Looking for tips to get hired as a Software Engineer for women? Let me start off by stating my qualifications for this post, #1 I’m a woman, and #2 I’m a Software Engineer. I spent almost 8 years learning to code and being rejected before finally getting promoted to a Software Engineer position. I wish I had known when I began, the tips and tricks in this post.
Recently, my company participated in a Girls Who Code event where I got the opportunity to talk to young women looking to build a career as a Software Engineer. The event filled me with joy to be able to help women trying to break into the industry. I thought to myself, I’d really like to help more women on this journey.
Before we dive into the tips, I want to call attention to why we need this post.
First off, holy cow, I found this delightful search result while doing keyword research on this post. That’s right, according to someone on quora it isn’t physiologically possible for me, a female software engineer, to exist.
According to celential.ai, only 23% of Software Engineer’s are women as of 2023. From the same post, in 2022 only 27.6% of people working in tech are women. Women make up 51% of the population. With those odds you may want to ready yourself for the challenge ahead. You will face adversity, your journey will be difficult, but (I can’t stress this enough) it will not be impossible. I want to help you get that Software Engineer position as quickly as possible, so let’s dive right in ladies.
10: Tailor your learning to the job’s you want now
If you’re just learning to code, or if you’ve been searching for Software Engineer jobs for a while, it’s a good idea to check out real job postings and see how your skills stack up. Don’t be afraid to do job searches now for the job you want to see yourself in in the future. Research the job requirements and soft skills companies are asking for and build your skills to those requirements.
Learning to code is hard enough as it is, but with all of the choices out there, knowing what to learn and what to focus on can feel impossible. The best place to begin is to determine where you want to end up.
Once you know where you want to be, you can build your qualifications to meet up with real world job’s. This will help you reduce learning things you may never need, and can drive you forward more quickly. Before you know it, you’ll have a skillset that matches up to a female software engineer.
9: Research what coding libraries, frameworks, and tools are gaining popularity
Save yourself some time and heartache and research what frameworks and libraries are gaining, and maintaining popularity. Bottom line, don’t waste your time learning tech that might not be around in 10 years.
8: If you meet at least 60% of the job qualifications APPLY!
You do not need to meet 100% of the job qualifications to apply for the job. You may have other skills that the job posting isn’t asking for that might shore up your deficiencies in other areas.
It’s hard to say what a company is really looking for, so if you meet at least 6/10 of the job requirements, then go for it! You have nothing to lose but opportunities.
7: Don’t be afraid to ask why you didn’t get the job
Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten was from interviewers who rejected me. Want to know what areas specifically to work on so you can get hired as a software engineer as a woman? You should ask why you didn’t get the job. You may not get a response at all, but there are some really great people out there that can give you honest and polite feedback.
6: Resume/Cover letter Hack:
Here’s my go to hack for applying for any position. The advice is always to tailor your resume to the job posting, but knowing how to do that and finding the energy to do that, can be tough. Try this; copy/paste the requirements you meet from the job posting into your resume and cover letter. Work your resume headings and descriptions around the exact qualifications that you meet.
Try to cram as many of your qualifications for that specific posting into the cover letter as well. Keep the letter and the resume concise but specific. Don’t forget to make your letter sound positive and don’t be afraid to let your best personality traits shine (humor, kindness, positivity, or hard work).
5: Keep your github profile active.
Build projects that are in line with the job’s you’re applying for. If you are following step 10 to becoming a female software engineer, then here is where you can get really precise. Looking for projects to build can be a challenge because who has the time to code and be creative?
Tailor your projects to the job postings you want. Does the company build WordPress blocks? Build your own WordPress Blocks. Do they use Material UI? Build projects with Material UI. And so on.
4: Learn these basic git commands on command line
git checkout -b: create a branch from main (or another branch) to work from and switch to it
git comit: Comit your changes to your local branch
git push: Upload your local branch to the remote repository
git pull: Download the remote branch to your local repository
git merge: Merge your main (or other) branch into your working branch
and git rebase: clear your branch history of certain comits
3: Don’t be afraid to apply for positions that are easier to get.
It can be discouraging trying to get hired as a Software Engineer or Junior Engineer, and let’s be honest as a woman sometimes it feels like it’s never going to happen. That might mean finding alternative paths to getting yourself where you want to be. Try applying for positions in tech support or QA engineering that you might be over qualified or just qualified enough for to get your foot in the door.
Once you’ve built up a reputation as a good worker, you can share your desire to move into Software Engineering with your manager or in other networking opportunities.
2: Look for potential Mentors, or Shadowing opportunities.
If you are working in a tech position and want to make the jump into Software Engineering, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Mykol, a female Site Reliability Engineer and co-author of All Mad Designs says:
“Find someone who has the skills you are working on building and reach out to them. You never know if that will result in mentoring or networking opportunities.”Mykol – Site Reliability Engineer
As the old adage goes, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
1: Don’t get discouraged! Persist persist persist!
It’s hard out there for women in tech. We may be less likely to get hired, promoted, or paid the same as our male counterparts, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying. You might have to wait longer and work harder to get hired as a software engineer as a woman and then get promoted, but DON’T GIVE UP! If you keep trying eventually you will get there.