Career advice needed

Hi Campers!

The reason I came up with this question here is because FCC has one of the best communities. It’s always nice to read stories about people landing a job thanks to FCC but my story is diffrent.

I had Front End Developer job before I found FCC, well calling myself Front End Developer may be offensive to some people. I started working in startup where I learned HTML, CSS, some jQuery and little bit of PHP. So I don’t feel like real developer cause mostly my websites are static, sometimes I used Wordpress but I had to rely on third party plugins. I quit in December last year cause I needed more money (that job was almost not paid). Currently I work in graphic design studio as Front End Developer but I’m the only programmer there. The rest of team are graphic designers with zero experience about web development.I’m 23 and I earn little bit more money than most people my age but situation is similar like in previous job. I develop static/simple Wordpress. Even my boss told me that I have zero chances on working with bigger projects because it’s too much to hadle for one person. So everyday I force myself to work on another website which won’t do anything else than just “hang” on internet and I need to educate my team how browsers work, what they are capable of and what not. Whole development process is a mess, I have nothing to say in terms of design cause I get it when client already approved, so usually I start with one page and deadline set (deadlines are set by my boss who doesn’t code at all so we never finish on deadlines). I know it’s a lot of complaining but I need to get it off my chest and come up with plan.

Some of you will recommend me to learn new stuff at work. That sounds nice in perfect world but here everytime I try to use something new I hear my boss asking “why it goes so slow? On what are you wasting that much time?” or “Work on weekend cause we need to get it done. Your project still looks like shit”.

Maybe working as Front End Developer is diffrent than what I do or maybe I got fed up with it and I need a change cause I don’t feel neither happy with my work neither proud of it.

My question is someone made career change from Front to Back End or Software Development? I enjoy solving algorithm problems here on FCC and I would love to learn and work in something more abstract than HTML/CSS.

Any advice folks? I have more than year of experience but I feel like I know nothing.

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Sounds like you’re salaried rather than hourly?

I don’t know, it’s tough. Multiple graphic designers with just one programmer doesn’t sound like a great ratio. And if they market themselves as a graphic design shop, then your position is probably perceived as a “cost center” rather than a “profit center”.

It seems pretty clear that your job is holding you back right now, but I hesitate to just say “quit!”, since…ya know. It’s possible that you could reform the job a bit, give yourself some sway in the scheduling, etc… But maybe not.

If I was in the situation of working nearly every weekend and with no time to grow my own skills, I’d try to change the situation somehow. You are right to look to your own future. Your situation sucks. :frowning:

As to where to go next? It really just depends on your interests. I’d probably see what other jobs were available in my area that had more opportunity for growth and target the skills they need.


The hours I work really doesn’t matter as I earn fix amount each month. So it doesn’t matter if I work 160h or 180h a month. That’s why I try to not work more than I should.

No one said that but I can cleary feel like being “cost center” as they never hired developer before. They used to hire freelancers and they still do. Sometimes I get help from those freelancers but I have very little contact with them and they are hired for what I can’t do. Seeing post from by boss on Facebook saying “Looking for Front End Dev to help” feels like “My developer sucks so I need someone else”.

I live in Szczecin in Poland, it’s one of major citites in the country but job market is really small compared to other major cities. Many job offers requires a lot of experience and often are for senior developers. When it comes to Front End Developers normally they require JavaScript and Angular/React knowledge and experience. There are some offers for PHP developers but I don’t have real commercial experience with that language. Haven’t seen any Ruby offers here and only one senior Python job so my possibilities are limited.

I know that only learning in my free time can save me from where I am. But no one will hire me only because I studied, I will need to have good proof of my skills. It’s hard to find Front End projects which are more than just HTML/CSS (Free Code Camp projects seem to be exception). What about Back End projects? Or Software projects?

What makes my situation even more complicated is that I can’t go on an internship because I have a flat to pay and my girlfriend doesn’t work yet (she’s from diffrent country and doesn’t know language yet).

Bootcamps are super expensive and most of them are outside my city (only avaible are those online bootcamps). Techdegree or Nanodegree from Treehouse and Udacity are super expensive for me (200$ per month is 1/3 of my salary as $1 = PLN 4).

