Could I get a job as a web developer in a foreign country with only Free Code Camp?

Sorry for bringing back a similar topic; I just hope with more precise questions to receive (if possible) more precise answers.

Having no experience in IT and no degrees, could I get a job as a web developer in a foreign country with only Free Code Camp courses and this?

Do I have a chance or is the probability too low to worth a try?

I have a disability. I have a kidney transplant and due to my immune system and the situation with CoViD-19, I have to work remotely almost exclusively.

I am from Spain.

Thank you for your attention.

Hey Cristian,

Depends on what “high” or “low” means.

Or let me ask you this:

  • What is your alternative?
  • Why not invest some 6 months, see if this seems to make sense and evaluate then?

So to get this right: Asking for “chances” and “probabilities” is pretty useless. We don’t know. Can I become a race driver? Probably not, because I’m very tall. But maybe I can become a basketball player. But not in the NBA or ACB, because I’m too old. So it depends.

And then there are a lot of differences in the implementation details: There is a difference between “doing FCC on your own, sitting in your room” and “doing FCC, getting engaged in communities, bringing value to your community, helping in open source etc.”.

So we don’t know. Only you will know after trying.


It will depend on the country you want to move into, the city and the job market there.

In general I think not - almost nobody will hire complete beginners for remote work. Companies hire beginners as interns or junior developers to learn from others in the company, which is obviously more difficult remote.

What you should try is to work first as a freelancer online and try to complete individual projects and get more experience.


Hello Miku86,

With “low” I mean that due to my difficulties (being poor, only available to remote jobs, if someone from the outside wants to hire someone with only FCC and W3C MOOCs) is not worthy to give the try due to extremely low probability of being hired from your point view.

For example, imagine that you jump from the fifth floor. Although you do not know if you will die or take much damage (maybe you end up on top of an awning or at that moment a truck full of mattresses passed), you can intuit that you probably will die or be injured. Petrs’s comment says that overall, complete beginners from remote work are not hired. These are the kind or answers I am searching for, regardless if it is a “yes” or a “no”.

Alternatives to trying web development I have one: oppositions in my country. Problem: people vulnerable to CoViD-19 are generally excluded. I was excluded from one I signed up for last year when CoViD-19 doesn’t exist.

I studied web development six years ago in 2014. Alone and on my own. Thanks to a scholarship that came to me by mistake, I studied the Development of dynamic web applications the same year in UNED. I passed the course in 2016 but didn’t find any job in my own country. No money to go outside, no remote jobs, and the lack of official experience (helping in open source and doing free projects doesn’t count here) made me disappointed and quit a year later.

If the overall answer to my questions is a “no”, then I will not do web development again. I don’t want to repeat the same mistake and lose money and life time. I invested in the past 3 years, I had the 3rd highest mark on my exams: I failed in getting a job. Then I invested two years studying Business, Administration, and Finance: I passed with the 3rd best mark again. But when searching for a job, the result was the same.

Where I live, youth unemployment is above 70%.

In my country, people with Asperger Syndrome have an unemployment rate of about 90%.

I carry a lot of pain with me. A feeling of failure, dragging learned helplessness due to my life experience as a student.

I will never ever have a decent job in my country. Not ever. Even if I had a University Degree. I have friends with University Degree and Masters with zero experience in jobs.

I want to emigrate after months of remote work. I want to have a decent life. I want to fight, as long as things are not settled from the start. I am ready to accept from experts like you that due to my circumstances I should not try anything.

Thank you for the answers!

Is the “foreign country” in the EU? That might work. Is it in the US? That’s going to be tough. That’s hard enough even with degrees and experience.

And it can be hard to get remote work for your fist job. Not impossible, but it adds a new layer of difficulty on top of an already difficult process. Companies will be worried about giving a job to someone with no degree and no experience AND have them work on their own, out of sight. That’s a tough sell. It’s a little bit easier right now because it is the only way to work, but still, it can be tough.

