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🎙 About the episode
Meet Tomáš Lukeš 🇨🇿! Tomáš is an audio engineer turned primary school teacher turned developer! In only nine months, he learned to code alongside a full-time job, created an awesome portfolio, and then landed a job in three business days. What?!
In this episode, you'll discover exactly how he did it! Tomáš will reveal why he approached learning to code as if it were an RPG, how he selected his projects, why going the extra mile while crafting your portfolio is a must, and how you can transform code-alongs into something of your own. You'll also learn the definitive answer to the question of how many hours it truly takes to reach a hireable level of coding proficiency. Tomáš and Alex also discuss job hunting strategies, the power of persistence, self-discovery,and the importance of knowing the exact industries you want to work in.
🔗 Connect with Tomáš
- How Tomáš went from audio engineering to learning development (01:25)
- Why sound technicians make good develoeprs (02:10)
- Tomáš had always been interested in coding (03:15)
- How Tomáš learned to code alongside a full-time job, and how long did it take? (04:39)
- What courses did Tomáš use? (06:35)
- Learning coding during the AI boom (07:06)
- Community break with Jan the Producer (08:19)
- How Tomáš approached projects - by taking course projects and making them his own (10:53)
- Why you need good projects to impress HR people (13:59)
- Tomáš learned to code at a hireable level in this many hours! (15:12)
- How Tomáš approached job hunting, and landed a job in three business days (15:30)
- Why Tomáš only applied for local jobs (17:53)
- Startups hire quicker than bigger and older companies (19:26)
- Why you should say "I don't know" during an interview (21:17)
- Quick-fire questions: Tailwind, Josh Tried Coding, and Steve Lacy (23:47)
- How to learn to code: persistence and self-discovery (25:54)
- Advice for building portfolios (28:44)
- Localized job search (33:18)
- Trust the process! (34:53)
🧰 Resources Mentioned
⭐️ Leave a Review
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You can also Tweet Alex from Scrimba at @bookercodes and tell them what lessons you learned from the episode so that he can thank you personally for tuning in 🙏 Or tell Jan he's butchered your name here.
Tomáš Lukeš (00:00):
I think it's best to take it as some RPG game where you want to always get to the next level. When you have that approach, I think learning to code, it's fun. When you're starting to do your solo projects for your portfolio, it's got even better.
Jan Arsenovic (00:17):
Hello and welcome to the Scrimba Podcast. On this weekly show, we interview developers about their advice on learning to code and getting your first job in tech. Our guest today is Tomáš Lukeš from Czech Republic, who has recently made a career change and landed his first job in tech. Originally he worked in broadcasting, then he became a teacher, and alongside that full-time job, he learned to code. In this episode, you'll find out once and for all how many hours does it take to learn coding at a hireable level. Tomáš also talks about his job hunting strategy, which resulted in him getting a job offer in only three business days after applying for it on a Friday. You will also hear how he approached his portfolio projects and how you too can go the extra mile and make sure you stand out.
Ultimately, this episode may or may not contain the answer to the age-old question of, why do so many sound technicians become developers? The show is still hosted by Alex Booker who is still on vacation. I'm Jan, your producer, and now it's time for our guest. You're listening to the Scrimba Podcast. Let's get into it.
Tomáš Lukeš (01:25):
I am curious by nature and I always look for new things to learn and try. I start my career in Czech public TV station, been there for six years. But I always like to work with kids, so I had a chance to teach at local elementary school. So first 10 years of my career, it wasn't really about coding. I enjoyed both of these roles and I'm happy that I can experience that, but room for career growth in these two fields was minimal. So I always look that eventually I want to transition into tech where you had, from my shoulder, to succeed quickly and advance in your career.
Alex Booker (02:07):
When you worked in television, what were you doing specifically?
Tomáš Lukeš (02:10):
I was audio technician.
Alex Booker (02:12):
Jan actually mentioned to me that he knows a surprising number of sound technicians who became software developers. Do you think there's something about that profession that makes it easier to pick up coding?
Tomáš Lukeš (02:23):
Yeah, actually my old friend from school also transition from audio technician to coding, so it's something common. I think these two fields are similar in these days, when there's a lot of work with software, it's not that much hardware anymore.
