Getting a Software Engineering Job, v2

Project-Based Networking

Jerome Hardaway

Jerome Hardaway

Vets Who Code
Getting a Software Engineering Job, v2

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The "Project-Based Networking" Lesson is part of the full, Getting a Software Engineering Job, v2 course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Jerome explains that project-based networking is a powerful tool to expand professional connections and build relationships within the industry.


Transcript from the "Project-Based Networking" Lesson

>> And here's another one, the final one, project based networking. If you go, say, it's on line 42 and networking MD, project based networking is the one that really made my claim to fame, right? I use Vet Sue code, is the project that I was networking on for the first two years of building it out.

Talking about this app, talking about the work I was doing. Talking about how I was trying to help people doing these projects doing, building small projects out on it. Talking about how to leverage GitHub, things of that nature with it. That was my first step, right, of helping people, of being able to connect with people and stuff like, this is the person want to use tech for good, right?

Asking questions like, hey, I'm using slick carousel, how do I do this better? And then they're like, okay, yeah, you do this thoroughly, and they're like, yo, this is dopest project, what are you doing? Sorry, it was swearing. This is dope project cuz that's what the person really said to me.

[LAUGH] I was like so, what are you really doing? And I was like, this is what I'm working on. I'm working on helping veterans transition into technology using software engineering and working remotely. It was like, that is the coolest thing ever, how can I help? Talk to another person about it and talk to another person.

Built out more things, talk to verse sale about how some of the things we're doing next as and getting advice from them as things like even as far as close to a year ago, right? I'm still doing this thing where I talk to people and I'm like, hey, here's my project, here's what I wanna do.

What's your advice for how I do this. This is what I've researched, this is how I've wanted to implement it, here are my thoughts on this. I'm interested in hearing yours since you are the domain expert in this, right? And they're talking to you, they love talking to you about this.

And they are so excited and then they see the work that you're doing, they know that things are gonna improve. The things that you're implementing is going to help people. They want to see how can I get more involved, right? And that's your cue to get them more involved, right, and same way with yours.

You go to a project. If you build an API, and you like you talk to somebody else who's a back end engineer, you ask them about the API. How do I make a secure API layer? Is this the best format for my API? Have I made the right decisions to ensure that the right type of information will be able to go to somebody or even worse, not worse, better?

Talk to a frontend about how would they leverage your API? What feedback would they do about your API to be able to talk? How your API push things to the GUI, to the front end, right? They ask them, if they were to get your API, do you have the proper documentation and resources available, so they can understand your API and utilize that, right?

Now it just collaboration that show cases on documentation, it showcases, you are the ones to learn, right? You could write an API on GitHub, open discussions and then have discussions with front ends about your API to say, how do I leverage that? And that's all trackable work, right?

And you could talk about that at a interview. Now you've created work that you can talk about, right? That's how I use projects, right? I create a thing, I talk about the thing. Then I try to get feedback on the thing so I can get closer to my goals of being able to end use project to help people, use project help people get jobs.

If it's not me, someone else I love, building those networks, building those relationships so I help people get jobs, right? My goal is 1% of all veterans, ex-military a year by 2027. And that's like, let's say, 2500 people a year, helping them get jobs. So I love talking about that with other people in their life, yo, here's my job listings, if you need it.

Here's the job listings I have, if you need it, right? Same way with you all, we're talking about your journeys, talking about your building front end. You say, hey, I would love to build a UI with your backend, with your API, is there a way I can look at it?

You ask for case, give you feedback on how to create the backend or how to create the API in a manner that makes sense for frontend. That's a great way for you all to start and be able to have that. Use those projects to network then you go to another person backend, go to an engineering manager, go to a gym young type, right?

And then you go ask questions from them. That's how that flow starts. And seeing people, especially, in your community, you just start here in your community at your meetups or is there like a Minnesota tech slack?
>> There's a JavaScript.
>> Yeah, so yeah, you start in there and you start asking the questions that a Minnesota JavaScript group and you're like, hey, can someone review this for me.

Can you help me with this, that, and the third, what's your feedback on this? And that's how it starts. The next thing you know, hey, someone's talking about, yo, there's this kid that's always asking good questions all the time. He's growing and he executes when you answer his questions.

And he's always in the open-source community, seeing where he can volunteer and pull his weight to give back to the community. I think that, if we see that person's resume, we should at least give them a go. Let's see what they have to say. Let's see if we can find a good fit for them, right?

That's how it is done, right? I have friends who their job was made for them, right? Cuz of their networking and how they use their projects to network or how they networked at conferences or how they networked with informationals, things of that nature, right? Someone's like, look, I really like this person.

I know this person's gonna be able to do and accomplish big things. I want this person to accomplish big things with and for me, right? And that's how it starts. Now the fourth way of networking that I find funny, I didn't even put it in here because it's too funny for me, but I know it works.

Starting a podcast, that is the funniest way to do it. But people love talking about themselves. And they will get on a podcast and start building a relationship from there, they'll go from the Maya board member, Taylor Desean. He was the one, let me know, that's how he networks.

He uses his podcast to network and he'll ask people to come on his podcast and they'll talk. He's like, hey, it worked with you, didn't? And I was like, yeah, you did work for me. Okay, okay, well played, well played. So I know that is the fourth and final way to network.

But I think it's kind of ridiculous cuz I was like, I can't believe that worked on me but it is what it is.

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