3 (Non-Technical) Traits Companies Look for in Developers

By Dev Bootcamp Author • March 19, 2015

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New developers often worry whether their programming knowledge will be enough to get them hired. We see this with Dev Bootcamp grads, most of whom are newly-minted programmers, and with the self-taught coder and new computer science college graduates. Here's the truth; your programming knowledge is not enough to get your hired. Most hiring managers look for three specific skills, above and beyond your ability to code, when they hire new developers to their team:

Humility
There's one thing every recent graduate, whether from a coding school or a university, has in common: you're entering the field. Sure, you've probably conquered the basics, but you still have lots and lots to learn. Showing you understand this will get you miles farther than pretending you're an expert.

It's OK to be proud of what you've accomplished to date (and you should be!), but beware appearing overconfident. Nothing's more appealing to a team lead than a humble candidate with a strong work ethic who knows they have a lot to learn from those around them.

Drive
Being humble doesn't mean you shouldn't be motived to improve! While drive is important at many points in your career, showcasing your eagerness to keep learning in your profession is especially important when interviewing for junior positions. To hiring managers, it's not what you know when you walk through the door, but rather how quickly they believe you can acclimate to the role and start contributing.

Remember, when a hiring manager asks you what you're currently working on, "Job searching." is not an answer that will get you hired. Working on a side project, contributing to open source, or frequenting a technology meetup are all great ways to demonstrate your commitment to continuing your education - even before someone is paying you.

Passion
The most important thing a candidate can do for themselves is apply to companies that excite them. Your first job isn't usually your dream job, but narrowing your search to a category or industry that interests you (like Ed Tech, healthcare, or Social Impact organizations) can demonstrate your passion.

Not only will this focus help you unearth companies you may not have found if you'd searched for anything and everything in your city, but when you arrive at the interview, your enthusiasm will shine through.

When someone is excited, it shows. People want to hire candidates who understand the organization and are excited about the purpose over the candidate who just "needs a job." While it might be true you need a job, sharing that as the only reason you applied won't impress.

The traits above are accessible to everyone, no matter your technical skill level. Sometimes, all it takes is focusing on who you can be when you walk through the door to interview, instead of where you're at now. Are you ready to start Dev Bootcamp? Apply now!

Happy (job) hunting!




About the Author:
Jill Felska leads the Careers team across all of Dev Bootcamp's locations. Her team of career coaches and employer partner managers have helped hundreds of Dev Bootcamp graduates take their junior developer skills into the workforce and find positions they are passionate about and companies that excite them.
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