11 years of experience as a hobby, I want to move forward (Advice and Resume Review)

I started to learn front-end development 11 years ago while I was in high school. Actually, I was making UIs all the time with PowerPoint while I was in Elementary School :laughing:. I have never chosen an academic path for engineering because my math sucked so badly. I have chosen a path of education that I also enjoy and graduated from the university with a Bachelor’s degree in English Language Teaching. I kept working on several projects since then. 2 years after my graduation, I worked on making it ready to publish biggest my project Kera Desktop that I started 10 years ago.

I want to move from Turkey to Germany and it will be better for me to dedicate myself to a software career from now on. I also want to study Master’s degree in Education Technology in Germany but there is 1 year for applications and it’s another story.

Now, I’m looking at job listings for an intern or junior positions since I don’t have any commercial experience never ever worked with another developer either. And I made a resume for that:

I tried to briefly explain it but I hope to show 11 years of experience for a beginner position won’t cause confusion and elimination of my resume.
Regarding the need for an interest section, I will edit my resume depending on where I apply. I will prioritize German companies and from what I heard they seem to like that section, the Turkish ones also actually do.

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Your background is an interesting one.

Being a self-taught with 10+ years of experience puts you in a group kind of by yourself. If I was looking to hire the main concern would be “what is the quality of those 10 years of experience”? If you were working on this stuff over that span on the side, you’ll need to provide enough context around to the quality of work.

Your desktop project is massive and very impressive, and should qualm any of those reservations.

I’d be more inclined to say you will have a separate key problem. Knowing what job you should pick and apply for. Some companies will never look at your resume due to automation, overhead, automated filters, or just plain volume. You wont get any information from those, but that is expected.

However, if you apply to a smaller company that does manual reviews I don’t really see how you don’t at least get an interview.

This leaves you to more ask which companies you want to apply to, and work you want to do. I’d personally not rush into any offer immediately and be somewhat picky about any jobs. Take your time here and find the right one.

Besides the above personal experience, this note is probably the next big flag. I’d maybe try to find some open-source work in some capacity and get some of this experience under your belt. I wouldn’t consider it much of a blocker because you do have work experience, so you know how to work with other humans, but still having experience working with other developers should show you don’t have a bunch of bad habits from your years working alone.

Finally I wanted to say the Kera desktop project is the sort of project some engineers would never build in their lifetime. That project alone could be a company by itself, so keep this in context when your out in the job market and looking around. You are very much in a place where you have what employers want, more-so than the other way around.

Thank you for your incredibly insightful and meticulous comments. These really helped me clear my mind a little.

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An IT manager looking at your resume is going to see a lot of passion, a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of potential. But I don’t think they will want to interview you, because your skills are unlikely to be a good match.

Most of the market nowadays is in web development. As a person without a CS background or commercial experience, your best chance by far is to show you are accomplished in a solid tech stack such as:

  • React (Angular is nicer but more jobs in React)
  • Node (run a server, set up an RESTful API) , access a database using Sequelize or similar)
  • SQL (MySQL or PostgreSQL) - forget MongoDb for now (it’s fairly niche)

What I’m suggesting is that you get really well acquainted with the actual tools used in the industry. Look at resources such as the annual Stack Overflow surveys. Or this: Software library & framework skills & employment trends | IT Jobs Watch

If you follow the freeCodeCamp syllabus and build the projects you will be heading in the right direction. jQuery is optional these days. Forget the data visualisation. But the rest is pretty solid.

I am glad to hear that I could reflect my passion.
I specifically focus on the front end because back-end tech is overwhelming for me. The best thing I can do is Firebase. Well, I have some basic knowledge about Node, and RESTful API. First time hearing about Sequelize and it looks friendly, I will take a deeper look. However, I don’t think I will ever be confident or content about this area.

Regarding frontend tools, I mentioned jQuery not to show that I can work with it (I don’t even remember how to use it anymore) but to show that I moved on and focused on learning how JavaScript itself works and that I can work without relying on any third-party tools. From what I did I assume it can be understood that I am capable of learning any JS framework or library within a week. I already know some Vue and Svelte and I refrain from mentioning them because I did nothing substantial with them. However, I am currently working on a project with Vue.

I don’t think I will learn React unless I become desperate after looking for a job for a year. Because it is worse, no need to repeat the reasons. I hate the idea of having to do something just because most people do even if it is bad. Angular is something I can work with tough. Please correct me if I am wrong but while there are more jobs for React, there are also more developers who know React. Since I gave myself at least a year to find a job, finding one not requiring it shouldn’t be hard. Especially, I find myself a better fit for startups.

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