Alex Booker (02:44):
I guess maybe going back a couple of decades, it was all about adjusting knobs and dealing with microphone hardware and stuff, but today I imagine a lot of the optimization and post-processing happens with software, so you definitely felt comfortable with advanced software and computers, why not learn to code, right?
Tomáš Lukeš (03:02):
Yeah, it's similar, and I think it's even better for switching to front-end, because audio software is more visual and you are used to this kind of work.
Alex Booker (03:15):
I think you made a great point, by the way, in certain industries, like maybe teaching and also in media it sounds like, there aren't always the most clear career paths and room for growth and things like that. I suppose there are other industries, other careers that give you great opportunities just like technology. So I'm wondering what made you want to pick up coding specifically? Was there something about it that really appealed to you?
Tomáš Lukeš (03:40):
I was always passionate about web development and it was more like a hobby for me. I always like to watch some webpage and review it somehow. I had some cases where I need website and since I want to do it myself, it was my first experience with it and I like it, so I decided it was good to try it and I like it.
Alex Booker (04:09):
For sure. So you'd had a taste of it doing hobby projects and when you realized that you wanted to make a career change as well, it was really a case of doing one plus one and arriving at two, which was learning to code. In this case, I guess it seemed obvious, but then if you've been doing it as a hobby and then you want to become a professional, it's not always obvious how to make that transition. So how did you go about teaching yourself to code at a professional level, Tomáš?
Tomáš Lukeš (04:39):
It was a long journey. It takes me around six to nine months to learn my first opportunity as a web developer.
Alex Booker (04:47):
That's pretty quick actually.
Tomáš Lukeš (04:48):
Yeah, but I learned about two hours every day after work and for two, six hours a day on weekend every day. So I grind it a little bit.
Alex Booker (05:01):
That's impressive. And you were working as a primary school teacher alongside that or did you quit that to focus on coding?
Tomáš Lukeš (05:07):
No, I had a full-time job as teacher all time. It wasn't easy. I don't have much time outside of it and I can only thank to my girlfriend that she was okay with it and support me, but have full-time job was great for my mental wellbeing, because I know that I don't have any pressure on my shoulder to succeed quickly, and I know that I can take as much time as I need to get there, because when you don't have job and your financial reserve is getting thinner, I think that's where you eventually can quit.
Alex Booker (05:45):
That's a fantastic point, by the way. I know that learning to code alongside a full-time job must be very tiring, but at the same time, if you do remove your safety net, quit your job and put such high stakes on learning to code, that might be a really stressful position. It sounds like you were coding quite a lot actually, despite the fact you were working full-time. What kept you energized?
Tomáš Lukeš (06:07):
When you have a clear purpose and coding is fun for you, I think you can do it. It's important to have a clear sense of direction and not get stuck in some tutorial hell or searching for another way always, just pick one course based on references and stick to it. When you're done with it, start with your projects and that was one fun beginning for me actually.
Alex Booker (06:35):
What courses did you use to learn to code?
Tomáš Lukeš (06:38):
I started with Colt Steele Web Development full stack.
Alex Booker (06:43):
That's on Udemy, I think, right? I've heard of that one.
Tomáš Lukeš (06:45):
Yeah, but I did it only first half because I didn't want my skills to be too spread. I want to master front-end first and then I stick my toes to back-end, and then I did Scrimba's front-end career path.
Alex Booker (07:06):
That's awesome. And I know you've been active in the Scrimba community as well, which is really cool to see. I know that a lot of people sometimes struggle with feeling alone when they're learning to code and community can sometimes be a way to feel like you're part of something and that you have the same challenges as other people. It's not a unique thing, it's something that everybody encounters struggling. What was your experience? Did you have any struggles when learning to code?
Tomáš Lukeš (07:32):
Yeah, when I started to learn there was speak of AI boom. So hearing that AI will take my job that I even didn't have in the first place, there was a lot of talk about coming recession and companies not giving juniors opportunities. That was a little discouraging. Also, we got a puppy with my girlfriend during that time, and everybody who got a puppy know what that means for your sleep. There was some challenges, but I think when you know that you want to did it, you will eventually made it.
Alex Booker (08:13):
What kind of puppy did you get, Tomáš?
