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All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to developers.

10 Tips for Writing a Job-Winning Developer Resume

Recruiter Reviewing Job Applicant's ResumeWriting the perfect resume is not just time-consuming; it’s challenging. With a market that is bursting with talent, job posters can quickly receive hundreds of applications for the same project. Showcasing your skills in the best way possible is a practice in precision.

While there are different schools of thought on resume writing, web developers should be aware of a few critical factors. The best way to get an edge on the competition is with great style and well-presented information. Let’s take a look at what developers ought to do to craft a job-winning resume.

Formatting

As with any writing, utilizing good structure is important. Recruiters generally scan resumes to maximize their time during job searches. Therefore, using effective formatting can help get your resume to the top of the pile.

Consider organizing the information in your resume in this order:

  • Professional Career Summary
  • Skills
  • Work Experience
  • Projects
  • Software/technology programs
  • Education
  • Certifications

Today’s recruiters tend to prioritize good experience above all else. Your education and certifications still have value, but they don’t need to appear first on your resume.

Personal  information

Traditional resume formats included too much personal information. Clients don’t need to know your weight, height or eye color. While adding some personal data is necessary, it should only be the bare minimum.

Your name, title, email, phone number, and website are all you need to write on your resume. Although some are against it, feel free to include a photo of yourself. Depending on where your client is based, they might even expect to see your headshot in the top corner.

Professional Summary

Chances are if you are searching for a job, you have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn has made it the norm for job seekers to present themselves with a professional summary. These summaries allow you to quickly highlight your soft and technical skills as a web developer.

In summary, you provide recruiters an overview of your career. Thus, be sure to include how many years you’ve been in the field. Also, write about any tech programs you’ve completed in that time. If you were in charge of training or managing other employees add that, too.

Keywords

Using the right keywords isn’t just for top-notch SEO; it works for your resume, as well. Pay attention to the terminology clients use to describe a project. If you use the same terminology as them, you’ll have a higher chance of being selected.

Plenty of businesses use automated systems to sift through resumes and keywords are vital to their algorithm. Unfortunately, if your word choice doesn’t match with a prospective client’s criteria, your resume may be wholly passed over. Ensure that you get a foot in the door by fine-tuning the keywords in your resume.

Experience

The experience you include on your resume is a primary deciding factor for your candidacy. Remember to remove any irrelevant experience. Furthermore, remove any experience from over ten years ago.

Hiring managers want to see what explicitly makes you perfect for the position they are looking to fill. Write a short paragraph about what your main contributions were to previous positions. Also, highlight previous experience that directly connects with the project you are currently applying for.

Spotlight Projects

While experience is essential,  projects can also help prove your worthiness as a candidate. Especially, if you are entry level and don’t have much experience, yet. Whether it’s an internship or a freelance project, adding it to resume helps you stand out.

First of all, they show your dedication and drive. Second, they illustrate any unique skills you may have acquired. If your projects are online, include a link!

Education

Although your education has to be on your resume, it’s not as crucial as your experience or projects. One line descriptions will suffice. However, you can certainly include extra information if you feel it will be particularly interesting for the position.

Education must be in reverse chronological order. Additionally, ensure that you list any special programs, boot camps or courses you completed. Certifications can go here, as well.

Technical Skills

When arranging your technical skills, be sure to eliminate any that are outmoded. No one will be impressed if you say you know how to use Windows 95. Show that you are keeping up with the latest software and programs in this section.

Connect your knowledge to your experience and elaborate on how you used your technical skills in the real world. Recruiters will appreciate concrete examples. Also, label your skills with a proficiency level, but avoid saying you’re a beginner.

Interpersonal Skills

Although web developers’ primary skills should be technical, interpersonal skills are important, too! Clients will appreciate a programmer who is a people person. Show your interpersonal abilities by utilizing specific language.

