10 simple tips to new IT-Students

If you’ve just started studying programming, this is the article for you.

Collaboration - T-shaped - GitHub - Student - IT - Programming

The warm summer is at an end, and class- and Zoom-rooms are soon to be filled. For many of you, the next few months will be packed with new information and impressions. That’s why we have written down a list of tips that both new and experienced IT students can benefit from. Here are some bullet points that will make your student and everyday life a little bit easier.

1. Collaboration = Gold

Two heads are better than one. Cliche, but true. Nothing is more frustrating than …No matter how much experience or knowledge you have, there will always be one developer that knows something you can’t. So play to each other's strengths, and productivity will skyrocket.

Find your partner-in-crime, and solve difficult problems together. Take all feedback into account and be open to new solutions. If you create a good working environment, you will learn an incredible amount more than if you only work for yourself.

2. Become “T-Shaped”

A generalist has experience and knowledge within several fields, while they haven’t invested the time to be expert on one.

The Specialist uses their time to be an expert within one field, but is limited only to that field.

The idea to be “T-Shaped” is finding the middle way between generalist and specialist. The skill levels can be visualized as a T: the horizontal line shows that you can work in several fields, while the vertical shows that you have one you specialize in. This makes you adaptable, while at the same time you can be a significant resource in your area.

Want to learn more? Read here (downloads PDF).

3. Use  GitHub

GitHub is essential for a developer. Why?

GitHub is probably the world's biggest online community for developers, so by being active you can get recognition for your work. In a recruitment context, an employer would probably like to see your GitHub-profile when they will consider whether or not you are fit for the job.

Use GitHub to your benefit!

4. Internship

Internship, internship, internship. If you have the opportunity to be in an internship, take it. In an internship you'll have contacts, insights to how development takes place within companies and, not least, great experience in record time. Companies love to have interns with them, and if you’re lucky, the stay can be longer than initially planned.

5. Create a WA.works account

If GitHub is the place where you show off your code, WA.works is the place that turns this code into a job!

WA.works is the job site created for and by IT people. Norway's largest IT companies come in every day to look for their next developer, and continue to use WA.works because it is super easy to both find and hire developers.

We've made it as uncomplicated as possible for you to create a super-attractive profile. With a good profile, there is a good chance that a company such as Itera, DNB or Komplett will notice your skills 👀.

Create your free account here.

6. Find your way in the IT world

In the same vein as the “T-shape”. The job market in the IT industry is large, and as developers there are several paths to go. Find the path you want to go. You are not expected to make a career decision before you’ve written your first line of code, but early exploration of what opportunities there are can make things easier in the future.

Check WA.works for IT-positions that are advertised and get some oversight. What sounds interesting? Do you like creative or logical tasks? Several of today's IT-studys offer opportunities for specialization, so use the opportunity to deep dive in what you like best.

7. Google on speed dial

Stuck on some task? Remember to use digital tools for all it’s worth. Google, YouTube, StackOverflow, and Mozilla Developer Network are just a few of the places you’ll get answers on the problems that stand before you. The threshold to Google something should be as low as possible.

8. Job before graduation

No harm done exploring the job market before you have handed over your last exam. Developers are sought after, and many companies want graduates on their team. So when you’re approaching the end of the study, make sure you add when your study endpoint is in your work profile.

When you create an account on WA.works, you can indicate the year you finished your studies so that potential employers can recruit you even before you have finished school.

9. Play with coding

Coding is ultimately working with ideas. Be creative in the process and try different approaches.

  • GitHub gives you better control and oversight of your own code
  • You get to show off your code
  • … And you can find other people's code

“We experience that IT students are very attractive, they usually have gotten jobs before graduation”  — Jens Kristian Fosse, Dean at HVL to NRK

10. Have fun

As a fresh IT-student you have lots of fun to look forward to. Use the time ahead to learn a lot and get to know like-minded developers. And remember to prioritize social activities in between the schoolwork.

Good luck in your studies. Best regards from us here at WA.works 🥳

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