August 14, 2018
Most of the time employers don’t know where to start when it comes to finding their next developer. Programmers with real-life coding skills are in high demand but prove difficult to find. Where do employers start looking? What skills should they be looking for? San Antonio has a treasure chest of programmers hiding in universities, bootcamp programs, and tech communities just waiting to be hired.College grads are eager to jump into the workforce after a rigorous four years of tests and lectures. Graduating Millennials have a sense of mission; they’re ready to make a difference in the world and the companies they work for. San Antonio colleges like the University of Texas at San Antonio and Trinity University have top tier computer science programs that produce swells of potential hires every year. Employers can contact UTSA’s computer science department to be listed on their page of job opportunities or make a profile on Campus2Careers. Students pour a strong foundation for their career by getting their degree but don’t usually gain applicable skills from college curriculum alone. Curriculum can become quickly outdated with the ever-changing methods of the technology industry. If they don’t develop their programming skills independently of their schoolwork, they fall into the large majority of job applicants that don’t know how to solve basic coding problems. Graduation is only once or twice a year, leaving a short window of employment opportunity. The students who already know how to code have jobs lined up long before they get that diploma.When graduates realize they can’t find a job without real-life coding skills, they often look for a way to fill the gaps in their university education. In need of a quick, effective way to learn, they turn to our program, Codeup. And it’s not just college grads; individuals from all walks of life come to Codeup to change the trajectory of their careers. They want to be programmers, designers, builders of products and ideas. In three months Codeup students get over 700 hours of instruction from experienced programmers equipped with the most relevant knowledge. The intense program produces individuals who have worked on realistic projects and are ready to jump into the workforce. They have a portfolio of work to show, they have experience, and they have passion. With a class graduating every three months there’s plenty of chances for employers to grab someone with real skills. We believe that must be pretty good if 93% of Bootcamp students from our first cohort have found jobs within four months after graduating.Universities and accelerated learning programs aren’t the only places companies looking for a programmer can search. Technology meetup groups provide a casual, encouraging environment for savvy programmers who want to hangout with likeminded individuals. There are plenty groups in San Antonio: San Antonio New Tech, SA Open Stackers, Alamo City Python Group, San Antonio Dev Ops, San Antonio Web Development Group, and JDEV Meetup, just to name a few. Groups like these give opportunities to pre-screen candidates who potentially have more experience than those exiting learning programs. Employers need to be careful with their approach, though. It’s inappropriate to make an announcement about a job position at events like these; the group wants members of the community to engaged and involved, not just headhunters. This process is more time consuming but can be effective with consistency and patience. A lot of the meetups are held at Geekdom and are populated by Geekdom members. Posting on the Geekdom job board is a quick way to get to the people who are looking for immediate employment and reduces the amount of hours spent attending events.If all else fails, employers can post job opportunities on social networks, ask friends, or take a chance with Craigslist. There is no such thing as the perfect job candidate. The structure of code, frameworks and libraries used, testing conventions, requirements, and deployment management are all based on what the company needs— everyone is different. As long as the candidate can prove their knowledge in tracking real coding scenarios, the rest is simply a culture fit.