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Want to land your first developer job? Teaching is the secret.

Want to land your first developer job? Teaching is the secret.

The software developer job market is hard to break into. Standing out can be a big challenge. It doesn’t help that the internet is full of uninspiring, stale advice. Advice written by recruitment guru’s – not actual developers. That’s why as a developer showing off your ability and drive to teach others could set you apart.
 
Most people who strive to reach expertise in a field will reach the same obstacle. These experts realize that to continue growing, they have to teach. This is insight usually gained later in someone’s career. But, you don’t have to wait until you commit to mastery before you commit to helping and teaching others.
“Making the commitment to become a developer is making a commitment to lifelong learning.” 

Why teach?

Writing software is difficult. It requires that you’re learning all the time. Good companies recognize this by creating an environment that allows developers to learn. Yet, great companies go further; they don’t only hire and foster learners … but also teachers.
 
As a developer, it can be awesome to find yourself in an environment where you get to learn all the time. Soaking up the experience of others. But don’t fall into the trap of explaining to your interviewer that you’re only excited to learn. Why not also talk about how you’re so excited to give back? To teach?
 

But, I’ve not got enough experience to teach!

This is a mindset problem – not a knowledge problem. We need not overcomplicate the idea of teaching.
 
“You just have to be one chapter ahead of the people you are helping”
– Russell Brunson, Expert Secrets.
 
If you read a book that someone else hasn’t read – you now have knowledge that you can distil and share. You don’t need to become an expert before you start teaching others. If you embrace this mentality you’ll start seeing opportunities to teach everywhere. See the opportunities, not the difficulties.
 
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have nothing to share. You do.
 
As Derek Sivers eloquently put it: Some things are:“Obvious to you, amazing to others”.
 

I don’t have the opportunities to teach!

Maybe:

  • You’re not in a job at the moment
  • You work remote.
etc.
 
There are ways around this.
 
Remember – it’s about developing the mindset of a teacher. You don’t have to be teaching all day every day. You only need to recognize the importance that teaching has in the workplace. And why teaching is so relevant to high performing teams.
 
Utilizing this mindset shows you’re operating on a different level to your competition.
 
Teaching can be simple. Write blogs about what you learn. Disseminate information for others. Document your journey.

Conclusion

Embody the mindset of a team multiplier. Show that you want to engage in helping and teaching others and you will stand out. Even if you’re only a junior or entry level developer.
 
“The best way to be a 10x developer is to help 5 other developers to be 2x developers” – Eric Elliot
Lou Bichard

<p>Cofounder of Hacktopia and software developer based in London.</p>

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