Tomáš Lukeš (08:15):
Dachshund, or a wiener dog.
Alex Booker (08:17):
That's so cute.
Jan Arsenovic (08:19):
Coming up. Tomáš applied for a job on a Friday, what happened next will shock you.
Tomáš Lukeš (08:24):
And by Tuesday I get my first job.
Alex Booker (08:28):
Wait, wait, wait, wait.
Jan Arsenovic (08:30):
Speaking of tweets, this is a segment where I read your tweets or LinkedIn posts about the podcast. And if you've been listening lately, you know that I was pretty frustrated when Twitter changed its name to X because I didn't know what to call tweets anymore. Well, Anthony Nanfito had a great thread about it that I'm going to read to you right now. Is this a tweet or an X? Jan, the producer of the Scrimba podcast asks in episode 126. I'm confused about it too, and I don't think there's a consensus yet or official word from the Chief Xer, but I have some thoughts. In mathematics, X is a common variable which is used to represent a value. It can be defined as whatever we want it to be. X could be three, X could be one, X could be four, or X could be unknown and we have to find it.
In this case, until we're told otherwise, I think we're safe to define X as whatever we want it to be. We could call them tweets, we could call them posts, we could call them Xs, or we could call them Larries in honor of the late Larry the bird. Rest in peace, Larry. Though, if this is to be the so-called public square of the internet, perhaps we should do a poll. And the tweets have won. I really wanted to call them Larries, and I might refer to them as Larries at least a couple of times. If you're enjoying the show and if you want to support it, you can tweet about it, you can post about it on LinkedIn, or you can leave us a rating or a review in your podcast app of choice. You might even get a shout-out on the show. And now we are back to the interview with Tomáš.
Alex Booker (10:53):
That's really cool. And yeah, I think you're absolutely spot on in what you're saying. It sounds like everybody has their own struggles learning to code, and I think because you are doing it with the intention of getting a job at the end, hearing everything about AI boom and how it might be hindering junior roles and opportunities, it's not a great feeling, but it also can affect your motivation if you're always second guessing it. I'm sure we'll talk more about this a little bit later in the interview. We know that you did get a job so that the AI boom wasn't such a frat after all, but you also touched on something when I asked about your courses that I wanted to ask you to expand on. You mentioned not only doing courses but also building projects. I noticed that you have a really nice portfolio website. We'll be linking it in the show notes by the way, so people can check it out. It's really stylish, really clear. I do not understand a word of the writing because I think it's all in Czech.
Tomáš Lukeš (11:48):
It was Czech because I search only for local jobs.
Alex Booker (11:52):
That makes a lot of sense. But tell us, how did you approach projects? Did you have ideas? Did you find it quite easy to graduate from tutorials to building your own projects and how did you decide what to build exactly?
Tomáš Lukeš (12:05):
When you're doing tutorials, projects are great, but they are not some big scale projects that will get you a job, I think. Even if you do projects from your course, it's good to have next steps that you will give to this project, so it's not only code alone, but you will give it your twist and this project from Scrimba are actually in my portfolio, but they have some upgrades.
Alex Booker (12:36):
I see that. I saw a Tenzies game in there I think, but it definitely has a new logo. I don't think that tool tip is part of the course either. And then I see some confetti animation as well. Are these the kind of upgrades you're talking about?
Tomáš Lukeš (12:49):
Yeah, just some little things or include some technology like Tailwind, that wasn't originally in project, or something like that, but when you are done with your course, I think it's great to have two, maybe three large scale projects that you will do. You can search for some design. I will search for Frontend Mentor challenges, and you can base your projects around this design, but give it to your own flavor or some functionality that wasn't there. I did e-commerce shop and I did some dashboard with invoices, but I thought that I will do three projects, but I got my job.
Alex Booker (13:36):
That's a good problem to have, isn't it?
Tomáš Lukeš (13:38):
Yeah, it was fine.
Alex Booker (13:39):
Nice. That makes a lot of sense. I love this idea to start with maybe the base of a project from Scrimba or Front-End Mentor. I think you're describing Guru Projects, they're pretty cool, but then to also add your own twist to it, essentially, whether that's a new feature or maybe changing something about the code like using Tailwind. I think that's awesome.
