Finally got my first developer job! mid-level!

Just finished my daily scrum meeting… I LOVE BEING A DEV

This is a follow up to my last post - Just had my First Interview - I actually just started my first developer job a few days ago! Building all of the freeCodeCamp projects definitely gave me the skills to do a mid-level developer job. FCC teaches you how to think critically and work situations out in your mind, which is exactly what defines a good developer, and something that tutorials and videos can’t teach.

-I Started freeCodeCamp in May 2016
-Finished all three certifications two weeks ago
-I was in communication with Michael about starting a nonprofit project to help my resume but it turns out I didn’t even need it!

Last month, I left my IT support job and moved to a tech hub city thinking it would be easy to get a dev job there. I was wrong. So many jrs are moving here and so many bootcamp grads are flooding the market with jrs. After applying for at least 300 jobs online through indeed, going to tech fairs, and communicating with recruiters, I had no success. I landed a few phone screens and interviews, but never got an offer. I realized applying via indeed was a wasted effort. But then…

Out of the desperation of running out of money, I posted an ad in the “resumes” section on craigslist, and just wrote a brief bio and linked to my portfolio. Within 24 hours a Software Architect contacted me and asked me to come in, and he gave me the project details on the spot - not even a coding interview, we just discussed the high level details of the project.

I am now working on contract for an IT solutions company, building an application for a large international phone / communications company, making (alot - for me - rhymes with 35) per hour. This week I’ve been working closely with the Scrum Master to talk with the client, understand the requirements, make mockups/user stories, and list the apis… I will be working with the front end team, doing more facilitating than actual coding (at least so far). I’ve been told by my managers I’m doing really great work, and my coworkers think that I’m a very experienced dev - and in a way I am because freeCodeCamp hands-down produces the best quality students to those who put in the effort and stick with it to the end!

You can probably start applying way earlier than I did in most cities, and land a jr dev job. In the tech hubs there’s a lot of competition amongst jrs, so jr. dev jobs are hard to get. I was excited to do a non-profit project for FCC but Michael encouraged me to focus on my full-time job now, as I have a lot of techs to learn.

The biggest things that I want you to know are:

  1. You can become a solid developer, and you don’t even need to finish FCC to do it
  2. Unfortunately, a freeCodeCamp education on your resume won’t be able to prove to recruiters or HR people that you know your stuff, so applying to jobs online is completely worthless
  3. Do some remote freelance work - I did a few projects on upwork, which I was able to add to my resume
  4. Again - recruiters and HR are not interested in freeCodeCamp students in the least, even though they are missing out on a world class catch (you!). Find a way to bypass them to get your dream job.

Things that are a waste of time:
indeed, ziprecruiter, indeed, monster, indeed, any other job board site, indeed, direct online applications with companies, indeed, etc.

Things that got me a good ratio of phone screens/interviews (maybe 15%):
AngelList ( - the platform built for startups
Craigslist Jobs

Other things to consider: - I know one fcc student was able to get a job through hired, but you would definitely need to supplement freeCodeCamp with other projects or classes and usually years of experience to qualify. I tried twice and didn’t make it past their screening :frowning:



I’m always really interested in these stories, so I hope you don’t mind if I ask a few questions.

  1. How much time were you putting in each day or week?

  2. What was your level of programming before starting?

  3. Love the advice to do some remote projects. What were you doing on UpWork?

Again, awesome work landing the job :+1:!


There’s more to getting a job than just applying online. Personal networking and how you “sell” or “pitch” your skills is vital. Does your resume even talk about how much time you’ve invested in FCC study? I’d have to see your resume to make a good critique (I’ve looked at many thousands and coach people on making good tech resumes).

For networking, I like to target companies specifically, look up their employees on LinkedIn, then try to find them at meetups in my area, and ask to meet them there to discuss my background and whether the company is really a place where I would want to work and then ask them to submit a resume. At the very least (even if you have to still apply online somehow) you have someone inside the company saying “oh yeah, I know them, met them at a meetup”

While some online job portals are definitely hit or miss, I don’t agree with a blanket statement that all of them are a waste of time.


So what your saying is we should apply on


Firstly congratulations! What a great acheivement.

I am in exactly the same situation you were in. I’m in IT support, been trying to learn Front End Dev on and off for a few years. Just found FCC, so looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

As Joshamore said, I would also like to know roughly how much time per day/week you spent studying, and how you fit it in with your job.

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Congratulations on your new job!

Your frustrations with job boards are shared by many.

It’s also worth pointing out that many people - like Haseeb Qureshi himself - were unable to get jobs through traditional means. This was despite him not only having graduated from a top-tier coding bootcamp (App Academy) but also having taught their algorithm curriculum for a year. He simply couldn’t get interviews. (Of course, his story has a happy ending, with him getting a ridiculous compensation package to work at Airbnb a few months later).

