Got another rejection, really really really pissed off

So I applied for a developer job. Got a friend on the inside to recommend me. The wanted ad said, 6 months of experience of programming wanted, degree not nescessary. Clearly a junior position. I got a friend on the inside to recommend me. After the recruiter dragged the process out for a month and a half. I get an interview at the company. After 2 days I reciever news that they suddenly realized they will get a lot of thesis workers in a couple of months and therefore can’t take on any more juniors at the moment. This isn’t something they realize in 2 days. This is something they have known all along.
At the moment they are looking for more senior back-end devs. So WTF am I supposed to do? It feels like every company I have interview at asked for juniors in their wanted ads but in reallity are expecting seniors. I am at an end here. Should I just give up?

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“Should I just give up” is a really stupid question, come on dude.
If they wanted seniors, they’d be looking for seniors. How many other companies have treated you similarly that made you think nobody wants to hire juniors?

Keep trying, you’ll get there eventually. And make sure your portfolio/skills/experience is up there, I’ve seen many people here desperate to get a job while not having much to show for themselves. So, if you haven’t, identify “where” you are in your programming journey and go from there.

I’ve also read a lot of advice here about looking for jobs in different areas, and that’s quite true. You might find employment much easier if you’re willing to relocate.

In the meantime, try to get some experience and work done for your portfolio via remote jobs (some of them aren’t even gigs) and freelance work.

I’ve been doing this for two decades. Rejection is part of it. But so is learning. Instead of beating yourself up about the “no” ask “why”. And not just calling them up and asking straight out why they won’t hire you.

Look at your portfolio again. It might seem like a masterpiece of craftsmanship, but I bet you can spot areas that could be improved on if you give it another look.

Consider who is giving you referrals. Just because they work there, doesn’t mean they are a good reference. Is your friend the sort that always shows up late with an excuse, or makes questionable choices regularly? If he’s a drinking buddy, he’s probably better left off your resume.

“No” in this business is just “not yet”. Meanwhile, keep practicing. Punch keys, not walls. Find some open source projects to contribute to to build reputation and skill. Eventually you become a senior developer looking for a junior position, and those human resources people will beg you to join their team.

You got in this to get a job doing what you enjoy. You’re not, yet. So how are you supposed to get there if you give up now? Keep trying. This is what I usually present as a portfolio. But I have never been asked about previous projects. I just get rejected before that because they decided they needed seniors instead.

Well, that might be why it feels like you get rejected for a junior position when they are actually looking for a senior position. They are looking for a junior that has some experience, but you are waiting to be asked for that experience, instead of showing it in your portfolio. First, get rid of the stuff you built as part of some tutorial. You may have put fingers to keys to get it made, but you didn’t come up with it, so stop showing that to potential employers. It doesn’t represent what you actually can do. Also, consider a github page instead of a codepen. It demonstrated you at least have worked adjacent to a versioning system. Replace the calculators, stop watches, and to do lists with anything else you built, like open source projects you contributed to. You shouldn’t wait to be asked for your best work, that should be what’s in your portfolio to get them interested in talking to you. If you have past experience, but nothing you can show on your portfolio, build something that you can show. Contribute to open source projects. Did I already say that? Here, let me say it again, so you know I’m serious, because it’s the best advice you can get right now: Contribute to open source projects. Being able to follow directions is a minimum requirement of any job, so anything you built while following a tutorial or lesson plan isn’t going to be that impressive, even if you think the end result is impressive. Anyone can follow a recipe and make amazing cookies. Show that you can make Beef Wellington with your eyes closed and nobody telling you how. If you have original projects, or contribute to projects with unique solutions, that gets noticed because it shows you have the critical thinking and problem solving skills they are probably looking for. You don’t need to be a senior dev to have those skills, or to be developing them. Every new coder is hired as a junior, but having the skills that make a good senior some day are going to set you apart. You may not be the guy they hire to solve the problems they have now today, but they want guys who will solve problems later, and those guys are hired out of the junior pool, so it makes sense to fill the junior pool with those that show they could make good senior devs someday. Then they already have qualified candidates when the need arises. You don’t need to prove you have all the skills of a senior dev, some will be learned while you are in the junior pool, but showing you have that potential will get you called back. So, identify a problem, and solve it. Then include that solution as part of your portfolio. Repeat until your portfolio is full of actual things you built yourself without someone telling you what to do, where you definitely had to invent the solution yourself. Unique projects. And then, still expect rejection. A lot of It. It happens a lot. Even to guys with a hundred times the skill you or I have, and I’m the kind of guy who can give a shack in the woods a web presence with little more than a 15 year old laptop and a WiFi signal. That’s not to say every hiring company is looking for unicorns, just that every hiring company wants you to show that you want to be the unicorn they didn’t even know they needed, and that needs to come through on your portfolio, not later in the interview. Don’t make them ask to be amazed. You wouldn’t buy a ticket to a concert where you have to request the musicians play their instruments before you get to hear them. You hear them on the radio before you buy the tickets, it’s how you know you’re likely to enjoy the show. The interview is just to prove their suspicions of you, not make up their minds. Their minds should be made up by the time they call you for an interview, because what you showed them was an interesting portfolio. What you linked to, that’s a demonstration of syntax. Basically it tells me you have a grasp of the languages for front end, but nothing there really grabs my attention and shows me what you, specifically, can do with it. Anyone can read a recipe. Prove you can cook. Make a better portfolio, and link it here. We’ll be happy to give you pointers to improve it.


