Feeling Discouraged

Hello everyone. I allow myself to write a shitpost, because I’ve felt like I had to say something before bursting out.

I’m 23, and felt in a severe depression 3 years ago after my dad passed away and that I had to leave the theatre school I was in to find a job. I really hate college, mainly because I feel too depressed to study certain classes. At one point, I heard a story about a programmer who got a career in web development after teaching himself, so I picked up programming, something I always loved but never considered as a career.

But as for now, I spend a lot of time psyching myself out : I know I can learn to code, and I know that if I manage to put in the work I can become a great web dev. But where I live (belgium) it seems that the only thing you are consider for when it comes to employement are the degrees, unlike the US where, from what i’ve heard, you’re considered for what you can do before how you studied it. And at this point I don’t think i’ll ever get any degree considering how much trouble I have to study. I thus feel demotivated when it comes to working my developer skills, since it seems that no matter how good I am, if I don’t have the famous piece of paper, i’ll never get a decent job.

Leading to this post. I’m sorry for this flood of whining, but I felt like I had to get it out of my system. I wanted to ask you : do any of you managed to get a decent job in western europe without a degree ? Cause I could really use some success story right now.

Thanks for those who had the courage to read until the end.


I have seen a number of sites that advertise remote jobs, such as this one:

I don’t have personal experience with it, but it is worth investigating further if your local tech job market is not the greatest.

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Is the only reason for your depression is that you are worried whether you are going to get a job without any degree?

If so, then you can get different certificates from different sites like freecodecamp, udacity etc. I don’t know how much valuable it would be but atleast you can show them and tell them you learnt it by yourself instead of going to school for that.

If it doesn’t work then you can always try remote job which I am doing like many others. If you are successful like others you can make a good living or even move. And I think there are some companies in your place as well who values talent than piece of paper. They are everywhere. Less amount but there are many.

Another way you can try is connect with people/developers. If they are working in a company or own their own small firm then if they know you they can hire you. I mean they will know you are talented even if you dont have degree.

There are countless of ways to tackle this problem to be honest. And there are many success stories about people learning programming and getting job locally or remote. Many are starting their own web development business as well.


If you have other reason for being depressed then you should find the problem and work on that. Then you will have more positive emotion about your path of learning and try to find out different ways to tackle your problem.

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Hi, I’ve recently started learning coding after 11 years of work in Sales and Business Development. I had no relevant degree, but I was very willing and hardworking. When I was looking for my 1st job in Sales a lot of companies also wanted someone with a degree, so I had not much choice in my 1st job. I got the 1st offer that came by. Not much pay. But with time and experience, fewer and fewer people cared if I had any degree. My income had risen. So HRs are looking for employees with degrees not only in software development. And in a way I can understand them. I’ve hired people. It’s very difficult. Degrees in this case guarantee some fundamental knowledge. Not in 100% cases, but in many. The best thing you can do, learn a lot, make a good portfolio and apply for as many jobs as you can. Show that you’re willing to learn more.

I intend to switch to software job too. My last job was Head of Sales, and I worked closely with software developers on different products, since we used to make and sell software. Out of 7 developers we had: 5 of them had degrees, 2 were self taught. Those 2 were the reason I 1st thought about learning coding myself.

As to depression and worrying if you can get a job on not, I think there’s 1 solution for 2 of these propblems:

– Get busy learning coding.-- Don’t think about it, just do it. The more busy you are, the less time you’ll spend ovethinking the difficulties that are not even there. If you’re tired of coding, go for a run, hit the gym, do anything. Learn a bit every day, and compare it with how much you’ve acheived comparing to your yesterday self. And as someone said “Become so good - they can’t ignore you”.

Good luck.


I have just started FCC a week ago after re-studying programming intensely for about 1 month. I took some C++ in high school and college but its been about 8 years since I looked at any code. My degree is ivy league but in bio. I was feeling a little discouraged at first but I do like programming and I have had my own businesses in the past 5 years (all startups like hotels and restaurants, all sold by now), and I would like to finally implement my own ideas.