Tomáš Lukeš (13:59):
I thought about it like, you should look to those situations from HR perspective, when they get 10 portfolios, which they choose half projects that they will... Imagine you do same thing for them. It's definitely better than some calculator or something like that. It's also good, but it's even better when it's a commercial viable project. Also put much effort to design because at first step, sometimes HR managers are first that will pick candidates for tech lead. They are not professional coders, so they're judged more based on look.
Alex Booker (14:42):
I'm really looking forward to getting into your story, getting your first job in tech. I can already tell you're going to have a lot of insights to share, but just to put a little tidy bow on this discussion around your journey, learning to code, you said it took about six to nine months and you also said you had a specific idea of how many hours you were coding after work and on the weekend did you by chance log your hours learning to code and stuff and what did those numbers tell you?
Tomáš Lukeš (15:12):
Yeah, I logged a very minute spent on coding. It was like 450 hours and it's funny that one of your hosts talked about same kind of number.
Alex Booker (15:28):
One of my guests, you mean?
Tomáš Lukeš (15:30):
Alex Booker (15:30):
That's really, really cool. Maybe we've unlocked the number of hours to learn to code. I'm not sure. I'm going to come back to this, I think. I'm curious about your approach to logging the hours, but even more curious about how you got your first role in tech. So maybe you can tell us a little bit about your job hunting strategy and how things went.
Tomáš Lukeš (15:51):
When I did my courses and built my project, I also built my portfolio page and set up my LinkedIn profile and then I reached to local tech companies. I sent application to around 50, maybe 60 companies and just to give it a shot if they will reach me back, and I did it in Friday and by Tuesday I get my first job actually and-
Alex Booker (16:22):
Wait, wait, wait, wait. What? You sent the application on Friday and by Tuesday you had a job offer.
Tomáš Lukeš (16:29):
Yeah, yeah. I had actually a lot of offers and to this day some HR managers call me if I'm still available.
Alex Booker (16:38):
Let's unpack that a little bit. You said that you applied to about 60 roles and you also mentioned, which I think is important, that you are only applying to jobs in your local area.
Tomáš Lukeš (16:49):
But I'm lucky that I'm from a good city where there are so many opportunities. I don't know if you are in some city where there are not so many jobs, what will you do with it? But there are many, many opportunities here, but I have a tip for your listeners. When you apply through the company website, it gives you a little advantage in HR eyes and that was something that give me a little advantage.
Alex Booker (17:23):
That's a nice tip. So applying on the website directly instead of going into the same LinkedIn inbox with everybody else.
Tomáš Lukeš (17:31):
It looks more like you did your job, and if you search for a company ,and know a little about them. I also applied for some companies that I like, and even if they don't have open positions on website, I did it anyway and even those companies, they will reach me back somehow.
Alex Booker (17:53):
Talk to me a little bit about your strategy to apply for local jobs. You're based in Prague in Czech Republic, which is a major city, it's great that you did have that opportunity, you're right, but even if you're in a major city, I'm in London for example, you might be tempted to apply to remote jobs as well just to increase your likelihood of success, you could say, plus there are some really cool companies that you might be missing out on if you don't apply remotely as well. Maybe they're based in other cities. How did you think about it at the time?
Tomáš Lukeš (18:25):
I think for your first job, local is better because you will have senior devs with you at the same place and it's better for your growth. When you remote, I think it's doable, but it'll be difficult to onboard and grow and learn.
Alex Booker (18:44):
I think that's very good advice, absolutely. But the truth is, sometimes niching down really helps you because you have something specific to focus on and you have a clear idea about what you're looking for. Sometimes employers really like to see that, they like to see that you have a clear idea about what you're looking for because then if they can offer it to you, they'll feel really good about your likelihood of being a long-term good fit. So I think your strategy was spot on there and obviously it's great you could take that opportunity as well, but talk to me a bit about this rapid turnaround. You applied on the Friday and you had a job offer by Tuesday. That's barely two business days, I would say, free at the most, right? What's the story there? What happened exactly?
Tomáš Lukeš (19:26):
Some startups, they hire quickly and they called me just hours after my apply to their website, so it's really about companies culture I think, where they know what they want and when they see it, they act quickly. Some bigger companies, it takes them a little longer and they call me like two months after my apply, and I think they'll miss on a lot of talents because people that have options, they will not wait for two months to get a reply.
