For health reasons, I haven't been able to apply for software development jobs. I'll be graduating this spring with a cs degree from a top cs uni and am looking for a new grad position. It seems I've missed the hiring window at most companies for new grad positions. My options now are to work full-time at the startup I interned at the previous summer or to apply to jobs requiring 1-2 years of experience. If I started applying to jobs requiring 1-2 years of experience I'd want to prepare for interviews for a month or two.

What are my possible options? Is it worth applying to jobs with 1-2 year experience requirements? Should I just go work at the startup for a year? Should I wait till the next new grad hiring window? Thanks

closed as off-topic by Draken, JasonJ, gnat, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Chris E Apr 13 '17 at 20:01

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Is it worth applying to jobs with 1-2 year experience requirements?


1-2 years of experience is the spot where many budding developers have first learned the ropes of working within a business, and have gotten used to working with an actual team. While there are other pluses that come with such experience, your previous time as an intern does help to cover some of this gap.

When I put out a job request, I do ask for at least 1 year's experience. I will still interview candidates without prior job experience, and especially candidates with a prior internship. It's in that interview that you would need to show me that you can do better than the other candidates who do have 1-2 years or more of experience. Something in your portfolio would be great to see, for example.

There are also the core skills of a successful developer... Someone who's driven to truly understand the product they're working with. Someone who can problem solve effectively. Someone who can understand how each small component works within the big picture. It's much easier to train a green employee with good core skills, than a seasoned developer who simply works for the paycheck.

So if you can prove yourself, show that you have the skills you need to succeed, and can demonstrate that you're ready to break into the field, it's certainly worth a shot. Just keep in mind that competition is often hot, so I would polish up that CV as much as possible and make your interview shine.


I think you're worrying too much. While the heaviest burst of entry level hiring does occur at the end of the spring term, it does continue throughout the remainder of the year. Not just because there are students who graduate at the end of the summer and fall terms; but because needs for employees don't always align with the academic calendar.

A company planning to stand up a new project after the end of their Fiscal year on June 30, probably won't need to hire any junior level staff for it until at least late July. They're unlikely to have been advertising the last few months because most students would prefer not to be unemployed for a few months after graduations.

Companies that realize they hired the wrong person or who had a new hire quit will be looking over the summer and fall as well.

@Thebluefish has already addressed the possibility of applying for positions looking for a year of experience well. I don't have anything to add there.

However since you're unlikely to have a job at graduation, I would reconsider going back to where you interned and asking about a position. Not all jobs can be awesome change the world projects, and especially when you're starting out getting experience is extremely important even if you leave within a year. (Doing this repeatedly is problematic, but once or twice especially for your first job and if you previously interned there isn't going to raise any serious red flags.)

If the culture is highly dysfunctional or the business has other serious problems you might be better off staying away regardless. However "They all use IDEs, and I prefer VIM."; "I'm a Mac person and they're a Windows shop."; "They're using Java and I love the purity of functional languages"; "Subversion in 2017! Really?!?!"; or similar should not be reasons sufficient to prefer unemployment to having a less than perfect job.

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