You can get freelance jobs. They may not pay well, but doing a few freelance jobs I think was the thing that tipped the scales in me getting my first job - it gave me a good reference and a little work to show.

It’s tough - right now I’m an American trying to get a job in Spain. If only we could trade. (But if you have having health problems, I would be wary about you coming here unless you have health insurance worked out.)

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Well, can be the EU, Australia or the US. I think my biggest chance could be EU, of course.

Now you mentioned about getting a job in Spain, here is a little help:

Gibraltar could be excellent for you:

Sports-betting industry in Gibraltar is in constant search for developers.



Thanks. Yeah, I’ve been reading a lot on the subject. I’ve interviewed with a few Spanish companies that offer visa sponsorship and a few companies with distributed teams. My wife is working on getting her EU passport straightened out so that is always a fallback.

What part of Spain are you in? There is some good tech work in Madrid and Barcelona.


I am from Algeciras. I live about 15 km approximately from Gibraltar.

(I know, but in the past, I was rejected by companies from Madrid and Barcelona… too many times [lack of experience or inadequate location]. In Spain, the precariousness in the technology sector is huge. People who can understand, write, and speak English emigrate when they can, especially to the UK and Germany).

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Right, but I still think you’d have a better chance getting and intern job in Spain. Maybe the EU would work too, but I can’t imagine companies in the US (or now Britain, I guess) being willing to go through the Herculean task of doing the paperwork for at best and entry level dev.

But getting that first job is really hard. For anyone. It seems to go on forever. At the risk of more shameless self-promotion, I once wrote up a doc with my thoughts on getting that fist job. I’m not saying not to look around the EU, but I think you’re going to have better luck in Madrid or Barcelona. But yes, it is a long and grueling process. I get the impression that Europe is a little more focussed on qualifications (like degrees, etc.) but it’s still tech and ability shines above all else.

My advice would be to build your portfolio, build your skill set, try to get some freelance gigs, and do a lot of interviews.


I don’t think is shameless self-promotion. What a great guide. Thank you so much! I respect you for what you achieve.

One little secret: I had an unofficial Degree in the past, from UNED, apart from W3C courses and doing Code Academy, but Code Academy consisted of those days of basic lessons. What’s more, I learned programming at the age of 13 and built my first mod at 15 (I have 27 now). Five years later, I presented my work to ISI, and they told me that the job I did qualifies enough to be a proper videogame, and offered me the prizes of the license (too expensive).

As a web developer, I built a portfolio, owned a website, and specialized in web accessibility and Usability according to WCAG’s principles. This was in 2015. Searching for a job for many months. You know the outcome. I only had one interview in seven months. Not hired because of inadequate location.

I see you recommend me to try in Spain, even when it is (and it turned out to be years ago) unviable due to a lack of opportunities and experience, and the precariousness behind tech jobs here. It seems that it is not a good idea to seek to be a programmer and work abroad for me, because…

…the path generally recommended for me to land in a remote job outside Spain… it implies becoming a freelancer. In other words, more precariousness, and without guarantees of a better future. Is like being trapped in the same cage. Doing a huge effort to end in the same place, solves nothing. I talk with experience.

I have to submit to precariousness, with no guarantee of even having that precarious job, much less being in a normal job (my dad has 42 years of experience and his salary is below 1000 €). That’s the way it is.

Fine by me.

I conclude that I have to abandon the idea of being a programmer and work abroad, and start focusing in going for oppositions in my country and try to be a Civil Servant.

With this message, I think I can bury the idea (not the dream; working precariously doing what I’m passionate about is not a dream of anything) of being a programmer and give myself a second chance for good.

I really thank you very much for your answer and for sharing your personal experience. I think it will save me time and a lot of dollars. Best luck for that Dream Job in Spain or Gibraltar. :wink:

It has been a pleasure everyone. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions.