Even if I get to FCC non profit projects I’m worried that I won’t have enough time to do them.

@frenata but thank you a lot for reply!

Yeah sadly there are no easy answers, but it sounds like you’re thinking about the right things. The FCC back end projects are good stuff that can showcase your skills, by the way, just like the front end projects.

For some of the nanodegree programs, you should be able to access the actual coursework, you just can’t get the credentials without paying them. Still could be a good way to build skills and a portfolio.

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So I guess I should give Udacity a try.

Well the topic isn’t closed so feel free to write your thoughts guys!

Hello @Zubru22! It sounds like you need to get a more challenging job and place that appreciates you. It seems to me the biggest problem here is you are overworked… Front or Back end won’t be any fun when you are worked and get criticism when you are working as much as you can. I’m a JavaScript developer and was doing something similar to you last year (primarily wordpress and copy paste coding) I was fortunate to get a chance as a UI developer in a big company and I haven’t been happier since. The work is complicated and challenging and most days I have to learn new things which I love.

You need to build a portfolio, polish up the CV and start applying to work in a new company. The negativity and pressure from that place isn’t healthy and you most definitely know enough to get a new job in a team of developers. I knew I didn’t feel good enough when I started searching but the positive feedback from my even failed interviewers pushed me forward (there was the odd negative ones and then that wasn’t a place I would work). Once you get a job that allows you to flex those developer muscles you will learn so much more, feel more accomplished and enjoy yourself much more…

If you need any more advice feel free to message me privately and I can share more about my job and how I got to where I am.

Good luck,



I suggest study Javascript/Angular/React on nights and weekends, and make a portfolio of projects you’ve created… doesnt have to be real clients, just do made-up companies websites and put it out there on Github or somewhere.

Then just apply for the these jobs. Even if they said they’re looking for a “senior developer with experience”, just apply anyway and tell them you’re willing to start at entry-level, you just want the challenge and to learn - SELL YOURSELF.


Thanks @owel for your advice. Do you recommend any specific courses/books to study from?

Check out
They have some free courses, and some paid (which if you wait for a sale event/coupon, you can get for $10).

This site have free courses too.

Youtube is another option.

But don’t get caught too much on watching videos or taking all these online courses. Otherwise, you’d spend hours and hours watching these videos and still feel you know nothing. You need to be DOING and CODING something. That’s really the only way what you’ve watched/read/learned is going to stick in your head.

  • Being a “front end” developer does not have to mean working on unchallenging projects in which you take no pride.
  • It is not at all uncommon for people to switch up what kind of development they do - either because they aren’t happy with their work or just because the job requires it.

Advice: learn the type of technology you want to work with on your own. Produce some personal projects using that technology. Apply for jobs specifically highlighting those skills.


Thanks to everyone. All of your replies helped me to come up with a plan and strenght to go forward. It’s always nice to talk with coders folks here at FCC.

Now let’s just hope that I won’t let myself down!


Had to log in just to reply to this comment. I can’t believe how similar we are situation wise. I’m at a job that literally has 13 graphic designers and 2 programmers. I have been able to work on a few Angular projects and I am working on a Wordpress project, honestly the best thing about it is that nobody is breathing down you neck but I realized one thing. If I am not being guided, taught best practices and generally working on full on applications learning important programming principles I am just wasting time when it comes to advancing as a full stack programmer. What I would suggest is saving up 2 months worth of expenses and jumping ship to another company. Save enough so that you can take a few days off programming, realign your goals, begin taking courses again and applying to numerous jobs everywhere, maybe even in a different city?

One of the goals for myself is saving enough expenses and continue to grow our real estate marketing project on the side but at the same time, use those 2 months to unwind, then put my focus towards getting a programming job where I can work remotely.

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I really appreciate your reply! It’s always nice to hear opinions from folks here. Well I thought I was the only one but it turns out there are other people in a situation like mine. So far I’m working through Head First Javascript book to hone up my Javascript skills and soon I will continue with FCC projects.

