If you’re going to look at the positives of something, which I believe you always should, one thing COVID-19 has provided is the opportunity to find jobs not only in Omaha, but also across the country. With the increase of remote working and the low cost of living in Nebraska, companies across the U.S. are seeing an opportunity to save money on labor. That is providing a huge boom for jobs in Omaha and Nebraska in general. While .NET jobs are still king in Omaha, there is also an increase of demand for Node.js developers, Ruby developers, Java developers, and even Python developers for the web.
One of the best things about Omaha is that there are a lot of older programs and/or “legacy” code bases that need to be updated, or migrated to newer technologies. Because of that, there is a huge demand for front end developers, especially in the React framework, as companies migrate these older programs. If you were to come out of the gate knowing only React, or only .NET and have a hunger to learn, you can go very far in the Omaha area.
High Demand Skills for Web Developers
One of the interesting things about Midland’s Code Academy is that our students learn how to utilize the React framework. Through this experience they can start to understand both the server-side, and backend of code.
When a company is looking for a junior developer they’re looking for multiple things. Of course they need to know HOW to do the job, but they also need to know WHY they’re doing the job. A recurring theme across our graduates is that, more often than not, they gain employment by being able to talk through problems in an interview. While they might not end up at the right answer, showing that they can think logically and approach problems in a way that shows a fundamental understanding of programming is huge.
Midland’s Code Academy focuses on teaching the technologies that are in demand in Omaha. As a program with only three cohorts per year, we have the luxury of adjusting the curriculum between every cohort to ensure we’re teaching what companies are looking for. We also teach students how to find solutions by themselves and how to troubleshoot problems that might arise at any stage. This makes for an easier transition from a classroom setting to the real-world.
One of the common misconceptions from the outside world is that as a developer, you have to know how to do everything and that you are a fount of knowledge when it comes to all things programming. That is a misconception that we crush very early. Developers use tools like Google and Stack Overflow to fill in gaps, or help with problems literally every day. Being able to troubleshoot a problem on the fly and find a solution to it on your own, are two skills we teach that can be the difference between being successful as a developer or struggling at your first job.
Types of Companies Looking for Web Developers
One of the best things about the job market in Omaha currently is that companies of all sizes are looking for employees. Depending on the skills you have, you can find your way into a large company, or smaller dev teams of maybe one or two people. Regardless of what technology a company uses they want people who are passionate about what they do and are able to be humble and ask questions to expand their knowledge.
While it is true that a lot of larger companies post looking for senior developers more often than they are looking for junior developers, that doesn’t mean they don’t need juniors as well. It’s interesting to compare the paths that a junior developer might take at a smaller company versus a larger company.
One of the things that a lot of smaller companies have going for them is that they provide amazing opportunities for someone to learn a ton on the job and to get exposure to more technologies/tools right out of the gate.
Larger companies, on the other hand, provide more established paths for upward mobility and access to developers who have potentially years or decades of experience. You might start off with smaller tasks such as migration, or bug fixing at larger companies, as opposed to potentially writing more actual production code at a smaller company. That being said, the skills you gain from the smaller tasks can help you gain a better understanding of larger code bases and can help you become a better developer at the same rate as someone who is at a smaller company.
Either way, it is a fantastic time to be looking for a programming job because there are plenty of opportunities in the city itself with each providing their own specific benefits that are not to be overlooked.
Web Development Job Description
While it is hard to find a way to put into words what would be the “boilerplate” job description for a developer, there are multiple common themes. In addition to specific technologies a company uses, companies are looking for problem solving skills, humbleness, and a passion for programming.
If you had to look at the bullet points that are a common theme they would usually look like:
- Experience working with X language or similar
- Solid foundation and understanding of web development principles
- Critical thinking skills
- Solid portfolio showing skills (this one is especially important for Jr. developers)
- Fast learner
- Good communication skills
- Team Player
As you can see from the above, only a couple are actually technology specific, the rest are all skills that can help you pick up new technologies and skills on the job.
If you are interested in learning more about our Code Academy and ready to learn to code, please request information now!