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So you want to get involved in a new programming language but you don’t have commercial experience!

A common problem for a lot of Developers whether they are just starting their careers or have been coding for years is when a new language is on the scene or there is a programming language that they would love to work with but there is no opportunity to do so with their current employer.

You may find that you are in a catch 22. You want to find a new role that uses the tech you want to use but the employer wants to hire someone who has commercial experience. I receive a number of applications from Developers looking to make a switch and it certainly can be done however I thought it would be beneficial for some to provide a Recruiters insight on how this can be achieved and what might be holding some people back.

What holds employers back from making hires?

From an employer’s perspective, the main reason why they look for commercial experience is that they want to avoid making a mistake when hiring. This can be costly but also very disruptive so it’s important that they feel confident in a Developers ability when making new hires. Most are fully aware that for the majority of Developers it’s not a huge feat to pick up a new language but for them, it feels like a gamble.

How do we get around this?

The key thing here is being able to elevate them of their concerns and the best way to do that is to provide some good examples of what you can do. Employers love Developers who have active Git Hub accounts that showcase their ability. This helps bridge the gap from someone wanting to do something to this person can do this and here is the proof.

Although this sounds like an obvious solution I have spoken to Developers who want to make a change but their expectation is to be learning this new skill on the job. Some employers might be happy to provide this opportunity but for the majority, they would prefer to see some evidence first. They also might be interviewing other Developers who have commercial experience or have seen some really impressive examples of what they can do.

What makes a good Git Hub account?

When a potential employer is looking at your Git Hub account what they are essentially seeing is another form of a CV. It is imperative that this resembles you in a positive light and doesn’t start to create reservations. I would strongly recommend before letting employers look at your work to clean-up your account. If you have examples of some projects that you are really proud of don’t let that be ruined by your next repository being something that you’re not.

Good Git Hub accounts tend to have

  • Well-structured clean and annotated code
  • Full projects
  • Numerous examples of what you can do with the programming language that you are looking to adopt
  • Making use of Tags
  • Recent activity

Poor Git Hub accounts tend to have

  • Messy code that is not annotated and lacks structure
  • Unfinished projects
  • Very basic examples that don’t impress
  • A limited amount of examples for the programming language that they are looking to progress into
  • Lots of unfinished projects
  • No Tags
  • Dated activity

I truly hope that this insight helps anyone who has been stuck in this dilemma to progress and achieve their ambitions. I am also very open to receiving feedback, if you have suggestions that would be beneficial for the Development community please do get in touch as I would love to hear them.

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