Who Is This Book For?

The advice in this e-book is aimed at computer science and software engineering undergraduates currently in their first or second year of study, and who hope to join the computing industry in the United Kingdom after graduation. It’s full of advice from people who have already made the transition from student to professional software developer.

Please remember that this book is exactly that: advice. You’re joining an industry where you’re expected to think for a living. That goes doubly so when you’re deciding what to learn in your own time.

Your Degree Isn’t Enough

Here in the United Kingdom, the computing industry has no shortage of vacancies that it can’t fill. It feels like everyone is hiring right now, all across the country. As well as local and national employers, and startup communities such as Tech City in London, global tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon are turning to the UK to find more engineers. Together, they are creating even more vacancies that you can apply for.

It should be easy to land a job after you graduate, right?

Look around at your fellow computing students. Less than half of them are going to find jobs in the computing industry within six months of graduating. More of them will be unemployed than the graduates from any of the other subjects taught on campus. This pattern will be repeated up and down the land.

According to the UK’s Higher Education Careers Service Unit (PDF), 8.6% of Summer 2011’s graduates were unemployed six months after graduating. Amongst computer science and IT graduates, that figure is 13.9%. Across all of the different groups of graduates, Computer Science and IT graduates are the most likely to be unemployed 6 months after graduation. Only 47.3% of those with jobs are working in the computing industry. The figures for Summer 2010’s graduates were little better.

There are lots of vacancies in the computing industry, and yet graduates in relevant fields aren’t filling them. Employers are becoming more and more discerning in who they hire, and more and more demanding about the skills that graduates need to be able to bring along from day one. New starters typically take three months before they’re productive - that’s three months before they’re beginning to cover the cost of paying their wages. In this economy, that’s time that many employers simply can’t afford any longer.

You need to be productive from day one, and that means taking responsibility for learning the practices that universities aren’t there to teach you.

How This Book Can Help

This e-book contains answers from the Voices From Industry Google community to one question: what do you wish you’d known before you graduated from university? It gives you an insight into some of the different skills required to be in industry, written by people who are already working in industry.

Each chapter focuses on one area that these developers believe have been important in their careers. In their own words, each developer shares with you something that they wish they’d known before they graduated.

We hope this inspires you.

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