Marxent is located in Dayton, Ohio and is surrounded by several great academic institutions – Wright State University, Urbana University, University of Dayton and Miami of Ohio to name just a few. There are an abundance of talented computer science and engineering majors in our midst. Yet, we still find that qualified candidates for mobile developer positions are rare. How is it possible to be surrounded by so much talent but no one who is actually qualified for the jobs that we need to fill? There is a gap between academic training and the actual job skills that we hire for.
If you’re an aspiring developer looking for ways to bridge the gap between your degree and getting actual work experience, read on to find out how to excel and prepare for a career as a mobile developer. Taking these five factors into consideration will help you to stand out among other Android or iOS developer candidates in the local market.
A beautiful house built on a poor foundation may be attractive, but will soon fall apart and lose value. The same principle is true in software engineering. Study the foundations of development to become a developer who can solve problems, understand all the moving parts, and can design solutions. A developer who can build a good-looking app is handy, but one who can think into the future and consider all aspects of software engineering – not just how it looks – will always be in high demand.
It’s generally true that the more languages a developer knows, the more valuable they are. While there is some truth to that, becoming an expert in a single platform has huge benefits. Companies like Marxent that are creating leading-edge technology require a level of expertise and commitment to excellence that you don’t get from dabbling. Be an expert that can advise a company, illuminate the steps to building something competitive and breathtaking, and to ensure the sustainability of your ideas. To become an expert, you need to choose a platform and commit to it. You should eat, breathe, sleep that platform until you are confident in your ability to execute.
You’ve got a degree and you know the fundamentals of the programming language, but what can you create? Employers want to see proof of your know-how. If you haven’t yet built an app, it’s time to get started. Build a game, solve a problem, it can even be silly, it doesn’t matter, just build something. While we appreciate the value of computer science coursework, what will set you apart in the interviewing process is the ability to say, “Check out this app I built.” It doesn’t need to be perfection, it just needs to show that you can apply your coursework and passion into a real project. A developer who comes in and can actually show us something is a diamond in the rough. We want to see that you’re passionate about mobile development. The rest comes with time and practice, and if you have the drive, we’ve got the tools to take you from beginner to expert.
We’re looking to hire people who are curious about emerging technologies and can help us to keep our edge. How do we know that you’re curious? Typically, curious folks follow innovative companies on social media, attend conferences, watch webinars, and actively participate in the online mobile developer community. You need to know what is new, what is old, and what is up-and-coming. Try to go into an interview with a piece of information that will teach your interviewer something. Apprise yourself of upcoming developments from Google, Apple, Android, and be able to explain how those can be used to benefit the business. And never, ever go into an interview and talk about how much you admire an app that was built two years ago.
Becoming an expert is a lot easier if you love what you’re doing. There are times when mobile development can be messy, confusing, and hard to understand. Having the grit to make it through crunch-time takes passion and commitment to the craft of mobile development. Have no shame in showing enthusiasm for what you’re doing. When you can find a company or a team that shares your passion, you will succeed.
Megan Gray is HR Manager and CTO Project Coordinator at Marxent.
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