8 years developer experience. Over 30 interviews with no offer

Hello Everyone,

I’ve seen a lot of posts here asking how to land a job with no degree or experience but I have not seen many with people that have years of experience in the field. I have over 8 years experience in software development with the last 2 consulting for a company I have founded. I’ve done large scale applications for financial institutions and many start ups. In the last 3 weeks I’ve had over 30 interviews. Some have lead to second technical interviews but none have succeeded to an offer.

I’ve had interviews where they asked me to write a component in React and I did it fairly well while explaining my process and even asking questions to keep the conversation going while creating the application. No offer. I’ve had interviews where they asked me shotgun questions one after another and I knew about 99% of the questions. No offer. I’ve had technical barriers where they had me create a full blown chat application in one day. They cherry picked some small thing. No offer. I’ve had interviews where they said my character and personality were great but my technical expertise wasn’t where they wanted it. I’ve also had the complete opposite. I’ve had interviewers ask me one question, I answer them, then they respond I’m too junior for the position abruptly ending the conversation. I’ve had interviewers just straight up leave during the coding interview. These are the better interviews I’ve had.

I just want to say that whoever comes in here acting like they have some formula or deep understanding of how to get a job in the developer world is full of it. There is no solution and it it purely luck. I’ve worked on multiple large scale projects. Have freelanced on the side and created giant monolith system designs that are still in production. Multiple years of experience in the industry. Never fired. Tons of pet projects, production projects, and projects that are still being worked on. A STRONG portfolio and networking circle. Good references. Read this board and many others and followed it to a T. None of this has helped me land a job and I have applied and interviewed purely focused on front-end and full-stack development because I know what I’m good at and know what I need to improve on. I just want you to know that all the tireless nights and frustration that you are feeling now starting your career is the tip of the ice burg. Speaking of ice burgs get ready for the most robotic, unemotional, tech leads you have ever seen in your life. These are the key holders and they don’t give a crap about you or what you are worth and they will make sure to expel that at every moment of your technical interview making you feel awkward and weird.

Go ahead and read articles online about how to interview and how to handle “we’re not moving forward” emails. I’ve sent responses to those rejections letters and it usually results in silence, or even better yet something not even true, and yes I was professional and not rude on my response to the deny letter. When I say something not true I mean, hurrr there was global variables everywhere when it was a react application with components and it’s almost impossible to create global variable without trying. Or maybe you can have friends and professionals review your resume and fix it up for more responses. I’ve done that also and while it lead to more introductory calls and technical interviews it did nothing in the long run.

One theme I do see here more often than not is people that got employed and completely threw out the one most important thing you learn suffering for months or YEARS while your personality and intelligence is diagnosed and prodded daily during your job search. THERE IS NOTHING LOGICAL about the hiring process. I knew this before I worked 8 years in the field and I know it now. Generally the interviewer will not want to hire you for the most stupid reason ever, and if they do like you there will be 5 other opinionated idiots that will review every flake of personality and experience and find something wrong. SOMETHING ANYTHING. I’ve been on both sides of the table and although I did not act this way towards the people I was interviewing I have heard the shit talking, and absolutely ridiculous requirements these people sometimes make. Yes, it was your color of your shirt. Yes, it was how you talk. Yes, it was your hair. That is what you are competing against. Good luck being perfect, but like I said before you have better luck being lucky.

Please save the excuses and tiresome illogical responses about how it’s expensive for the company to hire people. Is that why most start ups are doing on going hiring? What is continuous hiring? It’s when a company continuously interviews indefinitely just in case they might find the magical unicorn developer they always have wanted. Sure, they have every right to do that but just know that all the preparation you take, the hours wasted on their packaged coding challenge, is the same experience they are putting hundreds if not thousands of others. It is a sick little game that costs you way more time, effort, and money than them. If you really think it takes so much time and effort to hire someone then why is everything so automated? The coding challenges are canned questions where the logic has already been solved a million times. Even the interviewers are sometimes imported from some company that they pay scraps. Believe me I’ve seen them with their gulag like bunk beds in the background of a SF apartment during my technical skype interviews. I’ve even seen CRM like applications that they use for their on boarding and hiring. Like I mentioned automated and cheap. Please save the boo hoo it’s expensive for the company. Company do good, company hire more people. Say it with me now. Company do good, company hire more people.

This is my career advice for people that are looking for a job and starting your career. I also want to explain that it does not get better. You most likely will get let go. There will be a org change. There will be a restructuring. Your start up will fail. You will be asked to work with no pay. Your boss will one day suck. You will be worked to death, and weekends. Your work will be boring and brainless. You will lose excitement. The shiny promises they promised you at the start will start to show cracks. Keep practicing that html, css, and javascript though LOL.


are you trying to discourage people from
even trying or it is a “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” kind of thing?

This is just my honest experience so far in the current job market and what I’ve experienced in the past. Really not trying to do anything but share my experience and maybe let others know it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

Hey man, that one was tough maaaan.
So you have 8 years of experience, I mean thats a lot of experience.
Can you please share your specialization, like is it Python, or maybe .NET, JS? Just was wondering who on earth doesnt need guy whith 8 years of experience. And why on earth you need a company. I mean you must have knowledge of one company.
Just too curious about tech that you have been working on for 8 years. What language? And are you in US?


I definitely don’t have the knowledge of a full company, I’m always learning and trying to level up. Founding my own company and dealing with clients from the bottom to the top has taught me a lot. There is a lot of people that don’t need people with 8 years of experience. This field is also filled with ageism and many 40+ people with more years of experience have issues finding tech jobs. It’s sickening and needs to be fixed. I have learned many things from wise older people and they have created much of the software we use today.

