What do you have to do to work at a tech company?
Tech companies have a lot of different roles. We have software engineers, who write the code for the things we build. But there are also artists and designers, whose job is to build the creative parts. We have product managers, whose job is to understand the people using what we build and propose and follow through with ideas for improving them. We also have legal staff, privacy experts, support and customer service, and a lot more!
If I had to pick what's most important to a tech company when hiring employees, I'd say:
- Continually learning new things. Technology is always changing, so being curious and trying new things is valuable.
- Knowing the fundamentals. There are definitely skills, like coding, software engineering, machine learning, and more, which you can learn in school (including a college education).
- Being comfortable with formal thinking. People who do best in technology companies are those who can think formally. It's a whole new way of looking at the world, but it starts with mathematics, science, and logic.
- Great communication skills. A lot of any job involves working with others. Good communication is valued in pretty much anything you do. This is no exception.
Keep in mind, though, that no one is perfect at all of that! Any time you do anything, you'll have strengths and weaknesses, and that's okay. There are many ways to end up working at a tech company, and each of us got here from a different place, with a different story.