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General Discussion

Bradley Maskell
Bradley Maskell
8,858 Points

Finding work after Team Tree House. What strategy did you find worked?

I've completed both Objective-C and Swift iOS tracks and spent countless hours doing so. Over the course of completing those tracks I've used the apps that I learned to make at Team Tree House to build additional functionality into those apps.

Still after all this, not a single company I've applied to seems to be interested in my programming experience. Most recruiters I've spoken to have never heard of Team Tree House.

After spending about a month or so aggressively looking for an entry level position as an iOS developer at several different companies I've found the same requirements.

They want -

  • CS degree
  • 3-4 years "relevant work experiance"
  • an app published to the App Store
  • Experience working with every framework we learn how to work with at Team Tree House.

I don't have a CS degree nor do I want one. I've found Team Tree House to be very informative and helpful to me. I don't have 3 - 4 years of relevant work experience, that's why i'm applying to a entry level position. I don't believe that Apple created the App Store to be a developers portfolio, they created it so developers could make things that were really useful to their customers, and if I had a really great idea that was incredibly useful I wouldn't be looking for a job, i'd be a self-employed independent developer with my own company.

Please forgive me if I sound entitled or generally naive, I am posting this question in a bit of a rush and before anyone answers i'd like them to know that I wouldn't be interested in changing careers to be a software developer if I didn't want to work hard and enjoy doing it. What I want to know is if i'm going about it the wrong way and if there's a better way to approach getting into an entry level position? How did you use your education at Team Tree House to get a job in iOS? What advise can you give?

Amit Bijlani Pasan Premaratne Ben Jakuben Ash Furrow Stone Preston

4 Answers

What I would probably suggest to you would be to find free lancing stuff online. There are many sites out there that you can go and bid on a project. The advantages to this is it shows that you can work on a deadline and manage yourself, you can produce results, and that you have just the overall knowledge. Lots of people make some pretty good money doing it that way and if nothing else it helps fill in that 3-4 years gap cause that is usually just to prove that you have been in the environment and can perform. Alot of places will overlook the Degree requirements and things if you have certifications and also that you can show some experience that you know what your doing. The problems with sites like this and Lynda is that they arn't accredited. There's no set standard of measure and companies want proof that you can do it that's going to be your biggest obstacle to show that you didn't just follow a video and print off a certificate but that you actually learned and with the freelance that will show that you have some great experience. Plus this gives you the opportunity to see how much you really like programming or if you want to go a different direction

I do speak from experience, I actually took a class from a guy in graphics design who actually worked for a graphic company here called QuadGraphics and never got anything saying I took the class and passed other than what I could say. One of the things the guy told me to do was to go online to this free lance site and told me to take on some small projects and build a portfolio taking increasingly hard jobs to build a buff portfolio. Did that a year out of high school and by the end of the year I had made about $41k myself, ya the jobs in the begging didn't pay much and got scared more than a few times but it gave me a strong enough portfolio and show that I had the skills they needed and I got selected for the job over people with college degrees but as they were new on the market they didn't have the knowledge or skills I had that I learned from actually being in the market and that's why lots of places want experience.

Hi Bradley:

We're in the midst of building a strong Job Placement system. Right now, we're focused on the West Coast and we're lining up Employers that understand that a degree and X years of experience aren't always necessary. We're not quite ready for the rest of the country, yet. We hope to be rolling this out further this year after piloting our Career Program closer to home.

Bradley Maskell
Bradley Maskell
8,858 Points

Nancy King

I'm ok with the west! How can I be apart of your pilot program?

Thank you for your response!

Robbert Brouwers
Robbert Brouwers
10,035 Points

Some thoughts:

You mentioned that you did the tracks and have build the apps during the proces; even improving on them with added functionality (If you've added some great functionality to the 'build a blog reader' app i'd love to get in touch with you!)

I'd suggest to look for some companies that might benefit from your skills. A little example: After finishing the blog reader app. I had the idea that probably some blogs might benefit from an app and started looking for blogs that (a) had significant traffic or indications thereof (facebook likes, active commenting etc) (b) did not have an app yet and (c) write about something that personally interests me.

I've reached out to one of the more suitable (video)weblog I could find and got a very enthusiastic response. I told them that I enjoy viewing their videos (which I do), and that for me as a user, it would be a great benefit to watch their videos in an app in order to create a more pleasurable user experience. I asked them about their ideas about an app and whether it could be interesting to discuss some ideas. Eventually it didn't work out because what he wanted exceeded my current skills in iOS development. However, what I'd like to stress is: there's plenty of opportunity out there, as long as you look for it!

I believe this is a valid way to find interesting projects without struggling on freelance platforms, which present two problems in my opinion: (a) Freelance platforms are often a 'race to the bottom' based on who provides the cheapest quote. (b) A lack of a portfolio significantly decreases your odds to win a bid.

By actively looking for companies yourself, you avoid battling with others on price and you pitch something you're comfortable building because that's what you've made (or almost similar) already.

Good luck, I hope you end up doing something awesome! be it a job, freelance or entrepreneurial!

Pavle Lucic
Pavle Lucic
10,801 Points

Hey Bradley Maskell,

I just start topic today. https://teamtreehouse.com/forum/starting-web-designing-agency-with-treehouse-learners If you can get employee in some development company, start your own :)

Join discussion, I will share my own experience, almost the same as you have. I started with web development 14 months ago.