Basically, I think you did great by getting your first job. I am just focused on learning for now. I will take a job only when it its a good fit for me and the company. I have created some interesting things before which were used by alot of people (brain tumor database), but the applications of such products are of limited interest to employers, apparently.

I think everyone should just not worry about the job stuff and focus on learning. If you enjoy it, everything will come naturally.

I can’t imagine not finding a job if you are skilled in software development. There are careers that really require that piece of paper to be able to find work. Software development isn’t one of them, as you have seen with many stories. Perhaps it may be harder to find work in some locations, but it’s just a bit harder, not impossible. I mean, think about it. If someone was really good and able to do the job extremely well, do you really think he could not find work? Sure, some companies with old-school thinking are very anal about a piece of paper, but if you know how to program really well, and you are able to showcase your skills with a great portfolio and other things, and you top it all off with good communication skills and an ability to sell yourself… dude. you’ll get a job. 100%.

If there’s a will, there’s a way.

I’d also like to point out that things like software development or any other jobs or hobbies are always “shiny” at first. It’s always super fun and smooth and exciting in the beginning. After that, there always comes the hard and frustrating part, the grinding and thinking that there’s no results, the hair-pulling and discouragement. Most people don’t make it past that stage, which is why most people aren’t successful. Most people don’t realize that on the other side of that seemingly unlimited mountain is success. If you only put in the work and stick with it, you will come out the other side eventually. And I think that things like that are one of the things that make life worth it. Challenging yourself, growing yourself. Doing things that were hard and that you didn’t think you could do. The process of it, the feeling it gives you is just amazing.

No success story or motivational video will replace perseverance, which is what you need to come out to the other side. I know it may be hard sometimes, but you need to trust yourself. As someone else here in the forum said, someone more stupid than you and in worse circumstances has done it before you. There’s no reason why you can’t either. :slight_smile:


You should seek professional help for your depression. It’s a physical illness that goes well beyond just feeling sad. Demotivation, difficulty concentrating, poor self-image, and impaired memory are all part and parcel with depression, and all of these will impede your learning.


Another guy from Belgium! :slight_smile:

I can’t speak for the coding part

But I know a thing or two about depression. You’ve already done a great job by expressing your thoughts.

It’s important to focus on the things you love, maybe coding is one of them.

I know it’s easy to say but don’t overthink. Just focus on your main goal: get good at what you’re doing and try to enjoy the things you’ve learnt.

I’m sure if you’re able to create a few nice apps, and make publicity (linkedin, facebook,…) you may find something! Just don’t give up already.

Maybe you can find another temporary job to have a salary.

Good luck my coding compatriot!

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Don’t worry.

The best programmer I knew had a grade 10 education and some on the job training…
There are many smart people without a degree.

My career was all about doing different business solutions.
Financial planning,
Depreciation studies
Mapping systems
Feedlot management systems
Property management systems
Search engine development.

I ran for political office in 1993 and at a forum of grade 5 and 6 kids…
I told them not to worry… Anyone of them with a grade 8 could sit beside me and easily learn the apps that I have worked on. They Cheered me. Because they knew I was telling them the truth.
Education is way over blown. Practical experience kicks butt.
Along the way I had some spectacular successes. Most of which were because those that I worked for were very forthcoming with their knowledge. A few beers helped…

conduct a research about your company


Belgium girl here, I have been learning to code for some months now. I know some people working in IT in Belgium and althought yes on the job add they say “bachelor degree” wathever, it really doesn’t matter, they write this because it is usually an interim office setting this up, one of my friends working in a company told me they have enough people coming in without degrees. of course don’t go knocking on the door of big companies in Brussels, try to find a small business, start up, I’m sure someone will give u a chance. Just send them an email with your github/portfolio, and if your good and they like you, you will get a chance.

Don’t get discouraged!!! Our country has a lack of IT crowd. and somewhere I’m sure you will fit in.

I will probably try my luck in Germany after the summer as I know a friend who works in an amazing company there.

