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How to get a job with no experience?

So I've worked on a desktop software coding Swing GUI for past 2 years.

I feel that even having a live website selling my java desktop software (customers buy it occassionally) is not enough experience, contrary to opinions from this site, very little of my experience building, running the software business is discussed during interviews.

Often jobs have extensive list of qualifications which I think I can cover 70%, but I don't have example projects for each language and framework, rather I've played around with different open source libraries and build things based on what is needed.

When I land interviews, sometimes I pass all the technical questions but sometimes I don't when they ask me about experience I don't have.

When I do land interviews, I cannot complete the programming tasks in time. I over think the problem, and while I have done more complex problems working on my software project, I cant think quickly enough to do the testing questions fast enough.

What other ways can I improve my skills to better showcase my skills?

How many portfolio of projects do I need to be convincing? Should I take a course from a local college in Java?

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marked as duplicate by Yannis Rizos Feb 11 '12 at 7:26

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1 Answer

I would avoid taking more classes. Why pay for abstracted instruction that lacks real experience. I've always been a firm believer in relevent work experience over education.

The best way to learn without much risk or involvement would be to look into volunteering your time (yes free) for non-profits.

The free time you volunteer is great because you can usually dictate your terms. You can easily walk away from the project. If not you don't lose anything. Albeit, it maybe harder to find something in terms of the java world (i'm a php programmer myself). Just keep looking i guess. With capitalism, there are always firms looking for cheap or nearly free labor.

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that is a great idea, but how open do you think are java development shops to internships or volunteer work? My priority is getting the relevant experience. –  javalearner Feb 11 '12 at 6:45
    
You never know. You could target small development shops (not sure if that exists in the java world) if one a company is short handed or really busy you could easily land s*work; but regardless it's experience you could build upon. Just keep trying. It takes zero investment in sending out and soliciting email templates. You're giving away free/cheap labor. –  chrisjlee Feb 11 '12 at 6:48
    
Time on task... Get good enough at what you know to be fast. You sound far enough along that you need practice more than new content. –  MathAttack Feb 11 '12 at 7:27
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