This would impress me if I didn’t have a master’s degree in engineering from one of the most prestigous technical universities in my country. With plenty of real college credits in programming and applied programming. . Of course I know how git works.I even have contributions to FCC itself.

So why doesn’t your portfolio show that? You’re eager to make a little lack of success the scapegoat for why you aren’t getting the callbacks you want, but the impression you are starting with is not who you are, if you really do have all those credits. Your Codepen could be built by anyone taking a “Learn to Make websites in a week” on Udemy. It should show you really are a computer science wizard that can walk the walk. Also, The stem crisis ismy a lack of people trying to get in. It’s a lack of qualified people trying to get in. Show off the shills that make you qualified if you want to keep from being fast tracked to the bit bucket.

Because I did low-level programming at uni, not web dev. You want C+±code that uses all kinds of exotic features in C++17? No problem.

YEAH, I DO. Or at least I wiuld if I was an hr manager sorting thru apllicants. Just because it isnt directly related to web dev, doesnt mean you ahouldbt use it. Skills are skills, man. And if it’s tech related, get that out there, front and center. It makes for a better first impression than “Here’s a calculator I built following some titorial”. Trust me.

Sorry about the spelling. Eating lunch, but trying to respond in a timely manner.

Have you looked at the source code for that calculator, notice the implementation of the MVC pattern? That is quite a step above the regular calculators. But if it is flash you want, then sure.

Being rejected for a job sucks, but you should use the opportunity to improve your pens so you can more effectively demonstrate your mastery of the field to prospective employers. One thing you can do is start a new thread about one of your pens, and ask for feedback. I recommend starting with your portfolio pen and make it as impressive, polished and professional as humanly possible. Aim for shock and awe. Recruiters are likely to glance at your portfolio page first, and if it doesn’t measure to their standards, they will probably reject you out of hand.

Some Constructive Feedback
I would suggest formatting a head, body and footer into your html. Put your nav section at the top of the body, which is where it should be. Put your contact information in the footer. Also, give each navigation element a link to the appropriate section of your web-page or to the corresponding external website, IE the GitHub nav element should open a new tab that navigates to your GitHub portfolio. I noticed that the nav elements collapse and overlap when the view-port is landscape, which looks sloppy. Lastly, the tic-tac-toe image looks stretched, but it should retain its original dimensions. Link the react-tic-tac-toe image to that project’s page, and give the alt attribute a more descriptive value for screen-readers, not just “screenshot”.

Polish all your pens so they look commercial grade and feel responsive. Aside, your portfolio is impressive, but it should pack a little extra punch.

A great reference I use when I can’t remember how to do something in HTML or CSS.

No Jr manager is going to look at source code for a thing they think they’ve seen a hundred times. You could have the secret meaning of life in your source, but its still a calculator, and everybody with a tutorial has you make one. In less you can direct me to seeing that your implementation is unique, I wouldnt look under the hood, and I bet neither did they.


We never got to a technical interview. They rejected me after the behavioral interview with the motivation that they were looking for senior backend devs.

I have lost the will to make an effort anymore to be honest. What is the point if nothing I do is ever “good enough” unless it is something completely novel that no-one has ever thought of previously.

There you go again, waiting to be asked for the show instead of just giving it. That’s why you need to ditch those projects that look like things everyone has seen a hundred times. It clutters your portfolio with stuff nobody is going to look at. You cannot depend on making it thru to the next step of the hiring process for it to impress. You need to wow them immediately. HR people have a short attention span. Unless your portfolio starts with murder on page one, they never get to page two. So, take the advice of the other guy, and rewrite it. Make it killer, and populate it with your real beat work, the stuff that won’t need an explanation or a technical interview to make them want to call you back.

So I shouldn’t post anything that isn’t original research. Fine then, I won’t bother anymore. I will find another career path.

Well, it’s your choice man. And it will be your worst or best decision you’ve taken.

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My intention is not to downplay your struggles but your story so far isn’t exactly littered with hardships.
Put it behind you or look at it as a learning experience and start applying for more jobs.

You will likely still have to apply for jobs and go through the interviewing process.

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A career in code isn’t right for everyone, but it is something you can do if you really want to. Sounds like you don’t want to do what it takes, which is coming up with some original work and rewriting your portfolio. Yeah, it’s a lot of work, but the guys that are willing to do it are the ones who get hired. And what kind of work do you think you’d be doing after you got hired? Most of it is taking something and rewriting a better version of it. So, that’s just something you should always be doing with your portfolio anyway. I always am. And I’m not even trying to find a job.
There are plenty of folks that get into this expecting to land a job easily enough because of all the demand that’s not being met, but you do still have to impress them in the talent competition I’m afraid, because there are so many getting into this thinking it will just be that easy. Those same guys, the ones thinking its gonna be easier, tend not to work out that great, because the job isn’t easy. If you think the time it takes getting there is rough, wait until you’ve made it. It’s agonizing by comparison. Nobody talks about that though, because it’s a lot of money to sit at a desk. But if you don’t love it, enough to stick with it when it’s hard, you’ll hate it when you’re really doing it. Its the ones that love it, even when it’s hard, especially because it’s hard, that get picked. And even those guys get shut out for a long time before they get in.
We’ve done what we can to help, but it seems you have already decided to throw in the towel. If you change your mind, we’ll still be here to help. Best of luck in whatever you decide to try next. Hopefully you find something you love enough to suffer for.