Niche Down to Blow Up: Scrimba Student Leo Reveals How to Land an Awesome First Dev Job

🎙 About the episode

Meet Leo de Leon 🇺🇸! Leo was a successful self-taught motion graphics designer. Today, he's a successful self-taught developer! He used to design motion graphics for billboards at an arena in Kansas City that seats 20,000 people. But he needed a change. Eventually, he taught himself how to code in 314 hours over 3.5 months and landed his dream job in a Web3 startup around four months later.

In this episode, you will hear why it's essential to know your learning style and how not doing great at school doesn't mean you cannot learn new things. Leo will teach you how to approach your project and portfolio website, as well as his number one tactic for landing your dream job: niching down.

Alex and Leo also talk about some shady recruiter practices you can come across nowadays, the perks of working at startups (yes, especially in this economy!), developers to follow on YouTube, learning opportunities, consistency, and blessings in disguise.

🔗 Connect with Leo
⏰ Timestamps
  • How Leo decided to do something with computers after he saw a Matthew Broderick movie when he was 8 (01:59)
  • How Leo worked as a motion graphics designer for a decade (03:15)
  • Why Leo wanted to change careers and get into coding, and how a failed job opportunity propelled him forward (04:20)
  • Why Leo is equipped to teach himself new skills (06:49)
  • Leo signed up for a bootcamp and then realized it didn’t work for him (when he discovered Scrimba!) (08:31)
  • How long it took Leo to learn to code (11:01)
  • Why you need to set realistic goals (11:45)
  • You’re not too late: there’s never a bad time to get into tech (13:37)
  • Community break: Highlighting tweets and LinkedIn posts from our community (that’s you!) (15:26)
  • How Leo approached finding a job and positioning himself in the job market (17:25)
  • When choosing portfolio projects, choose something difficult! (18:08)
  • Here’s how to make sure your projects and portfolio look nice! (20:07)
  • Leo got his first developer job when a recruiter reached out to him on LinkedIn (21:27)
  • Why a culture fit is important at startups (25:14)
  • Leo’s trial project took an entire month, but he still got the job! (27:48)
  • Quick-fire questions: first lines of code, favorite tech YouTubers, and music with lyrics (32:16)
  • How to create an appealing LinkedIn profile, and how to recognize shady recruiting practices (34:15)
  • Leo works at a Web3 and blockchain-related company. How did he optimize his LinkedIn profile to get there? (37:30)
  • Let other people review your LinkedIn profile and your resume before putting yourself out there! (38:36)
  • Why do you need to niche down and focus on one field or technology (39:56)
  • Don’t get FOMO: you can’t be known for everything (41:07)
  • Be consistent and purpose-driven because motivation comes and goes (45:12)
  • What’s ReadMe Driven Development and how to apply that approach to your career (48:39)
🧰 Resources Mentioned
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Niche Down to Blow Up: Scrimba Student Leo Reveals How to Land an Awesome First Dev Job
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