NOTE: A new updated version of this article is available here - How To Land Your First Coding Job

Original question from Quora:

What is the single most effective habit to implement daily for someone self taught to land a first coding job?

My Answer:

There is one habit that will get you a coding job or any other job and you can do it every single day.

Before I tell you, I need to tell you how I landed my last job, because I believe it is instructive.

Years ago, I found myself in a situation where the company I was working for as a contractor wasn’t going to pay me what they owed for the previous two months. It was a real bad deal and they had a history of not paying their contractors.

So, realizing that I had to move fast to find a job. Thus, I went to every job board I could find and started applying for jobs that I was remotely qualified for. I was knocking out 20–50 applications a day because getting a job WAS my job for that week.

When I ran out of job boards I hit up friends on twitter and facebook.

When I ran out of friends I found more job boards.

Every day I was applying for jobs.

In the end I think I applied for over 100 jobs. It might have been closer to 200. I kept track on a spreadsheet somewhere I think.

The point is, I was relentless because I have a family to take care of. One way or another I was going to land a job.

Within a week I had a couple interviews lined up and after that I landed a job the week after.

To be sure, I was quite fortunate to land the job I landed.


I did everything I could to make sure I landed a job that paid the bills. I left no stone unturned.

Compare that to friends and people that I know who complain about their job situation and only fill out one or two applications. They are forever unhappy and they tend to stay that way.

So here is the lesson…

If you want to get a job, fill out lots of applications, go on lots of interviews, and let the numbers game work in your favor. Eventually some combination of practice, action, and statistical success rate will work in your favor.

On a daily basis, that means you should fill out at least one application a day if you have a job and are just looking, or 10–20 applications a day if you need a job right now.

As Eminem said in his song Lose Yourself…

“Success is my only mu$@#@king option, failure’s not.”


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