I have no one to guide me. When a problem occurs my only help is googling and Stack Overflow but even then I try to solve problems the best way, go on with good programming practices. Most of the time I get disapproval from my fellow graphic designer coworkers cause they only see more time spent on the time. That doesn’t surprise me, for example they put layers in Photoshop chaotic or if I ask for svg files (I don’t work with Photoshop - according to my boss license for me would be another cost) I get svg which are hard to work with cause it’s one huge svg file, just with hidden layers which sometimes causes troubles in Firefox or IE. Again, more time for me to spend.

On Monday I was invited for Skype interview to company which develops e-sport platform. They didn’t call in the end and I got no reply to my emails. Today I got in touch with them and it turned out that recruiter had to take a day off because she had an emergency and someone who was supposed to inform me about it didn’t do it. They proposed an interview tomorrow and I agreed because so far it’s my best option to stop working on static websites and start working with applications and what’s even more important if I get the job I will be able to work with other programmers (which I miss a lot). I am not worried about tomorrow interview as it will be general interview, what I am more worried about is another interview which will be technical so I have no idea what to expect. Questions about programming? A small task to do “live”? Or a homework? When I applied to one company their technical interview was peace of cake as I had to go through W3School tests and answer couple of their questions.

Another thing which I’m counting on is front end bootcamp during weekends. Two companies want to teach at least 100 programmers per year for my city. So far I know they will teach JS and React (HTML and CSS is obvious). They said that companies who need programmers will pay for it so it should be free. I hope so because bootcamp cost is around 8000 PLN (which is my 3 months salary all).

I am not planning on moving to other city as I have family and friends here so I really hope I will be able to stay here.

Wish I could unwind for 2 month like you but I have a rent to pay for and I’m living with my girlfriend. She’s from Spain and she can’t work here because of the language so all expenses are on me.

Maybe we will be able to work on some projects together? I haven’t learned Angular yet but any project is a good project to learn with, right?

Sorry for long message, if you want to talk more feel free to write me a private message!


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Let’s talk facts and figures…

Among current professional developers globally, 77% of respondents said they had a bachelor’s degree or higher, such as a Master’s degree or equivalent.

Of those with degrees about 70% studied ([computer science] || ([computer || IT] *)). About 30% studied something else.

So, something like 46% of developers globally are not university trained as such. You can look at that as a slight minority of the 21 million developers in the world.

Or you can look at it as nearly 10 million people like you doing useful work for good pay and (with any luck) enjoying it!

@tdreid so should I be happy that I have a job that I’m not satisfied with? Cleaning the streets is a useful job as well but that doesn’t mean I would be happy doing it. Sorry if I read your intensions wrong, I just don’t know how those statistics fit into the topic.

Hi, @Zubru22! It is a painful step. I also have this problem. However, every circumstance has more than one possibility. Off the top of my head I would start with:

1.Do you have a LinkedIn profile? Why don’t you create a short message (such as a cover letter) and send it inbox to recruiters around the world? There are a lot of tech job in Germany, where companies are willing to sponsor professionals from several countries. The same is happening in Canada.

  1. In the meantime, why don’t you create solutions for the company that you are working in as an investment in yourself? Or even to Nonprofit companies in your City? Don’t you think that it could help you to improve your Portfolio?

  2. Be confident, believe in what you have now, and try to find a company that wants what you have to offer. The beginning is not easy, but it is possible to get good results from that.

Was it helpful? If it is not, let me know. Good luck!


@PatriciaAlmeida I do have LinkedIn profile and I got some offers but most of them were totally not related to my skills. It looked like those recruiters didn’t even bother to read my profile. Basicly all of them required relocation which I would like to avoid.

About non profits - it would be nice to help them but I doubt I would be able to write an app for them. And my current contract forbids me it anyway so it’s another reason to quit.

Jobs in Germany often require well…German and I don’t know the language :slight_smile:

Tomorrow I’m having tech interview via Skype in one company in my city. I hope it will go well. :slight_smile:

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Wow it is awesome that you will have an interview. I’m crossing my fingers for you @Zubru22 :slight_smile:

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I will let you know how it goes today :slight_smile: