A Few Tips For Developers On How To Get Hired By A Startup

Not everyone is cut out to work for a startup. It involves a lot of hustling, a lot of nail-biting, pizza-eating, sleeping at your desk, tears, failure, confusion, and on and on. And wearing your startup’s t-shirt. All the time. That being said, it can also be extremely rewarding and, with all the cash flying around Silicon Valley (and beyond), aspiring entrepreneurs are flocking to startups.

So, say you’re one of those people who is champing at the bit to go work for a startup, what do you do next? Well, you can try this, or in the event you’re not quite ready to grow a mustache, you can check out things startups should know when looking for top talent, and, hey, Justin Kan has written about how to get a job at a startup even if you don’t have a lot of experience. But what about the programmers and developers out there looking to work at startup? Is no one thinking about them?!?

Today, we’re offering a small slice of holiday cheer thanks to Monetate, the platform that provides marketers with testing and targeting services for their websites (and recently raised $15 million from OpenView Venture Partners, Floodgate, and First Round Capital), as the startup has put together an infographic that offers a few tips for programmers who are looking to toss their talents into the startup ring.

Developers want to shoot for the top, and Facebook, Twitter, and Google are highly coveted places of employment for programmers for a reason; of course, the harsh reality is that not everyone is going to work at these companies, nor do all developers want to work at these companies. (Though there are great books like this one if that’s the road you choose.) Opting to go work for an early-stage business means hard work and sacrifice — and doesn’t always offer competitive salary/benefits — but it can mean more freedom, more of a say in the direction of a company, and the chance to disrupt the old and be a part of building the new.

There are tons of places to find jobs, including cool career advancement platforms for developers like Gild, there are incubators, startup networking events and meetups, hackathons, and more. (Identified, anyone?)

Developers can showcase their best work and hacks on Github, or go build something awesome with a favorite startup’s API to offer prospective employers a taste of what they would do were they to get hired. Startups are looking for programmers willing to take initiative, those who display creative thinking, and those work well with others (on deadline). Do those and you’re well on your way.

That being said, be careful of overusing the words “rockstar” and “ninja” when talking about yourself. As much as we all like ninjas, a plastic sword, geeky interests (and familiarity with Java) do not a ninja make. Take it from this guy.

Without further ado, check out Monetate’s infographic below. And to all the hearty programmers and developers out there, please chime in with your expert tips. This is by no means complete.