If any moderator or admin reads this, feel free to close this topic.

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I’m sorry you feel that way, but I can’t convince someone to not give up - if you don’t have the fight in you, you’re not going to make it anyway. I might have suggested you post your resume and portfolio in a thread to get some critique.

But whatever you decide, best of luck.

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Don’t worry. I am not sad. Far from it, I am glad of being closer to the truth, even if it is an horrible one.

I just wanted to know if it is possible to get a job as a web developer in a foreign country with only Free Code Camp and MOOC courses. Now with what you have told me along with the other comments, I see it IS possible, but you will have to pass for precarious jobs without choice (even feel lucky to have them!), and even that does not mean that you will have a good job.

Arrived here, it is not a matter of giving up or not. It is to see if it is worth it or not. I seek to have a job and not be precarious. Seeing that working abroad does not free me from being precarious (the main reason why I do not want to work as a programmer in Spain; albeit I didn’t work here even with a Degree that is now obsolete), then it is not worth it.

I will have the fight in me. But not in the wrong place. In these circumstances and poor context, programming is not for me. Passion isn’t everything. Regardless, I will continue to have programming as a hobby.

This is flawed.

Your jumping example asks for the probability of exactly one jump.

Your initial question is “How high is the probability to get at least one job out of N applications?”. The answer is: “Between 0% and 100%, depending on the amount of applications you do, because the probabilities sum up.”

So it doesn’t make that much sense to ask for a probability.
You should ask how to improve the probability at first.

Your formula is:
[probability of one application] times [amount of applications]

So you either improve the application or the amount of applications.

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What an excellent observation.

Your answer leaves me completely naked. With such great ignorance and vulnerability, it is extremely hard to have the courage to take the step, because I failed too many times in the past. Especially when I applied for more than 600 hundred jobs just a year ago (albeit it was in Administration, something where I have official studies), not getting even one interview (and believe me, I tried different CVs and I have produced many different cover letters, but the result was generally one of these three):

-No answer;
-Rejected by inadequate location;
-Rejected by lack of experience;

One way of improving is doing a University Degree in Technology. But I cannot afford something like that.

I don’t know my real chances, but for sure, they are much lower than from a normal person with economic resources and without a disability.

I suffer from learned helplessness. Eight years ago, when I was studying for a University Degree, my father’s salary was lowered and since that day, I cannot study at any university. I tried to study technology on my own. I spent about 3 years studying programming self-taught. Due to poverty, I decided to work hard, some days even spending more than 12 hours studying and practicing. Most of the good that youth has to offer I have missed in the process. I have gone months without having friends. After finishing my studies, I tried to apply for jobs and got rejected countless times outside my city (because there were no technology job offers), searching for Spain. No success even when I had a Degree, a Portfolio, a LinkedIn account, a Git Hub, comments in different communities, and even a blog. Experience and distance don’t understand about these things. At one point I looked for a job as a cleaner, and I was rejected due to immunosuppression or lack of experience.

In these circumstances, how to improve my probability?

Working for free?

Trying to be happy as an eternal volunteer when I am still stagnant?

Work as a freelancer when you have to pay for work about 260 euros per month when freelance web developers in Spain earn money from passive income, boot camps, and courses?

Why do I have to submit to these things? Because I live in poverty and I had the bad luck of being born with the wrong kidneys. “Well, don’t do it”. Then I am unemployed.

Sorry, but I am not characterized by submitting to injustice.

I suffered the exact same outcome with Business Administration and Finance just two years later. (I know how to apply for jobs and I have even helped more than a friend to get a job by doing their CV, but I don’t have found anything. A little bit embarrassing for me).

Over time, I become mentally worn down and depressed. I want to fight, but I know that having again the same mistake for the third time (and this time I cannot enjoy life no matter what I want because of my vulnerability to CoViD-19 I only can do short walks between the streets near my house) it’s going to shatter my spirit.