This comes down to the reality that employers are risk averse. They would rather pass on 10 qualified candidates than hire one unqualified candidate. And as a result, they often scan resumes for words like “Google”, “Facebook”, “Stanford” or “MIT”. The typical recruiter / hiring manager spends an average of 6 seconds looking at a resume.

I strongly recommend checking out the Breaking into Startups" Podcast where they talk about all the unconventional ways new developers have gone about landing their first jobs.

As you pointed out, as of June 2017, a freeCodeCamp certificate is unlikely to impress most recruiters or hiring manager. (Neither will most other non-degree certificates, unless they’ve been around for 20 years and have a lot of brand recognition.) But the learning behind that certificate can definitely impress them if you get a chance to get in front of them and show them what you’re capable of. And getting in the proverbial room with them is the real challenge.

There are way more developer job openings out there than there are qualified candidates to fill those openings. You wouldn’t know it from applying places, but there are. The key is persistence, and ingenuity, like we’ve seen here with @aidansven.


100% Agree Quincy, thank you SO much for taking the time to post! It’s an honor to be a part of the FCC community. To answer the previous questions, I spent on average 20 hours a week, but I didn’t really keep close track. A couple weeks I did 0 hours, and many weeks I did 5-10 hours, but then others I did up to 40 hours. I have a wife but no kids yet, so many days my schedule was

get home from work
code while wife is cooking dinner
eat dinner
code some more until midnight
wake up at 6am again

But a couple days a week I didn’t code at all and I would have a date night with my wife to thank her for putting up with me, even though she’s always been very supportive as well. I probably could have benefited from having a set schedule but I was just very random. Once I did the backend API layer challenges, I actually took a 1month break from the cirriculum to work on my own full-stack projects as well, and contribute to some other opensource projects


Nice to hear about someone going straight in at mid level. Being an older coder jumping junior is almost a must for me financially. Great also to see the amount of time you were putting in, similar to mine so gives me good hope that I am on the right track


Man congrats,
I started coding on Udemy no clue why really I think the headline was about Git hub haha… for some reason this is really a lot of fun.
Then it occoured to me that people get paid tons of money for these things.

After years of building cookie cutter sites and employing tons of devs in India it seemed like I just could not recreate the origional business success I had online.

Yet with FCC and my engineering background it seems like I will be able to do kick-ass projects by myself or in a team. It seems to me super powerful for instance to whip out a nodejs site… a person with over a decade in marketing and sales it seems would seriously crush it if they can full stack dev. No more wordpress sites just pure code I love this…

No disrespect to wordpress those cookie cutter sites brought in great business yet working in a team on something HUGE seems like it would be tons of fun.

Great work Aiden you saw your goal and took life by the balls and now you reap the reward.
In the future if you, or any other are looking to work on some projects give me a shout.

Note: Need graphics guy I dont ever see my self not sucking at photo shop haha let me just be honest… :wink:
Some Interesting niches for me are: Real Estate, mabey solar, any freemium type business model, product sales if the product is awesome, RV camping niche, hmmm could be technical or engineering type sales… i would love to get together and to work on a major real estate network with the data feeds and selling product to realtors that type of thing. Drive leads you know marketing revinue reccurring. Let me know.


I am still diving through the challenges, back-end for now precisely. And I must really say that projects are very well-rounded. You learn a lot by doing them, and more importantly you level up your skills on real world aspects of full stack development. For instance, as I am trying to figure out how to build the voting app right now, I found myself learning how authentication and session management is done in Nodejs , something that I might have stupidly overlooked, though vital if one wants to build any serious app.

This is really really sad. For me having all the 3 certificates is sufficient to prove one’s solid skills, let alone having the full stack certificate (the holy grail).
Besides this I think that the most important area to pay attention to is the portfolio. This is our sole showcase and must be given a lot of care. We as developers think that it is only about skills (which is mostly true), but it is also about how we market our skills.

Hey man, what part of Phoenix are you in here is my github account if you ever want to meetup

Congratulations! Always nice to hear such good stories from fellow campers! I actually got a job not long after finishing both the Front-End and Data Visualization certifications on FCC.
I think what you said about HR recruiters not caring about FCC on your resume is important, especially for those who are yet to find their first developer job. It’s always important to look at the bigger picture when working online and honing your skills: the main takeaway should be sharpening your developer skills to be able to prove yourself during technical interviews.

Cheers and good luck for the future!


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This sentence does not make any sense. “Being solid” means doing your work carefully and thoroughly, not half-assing to reach a barely good enough level. This one reads to me as “You can become a solid developer, you don’t even have to be solid to do it”.

