At the very beginning, it was quite challenging to convince my future employers that I, with my Master of Structural Engineering, was the right person for the job as a software engineer. This is how I made it happen.
I knew exactly why I wanted to change careers. I conveyed this in every cover letter, at careers fairs and in interviews. I figured if I could convince myself then I could convince my future employer.
I presented all the relevant experience I had. For me, it was the engineering background and former work experience as a consultant. I also listed learning material in my CV and created a GitHub profile to offer some proof that I had completed or was in the middle of completing further education. I should add that back in 2015 I didn’t have this blog and my list of learning material, my CV and my GitHub profile had a lot less to show!
I went to a career fair with the goal to learn as much as I could about each company that was there. I actually went there looking for a job as a structural engineer and just for fun I decided to get to know the IT companies that were there as well. It was only afterwards that I made the decision to become a software developer.
At the career fair, I got to know three IT companies and applied at all three, and got an interview at all three. For the first company, I passed the first interview but I didn’t pass the programming exercise. The second company offered me an internship for three months with one day off to study and the third company offered me a permanent position. I took the internship because I knew the day off would be a great opportunity to bridge my knowledge gap quicker. The happy ending to this story is that the same company offered me a permanent position, which I started straight after completing my internship.