Learn, Prepare yourself (Guide for U.S Immigrants)


 

Getting started:

This is one of the few careers that is highly pay and you don’t need a licence though, but you need to prove that you know and are able learn and perform the job with high standards. That’s the biggest advantage of the software developer career or related fields you don’t need a degree certificate, a diploma or a license to be able to work on this field, your knowledge and your experience should be sufficient to be able to find a job. I’m not saying that trying to get a degree is bad, if you want to go to the university and get your degree that’s fine, but it is not mandatory when you are looking for a job as a software developer.
If you still thinking that it is not worth the effort to trying to re-orientate or continue your career as a software developer or related field in the USA, I encourage you to do a quick search on salaries on the internet, this might not be 100% accurate but at least will give you an idea of how much you could worth, you can check this site for salary research:

http://www.indeed.com/salary/Estimator.html
https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/index.htm
https://www.roberthalf.com/workplace-research/salary-guides

These are few from the many websites in internet that might help you to investigate what is an average salary for a Software developer or related field.

 

Your English is a must:

learn English

You might be wondering why this guide is written in english, it is because even though the target audience of this material are immigrants, the first step to a successful career in this country is to learn english, if it is not your first language of course.
If you were born in USA, or any English speaking country, or have an excellent domain of the English language, then, you can skip this section. If not this is very important for you, first thing you should do, before you even think of apply for a job, is perfectionate your english or start learning it if you are in cero. Not only because you most likely will be interacting with others at your company in english, but also because a great number of good resources to learn and also the tools you might be interacting with, are going to be in english.

Here are some resources you can use to learn or perfectionate your english:
You can go to college to take ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) class.
If you are starting learning and you want to learn by yourself I recommend you Rosetta Stone
If you are more advanced, then I highly recommend Open English (www.openenglish.com)
www.engvid.com (free and muy bueno)

 

Productivity and inspiration

Productiviti And Inspiration

Productivity: If you are starting you career as a software developer or related field here in the USA or are planning to continue your career here, whichever is your case, you need to be productive and get the most of the time you have available. I don’t know why but I found out that living in this country it is like going hight speed on the expressway, and the time just flies. Being productive means that you are highly effective in a relatively short period of time. One of the most important things in this career is to be prepared and possess as much knowledge as possible in your field, remember, you’ll probably have to compete with very talented people for job opportunities. I strongly believe that the main thing you need to do to improve your productivity is define your goals and plan your actions to achieve those goals.
One technique I use to be focus and improve my performance when I studying or developing software is the pomodoro technique, click here to learn more. In general you can visit this blog post with advices of how to be productive, however this post is more focused to loud open spaces offices, but I guess you’ll extract the idea.
Also if you use chrome you can install this extension to pomodoro your time:
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/pomodoro-timer/hfgjlgjnpkpmnpojkkpfkogapiclopop?utm_source=chrome-app-launcher-info-dialog

Inspiration: sometimes you’ll feel like you don’t want to do anything, that’s normal. It is very important for your productivity to overcome that stage. Look for things that inspires me, had helped me to keep focus and get back on track, for example I found very interesting the Ted Talks, these are some of my favorites:






Inspiration from books:

I consider books a key source of knowledge, as a matter of fact I think it is the main source of knowledge. For me I prefer to listen an audio book (of course, when it is not code examples involved, etc.), I use to drive almost one hour to work, I like to drive while listen an audiobook, also at the gym, when I’m working out. For me it is a bit hard to allocate time to read a paperback book. Also audible offers a monthly subscription of $14.95 a month. Receive 1 credit each month, with that credit you can purchase any audiobook you want (I have this subscription myself).

