How I landed a Software Development Job at just 18 Years Old

Aidan Tilgner
3 min readAug 18, 2021

I share how I turned software development from a hobby into a career in under a year, and how the COVID-19 pandemic influence that.

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

The COVID-19 pandemic influenced billions of people throughout the globe. Depression, sickness, job loss, death, are all topics that dominate the headlines day to day as it takes its toll on our lives. Although the pandemic took its toll on me as well, I’m fortunate enough to say that it might’ve been one of the best things that ever happened to me.

First off, when this whole thing started I was basically done with high school. I had about 2 credits left and quickly got those done in November of 2020. Which meant that I didn’t have much to do but earn a paycheck and figure out how I wanted my future to go.

So what would my future be? Well, I could do what all my friends were doing, go off to college, get a 4 year comp. sci. degree, and hope to find a job after that to pay off my student loans. Or I could continue in my minimum wage job and try to work my way up the ranks. In the end however, I decided that I didn’t like either of those options. If I didn’t like school now, why would I like it in college, and if I didn’t like my job now, why would I like it when maybe I got a 42 cent raise after an insignificant promotion? I wouldn’t.

After that decision, I was off to find a way to learn software development, specifically web development, as fast as I could to get a job in the industry. I did a bit of research and found a bootcamp at BrainStation to learn full-stack web development, in 3 months. Perfect! I signed up and was in the program by February of 2021.

At BrainStation I studied hard, did the work, and learned how to build full-stack web apps using technologies like React and Node, and I was hooked. Three months later I had gone from basic HTML and CSS to building out entire CRUD applications. After going from no-stack to full-stack, I was ambitious and ready to go out, job search for a week or so, nail an interview, and find a job as a junior developer.

Let’s just say it didn’t quite work out like that. After about 3 months of job searching on all the job sites, around 200 applications, and 0 interviews, I was about ready to quit. I had taken up freelancing on Upwork and had plans to start a web development agency, although I had very little chance of success as a junior developer. Forunately, my wonderful girlfriend pushed me to keep applying to jobs, and then it happened, a breakthrough. One hiring manager/senior developer took a look at my resume, and decided to take a chance. One interview later and I got the job!

Anyway, that’s where I am now, about to launch my career as a software developer, get my life started, and try to make the absolute most out of this ~80 years we have on the planet.

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Aidan Tilgner

Software Developer working my way through the world and sharing what I learn with all of you. Personal Site — www.aidantilgner.dev