Discouraged by everything


  • I’ve done a full stack web application which is pretty good IMO and original instead of a clone. Link here.
  • Got front and back end certificate.
  • MERN stack + Redux and webpack.
  • Unique(but shitty?) looking portfolio. (I’m thinking of just making another generic looking one)
  • No degree / work experience. (My kryptonite)
  • Asian (Idk if this matters or is another weakness. Lol)
  • Feel free to bash my LinkedIn.
  • $70,000 ideal salary. (NY.) Way too high? Way too low?
  • 2 months in. Probably around 50 job applications. 1 call (for a mid-senior level apparently)? 0 interview.

So you know… After watching plenty of videos who got hired after getting their front end certificate and here I am struggling to get a job after getting both front and back end certificate.

I’m sure everyone knows this but I’m just here to vent. Why are there job postings that are looking for someone with 4 years experience in an entry level position. :angry:

And where are my MERN peeps at? Every job posting I’ve seen in react are Lead/Senior devs. :confused:

Also… Wordpress, wordpress everywhere.

Maybe I’m just not meant for greatness. :smile:


Don’t get discouraged, just keep up what your doing and your time will come.

Out of everything, I would say the lack of any job experience is the biggest issue no doubt.
Even a basic job at some department store is something, just to show you know how to work with people.

I’m not sure if you could move, but applying too jobs outside of NY, and saying be willing to move might help. You always make the final say, so don’t think just because you saying willing to locate on your application means you have to move. There are lots of big companies all over the US looking for developers, but require them to relocate.

I don’t know how your applying to jobs, but you should be giving high quality focused applications to each company. Maybe a followup call, or other approach just to make you stand out from another notification on a recruiters dashboard. This would probably work better for smaller companies than larger ones.
Another thing you could do is focus on front or back, larger companies won’t have you doing both as an entry level position ( or at least it doubt it haha)
Smaller companies might have more use for a full stack developer, but odds are they aren’t looking to hire an entry level one at the start.

I would also look into networking opportunities, the idea that job finding is all about who you know is very true. Maybe hit up a conference, or job fair, anything where you are there in person. Throw resumes and make an impression, or network with your peers, never know what could happen.

Now the good, which I think don’t need much if any improvement.
Your portfolio is fine, same for your LinkedIn.
Your salary should be ok, NY is expensive, and entry level pay is around that amount.

Most of the time I see 4 years of experience, it means 4 years of programming in general. But this sort of requirement usually doesn’t matter than much if you know your stuff and its an entry level job.

Keep up the grind take a few different approaches, working on your skills, personal projects and applying to jobs with quality applications. :slight_smile: goodluck!


Right. I’m just getting very impatient. Also the freeCodeCamp fb group here in NY is very inactive which is sad. I thought people would be more active here since it’s a populated city after all.

I think I’m missing out on a lot of networking opportunities but I’m pretty torn between hustling on coding more quality projects, meetup or keep job searching.

Thanks for your response, it helps a lot. I just needed to vent out, thus this post, but truth is I have no choice but to keep on it otherwise I’m gonna be homeless. lol.


I’m not a recruiter or employer, but I have some suspicions about what is holding you back.

Your portfolio looks great - maybe a little too flashy, but honestly, it looks great and maybe flashy is good for a portfolio…idk.

Your Linked In doesn’t fill me with confidence though. Your retail experience is probably a red flag. I know you don’t have other work experience, but you could massage your experience a little.

Put your most recent and current job as ‘Developer for BetterWeb’ and call it 1 Year’s Experience. Write up a description that frames you as the lead developer and include a blurb about how you’ve built it as a community to help developers. If you have an impressive number of users, mention that. If you don’t, call yourself a ‘growing community’ and maybe try to get some users :slight_smile:

This might be stretching things…but…so what? Most recruiters are not technical anyway and you can tell something closer to the truth once you get the interviews :wink:


Haha. I’ve thought of this because the work section of my linkedin and resume is pretty much an eyesore. But 1 year’s experience might be stretching it a bit too far since I made it like 2 weeks ago. XD Although I’m keeping my options open as to how I can cover my retail experience with something.