Strive to include active verbs like delivered, organized or elevated. Showcase your sensitivity to time and your ability to work well with deadlines. Moreover, go into detail about any leadership roles such as training or leading projects.

Tailor Your Resume

It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s essential that you adjust your resume for each job posting. Even though the jobs may be similar, you need to optimize keywords and reorganize every time. The relevance of your resume depends on it.

Furthermore, keeping your resume as up-to-date as possible is never a bad thing. After all, technology is continually evolving. Tailoring your resume for each job is an excellent opportunity to check that your information matches your current skills.

Conclusion

Once you’ve perfected all of your content, take care to adjust your presentation. Opt for a spacious set-up instead of cramming information in. Don’t get too caught up in whether your resume fits into a single page.

Instead, please pay attention to your content and ensure its scannable. A colorful and creative presentation can be eye-catching; however, don’t go overboard trying to impress. Do your best to incorporate these ten tips, and you’ll be on your way towards your next web dev position.

Kristin SavageKristin Savage is interested in writing and planning to publish her own book in the nearest future. Also, she has been a reviewer at Pick Writers for a few years and is known for her thorough approach to accurately assess newcomer translation services. You can find her on Facebook.

Fun Facts About Developers We Learned from the 2019 Stack Overflow Developer Survey

A couple weeks ago we shared statistics from the 2019 Stack Overflow Developer Survey that summarized the most popular technologies and tech trends among developers. Sure, these are helpful if you’re planning your career, but are you also interested how your opinions, habits and preferences compare to other developers world-wide? If so, keep on reading! (if not, keep reading anyway… it might be better than whatever else you were planning to do)

Developer Job Searching Experiences

Fun Facts About Developers We Learned from the 2019 Stack Overflow Developer SurveyOf the survey respondents who were from Canada, 74.7% were employed full-time and only 9.3% were independent contractors, meaning not all job search findings may be relevant or accurate for the IT contractor community. That said, these facts remain interesting in understanding what you’re up against during your next job search:

  • 3% of developers are satisfied with their current career and 65.7%, slightly less, are satisfied with their current job. Vice-versa, only 16.6% are dissatisfied with their career and 21.9% are dissatisfied with their current job.
  • 13% of developers are actively seeking a new job and 58.3% are open to new opportunities if they arise
  • When asked about the last time they updated their resume, nearly half (42.8%) said it was when they started preparing their job search and another 14.5% said it was only because they heard about a new opportunity. We recommend being part of the 32.8% who updated their resume because something changed in their experience.
  • Most commonly, successful interviews included a meeting with senior management, a meeting with other peers in the same role, and some sort of code-writing assignment. For those who dislike brain teasers, the good news is that only 19.3% reported having one of those in their last job interview.
  • Speaking of writing code, 14.7% of developers reported having to answer the FizzBuzz question. If you haven’t heard of that, it’s a growing trend and worth researching if you plan on job searching any time soon.

Common Work Habits Among Developers

Developers also share work habits and preferences once on the job. Here a few of our favourite facts from the 2019 Stack Overflow Survey results:

  • More than half of the respondents said they work from home more than once/month and 15.4% of respondents work from home more than half the time. That being said, 59.2% of respondents said they are happier at the office.
  • Canadian developers work an average of 40.2 hours per week. Compared to the rest of the world, the Netherlands have the shortest average week (38.1 hours) and Poland has the longest (44.6 hours).
  • 2% of developers believe they need to be a manager if they want to make more money and about a quarter of them would like a manager position in the future. 81% of developers are confident in their current managers.
  • Although stereotyped as introverted, 60% of developers prefer to have offline conversations rather than just online.
  • 8% of developers do code reviews because they see value in it, and another 7.6% only do them because they’re told to (the remainder don’t do code reviews at all). Most developers (62.7%) spend 2-5 hours per week reviewing code.
  • The greatest challenges to developers’ productivity are:
    1. Distracting work environment
    2. Meetings
    3. Being tasked with non-development work
    4. Not enough people for the workload
    5. Lack of support from management