That is a very serious and definitive statement. Is it actually based on something else then your own, very rich experience?

FCC students as a whole, or just you?

Again, is this based an anything else then your own, personal experience? Cause if not, then please do warn people that anything below is just a bunch of random thoughts of a person whose whole experience is getting a dev job once.

Hi Kamil.

  1. Finishing FCC !== being solid. No need to be nasty dude. I didn’t “read into” my words as I wrote this as much as apparently you are adding between the lines what’s not there.

  2. There’s a lot of competition at the entry level, due to the CS grads and bootcamp grads who paid for an onsite education. It stands to reason that those people would take precedence over FCC students in the mind of HR. If FCC is the best experience on your resume, HR won’t even look at your github before they throw your resume out. That’s why my suggestion is to bypass HR. For perspective (my experience):
    200-300 applications on indeed/monster/ziprecruiter - only 2 phone interviews
    20-30 applications on - 6 phone interviews, 4 in person interviews
    Post my own bio on craigslist for others to find me - 1 job within 24 hours

  3. You mad bro? The title is “Got my first dev job” so it should be pretty clear that my experience has been getting a dev job once. Derp. I’ve also seen this second hand countless times to back up my claims, and even Quincy agrees that many developers feel the same frustration with job boards.

Kamil, you are certainly welcome to apply to job boards, I won’t lift a finger to stop you. But my advice is to spend your efforts on something that will actually get you a job.


Thanks for the info. I’m just starting, so it’s good to know that this really does the business. I hope I’ll be making my own post like this in a year. Good luck at the new job.

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I am not adding anything in between the lines, I am just analyzing them. When you see a sentence that starts with “solid” and ends with “you don’t even have to…”, you can be almost certain that there is something wrong with that sentence.

Your post looks almost like every other “I got a dev job” post in this forum. It’s always the same pattern:
“I got a job, here is my story, here are my advises to you guys.”.

Now, expressing your joy is a perfectly good thing to do. Sharing your story also. But giving advises is absolutely not. People who have got a dev job once are simply not qualified to give advises on the matter. Because they lack data and (funny you should mention that) perspective.
In 99% of cases however, this isn’t really an issue, since most of their advises are rater neutral statements like “polish up your best project”, “work hard on your portfolio” etc. If these, for some reason, won’t improve your chance at landing a job, they certainly won’t harm you either.

But you are making a very strong statements and conclusions that potentially might be harmful, with out ANY real arguments. I’m sorry if this sounds nasty to you, but your own experience of getting a job once in this case just doesn’t mean anything. You might be qualified to give that kind of advises if you did some actual study on the subject, had some data or real experience to back up your claims or whatever. But you don’t seem to have anything like that. And yet you feel that it’s perfectly all right to share these thoughts, that somebody might take for carefully prepared and well thought advice.

Interesting information shared here, I must say.
I am currently trying to find a job through online agencies like indeed and many many others. The thing is that I’m living in Greece and I am trying to find a job in the UK, where my wife and I are planning to relocate. So far I have made about 20 online applications, with none of them resulting in even a call. What do you guys suggest that I do?

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All “I’ve got a job, here is my story” posts follow the same pattern and inevitably imply that the story is unique to the individual who is sharing it. That implication follows through not only when talking about time it takes to get a job, best practices whist learning but also to the advice that is given.

I thought that it was painfully evident to all of campers, but apparently it is not for you. These stories have the purpose of positive confirmation that many of us here are on the right track, that there is success to be had at the end of hard work. You add nothing to the conversation by criticizing the OP and arguing how his personal story might be harmful.

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Stop jumping through mental hoops to defend the OP. Kamil is right to criticize the tone and content of the original post.
You’re telling me that the deliberate and explicit universal statements that the author wrote, are not universal statements, but are instead the opposite? They are implied to be unique to the poster, implied to be taken with a grain of salt, and implied to NOT be general purpose advice written in a strong tone and authoritative manner?

I did get my job through Indeed, so my soft, casual advice:
ONLY apply on Indeed, because anything else you do is a complete waste of time. If you are spending any resources doing anything else, stop it immediately and redirect all your efforts.


It’s because corporations are evil for profit pigs. They could easily create twice as many jobs but they don’t because they are greedy pigs. I hope one day we the people stand up to them and defeat them.

Great Post though :slight_smile: I really enjoyed reading it. I am having a similar experience.
Getting a job shouldn’t be this hard though. We are only humans trying to get by in life.

If evil for profit pig corporations were interested in helping people instead of making profits we wouldn’t have this problem (e.g. the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer). :rage:

But I’m happy you found a way to rise above :blush: