Algorithms okay on the job search?

Hey guys, I am struggling very badly to land my second programming job (I have 1 year of experience at my first job).

Long story short, I am looking for the next job in my programming career and have gotten to many interviews and take homes to which I am just snuffed out by someone with more experience. I have made absolute noob mistakes by adding yarn & npm in one take-home, even if the components were modularized and used Redux properly with an organized state. My recent interview went well with a CEO, I then was scheduled for a tech interview. I arrived at the Zoom meeting to find out that 2 minutes late I would receive an e-mail informing me that they are having budget issues and need to have internal review to determine the followthrough with the position. It has been crippling to say the least.

So, it seems like my resume and portfolio are working. But maybe it’s just me? Maybe landing my first job I was just honest (still sucked at programming) and they liked my honesty? I think my biggest strength is being able to get along with people and expressing my willingness to learn. Especially if for a great cause, then it is obvious I am excited, so during this quarantine my strengths are hindered.

Since Jan, I have upped my skills and understanding greatly, learned all about new tech, a deeper understanding of JS (OOP (prototypal inheritance, encapsulation, closure, polymorphism), TypeScript, better practices in React, etc.) So, I have tried to amass all questions I have gotten from interviews and truly hone in on those skills.

I know I will be learning forever in this career, but a big weakness I see is algorithms. I have lost a lot of motivation during this time of trying to land a job, and with that, lost motivation to build something really worth while. Would someone hiring see it bad if I just studied algorithms all day? Is it bad not to be building something and not be pushing to GitHub? Or just push the algorithm solutions to GitHub? Any guidance is really appreciated.

If you feel like algorithms is where you struggle, then focus on those. If you have a cool passion project that you’re working on, keep working on it some too, but just making stuff for GitHub profiles is not (imho) a valuable use of your time.

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Why don’t you build something for the end user, not for a company or a portfolio, or to land at a job.

Build something no one has ever built before, and make it do something that requires algorithmic thinking. Build something that could make you use different tools, like hooks and redux, and API calling, to say just a few.

But what’s more important is that you make it real. A real website with a domain name and all. Have other users visit the page and use it. Collect data from those visits. And that my friend is more important that a portfolio. The website is the portfolio.

It would be good that you create something that you’re passionate about, or mainly about the industry you want to land a job in.

What are you more passionate about, or interests you?


I really appreciate this. Thanks