Random Facts About Developers

Did you know that when it comes to online handle terminology, most developers prefer the word “username”? Here are a few other tidbits of knowledge for your watercooler conversation:

  • Developers are confident but some are lacking self-awareness.6% believe they are above average developers and 23.9% say they are average. Only 7.4% admit to being below average. Depending on your definition of average, statistics say that a few developers can’t be as great as they believe themselves to be.
  • A developer’s work is never done. Have you ever wondered why just because you can create an incredible app, people assume you can also make their printer work? You’re not the only one. Nine out of ten developers say they’re the IT support person at home.
  • Developers are not trendy when it comes to social media preferences. According to Buffer, Reddit is the world’s 13th most popular social network, yet it’s #1 among developers. The top 5 social networks among developers compared to the rest of the world are:
    1. Reddit (average: #13)
    2. YouTube (average: #2)
    3. WhatsApp (average: #3)
    4. Facebook (average: #1)
    5. Twitter (average: #12)

Now that’s a lot of data! How do you compare to the tens of thousands of developers who responded to the survey?

7 Skills to Have if You Want to be an iOS Developer

You may have heard of this iOS operating system before — it’s pretty popular with the kids and their iPhones these days.

Obviously, developers who specialize in iOS continue to grow in demand as companies and organizations in all industries regularly innovate their mobile strategies to remain ahead of the curve. For an aspiring IT professional, or a seasoned one looking to diversify their skillset, developing the right skills to be an iOS Developer is a sure way to open up more opportunities.

If you’re working on your checklist of skills to learn or improve and have any interest in Apple’s operating system, then this video from ForrestKnight is worth a watch. In under 10 minutes, he goes through the top 7 skills you must have if you want to get into that field.

20 Great Job Interview Tips from 3 Great Sources

When it comes to job interviews, you can never get too much help. Once again, we’ve rounded up the latest tips from some of the most experienced sources when it comes to developer jobs and interviews.

Glass Door’s Job Interview Checklist

Job InterviewGlassdoor is a leader in reviewing companies’ cultures and helping people find jobs at organizations with the best fit. That’s why we’re starting with their interview checklist that guides a job seeker through the process, from the second you get the interview to the days following it.

  1. Study for your interview like it’s a final exam
  2. Generate a list of potential interview questions (and their answers!) beforehand
  3. Write out answers to every question you anticipate, and practice delivering them out loud
  4. Compare your skills and experience to the job description
  5. Be rested and healthy for the big day
  6. Dress for success
  7. Empower yourself
  8. Don’t leave any unnecessary unknowns
  9. Keep an interview journal
  10. Follow up

Simple Programmer’s Top Ways to Behave in a Developer Job Interview

Marcell Lipp has five years of work experience as a software developer and blogs about his experience surviving as a programmer. Lipp recently posted on Simple Programmer with these 6 tips for how to behave in a developer interview.

  1. Stay Calm and Confident
  2. Never Lie About Your Knowledge
  3. Evaluate the Company as Well
  4. Don’t Stress Before the Interview
  5. Buy Time During the Interview
  6. Try Your Best and Be Prepared for Your Interview

Lessons Learned from Dice’s Horror Stories

Dice published a semi-humourous/semi-horrifying article with horrible stories from tech interviews. With each story came a lesson and these are four extremely relevant ones for any technology professional.

  1. Prepare for high pressure
  2. Don’t lie about skills and experience
  3. Never argue… even if you’re right
  4. Don’t Bring Your Parents

Noticeably, many of the tips and advice repeat within each source, highlighting their importance. Also, these lists merely tease the details and clicking through to any of these links will give you much more valuable advice and information on how you can apply it. If you come across any helpful resources, we’d love to see them so we can continue to share expert knowledge from around the world on the Talent Development Centre with IT contractors and other job seekers.

Does Everyone Really Need to Learn to Code?

