Articles postés dans la catégorie Les portraits

Career transition: 8 tips & tricks to land that first tech job in a start-up

After transitioning from marketing manager to software engineer at Libeo, the leading B2B payments platform in Europe, here’s what I recall was the most helpful in my job search.

Hello dear career transitioner fellow,
So you’ve gone as far as:

  • moving out of your comfort zone to leave a career you didn’t like anymore
  • figuring out what you wanted to do for the next professional chapter
  • training as hard as you could on a totally new set of technical skills

Take time to reflect and feel proud. It’s already huge.
It just takes one successful opportunity to finally set foot in this new exciting world… but it can be hard to get.
Let’s go together through some tips to make this career change a reality.

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplas

First, let’s get real: if career transitioning is a roller coaster in itself, finding your first job will be a marathon on top of it. There is fierce competition to land a junior position, but market needs are huge, and exciting opportunities are waiting for you. With courage, consistency and hard work, be confident you will find it!

And the wonderful thing is that, when you’ve done it once, you know you can do it again 😉

But for now, starting with the obvious.

1) Keep improving your technical skills

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

If you’ve trained at an intensive bootcamp or short term training, chances are you learned a lot in very little time. Don’t let it go away, you should code everyday to remain at your current level.

Make sure your Github page sparkles. Why not code your own one-page website with your resume to have a live project and gain visibility. Train for technical tests or complete challenges on specialized platforms. I personally worked as a teacher assistant in a coding bootcamp to make sure my technical skills were still on point.

2) However, your priority should be to apply for jobs

What’s the point of knowing how to code beautiful and efficient apps if no one knows about it?

It does not mean you should forget point 1). But your top priority should be to get the message out to anyone you can in the industry.

Also, don’t spend your days coding until you’re “feeling strong enough” to apply. Go for it! The best way to learn more and progress is to actually find a job.

3) Fake it until you make it

Transitioning often comes with a nice little package: imposter syndrome. But you need to convince yourself you have enough skills and knowledge for a junior position, because it is very often the case, provided you keep working and progressing steadily.

Women especially tend to judge themselves harshly, aim for “perfect or nothing” (due to the way we were raised, and a lack of female figures in sciences). Relax, it’s ok to “just” be another junior software engineer.

It can also be difficult to keep trusting yourself when companies only seem to be looking for a Masters in Engineering or Computer Science. From working with such profiles today, they are not as scary as you think! First, people with general engineering degrees may have completely self taught themselves how to code. Others, with a specialized degree, may have been highly trained at school, but not on the particular stack of the company they’re applying to.

Finally, if you have a previous career, you may have many soft skills that do not come with the typical science major degree:

  • client & product knowledge
  • project management / “get things done”
  • marketing & communication skills
  • work in a team / team management / coaching team members
  • popularize difficult concepts
  • problem solving skills

These skills are valuable and will help any CTO build a diverse and complementary team.

4) Now that you have built your trust and self worth, let’s see how to present yourself.

It’s crucial you take the time to build your storytelling. Career transitioners are a mystery to many recruiters and CTOs — in a good way. Take advantage of it!

In your toolbox you should have :

  • an “elevator pitch”, both written (3 lines) and oral (2 minutes): who you are, why you are applying, what you love about tech/code, how your profile is of interest. This speech should be positive and teasing to get people interested.
  • an updated resume: time to let go of your beautiful but no longer relevant work experiences. From now on you should highlight, first and foremost, technical projects, experience and training. Then, whatever’s relevant to the company you’re applying to : for example, when I applied to Libeo, I highlighted my years as a small business CEO’s right arm, with focus on administrative tasks that proved I knew the pain Libeo is solving. Finally, past projects and positions can be presented in a “soft skills” part where you will detail all the valuable experiences you’ll be bringing to your new company as well as your personal soft skills such as curiosity, rigor, empathy…

5) Look for jobs at the right places

Some channels are more successful than others for career transitioning profiles.

If you’re a woman, you should definitely look into the numerous initiatives looking to promote women in tech (in France, I can recommend 50intech, WomenHack speed-recruiting, support & networking groups like Duchess France…).

In the “open job market”, most job ads will require either a Masters in Engineering or 2+ years of experience, which you and I know you do not have.

