How Have I Landed Interviews and Jobs in Programming?
- Dumb Luck
- User Groups
- 3rd Party Recruiter
- Former Coworkers
- Friend in the Industry
If you want to take some control of your chances, there are at least four other things you can do. User Groups are people who use a particular technology. They gather to discuss the newest developments for that technology. Most importantly, these are the people you would be working with every day, and I guarantee they have been asked at least twice a year if they know someone. If they know you, then you are already inside the city walls.
Another option is the third-party recruiter. It's particularly important to remember that these people are paid when their candidate gets hired and maintains employment for a specified period. They will usually screen you with tests but remember they're not the employer. Passing the tests does not mean you have a job. It means they'll submit you. There is also the possibility that they are not going to test you. This is usually a recruiter that will take you to lunch a few times to ask questions and get to know you. It is possible that they consider themselves a good judge of character. Regardless of the type of recruiter, they can get you through the gatekeepers.
Former coworkers are not as likely to get you a programming job unless they figured out how to get one themselves. Usually this is reserved for people in the industry that you have worked with before. They can be crucial to getting a second or third job. My point here is, don't burn bridges. It is unprofessional and eliminates another way to get a foot in the door.
A friend in the industry is an odd one. You never know who you will meet and get to know. For me, it was a former roommate from college. I did not get a job at the company he worked for, he and I had not worked together, and he had not worked for the company I had applied to. It was a network of connections that got my name to the right person. Share your search with your friends. You and they do not know who you know, but it could catapult you inside the castle.