A Pragmatic Approach to Landing Your First Developer Job

Many new developers are driven by fear, leading to excuses like:

  • I’m not “ready” for the job.
  • I need to build more projects.
  • I’ll apply later once I “master” this [insert language here].

However, the truth is more about taking practical steps rather than waiting to apply when you feel ready. Here’s a guide based on my personal journey and observations.

Practical Steps to Getting Your Foot in the Door

STEP 1: Preparation


  • Include relevant experience.
  • Tailor your resume to the role you are applying for.
  • Include hyperlinks to your Email, GitHub, LinkedIn, and Portfolio.
  • Name your resume file clearly, e.g., johnsmith_resume.pdf.


  • Your profile should reflect your resume.
  • Get endorsements for your skills.
  • Be active in groups and engage with tech content.


  • Aim to build 3–4 quality projects.
  • For role-specific applications (e.g., React), ensure your projects reflect that.
  • Push your code to GitHub.


  • Use a unique domain for your portfolio.
  • Showcase your projects to make it easy for employers to view your work.
  • Be prepared to discuss your projects in detail.

STEP 2: Application Process

Once prepared, start applying:

  • Use company career pages, Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter.
  • Maintain an excel sheet to track applications with columns for company name, date of application, contact info, follow-up actions, position desired, chance, and platform.
  • Apply on every platform where the job is listed to increase visibility.
  • Personalize your communication to show your sincerity and personality.


  • Attend meetups for valuable networking opportunities.

Note: Preparing (Step 1) is time-consuming, but once it’s done, applying for jobs (Step 2) can take as little as 15 minutes a day. Continue applying and following up until you secure an offer.

Identifying High-Chance Jobs

Mark a job as high chance if it includes:

  • “Junior” in the title.
  • A general or short job description.
  • Lists a small set of required skills.
  • Requires less than 1–2 years of experience.
  • Does not list a degree requirement.
  • Is with a small company.

Committing to these steps can significantly improve your chances of landing your first developer job. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.