What I found most effective in my job search was to reach out to people in the industry for a chat, questions, advice, referral and grow a full network overtime. If this seems too scary, start small (a friend of a friend, a former student from your school…) and grow bigger as you gain confidence: headhunters, tech recruiters, agents, tech leads, CTOs, CPOs, CEOs…

It’s the best way to:

  • test your storytelling
  • get to know the industry and its needs
  • get names of companies or people currently hiring junior software developers

The idea is to get out of these calls/meetings with advice and 2–3 actionable contacts to help you in your job search.

Along this way, I’ve found most people are really happy to meet someone new, talk about their jobs, and be helpful. Of course, some will never reply, but kindness is real. Get these people involved in your job search, keep in touch, and your network will effectively grow to reach more opportunities from the “hidden job market”.

6) Surround yourself with resource people

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

Your resource people:

  • know the tech industry and its recruitment processes
  • have a network that you can benefit from
  • know it’s hard and will support and comfort you when feeling low

I was lucky enough to have 3 of these people by my side during the months of job search and they were instrumental in me landing a job.

Don’t feel bad asking for help. Once you’re in a position to help too, you will give back. 🙂

7) Don’t freak out about technical tests

technical tests, really ?

Sure, they’re stressful, but:

  • the more you do, the less scary they are. And sometimes you can have the same test in 2 different companies, so pay attention and learn 🙂
  • the type of test is a strong indication of the company culture. A timed algorithm test that no one is supposed to complete on time may mean a company looking for highly competitive math brains. On the opposite, a hands-on take home test may mean that companies are more open to diverse profiles and focused on the actual mission software engineers will have to perform in their day-to-day job.
  • they’re a great opportunity to learn. Chances are you will debrief tests with a senior engineer or tech lead. It’s precious to have a senior profile look at your code and discuss it with you. Always ask for feedback, even when you fail at a test: it will help you get better.
  • the goal of these tests is also to know if you have the potential to learn and progress, the right mindset and are fun to work with.

8) You won’t be able to apply everywhere, and it’s ok

Your profile may open doors, but not all of them. Don’t worry about it, you’ll be fine. You need to find a company that will understand and value your path and differences, and a team that will help you grow and progress.

Happy Libeons

At Libeo, our tech community is made out of various profiles in genders, origins, experiences, life and work paths… From our founders, who used to own and manage restaurants before launching a fintech to change the life of SMBs entrepreneurs, to our team, we value diversity and like hands-on people who aren’t afraid to take on new challenges. We believe in learning by doing, being impactful every day, and moving forward together in a joyful spirit. Wanna join us?

Un grand MERCI a Celine R qui a proposé aux Duchess de republier sont post sur le site, le post original se trouve sur medium

Participation Duchess à Hacktoberfest 2021

Logo de Jenkins en version féminine

Cette année Duchess s’est lancée un nouveau défi : travailler sur la présence des femmes dans l’Open Source à travers une participation à Jenkins à l’occasion de l’événement annuel Hacktoberfest.
Un grand bravo aux contributrices ! 🥳

Interview d’Anne-Laure Gaillard

Photo de Anne-Laure Gaillard

Bonjour Anne-Laure, peux-tu te présenter ?

Après un doctorat en informatique puis quelques années dans le développement logiciel, je me suis spécialisée dans la qualité logicielle, notamment dans le domaine du test. Je suis partisane de la doctrine « La qualité est l’affaire de tous ». Passionnée par l’agilité, je fais partie du comité d’organisation de l’Agile Tour Bordeaux depuis 2020.
J’aime également me lancer dans des défis sportifs, j’ai traversé la Garonne à la nage et terminé deux triathlons. Le meilleur pour la fin, je suis maman de deux enfants qui m’ont appris qu’il est possible de parler Pokémon avec l’un tout en dessinant une licorne avec l’autre.

Que pensais-tu de l’Open Source, et éventuellement de Jenkins, avant de faire le hackathon ?

Durant mes études j’ai côtoyé pas mal de « Geeks et Geekettes » qui contribuaient aux distributions Linux (Gentoo et Debian). Leurs capacités techniques me semblaient plus élevées que les miennes et l’univers de l’Open Source me paraissait inaccessible. En ce qui concerne Jenkins, je suis utilisatrice (et maintenant contributrice) mais pas administratrice.