Your comment is excellent, at the expense of leaving me undecided and not knowing what to do. With so many limitations, my room for overcoming experience and distance is very limited (compared to other programmers).

This great uncertainty and the fear of another failure leave me paralyzed. I’m thinking hard about how I can improve the probability, but even fulfilling everything I think I have the chance to lose. And psychologically I’m not at my best. I can fight alone if that is the case, but I think I won’t be able to tolerate another plethora of continued failures for all the time of life wasted. Apprenticeship is highly appreciated but the goal is to find work abroad and make the most of the training.

Well, I have read some of the replies. I actually don’t know what is going on in Spain especially about getting a job as developer, but I know that it can’t be worse than Iraq.

I live in Iraq and there are very low chances of getting a job as developer and there are very few companies that hire programmers, these companies are more than 100km away from me. I still have passion and love what I’m doing, I won’t rely on these companies to hire me or not.

I will still keep on going until I feel comfortable with my knowledge then try applying for a job or working as freelancer even tho fiverr and paypal blocked Iraq. I recently switched my college to Software Engineering then literally everyone started to picking on me and no-one supports me.

It is my fourth month of learning to program and I feel so comfortable with it. You still know what is the best for you.

I felt sorry of your ordeal but keep going things will get better and better no matter how difficult the path of success. I established a business from scratch 15 years ago trying numerous industry and the first 5 years is really tough but like a boxing once you knock down the opponent then history. The pandemic toppled down 90% of our business but I am not giving up. I need to pick up the pieces and started to make things happen again. Just believe you can make it. Thanks.

I really appreciate the encouragement and the answers; thanks to them I made my choice days ago. Although I regret not corresponding with the expectations regarding the support.

I wanted to know if I can have a chance of being a programmer in a foreign country. And the answer is: yes, is possible. But I guess I have to do all of this:

  • Collaborate in the StackOverFlow, FreeCodeCamp, and GitHub community - Having a reputation in these communities helps you find job offers from the same platform. It is also advisable to collaborate on free software projects from time to time.

  • Create a portfolio with more advanced technologies: look at what frameworks and programming languages ​​are in fashion at that time. Knowing this, make a portfolio with your own projects or collaborations that use those technologies or branches of programming. That is, working for free to make a good resume. As someone said in a forum, working as a programmer is a long-distance career.

  • Obtain certificates of the fashionable programming languages ​​(and AWS): now they are not only looking for programmers, now you have to be a full-stack, an analyst, and also make the software deployments.

  • Register in temporary employment platforms. If you can be freelance and work on gigs, you could have better chances.

  • Achieving a fluent level of English: now it is something that many companies demand. Also, foreign companies, looking for Spanish programmers. Do not think that it is because we are the best; but is because, generally, a Spanish junior programmer is cheaper than a Norwegian junior programmer. Especially one from my profile, which has limitations all over the place.

Even in the case of doing all of this, as stated by Kevin Smith, my probabilities are pretty low due to my lack of money and disability that makes me vulnerable to CoViD-19.

The job to do is herculean. The chances of ending up precarious are absolute; the need to put yourself to test in paid projects pushes you to take anything to continue the path of training. Not only do you have to work piecemeal every day, but you have to invest a great deal of time in training. You have to live to work. There is no guarantee of ending up in a more decent job; you need skills to negotiate. Which is quite difficult for me doing that due to Asperger Syndrome. So I have to invest even more time in research and how to end up in better jobs in the future.

The thing is, programming in ISIMotor is still my passion. But even in this, which is the most beloved hobby that I still dedicate time to, I have never put such an amount of time and dedication into doing all that I have stated. I usually program relaxed, listening to music, and doing everything little by little with no deadlines, and enjoying a lot of free time after school and programming. And of course, I’ve never been in the situation of constantly collaborating on every post I see. In fact, I used to stay on the sidelines and focus on my own things. What I have to do to have a chance is too much for me. Just for a chance… in a precarious self-job position, regardless if it is abroad or in Spain!

