Am I focusing on the right thing?

Hey all! I’m in a really good headspace right now, but I know I won’t be forever. I’ve got bad depression, and it can really kick my ass sometimes. When I’m sad, sometimes it’s easier to just lie in bed all day and listen to metal while looking out the window wistfully. And then I don’t get any work done.

I’m 24, and I’ve been working in call centers since I graduated college in 2016. Despite having a Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Writing, and a minor in computer science, and even programming mobile apps during a brief internship, I can’t get a single interview for anything that’s not call center work. Ever. I’m pursuing grad school, but things aren’t looking good.

In my spare time, I do game development, and am working in JavaScript. It’s fun, but not quite professional enough to really show off on a portfolio. I also built a website, but just recently took it down to make room for an online portfolio. I’ve been doing the exercises on freeCodeCamp, and they’ve been making me feel amazing. I’ve finished the JavaScript sections on the Basics and ES6, and finished two of the five HTML/CSS projects. I plan on continuing at a steady rate.

I don’t know what to do going forward, though. I can’t do call center work much longer. It’s driving me crazy. I’m figuring the best thing I can do at this time is to finish these FCC projects, put them on my portfolio, and just push for a junior developer job as hard as I can, but I’m worried I might be focusing on the wrong thing…tech writing’s also appealing, but I can’t even get email replies back from the hiring managers. Should I just keep working on these side projects?

Not being able to work/learn due to personal reasons is fine, you don’t always have to get work done. There isn’t some magical bar you must pass to be a developer. (very much an imposture syndrome thing. Also metal :metal:

This is not the best attitude to have on your work. Your work is work, you might not think “it’s good enough to show off”, but most non-technical people will be impressed, and technical people will see you at least have a passion for the subject (which is the most important thing ;D). You never know who will be impressed! I usually recommend putting all projects you do in your spare time on github. Just being able to show that you do stuffs is usually impressive enough for most people. It’s always something to show in an interview, and link in a resume.

If you can’t handle your current job, keep applying and keep applying don’t worry about rejection, everything is a learning experience and a shotgun approach is usually very successful. If you apply to 100 jobs in a month, even if only 5% reply for an interview, you got 5 interviews in a month!

So, focus on showing off what you got without worrying what people think, because most people are impressed with just a passion of learning, and building things, less so of how well you built them. Keep applying and keep working toward your goal, don’t get discouraged with rejection or “failure” of getting a job, these sorts of things takes time.

PS. I got an internship due to my preparedness and being able to “show off” some of the projects I worked on before hand in my free time. The project consisted of some UI work for a python app. The code sucked, and there was some major glitches and massive design problems, but the project worked, and it looked impressive enough haha. Don’t worry to much about the code quality, as long as it works it works :smiley:

Goodluck, keep building and keep working toward your goals :smiley:


You seem like someone who will do just fine. Believe in yourself and keep moving forward as you are right now.

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I want to second this a million times.
I have met quite a few people who thought what they built in their free time “isn’t impressive enough” or “is too silly” to put on Github. But the thing is, especially when you’re going for an entry level position, nobody is expecting perfect design or professional, clean code from you. All you need to showcase is that you do have a passion for building, and that you’re capable of writing code. Actively pushing what you do in your free time onto Github is a solid proof for that.
Doesn’t matter if the code is good (I mean, you should still strive to write good code to the best you can, but don’t sweat too much about it at this stage); as long as the thing works, that’s good enough to show.


Hi everyone! I wanted to give an update!

So far, I’ve gotten the FCC certs for Web Design and JavaScript! I’m working on Front End Libraries right now, and I have a portfolio website up as well! I’m still in the call center, but I hope that changes soon!


I can relate to the call center work. It was my first “real” job after college, even though I didn’t even need a college degree to get there. And it was absolutely soul-sucking. I couldn’t get away from it even in my dreams. Sometimes I would dream that I was in the call center, answering phones.

Power through FCC to JavaScript. And then check your local job ads. Try to focus on the tech that shows up the most. For example, if I wanted to find a job in Hong Kong, it would be better for me to study PHP and SQL. But in the major US tech centers the JavaScript stacks are more popular.

Don’t hold off on applying for jobs. Maybe apply for 1/week. This will help add a lot of pressure on yourself to make sure your resume and portfolio are both up to date and presentable.

As well, if you’re really feeling that getting out of the call center is time sensitive (I know it was for me), then it may be worth polishing each project you complete. Sometimes it’s worth it to just do a project in order to learn a new tech, but those projects aren’t always portfolio worthy. Polish takes a bit of extra time, but it may help get a job quicker.

Best of luck to you. You’re doing awesome building a marketable skillset. That’s going to make a big difference in your future career, personal, and financial goals.

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