Rise Above: Pro Tips for Android Job Seekers

by Sheila Mulholland
September 05, 2023
Rise Above

As an Android developer, you’re likely innately curious, technologically adept, and potentially on the job hunt as this post is being written. If so, you can and should use the first two items on that list to help with the third! Now, maybe you’ve been stumped for projects for a while and you’re wondering, “How is that possible?” It turns out that one of the most effective options for standing out as a top Android candidate is to embrace personal branding.
 

Wait! Come back! We promise you do not have to turn into some hokey influencer type or heap ponderous hustle culture platitudes onto your LinkedIn network. This strategy is low-key, curiosity-driven, and as technical as you want to make it… or as simple. (As always, there’s more than one way to do it.)
 

Quick Navigation: 

  1. The Android Developer Job Market   
  2. Basics of Personal Branding  
  3. Always Be Contributing  
  4. Try, Learn, and Fail in Public 
  5. Wrapping Up 

The Android Developer Job Market  

First, let’s review the landscape and what’s at stake. The market for well-qualified Android development specialists still looks strong, with mobile devices staying in the hands of some hardcore users for as many as 5 hours every day. Android as a mobile operating system is leading the current device market at around 70% to iOS’s 30%, which is further good news. Current projections and most forecasts show heightened demand, none of which is going away before 2028 or so. With the average entry-level Android developer salary clocking in at an average of $80,000 annually, it’s a smart move – but you aren’t the only one who’s noticed.  

[RELATED: Clear-eyed strategies for a murky outlook.] 

 

Embrace Personal Branding: The Basics 

The job hunt, as much as it is about the job you ultimately get, is also very much about you and how you choose to present yourself, to the world and in your daily life. You already know that you should ‘own’ your web presence to the largest extent feasible, and perhaps you’ve taken the time to purchase a domain or domain/s related to your name – if not, it’s worth doing now.  

If that domain is sitting primarily empty, or if it’s currently showcasing a very minimalist “C.V. and links to other profiles” styled site as so many are, you may want to reconsider. Bucking the trend in terms of design or functionality, albeit not to a distracting degree, can be a good start, as UX researcher and designer Meg Dicky-Kurdziolek discovered during her job search. “I found that the recruiters and interviewers did look at my website and newly built portfolio. They would also ask me questions about the projects I featured in my portfolio during the interview, which gave me the opportunity to really shine and show off what I’m good at.”

Get clear about the “story of you” by engaging in a branding exercise like the experts! Try listing out keywords or adjectives that describe your brand (clue: that’s YOU), creating a two-sentence elevator pitch for yourself, or – our personal favorite – envisioning your brand as a superhero, and identifying the problems you as a developer most enjoy solving as your archnemesis. Go ahead! Get really weird with it! Just make sure it reflects you and your journey accurately. 

 

Always Be Contributing  

Employers look for developers who are continuously learning and building, working on interesting projects even when they’re dealing with the struggles that come with being un- or under-employed. The idea is this paragon developer who’s like a font of constant, consistently awesome ideas no matter what, and it would sure be great if things always went that way. As so many junior developers do, you might spend a lot of time deliberating: What should I work on? What do I enjoy enough to iterate on? What’s simple/complex enough to work/challenge me? Etc.  

There are likely a handful of small apps that you’ve discovered in your experiences as a developer to date on your machine right now that you could contribute to and try to improve. Start slow if you’re nervous; read more than you write until you get the hang of things. It’s good practice for hard and soft skills, and what’s more, you’ll have a pretty steady supply of projects and project-based work to showcase alongside your application. Who needs to wait around for “inspiration”?! 

“On the contrary, what makes candidates stand out from the rest is real-world experience. Luckily in our profession, this is something that can be achieved using the Internet.” – Alex Styl, ProAndroidDev 

 

Try, Learn, and Fail – In Public 

We know. This tip is a little terrifying at first blush, but making the commitment and documenting your journey as an Android developer via a personal blog will grow your career, adding depth and context to your skill set. It’s also a fantastic demonstration that you’re still learning and exploring new technology and new projects for Android. And like any self-respecting scary quest, there’s also decent loot — people who stick with a blogging habit for 1 year or more get a bona fide boost in their communication and writing-related soft skills.

Contributing can feel scary at first, but focus on the connections you’ll make and the ideas you’ll help bring to life and you’ll be comfortable in no time. As Keshav Malik, InfoSec engineer and occasional blogger at GitGuardian, summarizes, “This is a way to show your passion for programming and make a difference. The developer community is diverse and complex. You can use your blog to become a contributor and bridge the gap.”  

 

[RELATED: Attaining Career Durability Through a Diverse Tech Portfolio.]  

 

Wrapping Up 

“Do a lot. Say little -> A running product tells a thousand words.”Faris Zacina, Editor, Ministry of Programming — Technology  

Even if the idea of “personal branding” makes you shudder in the abstract, it’s very possible and worthwhile to create an authentic web presence that reflects your unique journey as an Android developer. Done right, you’ll find that letting your innate curiosity and desire to learn drive the process is the key to always showing up as yourself — no matter how many other brilliant people might be in the room with you. Once you embrace the idea of documenting your journey, and of learning, succeeding, and failing visibly, you’ll be amazed at where it will take you. 

Read more on Professional Development   or related topics Web and Mobile   ,
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