Qu’est-ce qui t’as motivée pour participer à ce hackathon ?

J’ai osé me lancer grâce aux Duchess (et surtout à Angélique, merci à elle). Le fait d’avoir le soutien et l’appui de la communauté a été ma motivation.

Que retiens-tu de cette expérience ?

D’un point de vue professionnel, j’ai perfectionné ma connaissance de Git et j’ai pu voir une partie des processus qualité des projets Open Source. Ma première Pull Request a été approuvée par… 9 personnes ! La 4ème personne a relevé une coquille. Qui pourra me dire que la revue de code n’est pas utile ?
D’un point de vue personnel, je retiens deux choses. La première, les communautés Open Source ne sont pas des communautés élitistes, “chaque contribution compte” aussi petite soit-elle, les personnes rencontrées sont très positives et bienveillantes. La seconde, s’illustre par une citation de Grace Hopper “Si c’est une bonne idée, allez-y et faites-le. Il est beaucoup plus facile de s’excuser que d’obtenir la permission”.

As-tu des choses à ajouter ?

Après Jenkins j’ai également réalisé des PRs sur d’autres projets Open Source. Le problème : avec la diversité des projets Open Source, comment choisir de répartir son temps ?

Ses contributions

Interview de Bertha Torres

Photo de Bertha Torres

twitter: @tatoberres

Bonjour Bertha, peux-tu te présenter ?

De formation littéraire et enseignante des langues pendant plus de 15 ans, c’est lors d’un déménagement dans une zone de haute montagne qu’un besoin d’explorer mes autres compétences s’est installé.
Ainsi, une formation en autodidacte suivie d’un dossier validé de financement de formation diplômante se sont enchaînées et m’ont confirmé que la vie est trop courte pour la gaspiller dans ce qui ne nous fait pas du sens.

Que pensais-tu de l’Open Source, et éventuellement de Jenkins, avant de faire le hackathon ?

La participation à l’Open Source s’est présentée dans ce processus d’exploration comme une opportunité d’apprentissage… que je pensais inaccessible bien sûr ! Je ne me voyais pas toucher au code. Mais à l’aide des Duchess France, j’ai appris à contribuer à mon niveau et à comprendre le processus de contribution. Ça me permettra, au fur et à mesure de mes apprentissages, de contribuer dans plus des domaines.

Peux tu nous raconter comment est née la version femme de Jenkins ?

Image de Jenkins en version féminine

Eh bien… Dans la vidéo de présentation pour Hacktoberfest on en parlait de l’artwork ( et Angélique aussi en a parlé dans la première réunion… et c’est vrai qu’en regardant ce qu’il y a, on y voit de tous types, sauf des femmes. Donc j’ai imaginé une gouvernante, très sûre d’elle, bien efficace, une pointe maligne, scrupuleusement peignée, habillée en tailleur, qui pourrait représenter la personnalité de ce qui fait Jenkins.

As-tu des choses à ajouter ?

Cette fois-ci, j’ai pu participer avec des Pull Requests en traduction et dessin. Je recommencerai sans doute !

Ses contributions

Interview de Pauline Iogna

twitter : @pauline_io

Bonjour Pauline, peux-tu te présenter ?

Je suis une développeuse backend Java/Scala, membre active de Duchess France

Que pensais-tu de l’Open Source, et éventuellement de Jenkins, avant de faire le hackathon ?

Je n’avais pas vraiment d’avis sur Jenkins avant de faire le hackathon. Comme beaucoup je suis utilisatrice de Jenkins mais je ne connaissais pas le code source.

Qu’est ce qui t’as motivée pour participer à ce hackathon ?

Participer au hacktoberfest. Juste apporter une contribution, même modeste sur un projet open source.

Qu’as- tu découvert à travers ce hackathon ?

Techniquement, j’ai découvert comment faire du MVC avec Apache Jelly.
J’ai aussi redécouvert le processus des contributions Open Source.
Le système du hacktoberfest est vraiment bien pensé pour on-boarder les gens qui veulent démarrer sur des projets Open Source. Avec en plus l’aide d’Angélique pour animer des sessions sur le Slack Duchess France, nous avons eu les meilleures conditions pour contribuer sur ce projet important.

