Hello West Country: web and software developer jobs in the South West

It’s a good time to be a developer in the West Country. An influx of companies and a shortage of skills has led to a high number of jobs and a lack of suitably experienced applicants. The old supply and demand thing. So what are you waiting for? For an informal chat about how we can help you take the next leap in your career, contact Lynsey Skinner, Senior Consultant on 01392 413577 or [email protected]

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