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What it's like to be a junior developer in MN

by Matt Decuir

TL;DR: This session is for junior developers, by junior developers. We'll talk about the challenges we've faced throughout the learning/job search process, as well as strategies for how to overcome them.

Whether you're self taught, went through a boot camp, studied CS in school, or are just interested in the topic, join us to talk about what it's really like to be a junior developer in MN.

This will be very casual and informal. Come prepared to be part of the discussion.

What to expect

If the group is small enough, we'll go around the room and introduce ourselves, share a little about our backgrounds and where we're at career-wise. Otherwise, we'll skip introductions.

Then, members of the audience will be encouraged to share their experiences/opinions about a list of discussion topics and we'll go from there.

What we are going to talk about (not a final list)

  • Motivations to get into software engineering
  • Transitioning your career into software engineering & how to do it
  • Learning approaches: Bootcamp? Go back to school? Teach yourself?
    • Bootcamps: What's a bootcamp like? Is it worth the time/money investment? Differences between Prime, Iron Yard, and others?
    • Going back to school: Is it necessary/worth going back to school for a BS/MS?
    • Teach yourself: How hard is it to teach yourself? Where do you even start? Strategies to stay motivated & make continual progress?
  • Language: What language should you start with? (everyone has a different opinion)
  • Learning topics: What are the most important topics & areas to learn about first?
    • i.e. OOP, algorithms, data structures, etc...
  • Getting experience: How to get experience starting out, whether outside of, or at work?
  • Getting your first job: What to expect? What's the process like? Advice, tips or tricks?
  • You got a job! Now what? What to expect on the job? What happens next & what to do going forward? (i.e. never stop learning)
  • Challenges: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced & how did you overcome them?
  • Culture: What's the culture like, and how can we make it more equitable & welcoming for everyone?
  • Minnesota: What's it like to be a junior dev in other places and how is Minnesota different?

Who this session is for

  • Aspiring software engineers: people who want to transition their careers or get into software engineering
  • Students: bootcamp, self-taught, or traditional school, it doesn't matter!
  • Junior software engineers: based on experience, not age
  • Experienced software engineers who want to help
  • Anybody else who's interested in the topic

Any and all experience levels, ages, races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations and personal pronouns are welcome. (No, you don't have to be a programmer to attend)

Future events

This session will hopefully be the first in a series of events going forward. After Minnebar, we hope to start a monthly meet-up where we'll continue to get together and share experiences with each other.

If you would like to help lead the session and/or organize future events, please let Matt know!

All levels

Matt Decuir

Matt recently transitioned his career into Software Engineering, and currently works at Granicus in Saint Paul. He's a Seattle Transplant and Pizza Enthusiast.


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