Most juniors who get hired also lack the three years of professional industry experience. Most of the time, if a candidate has three years of professional experience, then they’re ready to take on a mid-level role. The main issue with getting an entry level job is not so much the job requirements (which are really more like guidelines than actual rules), but standing out from the sea of other entry-level candidates. Open junior positions usually get a lot of people applyin - often dozens or even hundreds of candidates. If you want the job, you’re going to need to stand out from that crowd somehow. If you think about it from a hiring perspective, we don’t pick at random nor do we hire the first candidate that applies. We look at a pool of candidates, figure out who we think is the best choice among the candidates who we think can do the job, and then offer that candidate the job. You need to be the best of those candidates.
Consider for a moment what being the best candidate would mean to us. An ideal candidate is someone we believe can do the job. The best way to demonstrate this to the hiring manager is through any experience you might already have doing the job (or something close to it). This can mean working in a professional setting, but it can also mean doing work on mods or your own games or projects. Do the work on your own, then be prepared to talk about the problems you solved, the choices you made, and why you made those choices for those solutions.
You don’t necessarily need a degree in whatever role you’re applying for, but goes a lot further than having nothing at all. We don’t actually care what degree a programmer candidate has, as long as they can show that they know software engineering concepts and can apply them to solve programming problems. The degree or certification matters a lot less to us than the demonstrable skills that degree represents. Demonstrable skill matters the most, especially when you’re trying to stand out among a crowd that doesn’t have much of it.
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