How to Become an Employable Programmer


I’m writing this article for a reason. Yesterday, I was going to Kochi and while I was traveling, I was just reading the news feed of Google.

I read a piece of shocking news, that a student at IIT Hyderabad committed suicide because he was under immense pressure for not getting a job.

These kinds of suicides commonly occur nowadays in this country. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but the pressure of not getting a job is huge here.

So I thought I should share a few thoughts so that it may help someone who is frustrated about not getting a job.

In this article, I’m not talking about any technical stuff. I just want to share my thoughts on some soft skills.

So, let’s see how to become employable as a programmer or be it any profession. I personally think that it is all about the mindset.

Whatever happens to our life, and whatever we achieve is all because of our mindset. If you have the right mindset, then you will have the right plans and I think it will be easy to get a job.

Plan Your Success

Your success will not happen by accident. You should plan your success and work towards it.

I will tell you a story. There are two people: Luca and Akbar. A typical day in their lives is as follows.

Luca wakes early in the morning at 5 am, goes for running at 5:30, does meditation at 6:30, reads the newspaper at 7 and eats breakfast at 7:30.  This is the time when Akbar wakes up. Then both of them get ready and goes to the office.

Obviously, you know that Luca is more productive in his life because, by the time Akbar wakes up, Luca has already done a lot in his day. Over time, this will create a compound effect and Luca becomes more fit and knowledgable than Akbar.

How does Luca do all those things? Is it because he randomly wakes up early and feels to go for running? No. He does all these things in his day because he planned it even before that day.

That means, he has already created a plan to do all these things in the morning and he just executes his plans daily. Akbar did not have any plans, so there is nothing in terms of execution as well.

So, the moral of the story is you should plan your life. If you want to get a job as a software developer, you should have a plan in order to get that job.

If you plan today that you will become a software developer in 1 year, and you think and act like you are already a software developer, eventually you will become one.

Become a Specialist, Not a Generalist

If you are in college doing your degree, then have a plan that by the time you finish your course, you will get a job. I know everyone wants a job after college. But that’s not the plan I’m talking about. Be specific. You have to narrow down to a specific goal.

For example, instead of having a plan to get a job after college, you can have a plan to get a job as a backend web developer using Python. This is a more accurate and achievable goal. It is important to become a specialist rather than a generalist. Nobody wants generalists.

For example,  if someone has a divorce case, who would he approach, a lawyer who takes all kind of cases, or a lawyer who is specialized in dealing with divorce cases. Obviously, the later one.

This is true in all aspects of life. So, if you become a specialist in a field, your chances of getting a job will be higher and the competition will be less.

As John Sonmez, the founder of Simple Programmer says, you should become the big fish in the small pond, not the small fish in the big pond. 

Once you have an area of interest, it is easy to become a master in that field.

Automate Your Success

One simple way to automate your success is to immerse yourself in your area of interest. For example, if you are interested in machine learning and want to become a machine learning engineer, you should immerse yourself in machine learning.

Let’s see how to do the immersion process. You don’t need any extra time to do these things. You can do them right away no matter how busy you are.

One important immersion hack is reading books. Reading books can literally change your life. If you are not a good reader, you can listen to audiobooks. You can download your favorite books in audio format from online or you can use the Audible app by Amazon.

One simple thing you can do is, if you listen to a lot of music, you can cut off that time and replace that time to listen to audiobooks. That can propel you forward a lot.

You can listen to audiobooks while traveling, waiting in line, or any time you do nothing. You don’t need to dedicate any extra time towards it or reduce sleep time or anything like that. 

If not audiobooks, you can listen to podcast episodes on your area of interest. If you like programming, there are plenty of podcasts out there that you can listen to.

While traveling, I used to listen to the Simple Programmer podcast by John Sonmez. If it is not programming, it could be about something else.

You can read books like Rich Dad Poor Dad or 10X by Grant Cardone or similar books to develop yourself. You can click here to check out my resources page to see the recommended books for self-development for programmers. 

You can do one more thing. Just reduce the amount of TV or Netflix that you watch. It is just a waste of time. One thing you can do is replace this time by watching tutorials or self-motivating videos.

I watch YouTube channels like Simple Programmer or Clever Programmer so that I do improve at some technical or soft skills. I know you like to watch Game of Thrones or movies, but if you can replace it with books and video guides, you will see a crazy amount of return on investment.

You can do one more thing. Many studies say that a person is an average of his or her friends.

It means if your friends are highly motivated, successful and hard-working people, chances are high that you are also someone like them. If your friends are lazy, there is a big probability that you are also lazy.

This is because we are influenced by our surroundings a lot. So if you can change your surroundings, you can change yourself. I’m not telling you to throw away your close friends. Maybe you can find a few new friends who are interested in your field.

One way to do this is, you can go to meetups or workshops around your area. For example, if you are a programmer, you can go to a coding workshop where you can meet and make friends with people who are interested in coding. You can also do this at LinkedIn.

Actionable Steps

Do you know something? The majority of the people who read this blog post will not take any action. I don’t want you to be a procrastinator. So, let’s start taking action right now. Here are some actionable steps.

  • Write down your goal (really specific goal) on a piece of paper.
  • Write down the duration of time that will take from now to achieve your success.
  • Write down the steps that you need to take to get to your goal. Create a time table for doing those steps.
  • Download an audiobook or buy a book in a paperback format and start reading. Dedicate a few minutes daily for reading.
  • Subscribe to youtube channels which create good quality content on your area of interest.

That’s enough. If you have the right mindset, success will come to you. I just wanted to give you some motivation. Now it is up to you to do the actions. 

If you know any similar hack to automate your success, feel free to comment down below in the comments section.

Also, if you have any doubts or queries. ask them in the comments. I will be happy to help you.

If this article was helpful to you, make sure to share this article with your friends so that it will help someone else as well. 

Ashwin Joy

I'm the face behind Pythonista Planet. I learned my first programming language back in 2015. Ever since then, I've been learning programming and immersing myself in technology. On this site, I share everything that I've learned about computer programming.

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