Alex Booker (20:05):
Well, yeah, that's literally what's happening it sounds like. You said that you were still getting responses from HR people today, even though you've been working this job for over a month now. They're too late basically, you're already off the market, I guess. So the startup that managed to snap you up, how did they evaluate your skills and your likelihood to be successful in the role? They got back to you quite quickly on Friday afternoon. What did they say?
Tomáš Lukeš (20:31):
I had a meeting with the lead and some product manager and they saw my code from my projects before we met, so they have an idea about what I'm capable of, or what will they need to teach me so they have a good idea about my skills, I think.
Alex Booker (20:52):
I see, that's very productive actually.
Tomáš Lukeš (20:54):
Yeah, so there wasn't really some crazy tech interview with lead codes or something like that. It was more like, they ask me about some things from my projects and more about my attitude and soft skills and things like that. It was around 30 minutes and we reached to agreement.
Alex Booker (21:17):
That's incredible. Congratulations, Tomáš. That's so amazing. What is it that you think they wanted to see from you during that interview that focused on the specifics of your projects and assessed your general attitude towards the role?
Tomáš Lukeš (21:31):
They want to see how I think about some problems and how I will solve them. And also that I can say that I didn't know and I didn't try to mask it or hide it or something like that.
Alex Booker (21:47):
That's a big one. That's really good. Not pretending you know something and also having the humility to say, "I don't know."
Tomáš Lukeš (21:53):
I said I don't know during interview a lot of time and they like it.
Alex Booker (22:00):
I think it's a fantastic attribute and it's a very easy trap to fall into if you have the perception that an interview is a test in some way. Obviously, if you're doing a test at school and you say, "I don't know," you get a bad grade, but in the real world and in dynamic teams on complex projects in a difficult industry like coding where you can never really learn everything, the ability to say I don't know is really refreshing. Sometimes you don't have to know the answer right away, but maybe you can suggest, "I don't know the answer, but I've got an idea where to find the answer," or, "I think it's related to this." Instead of just saying, "I don't know," you can expand a little bit with your next steps. And I think that's a way to take your great advice even one step further.
Tomáš Lukeš (22:45):
Yeah, actually where we talked about some things that I wasn't sure of, I asked to get some materials or some hints, how can I learn more about that and they give me some material and documentation and things to learn before I start my first day, so I had around one month to prepare for the start of the new job.
Alex Booker (23:17):
What does the company do, Tomáš?
Tomáš Lukeš (23:18):
It's basically a FinTech company.
Alex Booker (23:21):
Wicked. I know as well that when you wrote in the Scrimba Discord community, and this is a fantastic post, I think we should link this in the show notes as well because it goes into even more depth about some of the points you're making today. In that post in the community you spoke about, I think, three key factors for landing a web development role. I really want to dig into those key factors in this interview, but what do you say we do a round of quick fire questions first?
Tomáš Lukeš (23:47):
Yeah, go ahead.
Alex Booker (23:50):
What is the one learning resource that has been the most impactful in your journey learning to code? I'm curious if it's going to be the Udemy course, Front-End Mentor, or if it's going to be Scrimba, because it sounds like they're the options based on what you said before.
Tomáš Lukeš (24:04):
Yeah, it was Scream Back and also Kevin Powell's courses are more like his videos on YouTube.
Alex Booker (24:12):
That's so good. You love Kevin Powell. What is your favorite technology to use at the moment?
Tomáš Lukeš (24:17):
We use Next and Tailwind for the most part, and I like it.
Alex Booker (24:22):
Is there a technology that you'd like to learn next when you have some time?
Tomáš Lukeš (24:26):
I think I want to deep my knowledge in back-end because I will use it more and more in future.
Alex Booker (24:33):
What kind of music do you code to?
Tomáš Lukeš (24:36):
R&B and some smooth tunes.
Alex Booker (24:40):
R&B, give me an example.
Tomáš Lukeš (24:41):
Something like Steve Lacy, or something like that.