As an IT contractor, you will not be surprised to hear that experts forecast a surge in programming jobs for many years to come. Consumers are continuing to demand new technology at increasing paces and IT companies will meet or exceed those demands so they can remain competitive. The result is a common train of thought that everyone should learn how to code because their job is going to require it. Even on this blog, we’ve made this argument and a recent quick poll proves that many IT professionals agree.

But this video from PolyMatter has a different opinion. Instead, they argue the push for teaching everyone to code is strictly political and, in fact, a developer role is nothing more than a skilled career path like a surgeon. “It is just a job, not a basic universal skill.” What do you think? Should everyone learn to code?

Contractor Quick Poll: Do you participate in the Developer Community?

Development trends and best practices are always evolving. There will always be new coding languages, advancements in technologies, and user behaviour trends that drive a need to change. Essentially, there will always be new problems and need for innovation.

Developer communities help overcome many of these challenges by opening up networking and providing the ability to share and work on solutions together. In this month’s contractor quick poll, we’re curious to know how developers participate in communities, if at all.

GitLab’s Glance into IT Organizations

Developer surveys are fascinating as we gain insight directly from IT professionals and find out exactly what makes them tick. They show us trends in our industry, help us determine if there is greener grass on the other side of the fence, and sometimes just provide some interesting tidbits of information. We recently shared some results of Stack Overflow’s annual Developer Survey and since GitLab also published results of a similar developer survey, it only make sense we share that as well.

GitLab surveyed over 5000 IT professionals from around the world, ranging from the most junior developers to veteran software professionals. While the results garnered a variety of conclusions, these are our favourite highlights:

There are Some Distinct Qualities of a High Performing IT Team’s Culture

It takes all kinds of inputs to create a high performing team, but GitLab identified five specific qualities that their cultures all share:

  1. A DevOps culture
  2. Better access to best tools
  3. Less time context switching
  4. More likely to be using cloud-based tools
  5. Leaders make automating SDLC a top priority

The DevOps culture may be of a specific interest to you, or even come as a surprise, depending on your preferred methodology. GitLab did dive deeper into the DevOps vs Agile topic, and we’ll summarize those findings in a separate post later this month.

Developers and Management Don’t Always Agree

To add different twist, GitLab asked questions to both managers and developer and compared responses. While they weren’t always far off, it is clear by these findings that there is often a disconnect between the two groups:

Statement Developers Who Agree Managers Who Agree
Project expectations and requirements are not set up front 31% 23%
Practicing Continuous Integration (CI) alleviates blockers in the development process 84% 90%
Automating more of the SDLC is a top priority in the organization 55% 78%
Developers have access to the best development tools 74% 81%

Developers Around the World Feel the Same Pain Points

Finally GitLab also asked respondents about their biggest challenges and delays. The charts below show that, regardless of the type of organization and where they are in the world, we’re all experiencing similar set-backs:

GitLab Findings

A Look at How Developers Think (thanks to Stack Overflow)

Early last month we shared some results from the 2018 Stack Overflow Survey that showed trends in the most used technologies and what jobs bring in the most money for developers. That’s all great, but you see those trends all the time. Fortunately Stack Overflow also asks its respondents some more unique questions which results in interesting findings about the way developers think. Here are a few of our favourite highlights:

Belonging and Career Satisfaction

Apparently, life as a developer is like a fine wine: it gets better with time. The survey asked respondents about their kinship or connection with other developers, the competition they feel at work and if they feel their peers are better than them. The results are clear. As developers get more experience, life becomes better at work, with less competition. This is in line with some additional findings in the survey, that showed career satisfaction is more prevalent among older developers (ages 50+) who have more than 20 years of professional experience.

Belonging and Career Satisfaction

Ethics

Stack Overflow also took a dive into the topic of ethics this year and the good news is, most developers say they are ethical professionals when considering what projects to take on. More than half of developers surveyed say they would refuse to write code for unethical purposes and another 36.6% said they would carefully consider what it is before agreeing to do so. Unfortunately, there are still 4.8% of developers out there who would have no problems writing code for unethical purposes.

