How do you land your first job in tech when everyone's asking for multiple years' experience?
We heard from junior developers that software experience is a major barrier to entry when finding a job in tech. That's why we ran a hackathon with a brief to use a set of APIs to build a front-end app. We wanted to give engineers the chance to learn or brush up on their React skills. So how did they get on?
This week we're hearing from the winners of the User Experience category: team Window Time.
Hey, we’re team Window Time. We’re Arron Ault, Diego Ramos, Ijaz Driscoll, Mathusan Kandiah and Vivita Sequeira. We've got quite a range of experience, from Ijaz’s 1 year in software engineering to Viv’s 10 years alongside 7 years of teaching.
Arron: I found the theme of sustainable APIs interesting.
Ijaz: I wanted to come to the hackathon to network and stay sharp on my coding skills.
Viv: To learn something new and network.
We built a web app - breeze - which advises whether you should open or close your window, based on your location and multiple data points. It tells the user when it's better to open the windows rather than switching on ACs or fans, helping to reduce electricity usage to save energy and cost.
Demo of how 'breeze' displays air quality based on your postcode
Arron: For me, it was narrowing down a project to work on.
Viv: Yeah, finding the right project idea was tricky.
Ijaz: Staying motivated was a challenge. Our team was falling apart at one point but we managed to bite the bullet and push on. I'm glad we did!
Arron: The main challenge for me is needing lots of interview practice. And then identifying the most important and commonly brought up points across interviews.
Ijaz: I think tech tests feel alien to me. It's hard to figure out if I should get really good at algorithms i.e Codewars and Leetcode, or continue building up my skills by creating apps. The prerequisites are often really unrealistic, like for a junior dev they expect 5 years experience in Js, 3yrs in React, and Angular as a 'nice to have'... Like, come on! 😂
Viv: I think because I have not coded in any of the newer languages or environments, a big challenge is needing lots of practice and finding the time to work on my own showcase projects.
Viv: How to use React.
Arron: What different levels of pollen mean 😅
Ijaz: The difference between SASS and SCSS! And that teamwork makes the dream work.
Window Time won first place in the 'User Experience' category. Their product was human-centred and their pitch was unbeaten at getting the audience engaged.
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