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From photo gigs to a 750k NOK IT job - Gaute Lorentsen

How we helped Gaute go from photo gigs, to landing a 750k NOK full-stack developer job at TGN Energy – with DIGGIT's front-end & back-end job simulations.

Happy female developer doing a Job Simulation

Main results: Of course, getting a job and also getting good feedback on my actual projects.

If there's something you didn't manage to solve as well, you know what you have to work on. It also felt like I got insights into the job market and how the process for getting hired is.

Simen: Hi, I'm here with Gaute today. Gaute recently got hired at TGN Energy. They do amazing stuff in renewable energy. Welcome Gaute.

Gaute: Thank you.

Simen: All right. As always, I'm going to begin with..

What's your role now & what do you do?

TL;DRFull-Stack developer at TGN Energy. Currently building a web platform aggregating key data on TGN's energy systems.

Gaute: Yeah. My role is a full stack developer at TGN Energy, as you said. And what I do is I have the main responsibility of building up a web platform that aggregates and shows data about energy systems like battery systems and solar parks and yeah, shows different types of data and income and renewable energy, how much carbon is saved. Yeah. Stuff like that.

Simen: Sounds fascinating and really freaking important. I mean, we're going through a big shift and you guys are paving the way. So my next question is..

What situation were you in before DIGGIT?

TL;DRBefore DIGGIT, Gaute was a freelance photographer. He tried a CS degree, but transitioned to self-taught coding due to dissatisfaction with lecture quality. He also tried traditional job hunting through 'finn.no', but was ultimately left unemployed & dissatisfied here as well.

Gaute: Before DIGGIT, I was working as a freelance photographer. So it was, yeah, very different. I started a degree in computer science, but I didn't really like the courses and mainly the professors and how they were teaching. I felt that I could spend my time better trying to teach it myself and have more hands-on experience with the actual coding. So yeah, that's what I did. I started to put in a lot of work, almost treating it as a full-time job and coding every day, building project learning technologies for six, seven, eight hours every day and then doing my freelance work as a side gig and doing it during the evenings and stuff. So yeah, that was my situation.

Simen: So you were doing almost full-time self-studying?

Gaute: Yeah, for a good while I was.

Simen: That's incredible. It's actually like quite a few of the people that we talked to, they are like partly or fully self-taught. And I think it's something that a lot of people experience with the current way things are being taught in school. Like many people feel like the things are outdated. I'm just wondering, as you were studying and as you grew your capabilities and mastery of computer science and programming, how did you transition into the phase where you were trying to get a job? What did that look like?

Gaute: It was after I had a couple of projects that I built and I basically just started to send out applications to the jobs I found on 'finn.no'. I did that for a while and I actually got a job while doing that. But a week after I signed a contract, they canceled the job.

Simen: Oh, crap..

Gaute: Yeah..

Simen: So you're excited about getting the job and then they say "Sorry, it's not going to happen."

Gaute: Yeah.

Simen: Oh, that really freaking sucks. So basically, if I get it right, your approach was traditional job hunting, 'finn.no', so the main Norwegian job board and then just applying directly to the jobs there. Yeah. And obviously, you know, getting a job and then not getting it a week after or kind of getting rejected from it the week after you've already signed, that was freaking suck. Were there other moments where you felt pain or frustration or similar things along the way?

Gaute: Yeah, of course. Especially after the job got canceled. I think it was around that time I also discovered DIGGIT. I have a friend that works with recruitments and he told me about you guys, about DIGGIT. That you wanted to hire people through experience instead of the traditional way. So I looked at your website and I was interested.

Simen: Oh, nice. Word of mouth, it sounds like. That's a good thing. Awesome. So after you got to know about DIGGIT..

What made you decide to give DIGGIT a shot?

TL;DRGaute chose DIGGIT for its unique approach: practically assessing candidates through deep IT job simulations, and then offering feedback and clear scores based on real coding work.

Gaute: I think it was the approach you do seem reasonable, like doing a job simulation. Aactually coding a project and then getting a score on that and trying to work on the project. And then getting hired with a job simulation in the background. It was an interesting way of doing it instead of just showing, applying with a CV and listing a bunch of projects that they don't really have, they don't know if it's a good project or not. But if you have a good team that can look at your code and go through the project and give notes and scores, I think it helps. And I like the idea of doing it that way.

Simen: Awesome. That's really, really nice to hear. So after you gave DIGGIT a shot and you got started..

What was the first positive moment you had with DIGGIT? When was it?

TL;DRGaute's 1st positive moment was DIGGIT's fast response & follow-up after submitting his job simulation.

Gaute: I think it was probably a day after. It was Jørgen who reached out and told me, we can set up a meeting later this week or early next week or something. And I liked how fast you guys were taking the people doing the job tests and simulations and actually trying to do something with it. So I was impressed by that. And I had a really close conversation with Jørgen ever since until I got the job at TGN Energy.

Simen: Oh, great. All right. So..

What tangible results have you gotten from using DIGGIT?

TL;DRWith DIGGIT, Gaute secured a job at TGN Energy, received actionable project feedback, and gained valuable insights into the job market.

Gaute: Of course, getting a job and also getting good feedback on my actual projects. So you have something to work on. If there's something you didn't manage to solve as well as other stuff, you know what you have to work on. It also felt like I got an insight into market, more like in the job market and in how the process for getting hired is.

Simen: All right. So summarizing, obviously the job, number one. Second is useful feedback from actual developers. And the third is guidance and support along the way, including reference points from industry and how things usually go.

Gaute: Yeah.

Simen: All right. Awesome. The last question is..

What would you say to others reading / watching this right now, who are currently in the same situation you were in?

TL;DRGaute's advice: be persistent, code daily and align projects with your personal interests.

Simen: Maybe they're self-taught, maybe they've worked on their skills a lot, but they don't have a CV that necessarily shows that.

Gaute: I would say to don't give up and keep on, while you're applying for jobs, keep on coding, code every day. If you're able to just, if it's just a little, it's better than nothing. And just keep on practicing your skills and building projects that you care about. The more projects you have, the easier I think it's to reach out to the companies and actually get that second interview or even hired. Also, what was big for me was finding what type of projects I enjoyed doing and doing those instead of practicing skills and stuff you don't really care that much about. It also makes it harder to learn it when you're not really interested. So try to find that, like that, say niche, the parts of coding that you enjoy.

Simen: Absolutely. That's a wonderful summary. Good advice. Thank you so much Gaute for taking the time to talk to us today.

Gaute: Of course.

Simen: And I wish both you and TGN Energy all the best.

Gaute: Thank you. You too. All the best, you and DIGGIT.

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