Click here to subscribe to Audible
These are some of my favorites audiobooks for inspiration:


 

Learn, learn and learn

learn Learn Learn

This is perhaps the most important thing a software developer needs to do to start/maintain and built a successful career. These are some resources to free to learn or sharpen your development skills:
https://www.codecademy.com/
https://www.hackerrank.com/
https://mva.microsoft.com/
https://www.coursera.org/

Some paid services to learn:
https://www.pluralsight.com/
https://www.lynda.com/
https://teamtreehouse.com/
https://www.udemy.com/

Certifications:
There are many opinions on certifications, some managers would like candidates with certification some don’t, In my opinion, possessing a certification doesn’t guarantee that you are going to obtain the job, however it might make the difference between two candidates with the same experience and skill sets, I see certifications as milestones for when I want to learn something new or improve my knowledges in certain technology, When I studying for a certification I like to study to learn deeply first and after that I start thinking on the exam, just my opinion. I totally recommend and encourage you to do certifications, it is a way to study for an end objective (the exam) it is always good to have a little bit of pressure and a deadline, to avoid procrastination.

These are some of the certification, you should research in your field for the certification that suit you:

Scrum:
https://www.scrumalliance.org/certifications/practitioners/certified-scrummaster-csm

Microsoft technologies (Web, Mobile, Desktop, DB, Application lifecycle, etc):
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/certification-overview.aspx

Java:
http://education.oracle.com/pls/web_prod-plq-dad/db_pages.getpage?page_id=458&get_params=p_track_id:JSE7PROG

PHP
http://www.zend.com/en/services/certification

Books:

These are some of my favorites books (click on the images below):

Here click the link to obtain a complete list of
Microsoft Exam references

Some of my favorites technical books (some of them are free):

Javascript:
https://github.com/getify/You-Dont-Know-JS
http://speakingjs.com/es5/index.html

AngularJs:
https://www.ng-book.com/

Asp.Net

C#

I highly encourage you to do some research and find the best books in your field of expertise, you might be surprised of the many books offered for free. For more books, please contact me via tweeter @joMendezdev

Notes:
There are few programs that you might be eligible for, for example the WIOA program (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) Where they can pay for your trainings and courses for your development
http://sitefinity.floridajobs.org/frequently-asked-questions-directory/wia-program-faq
Read the FAQs to get more information.

 

Follow the leaders, learn from them

Follow the Leader

The leaders can help you to stay on top of relevant news and trends and keep up to date in technology. Here is a list of the most relevant Front-End leaders. https://twitter.com/frontendrescue/lists/cool-people/members
Note: I encourage you to find the leaders on your field, follow them, learn from them, and with hard work you can become a leader.


 

Find the best resources (keep current)

find the best resources

In this career it is always important to be current, and be on top of the new frameworks, design patterns, good practices, etc. You should find you own resources in your field, for example daily news, magazines, blog post, etc.
One thing I do is that I subscribe to RSS feeds of the blogs that I’m interested on, here is an example of how you can do it on Outlook (animated gif):

add rss outlook guide

Here are few examples of some of the resources I use to keep current, in my case I look for resources related to .Nec/C#/Javascript/AngularJs etc.:
https://hackernoon.com/
https://medium.com/tag/javascript
http://blog.cwa.me.uk/
https://css-tricks.com/
https://www.smashingmagazine.com/

You’ll need to research and find your resources in your field.

 

Attend conferences

attend conference

Attending conferences is fun, you can meet other developers, in the meetups usually somebody give a speech about certain topic of interest, You can use meetup.com to find groups related to your interests:
https://www.meetup.com/find/?metaCategory=tech
I’m part of the DotNetMiami group, also, MiamiJs, among others. I hope I see you around in one of this groups one of this days.

Also there are some annual events like:

http://technightattheballpark.com/ which take place around august
The tech night at the ballpark it is more for meetup and networking, a lot of recruiters and companies go there to try to find talented tech prospective, and after that, enjoy the baseball game.

http://www.fladotnet.com/codecamp/ (this is awesome, you can’t miss this one)
Description taken from the website:
What is Code Camp? South Florida Code Camp is a FREE one day GEEK FEST held on Saturday February 18, 2017. This is the 13th year for South Florida Code Camp. The event will have speakers from the local community and beyond. Speakers will be presenting some of the most requested topics like Machine Learning, DotNet Core, Windows 10, Mobile Development, ASP.NET, Javascript, JQuery, Visual Studio 2015, MVC Framework, Sharepoint, SQL Server 2016, Xamarin, cross platform development and Azure. Code Camp is community driven by a group of dedicated volunteers and speakers. Breakfast and lunch is included!