But now I see that are people willing to do so to become a better programmer. And this is the point where the only thing I can do, is to respect and understand that being a professional programmer is not viable for me if I’m not willing to go through the hoop. Is in this very moment I am feeling like a leftover. So, I am going respect the will of these people, and understand that the best contribution I can do to this awesome community… is just step aside.

I love programming, but I don’t want to live for it. Less in precariousness. When passion becomes preoccupation — when a disproportionate amount of your time, thoughts, and energy are devoted to your career — your work-life balance will be non-existent, and that is something I don’t want to myself. And this in Technology is permanent. This profession is recycle or die. If it were temporary, like one year of two of +12 hours per day like doing an opposition, I would think better of it.

I will continue to have it as a hobby (I had it since 2007). And I wish all of you who want to be programmers the best. I hope you can get brilliant careers.


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Achieving a fluent level of English: now it is something that many companies demand.

In my experience, most will settle for a functional level of English. From what I can tell, you have it. They don’t need you to be able to recite Shakespeare, they just need you to be able to have a conversation and read and write emails.

The job to do is herculean.

But that’s true for everyone. And it’s true for most jobs that pay this well.

You have to live to work.

I wouldn’t say that I “live to work”. But I did have to hustle, especially in the beginning.

There is no guarantee of ending up in a more decent job; you need skills to negotiate.

I would say that once you get that first job, it is a lot easier. Getting my first job took 6 months of searching, I sent out easily over 100 applications, and did dozens of interviews. Just recently, I wanted to switch jobs. I found that after two years in a “real job”, that I sent out a dozen applications, spent less than a month, got two interview, got close with the first but got rejected and got the second job. It’s that first job that is very tough. The second job was soooo much easier to get.

I usually program relaxed, listening to music, and doing everything little by little with no deadlines, and enjoying a lot of free time after school and programming.

As far as “relaxed” and “listening to music”, you just described the average developer. As far as meeting deadlines, where I work I am treated as a professional and they trust me that if I say something needs a little more time, they give it to me. Plus, being an agile shop, I am part of the process in estimating how long something will take. As far as free time, I have a lot of it. I work 40 hours per week, sometimes a little more. If there is something I need to learn, I may spend some of my free time working on some side learning - but that is fun for me and I still have time for my wife, playing chess, reading books, practicing my Spanish and Catalan, going on trail runs, etc.

And of course, I’ve never been in the situation of constantly collaborating on every post I see.

That’s very common for learning developers. It is hard to find opportunities to collaborate when you are starting out. And collaborating on open source - I always found that difficult. I found collaborating on “real jobs” to be much easier.

If it were temporary, like one year of two of +12 hours per day like doing an opposition, I would think better of it.

Crap, I don’t remember putting in 12 hour days, except in rare occasions.

I still believe that you could keep learning part time and doing interviews and making connections. Even a failed interview is a learning opportunity. And they still might keep you in mind for something in the future. I would recommend reaching out on linkedin and talking to coders and hirers and recruiters and making connections and asking for advice. Many will ignore you but some will have some good advice. There may be somebody that is willing to take you on as an intern or entry level. There is something out there for you. You may have to move post-covid, but many are accepting remote work until then.

I think you are overestimating how much of your life this needs to dominate, especially one you are established, but you have to make a decision that works for you.


But especially for me; I do not have the tools to find work outside my locality, with the desire to work abroad. In my locality, technology jobs are almost non-existent. The very little that usually comes out or is covered by experience or by contacts, and I have neither of the two things. I accept that life is unfair and that I almost only have to submit to self-employment or similar, but I don’t want to go through there precisely because it is unfair. Is the way to get more probability, but I don’t like it. I cannot pay the price of finding a job by giving up my self-love and integrity.

You said it: I am a tough sell due to my own circumstances. Not accepting to submit to abuse or poor conditions makes it more difficult.

