Original question from Quora:

Is contributing to GitHub projects the only way a newbie programmer can get a job?

I learned python and practiced on HackerRank but am unable to contribute. There is too much code in every repo and after going through everything I decide to look for a new project. I am so frustrated and feel like giving up. But deep down I know I have the potential to be a good programmer.

My Answer:

You don’t need GitHub projects to get programming jobs. There is an easy way to get jobs, but most people aren’t smart enough to figure out this dumb trick.

Last year I was working a freelance gig that fell through and I lost two months worth of billings to my client. It was a real bad deal.

However, since I had to pay the bills and take care of my family that didn’t matter. I had to get a new gig.

Here is what I did…

I already knew I wanted a remote rails developer job, so I went out and found any positions that were posted online or locally.

I dropped pretty much everything else I was doing and I started applying for jobs. Now, when most people apply for jobs, they send out maybe one application and call that a day.

Those people suck at getting jobs. I am not one of those people.

Instead, in a week I think I sent out somewhere between fifty and a hundred applications. I was doing as many as I could find as fast as I could find them.

I hit up job boards and applied to every job that made sense there. I went to recruiters and found jobs they had available. I sent emails, tweets, facebook messages, and made phone calls to anyone I knew who might be hiring.

I took massive action.

When you feel like a gun is to your head and you have to make something work, that’s what you do.

In the first couple weeks I had multiple phone and in person interviews. And I landed a fantastic job with a fantastic company.

But you see, I didn’t wait until my GitHub profile looked good, I didn’t wait to apply for the “perfect job”. I applied to every opportunity that I could until I got the job.

You know, my mom used to tell me if I want to get a job, I should print out my resume, go to someplace that is hiring and ask to talk to the manager hiring for that position.

That’s good advice and my mom never had trouble getting a job. She always hustled to find one or two at a time.

So here’s the deal if you haven’t figured it out yet.

If you want to find a job, knock doors, make phone calls, and fill out applications until you get a job. No excuses. No quitting. Be relentless.

Sometimes that might mean you have to move or become uncomfortable for a bit to land that job. So be it.

If you don’t let anything stand in your way, nothing will.

-Brian

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