Are you underqualified to apply to a software development position?

Charles Stover
Jun 18 · Unlisted

You should always be underqualified. 🎯

The top comment, by user vidro3, to orduk’s question is a great reflection of the developer experience: “Bold assumption that I’m now qualified for my current position.”

Red Flags 🚩

Good tech companies will hire “under qualified” individuals because that individual has potential for growth. It is a red flag when a tech company wants an overqualified individual. They don’t want the individual to learn anything new or better themselves. “This is the level you are hired at, and this is all you will ever be. Don’t expect a raise or a promotion, because your job is not going to change, and your performance will never improve.”

Underqualified is Qualified 💼

Do not ever treat a “minimum requirements” as a wall. Apply anyway, if only for the interview experience. I’ve been a web developer for 17 years now, and I still rarely meet all the minimum requirements.

It’s about selling yourself. 💸

Being a self-taught front end engineer, not having a degree was one of my biggest hurdles. It took a long time for me to learn how to sell myself. I knew a great deal, I had great learning potential, but I didn’t have the confidence or soft skills to know how to convey that potential in an interview. I read “college degree” on minimum requirements and gave up. If only I knew then what I know now, I would be so much further in my career! Going to interviews for the sake of learning how to interview was one of the best things I could have done. Even when I was rejected, I learned what was in demand from those interviews, and I learned those things. Then, they stopped caring about my degree and started caring that I was A) passionate, B) eager to learn, and C) dove deep into material for a below-surface-level understanding.

Confidence Speaks Volumes 🧠

As an example, a not-so-confident statement would be, “I published some of my JavaScript to NPM.” The interviewer knows that you know JavaScript and NPM. That’s okay.

Interviewing is Win-Win 🏆

Interviewing is not a test where you fail for not getting hired. If you do not get hired, you still learned something. You should be using the company when you interview. Determine what is important to them. You should leave the interview more knowledgeable than you entered. You are a better developer after failing an interview because you know something you didn’t know the day before — you know some in demand tech stacks, you know some soft skills that are higher priority, and hopefully you will know what steps to take next to acquire any skills you are lacking.

Conclusion 🔚

If you liked this article, feel free to give it a clap or two. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s free! If you have any questions or great commentary, please leave them in the comments below.

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Unlisted

Charles Stover

Written by

Senior Full Stack JavaScript Developer / charlesstover.com

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +481K people. Follow to join our community.