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I am writing a book! 🎉

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As some of you might have noticed, I was quite silent last year but now, I’m excited to get back to creating content and sharing my thoughts and ideas with you all. It’s been some time since I’ve been thinking about this and I finally decided to experiment with it. I will be writing a book called “Winning in Tech Careers: The Software Engineer’s Handbook” (but don't hold me to that title just yet).

Aha! Moment 💡

The idea for this book came to me when I helped my friend Bill land his first job in the software engineering industry. I’ve written about this experience before in my blog post Mentoring: Getting the First Software Engineering Job. This journey with Bill made me realise that I have so much more to share than what I could fit into a single blog post. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to mentor more people, not just in software engineering. You’ll soon see that most of the processes and techniques I discuss can apply to any industry, but for now, I’ll focus on the IT field.

Motivation 🙌

After mentoring several people and helping them with their careers, I feel compelled to publicly share my processes and techniques for helping you land your first job after graduation or as a self-taught student. I wish someone had provided this guidance when I was an undergrad. I had a really hard time securing my first job, and I’m certain now that it wasn’t my fault. Many educational institutions fail to adequately prepare students for the job market. There’s often a significant gap between academia and industry, leading to confusion among students. This isn’t just limited to CS degrees. Many people believe that earning a degree guarantees a job, but a large percentage end up compromising in their initial career steps until they learn how to market themselves, find “good” companies, prepare for interviews and negotiate better compensation. I will cut some slack to certain universities that do a great job of connecting students with professionals, but this isn’t the norm.

As I was a student I read a lot of tech books, and I mean a lot! But I never find a step-by-step guide on how to land my first job in the industry. Yes sure, there is the "Cracking the Coding Interview", "System Design Interview", and others talking about building a brand such as "The Software Developer’s Guide to Work / Life Balance" but I always felt like trying to connect the puzzle pieces from here and there to understand what is the road forward. So here it is, I’ve decided to write down my method and plan and hopefully you will find this insightful.

How, When, What? TBDs 🙋

This is my first time undertaking such a project. After discussing this with friends and authors who have done it before, I realise there are many details to define.

How Will It Be Structured?

I’ve decided to write this as a blog series. I think it’s a great experiment to gauge interest before committing to writing a full-length book.

  • Publishing: For now, I’ll defer the challenge of publishing and formatting. I want to focus on enjoying the journey, sharing my thoughts, and listening to your feedback.
  • Frequency: I haven’t decided on the frequency of publishing these blogs. I don’t want to make any commitments that I can’t keep, so I’ll treat this as an experiment and see how it goes.
  • Blog Size: I’ll try to keep each blog post relatively short, < 1,000 words, to avoid overwhelming you with information and to make it easier for me to manage. This approach will also minimize the risk of writing extensively without verifying people’s interests. You might say I’ll be quite Agile about this.

Table of Contents 📑

Here is an initial draft of the Table of Contents for the book I will be working on over the next few months. This is subject to change.

Chapter 1. Introduction: The Journey Begins.

Reveal the significance of this blog series define the target audience, set expectations, and provide an overview of the main concepts.

Chapter 2. Plan Your Path: Navigate Like a Pro.

Identify the right role for you, why you need a plan, how to create one, and suggested learning concepts for any software engineering role.

Chapter 3. Brand: Shaping Your Tech Narrative.

Build a standout CV, utilizing LinkedIn, GitHub, and your personal portfolio.

  • TBD

Chapter 4. Execute: Fast-Track to Interviews.

Effective strategies for getting interviews quickly.

Chapter 5. Interviews: From Screening to Offer.

How to excel in interviews, steer conversations in your favour, and avoid common pitfalls. This section will cover different interview stages for both behavioural and technical, provide preparation guidance and share tips and tricks on how to ace each one of them.

Chapter 6. Find a Good Company: Navigating the Job Market Jungle.

Learn how to spot red flags in companies, where to find them, and uncover insider tips for finding better-fit employers based on your preferences.

Chapter 7. Successful Onboarding: Thriving in Your New Environment.

Techniques and ideas for successfully integrating into your new team.

Feedback 💞

Your feedback is more than welcome and will help me understand interest in this project. If you’re interested in learning more or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out! You can send me a DM, an email, share this post, or even send me a cat photo 🐱 If you'd like to support my work, you can also buy me a coffee (no sugar, por favor 🙏).

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