Que retiens-tu de cette expérience ?

Pas si simple de contribuer sur un projet qu’on découvre, il faut un peu d’investissement et de patience. Sur Jenkins les committers sont très réactifs, les Pull Request sont revues rapidement, les feedbacks sont utiles et bienveillants.
Il y a un Jira qui répertorie les features et les bugs à traiter sur le projet. Certains tickets sont taggués “newbie” ce qui permet à ceux qui débutent de choisir des tickets faisables rapidement.

Ses contributions

Quelques mots sur l’organisation Duchess

Le cadre était intentionnellement simple et flexible. Nous avons commencé par une réunion de lancement en ligne pour décrire un peu le contexte et plus précisément l’univers de Jenkins dont voici l’enregistrement:

Ensuite nous avons échangé principalement via le Slack Duchess de façon asynchrone sur un channel dédié, ainsi en direct avec une réunion de 30 minutes tous les vendredis.

Portrait de Sofía Celi, Ingénieure en cryptographie chez CloudFare

Sofía Celi

Pour le meetup du mois de mars de Women Who Go Paris, nous avons invité Sofia Celi, Ingénieure en Cryptographie. Alors que Sofía a un parcours particulier avec un background en philosophie et literature, elle est aussi passionnée par l’informatique. Elle mène l’écriture de la 4eme version du protocole de messages « Off-the-Record ». Elle a accepté de répondre à nos questions (en Anglais)

What do you do in your job?

In my daily job, I implement cryptographic algorithms and protocols. I currently lead the design of the 4th version of the Off-the-Record messaging protocol. This means that I write code (usually with a low-level language), but I also write technical documents and papers. Sometimes, I also have to deal with maths. 🙂 I love this job because it allows me time to read, write, learn and at the same time to write code and investigate applications. I always try to focus on helping people through cryptography, specially, people from the Global South.

What is your background?

Since very little, as one does, I studied classical music, and I focused on classical guitar and post-modern composition. I also studied literature and focused on post-modern literature theory and on philosophy. I love writing and reading (specially LatinAmerican Literature). As you can imagine, I adore philosophical debates.

How did you arrived to computer science?

On the last year of my university, I got crazy for philosophy of Mathematics (I also got crazy for other kinds of philosophy, but that is another story). In my university, you can audit university courses from other faculties/universities, so I started doing so, with some Mathematics courses. I started thinking on a way that Maths could be applied to the real world. So, I rediscovered programming (as I learned to program on high school) and cryptography.

I was putted on charge of the University’s online newspaper as a webmaster and I started programming. Eventually, I won a scholarship from a program called « Rails Girls Summer of Code ». This scholarship allowed me to learn how to program in Ruby. Coincidentally, the first project I was assigned to work for, was a security project.

After this super nice experience, I applied for an amazing company called ThoughtWorks. They helped me so much as a junior developer. Now, I’m joining Cloudflare, which is also an amazing opportunity!

The challenges in your profession?

It is difficult to be a Latin-American working in cryptography as there is little representation from us out there. On every conference I go, I find some Latin Americans. We talk around how the problems that cryptography tries to solve now a days, are almost only focused on the Global North. We talk about how different the scenarios are on the Global South and how issues can be much intense , etc.

And as a Latin-American woman.

What I feel most of the time, is that there are ideas and ways for including white women into this profession. Those ideas have little regards of the challenges that non-white women face. It is difficult to speak as a Latin-American woman about this because sensibilities are sometimes high. I see that it is something that still needs to be pushed into the agenda. That people from the Global South need representation, specially, women. 

A typical day?

On a typical day, I start working as I immediately wake up, as I really love my job. I take some hours to read, and then I jump into coding or writing something, or meetings. I also take lots of online course (around like everything: from the philosophy of Nietzsche to game development). I’m also currently enrolled on my first Computer Science degree. During the day, I like to talk with my loved ones and probably, play some indie video games at the end of the day. I love always having the balance to have people I love near me. And prior to sleep, I read a nice book (currently reading The Silent Cry by Ōe). I sleep pretty late and I hardly go outside ;). I love staying inside with my loved ones: cooking or doing something.

What are your professional aspirations?

