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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.

Highlight your soft skills

"Soft skills will set you apart. There aren’t that many developers out there, relatively speaking. Even fewer have soft skills -- the ability to communicate effectively, work well with others and handle a leadership role. Look your interviewer in the eyes, speak clearly and confidently." – Ann Gaffigan, CTO at National Land Realty

Know the market, gain experience, network

"Pick a company that is building to this new distributed systems architecture versus maintaining traditional systems, AWS vs. infrastructure companies. SaaS vs. package software. Apps built on the iPhone that take advantage of location and identity capabilities. … Software is eating every hardware industry. Be on the software side. … Experience matters. Garner lots of internships and projects on the way. … Learn how to network. Go to meetups. Do lots of informational interviews. Find mentors. Learn how to project yourself through social media in a positive way. Be part of the conversation." – Alan Cohen, chief commercial officer at Illumio

Think agile

"Enterprises and startups are demanding agile graduates. It's no longer just about the tech skills but can employees work creatively and collaboratively with a cross-functional agile/scrum team made up of business owner, product manager, data scientist, marketer, financial analyst, UX/UI, and others to contribute to the vision and execution. Employers are looking for employees with entrepreneurial spirit who will create/enhance/contribute to product design, and not simply doers who blindly execute against spec." – Scott Amyx, CEO at Amyx+

Lastly, a good reminder for all ages and stages

"Make sure to dry your hands thoroughly when you leave the restroom. You never know whose hand you’ll have to shake the second after you exit. Ever shake a damp hand? Ugh. People remember that." – Robert Reeves, CTO and co-founder of Datical


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