I mainly have worked with LAMP, MERN stacks, React, ES6. I mean there is a bunch of tooling and other methodologies and such I use but it would be pretty comprehensive to list every single one. You kind of pick of technologies in the field as you go and the industry is always changing so gotta always be learning. Yeah I’m actually located near Silicon Valley in the US.

Thank you for sharing your experience. Obviously everything is not so smooth as it seems to be.
Do you think US market is kind of oversaturated?
Because when I look at Indeed, it has thousands of jobs.
Maybe you should try Europe?

Here’s the thing. Whenever I see the response to “Is the market over-saturated” I hear two things. First is no there is thousands of jobs available and like you said there is tons of options when viewing websites like indeed. The second is yes the job market is saturated and it’s because of the large amount of people joining the tech workforce that are unskilled and that’s why it’s so hard to get hired because employers have to sift through multiple unskilled applicants. In my own personal opinion I don’t think the market is over-saturated. The data is usually publicly available for how many applicants there are and I almost always ask how many have applied for the positions I’m interviewing for or how many they are interviewing. There is also a screening process so they usually have a good idea if you know what you are talking about or not. I’m mainly focusing in the US, I would relo though.

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Mate, that’s a rather sad reality of yours. I’m really sorry to hear that.
I’m just making this post to complete the spectrum for others who might get discouraged reading your post. My experience is absolutely opposite: I’m early in my career - only 1 year professionally, but this job is a real pleasure, no pressure to hurry, in fact, no pressure at all, co-workers are great and their age is in range from 28 (I’m the youngest) to around 60 or above - don’t know really. I’m based in the EU if that says anything, but it can get tricky because those really high-achieving companies are notorious for their poor support for a healthy work-life balance. Hiring process is also quite logical and I’ve never heard of anyone who wouldn’t get through because of the colour of their shirt or bs like that. Personality might get in a way though, but I think it’s also logical because of the obvious social-psychological advantages of being in an accepted community.
Not trying to deny your contribution, mate, I believe this is something one should be aware of - that there’s the dark side to all of this. To be fair, I’m sick of this tendency to glorify success and this blink blink, and turn a blind eye to those who are in your shoes.
I also have a feeling, but this is absolutely subjective and not empirical since I haven’t ever even been there, that working in the US is so much different from working in the EU, especially in countries where social security is highly developed and advanced (comparing to the one in the US).


Thank you for your contribution and it is good to hear about other’s success as well. I think that’s amazing that you work for a company that hires above 60 and has a large pool of different ages. Thankfully you have never had to experience what I’m experiencing now because it is deflating at best and depressing at worst. I do also think EU has more worker rights with European labor laws than the US?

I can say that my experience is very common in the USA and many people will shy away from sharing their experience for fear of social reprimands. As much as I like to save face it is also very misleading to people joining the workforce that have no idea what it’s like or how to prepare themselves for when a company does decide to reorg or outsource and they are like sheep led to slaughter. If anything people should be at least aware, and yes it does not happen to every single person but many have lost their jobs that are high performing, late working, loyal employees.


If you can get invited to 10 interviews per week, you are in pretty high demand, in my eyes … Just keep at it.


All I can say is a huge thank you for showing all this. That is a courageous thing to do in a society where being vocal about your struggles is frowned upon. That’s crazy. I wish you all the best brother.


I agree 100% with these. Just getting the first 2 certificates here on FCC doesn’t mean you’ll get a job. But it is a step forward in the right direction.

Edit: not for your situation obviously. Just referencing it’s not all Sunshine.
I do hope others with extensive experience like your own can give feedback/advice and that you’ll land a job soon. I respect your honesty and look forward to your eventual post that you got a job offer.


My friend worked at Apple then went to a startup that failed and he then put his resume out and had offers from Google, Roku, Apple, Tesla and many others. Offers not interviews. So there are jobs out there. Maybe you’ve posted things they search out on the internet that scares them away?


I’ve definitely thought about that possibility but I don’t really think it’s possible. I’m very private about my online social media and I don’t post on facebook or other boards publicly. Also, I’ve asked many times for honest feedback and I’m sure something would of slipped through if they honestly found something that scared them away. Also things like past clients with good references and past business partners that became friends would of told me by now if they found some crazy information about me on the internet.

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Programming Interviews Are Flawed - Chris Hawkes

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What happened to it? Why not develop your own company instead of developing someone else’s? If you want your business to grow, you cannot be spending most of your time working for your competition.


It’s still going, I’m still doing projects. I don’t have the resources a large institution or start up may have. I don’t have any angel investors or anything like that. The first year I had absolutely no clients and this year I’ve had a few so things have been a little bit better. I would like to have something a little bit more stable so I’ve been interviewing.

Fair enough. That’s okay for the shorter term. Without the ‘safety net’ of a ‘stable’ job, you may have to push your business harder. Perhaps then, you may not need to get a job at wholesale price to the employer. At some point, it will be necessary to ditch the job when your business is doing better.

I wish you well.

Ah, I have an idea. Have you tried an application/interview without mentioning the extensive experience you have? Pretend to be a newish coder. I only mention that because of the many FCC comments stating they got jobs n months after completing FCC. You could then shock them with your rapid learning. :slight_smile:

Some false naivety could make the potential employer believe that they can mold you to their company culture. Either that or apply for higher-level jobs, such as leader roles. Don’t mention your business as it is a clear conflict of interests and potential client grab.