I hope I can grow more into doing cryptography and on learning mathematics. I aspire to keep growing in the company I’m currently in, but also, on growing contacts and making a nice community. Web design is something that I love andI hope I can learn more around. And I would like to learn about how to efficiently lead teams. 

Some advice to other women starting their careers?

I will say that they should always think on not giving up. And that they should also challenge the preconceptions that we are « mandated » as women: that women should be the emotional support of teams, that women should accept and be the ones creating team bonding, that women should be judged by a higher moral compass than others.

In general, we all should remember to always fight for our rights: equal pay between everyone on a team, equal working hours for everyone on a team, equal work support for everyone on a team. But that we should also note our privileges. I’m a Latin-American woman from the middle class. This means that in my country, I have more privileges than indigenous women. I should always remember that I should give them a voice. We should not expect them to be judged by a higher moral compass or be the ones policing situations. It is unfair for an underrepresented group, to be faced with the discrimination of every day life and also to be expected to act on a higher ground on every aspect of their life. 

Keep working and keep rocking.

We are and should be always treated with the same respect and recognition. Do not think on what they will say: fight for your rights and do it in a direct way, so everyone can see. It is easy in the early stages of your career for people to be pushing you around. It happened a lot to me: people expected me to police the behavior of teams, to act perfectly, to lead them on their professional life and also on their emotional one, while earning less (and by far less) than everyone else. If you are doing all of that, ask for a raise, and learn that you don’t have to fulfill everyone’s expectations.

You will fail and no one has the right to judge you because of that. When you fail, stand up again and keep going. Find a good coach that will listen and help you, but, most importantly, find one that will notice your flaws and help you outgrew them. The only way to keep growing is by having someone telling you what you can change and what is the path for this change.

Katia Gil Guzman, Software Engineer chez Microsoft France

Katia a récemment intégré une équipe d’engineering voisine de la mienne chez Microsoft. Elle travaille avec une majorité de mes anciens collègues et c’est ainsi que j’ai fait sa connaissance. En plus d’être la seule femme de l’équipe basée en France, elle est aussi un des rares profils junior !

A travers ces quelques lignes, elle partage avec nous son regard sur son quotidien tech.

Lire la suite

A la rencontre de Laurine, Data Scientist dans le domaine de la santé

Nous vous présentions, il y a peu une série des femmes qui n’officient ni dans le web ni dans le mobile. Notamment une experte Delphi, Marjolaine Bouquet puis Hélène Courtecuisse, freelance dans le domaine de la sécurité. Pour continuer cette série, nous vous présentons aujourd’hui Laurine Babilliot. Laurine est Data Scientist qui travaille sur un produit pour faciliter la detection des crises d’épilepsie. Je l’ai rencontré dans une école d’ingénieurs où j’enseignais il y a un peu plus de 3 ans. Nous avons gardé le contact. Nous prenons plaisir à échanger de temps en temps notamment sur le fait d’être une femme dans un milieu Tech , sur la collapsologie ou encore sur la quête de sens dans son travail.

Lire la suite

Rencontre avec Sara Cammi en pleine reconversion dans le dev

Aujourd’hui nous rencontrons Sara Cammi qui est en train de reconvertir pour devenir dev web. Elle vient de finir sa formation et nous fait partager son retour d’expérience. Merci Sara !

Lire la suite

Rencontre avec Hélène Courtecuisse, experte en sécurité

Nous vous présentions, il y a peu, non pas une développeuse web, mais une experte Delphi, Marjolaine Bouquet. Toujours dans la série des femmes qui n’officient ni dans le web ni dans le mobile, nous vous présentons aujourd’hui Hélène Courtecuisse, qui est freelance dans le domaine de la sécurité.
Je l’ai rencontré dans une école d’ingénieurs où j’enseignais. Elle était non pas dans la salle de classe, mais mère d’un de mes élèves (coucou Gaëtan!) 😉

En continuant à utiliser le site, vous acceptez l’utilisation des cookies. Plus d’informations

Les paramètres des cookies sur ce site sont définis sur « accepter les cookies » pour vous offrir la meilleure expérience de navigation possible. Si vous continuez à utiliser ce site sans changer vos paramètres de cookies ou si vous cliquez sur "Accepter" ci-dessous, vous consentez à cela.