I am beginning a hunt for an entry level software development job, and I am not sure what actions I should take to improve my odds. Here is a list of current issues that I believe will stand in my way, followed by what I think I've got going for me:
-Unimpressive work history: Worked for 1 year in college as a math tutor, and another year after college again as a part time math tutor from home during school year for an internet tutoring company.
-Never had a software development related job
-Only one decent reference (from an old instructor), due to poor networking and job history.
-I graduated in Spring of 2008. I don't know if this will seem like too long ago.
-Decent grades: Above 3.0 GPA from respectable state university, over 3.9 GPA from community college (got A.S. before B.S.)
-Confident that I have have at least a decent aptitude for software development/programming
-I'm sure I can learn whatever I need to for any job
-I'm willing to work for low pay for good experience (even free if the experience is good enough).
-I've been exposed to fundamental CS concepts, and understood them when presented (while earning my degrees).
-I'm actively working to learn new practical skills, and improve on the knowledge I have.
Other comments: In school, while I believe the classes I took were fairly rigorous (ABET accredited program, relatively selective university), I never took any software engineering classes (no agile development, design patterns, etc). These are on my long list of things to read up on.
So, in light of my situation:
-What are my odds of being able to find a software development related job?
-What can I do to improve these odds?
-Does any one have any suggestions about networking to get more valid references.