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thanks a lot for your post. input from active professionals is invaluable to me.

i've actually been working on learning angular for the past few weeks. i've stopped updating my github in that time since i'm just doing basic stuff, but once i finish some more tutorials and documentation i plan on building an angular project to display on my github. are there any particular features that would really catch your eye as someone who hires programmers?

any suggestions regarding the coding interview problem? i see http://www.amazon.com/Cracking-Coding-Interview-Programming-... recommended a lot.

If your algorithmic skills are good enough to ace the problems in that book, you can probably get a job at one of the big three software companies (Google, MS, Amazon). The vast majority of programming jobs are enterprise development work (think endless CRUD apps) that require nowhere near that level of skill.

I wouldn't worry too much about coding interview questions, especially if you're looking to just enter the profession. The most important aspects are showing a willingness to learn and an ability to think critically about problems.

Exactly. My previous comment may have been misleading. I don't think it's imperative to have a github account or a showcase of your work (it definitely would not hurt). I only have one public github project and I'm not exactly proud of it.

I normally start all of my interviews by trying to engage in a conversation about programming topics. But as most of the people I interview have little experience outside of Java and seemingly no interest in programming, the conversations are usually very brief. "I like Java." And the occasional "I have heard of something called JQuery. I may learn that."

Is Java frowned upon nowadays? I'm learning it as my first "real" language, especially for Android & Spring, however I've been playing with Javascript/JQuery and have a web/design background. I've also attempted deploying websites to AWS and CloudBees and failed deploying to Heroku multiple times. In any case, my original question still stands and what would it take for me to get a job with you if I don't have a degree and only the above projects to show you? What would you want to see in those projects and at the interview?

Java itself is not frowned upon - I'm a big Java fan. What is a big red flag, in my opinion, is when someone has multiple years of experience but is only familiar with a single language and has absolutely zero exposure to any other tools or languages. To me it shows that person has no interest in improving his/her craft. It just so happens that in the finance industry, Java is used heavily. Those who list JavaScript on their resume believe it's only purpose is for HTML form validation. I get a bit frustrated when I'm interviewing someone who has used Java exclusively for 15 years and is still making basic syntax errors, like mixing up angle and square brackets. It's not a one time occurrence, I may interview 4-5 people in a row making these same mistakes.

As to your main question, it's difficult to answer. Since we have a very small company with only a few developers, I personally am nervous hiring someone with little experience.

I recommend that book. For an entry level position, focus on the first section about data structures.

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