Posted by Robert Half Technology on Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 05:00 | Follow me
Are you a .NET developer? If so, take a moment to bask in the glory. You’re a rare breed.
But while your skills may be in high demand, you can’t assume you can just breeze into whatever job you want. Networking is still a crucial job-search strategy. It can help you identify job opportunities and earn referrals to hiring managers. Networking is especially beneficial for technology professionals just starting their programming careers since they have less experience to bank on and, therefore, a harder time catching an employer’s eye. Equally important, of course, is that a group of expert .NET developer contacts can make it easier to keep pace in the ever-evolving world of .NET and provide advice for better positioning yourself as a strong candidate.
The Basics of Building Your .NET Developer Network
Start with sites such as Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange, tech forums for the novice enthusiast and hardcore professional programmer alike. One of the best things about these sites is that they’re widely used and respected in the community. You can build your reputation — and your connections — by answering other users’ pressing questions or initiating some thoughtful conversations of your own. The good news is that .NET’s massive library and coding language interoperability mean you don’t have to know every inch of the framework to be a valuable resource to a fellow .NET developer. Don’t limit yourself to the online world, though. Meet people in person by attending conferences and training sessions targeted to the .NET developer community. These events also provide an opportunity to gauge the climate for .NET developer jobs in other locales. Head over to Lanyrd.com for a nice list of upcoming .NET conferences.
Putting Your .NET Developer Network to Use
.NET is an expansive programming environment. You need to figure out your strengths within the framework to effectively market yourself to prospective employers. By spending time on the sites mentioned above, talking to members of your network and perusing job listings, you can develop a better sense of the most sought-after skills. What aspects of .NET do they consider essential to know? What are good supplementary skills that can help round out your .NET resume? Don’t stop there, though. Continue to follow up with your .NET developer contacts. How have the programmers who possess these skills built their expertise? What insider tips can they offer? How do they present themselves to employers so that these qualifications are front and center? Approach a .NET developer with specific questions that show you’ve worked on your own to cultivate an understanding. Better yet, pass along an article of interest or offer your own help first to build goodwill and demonstrate that you’re interested in maintaining a long-term connection.
Want to know more about the outlook for .NET developer jobs and skills in demand? Check out more of our blog posts on Microsoft .NET.