If developers were to discover unethical code, nearly half would report it and about 75% of them would keep it within the company. Most of the rest say it would depend on the situation, but there remain that 5% who would will look the other way.

While few developers believe that they would be ultimately responsible for code that accomplishes something unethical, the good news is that about 80% of developers do agree that they have an obligation to consider the ethical implications of their code

The Future of AI

Finally, Stack Overflow took an interesting look at where developers believe Artificial Intelligence is going and what effects it will have on our future. While many are excited about the potential, such as increasing automation of jobs and algorithms to make important decisions, others are concerned about those very same things and believe it to be dangerous. In general, more than 70% of developers are more excited about AI’s possibilities than its dangers.

What Developers Think About AI

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what you’ll find in the 2018 Stack Overflow survey. Check out their website for more information, such as how developers are looking for jobs, demographics of developers around the world, and career-specific information.

Fun Facts from HackerRank’s 2018 Developer Skills Report

Last week’s post summarizing the Dice 2018 Tech Salary Report had a few interesting charts around rates and wages of IT professionals in the United States. The information was compiled at the end of 2017 through a survey sent to thousands of technology workers. It turns out Dice wasn’t the only ones out surveying their readers. HackerRank recently surveyed nearly 40,000 developers to get a pulse on their skills and what makes them tick. Here’s a quick summary of the some of the more interesting results…

Most Developers Started Coding Before They Finished High School

As Hackerrank points out in their report, 25% of developers started coding before they knew how to drive. If you look at the chart below, it’s easy to see that the majority were coding before they finished high school. Interestingly enough, the report states that 47% of developers who are currently between the ages of 45 and 54 started coding before they were 16 but only 20% of the younger generation (currently age 18-24) started coding under 16.

Fun Facts from HackerRank's 2018 Developer Skills Report

Another finding in the report related to age ranks the UK and Australia as the countries who have the highest share of developers who started coding between 5 and 10. Canada sits in 5th place — 7.2% of our country’s developers started coding at that young age. The overall findings help back-up the argument that schools need to continue introducing coding skills and techniques at a young age to help build our future.

Clients Care More About Your Problem-Solving Abilities Than Your Coding Skills

When asked about core competencies developers’ hiring managers look for, an average of 94.9% including problem solving… only 56.6% said programming language proficiency which ranked 2nd. Something to keep in mind next time you update your resume.

Fun Facts from HackerRank's 2018 Developer Skills Report

The Most Popular Languages Are…

What would a survey summary be if we didn’t include the most popular languages among the respondents? To nobody’s surprise, JavaScript, Java, Python, C++ and C topped the list of languages employers seek out.

Fun Facts from HackerRank's 2018 Developer Skills Report

Naturally, developers are always trying to enhance their skills and learn the languages most likely to get them a solid job. As HackerRank points out, developers are following the lead of the Silicon Valley tech giants, with languages like Go, Python, Scala, Kotlin and Ruby being identified as the most in-demand skills to learn.

Fun Facts from HackerRank's 2018 Developer Skills Report

5 Ways Web Developers Can Stay In-The-Know

This post by Dennis Furlan was originally published on the Freshbooks Blog on July 18, 2016

5 Ways Web Developers Can Stay In-The-KnowWe all have childhood memories that stay with us.

For me, one of these memories involves visits to the doctor. Specifically, what stood out to me during these visits was the fact that the doctor used to always interrupt an examination, leave the room and come back again minutes later. Every single time.

For years, I wondered what that was all about. Until, one day, after a session was over, I walked into the hallway past a door that was slightly ajar. I peeked in and was surprised by what I saw. In his room strewn across tables, chairs, floor—you name it—were medical books.