And if you want an education but not a 3 year one, I know in Heusden-zolder, an organisation called “de verdieping” gives 9 month courses for front end, which 2 months are internships and a lot of people get hired after, de vdab works together with them, so if your jobless you dont pay anything. I dont know ofcourse where your located…

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I can empathize. I’m an American living in Belgium (Lier). I know a couple of people working in the industry both of them focus more on back-end stuff.
They told me that while its possible to find a job just based on experience, many companies here place a lot of value on having a degree or certificate. They suggested that I take a course through Syntra.

The problem for me is my Dutch is absolute shit… Im taking classes now but it will take me a few years just to get some what fluent… That on top of getting a degree or certificate makes the whole process feel daunting.

All that said DON’T GIVE UP! Yeah it can take time but in the end the hard work and time you put in now will pay off later. I’d also say as difficult as it may be sometimes, try and focus on the positives of your situation.

For motivation I joined a web development meetup / group in Mechelen called CtrlShift. Thats helped me stay focused and its nice to be surrounded by others with similar goals. I don’t know where in Belgium you’re located but if you want you’re always welcome to join :slightly_smiling_face:.

Just fyi:
CtrlShift: https://www.facebook.com/ctrlshift.org/
Syntra Course: https://www.syntra-ab.be/opleidingen/webontwikkelaar

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Not quite related to programming, but you should definitely seek professional counseling to help with depression. Programming is hard work and involves a lot of failures, struggling and you have to persevere a lot. If you keep trying, you will be successful, but depression will try to make you quit, feel inadequate and hopeless.

In the meantime, be active. Try to exercise at least 3 times a week, eat healthy foods. Some people won’t see the connection, but body and mind are deeply connected and being healthy will help control your depression and will also help with learning and working with code.

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I think it’s interesting you talk about syntra.

Not so long ago I read a forum discussion about web devs graduating from syntra or vdab and how employers look down on them. Syntra isn’t really known for quality courses honestly…
So I find it fascinating that they suggested that to you!


Thanks for the heads up. Just curious but what means / method of learning would you suggest for getting employers attention in Belgium? Right now I’m just focusing on completing the front-end section of FCC and working on side projects that I can add to my portfolio.

Your welcome!

Well honestly I think it’s a bit tricky, I know in Limburg there is an 8 month track specific for front end with a 2 month internship, and usually people stay with the company after they finished the track.
In this track you learn about web design aswell, so I geuss it’s nice
=> http://www.cvodeverdieping.be/dagopleidingen/webdesigner-front-end-developer

You can always do a bachelor or a graduate, which is a certificate where you did certain courses of a bachelor focusing on a specific area. One school offers this as distant learning for software development ( You just go to the school for your exams, which I can tell you out of experience is nice).
Graduaat software dev => https://www.vives.be/nl/opleidingen/handelswetenschappen-en-bedrijfskunde/specialisation-programme-software-developer#distance
Or you can just do the full bachelor which is 4 years on distance => https://www.vives.be/nl/opleidingen/handelswetenschappen-en-bedrijfskunde/bachelor-toegepaste-informatie#distance

(This is not a bachelor like you are used to in the USA, this is not computer science. This is hard to explain haha…
Its a bachelor involving computer but without the science ( heavy math, physics part…) More hands on instead of research…)

Honestly, if you really want to get some of certification or degree which will be worth your time and money, I would look into The cvo, graduaat or even bachelor. But I would not do syntra or vdab… I have yet to meet a person who got a job in any field btw not only IT, but just any field, after following a course with any of these… with vdab problem is, a lot of people mis use it so they don’t lose their benefits when they are out of job. And unfortunately this gives a reputation after a while.

Last edit, If you decide to do the graduate when you finish it you can always do a short route for a full bachelor. As you already passed a lot of the requirements.

Ok so now I explained about that haha, now to your question.

Honestly probably like everywhere else. Make an amazing portfolio and just send it out to every company you can find. Maybe you can start a course so they know you’re doing something in the meanwhile…


Hey, we know its really hard to land your first job as a developer! Thats why we interviewed a software developer about how he got his job etc … hope it helps! Let me know what you think and leave a comment :slight_smile: