So you want to get hired as a Ruby developer, but you don’t have any real-world experience. What do you do? How can you separate yourself from the horde of bootcamp grads and junior developers who have only built Twitter and Reddit clones?

First, take a moment to think of why businesses hire developers in the first place. To make software, duh :) But why do they make software? To make or save money, right?

But how do they make (or save) money? By solving problems! And not just any problems… internal tools solve problems that cost the business time, or lead to mistakes. And products solve the same kinds of problems, for paying customers.

Businesses don’t hire Ruby developers

They hire people who solve valuable business problems… who happen to use Ruby to create the solutions. BIG difference.

So how do you stand out from the crowd, as a Ruby developer worth hiring? You guessed it… you solve valuable business problems.

How to identify valuable business problems that you can solve

You don’t have any valuable business problems, you say? Look back at the kinds of problems that businesses try to solve: problems that cost time, or lead to mistakes. So now ask yourself these questions:

  1. What tedious, repetitive tasks do I perform regularly?
  2. What tasks do I perform on a regular basis that I sometimes mess up?
  3. What apps could I build that would completely or partially solve those problems?

You now have a list of app ideas that you can build

They won’t be world-changing, but they’ll solve a problem that matters to you. And that’s the absolute best way to impress potential employers with your work!