Alex Booker (24:44):
Class, man, I'm always looking for new songs and music to check out and maybe code to, so I'm going to look that up. Is there anybody you look up to or follow in the tech community, maybe you subscribe to them on YouTube for example, that we can check out and maybe follow as well?
Tomáš Lukeš (24:59):
When it comes to CSS, I think Kevin Powell is the best source, and when it comes to coding and projects, I really like a YouTube channel called Josh tried coding. It gives me lots of knowledge.
Alex Booker (25:17):
Josh tried coding. I've seen his channel pop up a few times the last few months. I see that he made some videos about Next.js, which might be one of the reasons you've been looking at it if you use Next.js at work.
Tomáš Lukeš (25:29):
He had a lot of videos about cutting edge technologies and new things, updates or something like that.
Alex Booker (25:38):
Awesome, man. We'll link his channel in the show notes in case people want to check it out. Let's talk about these three key factors for landing a web development role. The first one you wrote about is persistence and self-discovery. Talk to me.
Tomáš Lukeš (25:54):
Yeah, I think it's best to take it as some RPG game where you want to always level up and get to the next level. When you have that approach, I think learning to code, it's enjoyable experience for me and it's fun. When you're starting to do your solo projects for your portfolio, it's got even better because you have idea what you want to build and how to push it to the next level, and you need to come up with solutions to get there. If you have a similar attitude to that, I think learn to code is more like fun than some mindless grinding and it gives you motivation to continue and eventually you will get your first job.
Alex Booker (26:42):
What do you mean mean by self-discovery?
Tomáš Lukeš (26:44):
You will discover what your strength is and what your passion is because I think it's not for everybody. And when you give it your three months in and you don't even like it or it's more like work and you don't enjoy it, I think it's fine also. So I think it's good to know if it's something for you or not because I think some people they only see glamorous things about working in tech, but if you don't like it, I think it's not ideal for you and maybe you will pick some other things that will suit you better.
Alex Booker (27:27):
How do you stay persistent during moments of self-doubt and frustration?
Tomáš Lukeš (27:34):
You need to have a path that you will stick to. Don't change it after a week or two weeks, just pick a path and trust it, don't switch too much. It's okay if you don't know that you need to adjust, but don't change courses every other month or something like that, and have clear purpose of what you want to do. If you want to have a job in six months or nine months or a year, just plan your path and stick to it.
Alex Booker (28:07):
Persistence and self-discovery, that's our key factor number one, and I guess another way of saying it, which is also nice, is trusting the process, and as my old friend in previous Scrimba Podcast guest Khaidem says, "Consistent and persistent." That was his advice to anyone learning to code and it sounds like there are some similar ideas tightly tied into here as well. The second key factor you mentioned is project portfolio empowerment. Maybe you can talk a little bit about that and your advice for people building portfolios.
Tomáš Lukeš (28:44):
Yeah, just build projects along your course. If it's projects from your course, try to adjust it or give it your spin to it, or update it with some new functionality, or something like that. And after that, build large scale projects where you can test your skills and learn even more because when you have a big project it'll teach you things that you didn't even know during your course. It's even better when you have some idea in which field you want to eventually end up if you base your projects around it. For me it was e-commerce and FinTech, and I did an e-commerce shop and an invoice app. So I think it's better when you have some idea about companies that you will apply for if you pick the project based around that, because when they see it, it'll have more value for them.
Alex Booker (29:48):
Definitely, definitely. And this ties into something you said before about how sometimes the first person to see and evaluate your projects might not be technical, so it's even more important to help them imagine you in the role by building something that's adjacent to what they're building. That's a really cool thing to do. I actually remember, funnily enough, and this is a little bit of a side story, when I was learning to code, one of my projects that I built was called Community Casts. And it was kind of a directory of free YouTube videos and courses about learning to code from the community, hence Community Casts, like screencasts by the community. And I built it because I was also subscribing to some course websites at the time Pluralsight was a big one for me because Scrimba didn't exist at the time. And I thought, "Not everybody can afford this," and there's also some great free videos out there.
