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Tech pros share advice for new computer science graduates

Ann Bednarz | June 21, 2016
As veterans in the tech world know, earning a degree is just the beginning of a new professional’s education.

Demonstrate talent, personality

"Over the years, I have hired dozens of developers and engineers to build our software application. Some of the hires were young graduates, and a few of them turned out to be stars in the company. In summary, I’m looking for two things: 1) talent – this is the raw skill and technical ability and 2) workability – how easy is this person to work with? For technical jobs, applicants can showcase their skills through an online portfolio. I really like coders who develop things as pet projects on their own time. It shows genuine interest and passion for the industry. And having an active GitHub repository is a good way to showcase this side of the candidate. Now for the second point of workability, the best way is to be yourself. Be natural, transparent and honest. The hiring manager is looking for a ‘cultural-fit’ in the organization. So if you are a good fit in terms of your work style, then you’ve a good chance of making it to the next round." – Zaki Usman, CEO of an HR app at InterQ

Work your networks

"Referral networks are one of the strongest ways a company will grow. Generally people will recommend people they know to be competent and will fit well with the organization. Keep tabs with all of your friends at different companies and ask them if there are upcoming openings. A lot of times companies will have referral bonuses for their employees so your friends will be incented to help!" – Pablo Stern, CTO and senior vice president of engineering at Radius

Embrace the cloud

“If you are searching for a systems engineering job after graduation, remember that the most valuable systems engineers are the ones that have fully embraced the cloud. While many organizations still have siloed engineering teams, companies are starting to shift away from that model as they become more sophisticated in cloud adoption. This has created a need for well-rounded engineers who are able to work on cross-functional teams. Let your interviewers know you are up to that challenge and are able to adapt to the shifting cloud landscape." – Stephanie Tayengco, senior vice president of operations at Logicworks

Seize the data opportunity

"Today’s graduates are the first data-native employees entering the workforce, but the trickle of graduates isn’t anywhere close to the torrent of demand. These graduates will have the opportunity to reshape how access to data and insights are managed in enterprises. Data scientists will be expected to not only be able to analyze big data, but make it understandable and actionable by different departments within the organization. Currently, data science teams work in isolation from the rest of their enterprise. The new batch of data scientists will be much more integrated into their enterprises’ workflows, and will need to be able to think creatively, integrate data into business strategy, and communicate their findings accurately to non-technical users. As data becomes more ubiquitous in every job role, it will be the data science team’s job to provide data in a way that is visually understandable and workable by non-analysts." – Ashish Thusoo, co-founder and CEO at Qubole


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