How we work and play means we are more tech-savvy than we think.
When it comes to breaking into the tech industry space, it’s almost impossible to have absolutely no relevant experience, because you’d need to have been living in a remote cave for the digital revolution to have passed you by completely.
The basic process of living these days, both in our work and at home, exposes all of us to new technology-based learning so we actually have much better tech skills than we think we do.
Even putting up an auction on Trade Me and being able to get the most from your mobile device requires some nous.
Whether you’re a young newbie or someone older seeking a career change, the secret to success when it comes to breaking into tech is finding a position that appeals to you, then studying every aspect of what a person in this job does each day in the course of their work.
There are myriad ways to go about this learning.
Internet chat groups allow you to ask questions of people who are already in your dream role.
It’s worth following as many blogs as you can too, and courses – either online, or physical (perhaps at polytechnics, or even community learning classes) – can cover a lot of useful ground, as long you’re truly committed.
And read, read, all you can, using your trusty servant Google to find relevant material.
Of course, this sort of study doesn’t provide, or take the place of practical experience, so in order to get a foot in the door you may have to try and score an internship.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always easy, simply because the frantic pace of the contemporary tech industry allows little time for teaching newcomers.
However, if you present yourself well and promote the tech skills you do have already, it’s definitely worth a try.
Make sure that you come across as a fast and agile learner who can actually make a difference to the organisation and who knows, maybe in future a permanent position might arise.
Summer of Tech is an annual not-for-profit programme that places tertiary students into full-time, paid internships over the polytechnic and university summer holidays.
The programme is very popular so competition for internships in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin is intense.
Even if you miss out though, you’ll still have new skills and knowledge gained from clinics and bootcamps, which are ‘micro-opportunities’ for doing or experiencing real-life tech work.
These are held throughout the year to ensure candidates are as well prepared and job-ready as possible.
Industry volunteers make time available to help students achieve the best results.
Industry Connect is a company which describes itself as a platform or incubator for IT/Software job seekers, offering valuable resources for kiwis wanting to join the tech sphere, either as newbies or retraining from a previous profession.
Some of their resources are free, while the courses and bootcamps they offer are subject to fees, but these are very comprehensive with excellent support, training and internship programmes and positive reported outcomes.
Essentially, networking is key, and so is promoting yourself effectively.
Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and use it to showcase any tech projects you’ve been undertaking for yourself, even just a website or blog, in a space where recruiters can see it.
Meanwhile, go to meet-ups, look out for workshops and seminars in the tech field you’re hoping to enter, and never lose hope.
Author: Louise Richardson