So I put this directory together and you could search, filter by tags, there was a grid of all the thumbnails, people could do community submissions, all these kinds of things. And then when I got my first ever job, it was a company called Pusher and they actually had this project that they were getting off the ground, much more ambitious than something I could have done by myself. But the idea was that Pusher would go to local meetups in London, record the community talks at the meetups, and then upload them to the Pusher YouTube channel. This was a really cool initiative and concept, because sometimes people couldn't get to the meetup, because they were busy, or frankly they lived somewhere else, and yet they should be able to benefit from the education. And also for the meetup, it's obviously good for them if they can get some help recording and promoting that meetup when the talks get lots of views and stuff like that.
So when I joined the project was an idea, it hadn't really got off the ground yet, and I was lucky to get a chance to lead that project and also code the websites where we would show the videos. We used a service called Wistia to host the videos, and the funny thing is when you imagine the website for the project, which was called Sessions, and if you put that side by side next to Community Casts, that first project they built, they looked different, because they were different brands, but basically it was the same thing. It was a database of videos, and it just occurred to me how funny that was because maybe when they were interviewing me, they had the idea for a project, they're like, "Maybe Alex could help with this, because he's done some YouTube stuff and we've seen Community Casts. If we could build something like that for us that would maybe be a really good fit."
It's just funny that your advice is similar to my experience and at the same time I think it's just very good advice in general. Because whenever an employer is looking at a potential new candidate, there's a lot of doubts normally, that's how it starts. They don't really have any reason to believe in you and your abilities yet that's why they interview you, to improve their confidence for you could be good at the job. There's a lot of bias involved in interviewing, the best companies are more objective, which is good, but there's always a degree of bias and uncertainty. So by building something that is going to be similar potentially or at least in the same space as something you hope to work on professionally, I think that's a great way to alleviate that concerns and maybe improve your likelihood of getting a job offer.
Tomáš Lukeš (32:59):
I think it's always great to base your projects around things that you are passionate about, or if you have some experience with it, because a final product, it'll be visible for people that you have some experience with that kind of thing.
Alex Booker (33:18):
Absolutely. And then the last key factor you mentioned was a localized job hand strategy. We spoke a little bit about that already, but just remind us, why is that such a key factor in landing a web development role, do you think?
Tomáš Lukeš (33:32):
I think it's better for you in the first place because you will learn quicker when you had senior devs around you at the workplace, and also there is a bigger chance to get your first job because there are less competition in your city. When you apply for jobs in some big country, I think they will have around thousands of applies and you have little chance to pass through the filters.
Alex Booker (34:03):
100%. I think that's very good advice and if you have the opportunity, you should absolutely explore it as a possibility. All right, Tomáš, that's almost all we have time for. I did want to ask though, before we wrap up, if you had any closing advice to anyone learning to code, maybe something that you wish you had heard at the beginning of your coding journey that might have helped?
Tomáš Lukeš (34:29):
Probably just, it'll be okay, if it's a right fit for you, it'll work. Trust the process, enjoy it. If you give it enough time and effort, I think it'll all eventually work and you get hired, or at least you have some experience that you will use later in life.
Alex Booker (34:53):
For sure. Trust the process. I think that's great advice and a wonderful note to end on. And it is like a little bit of the motivation behind the Scrimba Podcast. Trusting a process is hard, definitely easier said than done, but we hope by surfacing really inspiring stories like yours, Tomáš, of people who trusted the process and got success in the end, well hopefully that will give you the confidence to trust the process yourself. Tomáš, thank you so much for joining me on the podcast. It's been a pleasure.
Tomáš Lukeš (35:21):
Yeah, thank you for inviting me. It was a lot of fun.
Jan Arsenovic (35:25):
That was the Scrimba Podcast. If you made it this far, please subscribe. You can find the show wherever you listen to podcasts. We are a weekly podcast and we haven't missed a Tuesday since April of 2021. If you're feeling super supportive, you can leave us a rating or review on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, on Google Podcast, wherever you listen to podcasts basically. If the app supports ratings and reviews, well, leave us one, it really helps. For your tweets and LinkedIn posts to be featured on the show, they basically just need to contain the words Scrimba Podcast, we will find it and so will other listeners so you can join the conversation and find more people to follow. The show is hosted by Alex Booker, and I've been Jan the producer, you can find both of our Twitter handles in the show notes where you can also find all the ways to connect with Tomáš and all the resources from this episode. Thanks for listening and we'll be back with you next week.