To be honest, I am not interested in a job that pays me a lot of money.
I prioritize life quality over salary. Have as much free time as possible, and give your most affordably only at work. Of course, the salary should allow me to cover all my needs, avoiding situations of precariousness and poverty.

Generally, here in Spain, if you don’t meet the deadline, you are fired. Normally the most important thing in Spain in terms of technological projects is to finish them on time.

When I dedicate myself to program, I do not have to constantly recycle, because I mess around with abandonware stuff.

True. But in this case, I am talking about the stuff I program (ISIMotor 1.5). I am doing this since 2007, so I have the experience. When I program, I program. I only help when asked and very rarely do I navigate the forum helping anyone who asks unless it is in my area of interest and benefits me. Excuse me if I may sound rude.

Although there are people who ask, I am taking advantage of my time in programming. In my hobby, helping others is not an integral part of the process to move forward. But here it is because you can make contacts and build a reputation, so you have to add more time apart from that dedicated to programming, creating your portfolio, negotiating, staying up-to-date in the communities, collaborating on other projects… this for me is too much, not even with my hobby I have reached this point of dedication. As I have said before, I love programming, but not enough to live for it or make it my lifestyle. Even if through my hobby I could get a job, I do not want to do something like that.

When I was a full stack web developer student between 2014-2016, 12 hours per day was my daily dedication. In 2015, I spent Christmas and New Year Eve doing a final project in programming. This amount of dedication is not uncommon to see for me. In fact, Mr. Quincy Larson (founder of FreeCodeCamp) told in an answer in Quora that he works about12 hours a day. I remember perfectly how it was my last day doing the final project for UNED: I woke up at 09:00 and I ended coding at 19:00… of the next day. In other words, 34 hours of coding if you add there the time eating and taking a bath. Although I have the virtue of rarely getting tired of this, in my three years as a student I have never managed to figure out how to study and learn to program effectively. Maybe because at that time I was alone and didn’t know how to approach properly.

As I have written before, I have no problem in giving a dedication like this if it is temporary, one or two years, and then doing the 40 h / week in a job, and that’s it.

Larson’s efforts are a perfect example of making programming your lifestyle or just living to work. His efforts are more than laudable and I have absolute respect for him, but even paid and even if web development was a higher passion than programming in ISIMotor, I don’t want something like that for me. Even if that’s the real thing to do for someone like me to have a real chance. Freelancing, self-employment, or living to work temporarily with the finality of working abroad under a full-time (or part-time) job contract should be an option, not an obligation. Please understand.

I achieved with my own stuff something special too: in January there was an earthquake in Elazig, Turkey. Hundreds of people died. Between the people who survived but lost its house was a modder who is my “workmate”, called Kerem. One of the buildings that remained relatively intact was cyber. He had the mod I and other members programmed in a pendrive, and he use to play leagues. In that cyber, the young people entertained themselves mostly playing online the modification of the videogame I programmed with a team in CMT. My creation has helped several young people in the area to cope with a tragedy.

Thank you very much for reading me and answering before.



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(A response to a seemingly banned used)

I personally don’t think immigrants are the problem.

To me (and my situation in particular) is a problem of circumstances and socio-economical context… and the fact that I am not a fan of overworking, especially when I failed through that path in the past in a better scenario than today. The absence (or less time than it should) of sleep, a good diet, exercise, relaxation, and time with friends and family isn’t something to be applauded.

Too many people wear doing extra hours (or even burnout!) as a badge of honor.

…not a fan at all.

Hardworking doing more than 40 hours a week (I include here any time dedicated to side projects, training or tasks related to your profession that is apart from your workday).
Hardworking living to work.

Right now I am doing a program in batch to generate some files for a videogame called F1 Challenge, so the player doesnt’t have to set up anything. (Is a pleasure for me to have programming as a hobby. I have it since I was a teenager).



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