At this instance, I learned that the doctor used to leave during sessions and go into this office in order to look up what might be ailing me. In other words, even the most educated among us need to keep current with their profession.

This is as true for web developers as it is with doctors. However, when you’re with a client, the last thing you want to do is leave and look up your solution in a book. Instead, the challenge for web developers is to stay current, so that those valuable meetings with clients are as smooth and effortless as can be.

Here are some specific ways that web development pros can stay current with their profession.

1. Blogs

Blogs offer a mix of casual (but useful!) content for consumers, including web developers. And with the vast offerings of the world wide web, there is little shortage of blogs offering timely and engaging content on the industry.

A List Apart: A magazine/blog that covers all aspects of website creation since 1997. It has a special focus on web standards and best practices, which is useful for web development pros looking to keep up with their trade.

Six Revisions: Began as a traditional blog, but has branched out somewhat to become a general news website for professionals in the field of web development. The site is targeted towards developers and web designers, with a focus on both websites and apps.

2. YouTube

One of the great YouTube features is that it’s an easily accessible platform for anyone who wants to create video content. This includes video tutorials, which can be incredibly helpful in fields such as web development and web design, where more hands-on, visual approaches may be beneficial for learning.

TheNewBoston: Provides guidance on a wide range of topics for audiences in programming, design and development. In fact, TheNewBoston has over one million subscribers. So, if there’s a web development process you’ve been itching to learn, this is probably the place to find it.

Adam Khoury: If you’re a fan of tutorial-style learning via YouTube, Adam’s your guy. This video channel offers tutorials on topics like coding and design, and covers a laundry list of web development technologies, including JavaScript, PHP, SQL, HTML, CSS and ActionScript.

3. Twitter

One of the signature attractions of social media is embedded in the name itself: it’s a media platform that’s, well, social. If you like to find information all in one place, Twitter is a great platform to use to get a glimpse of what web development gurus are actually like.

Brendan Eich: The inventor of JavaScript and co-founder of Mozilla. Eich’s Tweets regularly, sharing his thoughts on issues relating to web development, as well as a little taste of who he is outside of work.

Codrops: A more newsy resource, Codrops shares web development tutorials, provides frequent updates, insights and resources. So, if there’s a specific web development or web design topic you’d like information on, Codrops is a good account to follow on Twitter.

4. Newsletters

The newsletter is another seemingly ageless media platform. In fact, newsletters have made the transition quite nicely from print to digital—a trend that also comes with some caveats. In the web development world, here are a couple of trusted and useful newsletter sources:

JavaScript Weekly: As the name suggests, it provides a weekly email roundup of everything new in JavaScript programming. Unlike the flood of daily newsletters you typicall receive, the JavaScript Weekly newsletter is sent once a week and is a go-to destination for web developers to stay up to date on anything JavaScript.

Hacker Newsletter: Another weekly source of information for web development professionals, focusing specifically on industry news related to startups, technology and programming. The newsletter’s content is curated from the Hacker website, so subscribers can read material they may have missed on the site.

5. Forums

Internet discussion forums have been around for a while and still are because they offer the topic specificity of blogs and news sites while also featuring the personal interactivity of social media. Basically, if you’re in need of answers to specific web-development questions, a web forum is your destination.

webdeveloper.com: A source for digital discussions on topics from HTML, XML and CMS to graphics, design and mobile apps. JavaScript as a topic has almost 500,000 posts in over 100,000 threads.

KirupaForum: Another forum destination for web development aficionados with the Kirupa website—web development and design instructors since 1998. The forum itself has a unique structure. All threads are on one page, with an infinity scroll. But you are able to filter through threads at the top of the page.

So, say farewell to clunky encyclopedias and get accustomed to the plethora of information available on the web. Web developers from all over are using it to stay up-to-date with the trends.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dennis Furlan is a freelance writer who covers a broad range of topics of interest to today’s selective content audience. Visit his website DennisFurlan.com.