I’m of the mentality that you get out of something the amount of what you put into it.
I’ve seen many a student graduate with a degree in computer science or information systems and be ill-prepared for the job market. Heck, I’ve seen individuals with a master’s degree and be ill prepared for an entry level position.
A few days ago I witnessed the opposite. I was tasked to interview an individual for a mid-level position. The process was the usual. My boss sent me, let’s call him Brad, Brad’s resume and asked me to let her know if he was worth the interview.
Under normal circumstances, the reply would have been a quick “nope, not a fit for the position”. You see, Brad has not completed a degree in Computer Science or Information Systems. Brad’s resume showed that he had very minimal exposure to programming.
However, his resume showed that he had completed some sort of developer boot camp from Microsoft, which seemed interesting. The boot camp syllabus showed a lot of potential. It was composed of many practical topics, programming, development, methodologies, etc.
Brad had also listed many courses of independent learning from online sites like Udemy and Pluralsight. That got my attention. In his resume, Brad showed that he had only been working as a professional developer for around 6 months, not nearly enough to be a good mid level.
But all those courses that Brad took showed two things. For one Brad had completed all the courses necessary to fit the position. Second, Brad showed a fierce tenacity. He was serious about being a developer.
So I decided to interview Brad.
Well, the interview got even more interesting. Brad was a very honest individual. He didn’t try to BS his way through answers. If he didn’t know something, he said it. Even more impressive is that Brad actually knew his stuff. In fact, Brad knew more than many mid-levels I’ve worked with.
I think Brad is going to get the position of mid-level without having the years of experience that are normally required. Even if Brad doesn’t get the position, I’m sure Brad is going to go far much quicker than normal.
Brad’s tenacity is a lesson for all of us. That is that hard work pays off and you only get out of it what you put into it.