I’ll see what I can do on the things you mentioned. Thank you very much for this insight. Much appreciated. :slight_smile:

You might like this podcast: a recruiter talking about what he looks for.



Hi Kenneth,

I agree with @JacksonBates that your portfolio site is really good.

My advice is that, if you want a job you need to tailor your site specifically to that end. The line at the bottom (“If you want to hire me or need a website done, send me an email.”) jumps out at me as suggesting that you might actually prefer to be freelance and, as Jackson said, your site is a bit ‘flashy’ for a developer.

Also, in your linked-in, you are very emphatic about the stack that you use. In general, I think employers are more interested in someone who can learn new things. It might be better to say “recently I have been using…”.

Good luck with the job hunt.


Thanks for the link, I’ll listen to it.

I am indeed emphatic about the stack I use. I’ll try to approach it differently as you suggested. My portfolio was a lot less flashy (kind of dull) before but it didn’t seem to work so I tried to add some oomph to it and maybe I kinda overdid it. I’ll be working on my portfolio again as suggested.

Thank you very much for the feedback and kind remarks! :slight_smile:

Just a few questions:

  1. If I apply for a job that has 80k~100k salary and I put my desired salary at 70k, does it say something about me?
  2. Should I put my desired salary at least at the lowest?
  3. Does aiming for the lowest salary gives off the vibe that I’m not confident in my skill thus not worth it?
  4. Or am I more likely to get hired if I aim for the lowest salary or less?
  5. Should I also be applying for internships?


What position are you looking for? Full Stack? Generally, full stack position requires more actual experience (working experience).

Have you tried Front End or Back End?

And no, don’t apply for internship. Keep looking for junior dev positions or anything that requires 2 years or less experience.

If you’re not sure about the number for desired salary, don’t put them in there.

Job hunting can take a while, so keep looking and adjust your approach as you go.

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You’re junior level, and it’s pretty easy to tell that, so ideally don’t put desired salary? Google says average starting salary for a junior software engineer in NY is $85k [which seems crazy high to me in the UK, even re starting salaries in London, but /shrug].

As stated, full stack implies a depth of knowledge that you probably don’t have, I’m not sure the best way to go there.

Obviously the following differs depending on who’s doing the hiring, but based on my experiences looking at prospective hires resumes/portfolio/etc.:

  • You’re going for programmer/engineer, site doesn’t have to be fancy. Someone will take maybe 30 seconds ish looking at the site for links to work you’ve done, then have a quick look over those links to back up what they’ve read on your resume. Conversely, if you were to focus on frontend I would say improving the UI would be useful. The more the focus moves to backend, the less important that is.
  • The non-fcc project you’ve done is the most important in terms of demonstrating what you can do, so should be front and centre.
  • The techs you’ve used could be written down, a set of logos is no use. Could go on the resume & LinkedIn instead, + you could state next to each of the projects the tech used.
  • Related, if I’m looking at someone who is hireable, if they know one of webpack/gulp/etc they can probably figure out how to use similar. If they know React they can figure out Angular/Vue/whatever. These things are much of a muchness.
  • So following on from that, saying you use the MERN stack is not too helpful because I don’t know what it is; I have to look it up. Saying you have experience using Mongo, Express & React is more useful.
  • Certificate is not terribly important, I’d believe you if you said you’d achieved it. I realise it’s quite important to you, but it’s not important from the hiring side IMO (you wouldn’t put a scanned degree certificate there, so why that certificate?)

Importantly, if you get to interview, you’re going to be asked about what you state you know. So, for example: you say you have experience in SQL and NoSQL DBs. If I knew you had worked through a series of projects on a curriculum that used Mongo, I’d question why you’ve put SQL in there without anything to back it up. If I didn’t know, I’d want you to explain why you’ve used an unstable document store for persisting relational data in your apps instead of a relational database. (Most answers are ok btw, more important to demonstrate that you’ve thought about stuff). Similar possible questions: how does React work? What advantages/disadvantages are there to using it? What benefits do you get by moving the state to an immutable central store? What is the ideal use case for Node? When would you not use it? Can you write a basic echo server? Can you explain REST? Etc

