• Tim Buchalka

Entry Level Job Requirements for Learners and Inexperienced Programmers

What level of experience does a learner need to enter the job market? Let’s talk about that today.

The question is, “What level of experience does a learner need to enter the job market?” Now, the thing is, a learner usually has no experience, as in not having worked as a programmer in a job, full stop. So depending on the job you’re applying for, you might find there’s a huge list of requirements. Now, these requirements are often desirable, they’re not mandatory. So keep that in mind, that if you see a list of all these technologies and skills that you need to have in order to get that job, someone’s put together a shopping list of all the things they’d like a programmer to have. It’s fairly unrealistic for a learner to have all those skills. I mean that’s the reality.

You really haven’t got all those skills because you’ll learn a lot of those on the job, and you can only go through so many programming courses before you actually start your job. It’s not realistic in reality to try and employ someone who’s a beginner and have person have all these skills, but that’s not to say that companies won’t try that on. Keep in mind that just because you see that there’s a huge list of requirements, don’t let that stop you applying for a job.

I’ve got another video on applying for a job that you can check out. It goes through, gives you some tips on how to apply for a job if you haven’t got the mandatory skills. So in terms of getting back to the original question though, what skills do you need, or what experience do you need, you don’t need to have any experience as a learner, assuming you’re going for a job, an entry level position. That’s because people will assume this is your first job, they’ll assume you haven’t got any job experience, and the pay will be proportioned to a beginner, and obviously they’ll know because it’s basically, they’re looking for someone who is new, an entry level position, they’ll assume, or the chances are high that the person that they’ll employ won’t have that experience.

So in terms of the basic skills that you need though to be able to go for a job of that nature, you obviously need to know some basic programming skills. I mean obviously if you’re going for a programming job, you need to have some programming skills. Not experience, we’re not talking about having job experience, but you’ll need to understand the particular programming language, or a number of programming languages, depending on the position, understand how to program, the basics of programming. No one’s gonna expect you to be a guru, because this is an entry level position, but they are going to assume that you have got some basic programming skills.

You can, depending on the position, if it’s with a team of people, that you’ve got a pleasant personality, you can get on with people, you know, you’ve got some basic communication skills and you’re willing to learn.

It’s very important that you’re willing to learn as well. So they’re the basic things you need, so in terms of what courses to take to get to that level, just look for a basic programming course, so a course that will teach you the basics of a particular programming language, Java, Python, C++, C, whatever the language is, and try and get that under your belt, and if you can, try and see whether you can get some experience in programming using an open source site like GitHub. So go onto a site, once you’ve been through your first course and you understand the basics of programming, try going to github.com and doing a search for a topic that’s of interest to you. Let’s just say you’re interested in gaming and you like card games.

Do a search for blackjack and then the name of the programming language that you just learnt, say Python. And more than likely, you’ll find a project for blackjack the game, in the Python programming language, and you grab that code, download it and start playing with it, understand the code, and maybe you can contribute back, you can make some change to that game, enhance it, and upload that change back to GitHub and that can be then added to your resume, you can come back and say, look I worked on this particular game and I made some enhancements to it, and here’s the link here, go and check it out. And a person who is looking at your resume will be impressed.

I know that I’ve employed a lot of programmers in the past, and if I see that a programmer has gone to the next level, you know, they’ve actually done something a little bit more than what a lot of other candidates are doing, that’s gonna put you in a good position, and I would view that favorably, and I’m sure a lot of prospective employers would do the same.

So try and do a little bit extra along those lines. Again, when I’m talking about you necessarily having to have job experience, because this is an entry level position, but going above and beyond a little bit can just greatly increase the opportunities that you have available to you. So that’s it, a basic programming course and perhaps a little bit extra work on the side, in terms of visiting GitHub would really set you up I think, for your first job at an entry level position.

I hope that helped. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll get back to you.

© 2019 Tim Buchalka