By Marcus Twyman
It’s interesting recruiting technical talent here in the US. Everyone thinks of the major hubs like Silicon Valley, Bellevue, Boston and New York. Then there are the emerging hot spots like Salt Lake, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami and Detroit. The truth is, almost every major city has begun to send out an S.O.S. for technical talent. Recruiters are hiring for standard opportunities like java developers, full stack engineers, web developers, mobile engineers, but there is also a push for newer skill sets like driver-less car engineers, AI engineers, machine learning engineers, and pretty much anything that breathes life into the internet of things. So much opportunity, but if you ask most recruiters they may start chanting, “So little talent!”
It’s no secret that candidates with H1B visas disproportionately fill technical roles especially around software engineering as compared to other types of positions. What we have been witness to up to this point though, is that even with H1B candidates, offshoring, and an increase in contract opportunities, companies are still unable to meet their technical talent needs, especially in the full time employee space.
This shortage of skilled talent has lead to a loosening of traditional talent acquisition practices and candidate requirements in quite a few companies where not having skilled technical talent in place could bring their businesses to a stand-still. What this means is that employers are really beginning to focus on what skills candidates posses and what they know, rather than whether or not they hold 4 year degrees in Computer Science/Engineering… or whether they even hold a degree at all.
The talent landscape is beginning to wake up to the need that exists and this knowledge has pushed for the expansion of technical trade schools/programs that exist both as brick and mortar centers and online learning spaces.
So, my humble advice to you?…
If you have a baseline understanding of web development or coding in java, if you have always wanted to create a mobile app or have been considering a career change, take the leap and learn to code. Obviously, go about it in the way that is best for you and your current place in life, but don’t spend too much time debating. We have a need, employers are feeling the pressure, and technical trade schools are building some valuable partnerships with the companies and brands in their markets that are starving for coders, web designers, and data enthusiasts. If you truly want to change the direction of your career, do the research, make a plan, and put in the time and energy to make it happen. If there’s a will, there’s a way… and as of right now, there are a lot of doors that are slightly ajar, just waiting for you to kick them open.
To help you on your way, I thought I would put some resources here for you to take advantage of.
I would highly recommend this site as a first resource for you. The best thing about this site, it’s FREE. The other? You get to work on real world assignments for non-profits, which allows you to build a portfolio and gain real coding experience by donating your coding to build out your resume and client list.
Here is a list of the trade schools/boot camps (expensive) that give you a full immersive, bootcamp, experience. They typically take around 3 months to complete and are treated like jobs. The goal is for you to complete the course and immediately be able to step into an entry-level technical role.
You can also choose to attend one of the many online certification programs out there.
Hopefully, this helps those of you who have been contemplating taking the leap into a technology focused career. Just remember, there are no guarantees, and even though the industry is thirsty for talent, it doesn’t mean that you’ll have to work less, in fact, to prove that you’ve got what it takes without a degree or experience in coding, etc., you’ll have to work harder than those that have the typical credentials. Do the work, to get the reward. Read the article below for some inspiration and an outline of how one such individual accomplished their goal of becoming a software engineer.