The person sitting across from you is very likely to have been in exactly the position you’re in at the minute, and you won’t be able to bullshit them. Buzzwords help get you noticed by recruiters, but past that they don’t mean a huge amount. Most employers want someone who can learn quickly, fit into a team, get stuff done: you’re very junior, so they won’t be expecting you to be able to write production code instantly.


one small suggestion, when you are designing your own portfolio, you need to be careful about how to construct every word on it. the graphic and animations takes up 80% of your page. the remaining last 20% is extremely important. rephrase some of your words on your portfolio to make it more “professional”, a.k.a more confident.

for example:

If you want to hire me or need a website done, send me an email.

you are saying this as you are a college student that is trying his second part time job. Be more confident and be precise.

also why the biggest font there is WEB, not FULL STACK?

I’ve only learned the front end part and just starting to get familiar with javascript, but if one day I become a FULL STACK developer I will make sure that everyone knows it. Get your priority straight.

Also, getting hired is extremely difficult and it is the ultimate test of your tenacity. I hope you can land a job soon, and I hope everyone who is passionate about coding can land a job soon. But if you do not change the way you carry yourself, the way you present yourself, even you got a job one day you will not getting treated fairly. I think this is even more important than landing a job ASAP.

Also apart from applying jobs, do some website for your local small business. Even for a really small amount of money, it is well worth it. Meanwhile improve your own skills and your own portfolio. You can’t stop improving just because you cannot land a job. It is the opposite.

Apart from all those saying… i get what you feel about not having a college degree. I dropped out from school too. It can be a psychological burden for us. I am trying really hard to work on something new, to learn something new just to balance off the failure that I’ve had these recent years. I think that this is definitely not gonna be easy. But we can only push through. I think skill wise you are a lot better than me. But be careful of how you present yourself. The way you feel, and the worries you had actually mirrored my own thoughts.

Keep moving forward is all you need. But not with that “if you are interested, please hire me” attitude.


I usually apply on whichever I see that I’m a fit candidate, usually something that aligns with the stack I use. Front-end, back-end or full stack.
Yeah I’ve been asking for feedback or suggestion from time to time and change my approach accordingly. Thank you for being helpful. :slight_smile:

Most applications require the desired salary here. And I’ve read recruiters need to know the desired salary so they don’t waste time if the candidate is over the budget. Though I would never be over the budget anyway. Just wondering what aiming for the lowest makes me.

Yeah I’ll be working on my portfolio as everyone have suggested here. Though I have a feeling I’ll be keeping the certificates since I’m already at a huge disadvantage with my lack of formal education and inexperience. I’ll be thinking about it though.

I will be reviewing my answers to the questions you’ve asked. This is a very helpful set of questions. Thank you very much for your detailed response! :slight_smile:

Yeah I’ll be fixing my portfolio as suggested by everyone else. First I thought the way I’m presenting myself was being considerate but maybe it’s showing my lack of confidence and insecurity about not having a degree or work experience instead.

Freelancing is indeed an option. Although I’m torn between making quality web applications that people can use or making websites for small businesses while also actively applying for jobs.

I am indeed improving myself though. I have used a lot of technologies on BetterWeb that I have never used before, paid for a domain name and hosting, then advertised the site on different social media platforms. These are things I have never done for any of my projects before and I learned a lot. :slight_smile:

Yeah, I have no choice but to move forward after all. Just getting impatient is all.

Thank you for your insights on this. I’ll be working on the suggestions mentioned. :slight_smile:

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I remember seeing your full stack app on reddit/r/webdev and thinking how I’ll build something similar in a month or two, redo my portfolio and then start job hunting for real (and get hired easily because it seems like a great junior level project). Strange that you can’t get a job. Could it be that NY is just really competitive, full of bootcamp graduates maybe? Best of luck in any case!

good luck! (20 characters)

The reason could be anything. Hope it goes well for you though. Best of luck to you too! :slight_smile:

Good on you for putting in the work and listening to feedback. I’m confident you’ll find what you’re looking for if you stick to it. Your attitude is great.

Just a thought: Why not make two different sites? One for marketing to small businesses and one for showing off your coding (to other coders). They’re both legitimate goals, but not easy to do in the same site.