Graduate as Full Stack Web Dev, applied to more 140 jobs, but now I applied to my old regular job

On 2017 I had the opportunity to go 100% into learning programming. I had to quit my job to be a stay home dad and I took the opportunity to pursue what I always was interested in; programming. I had learned on my own watching youtube videos the basic HTML, CSS, and Bootstrap, but now I was looking into a career change. 37 years old looking for a career change, looking to do exciting and creative things, and interacting with others who share the excitement of doing this kind of work for a living. Well, I graduated in June of 2018 as Full Stack Web Developer with Python as a back-end programming language. Since then, I have applied to more than 140 plus jobs and with only two interviews. Unfortunately, as time passed it made a hole in our finance. Every application was applied with the hope of being the one the would get up us over the hump.

All this to say, I have applied and possibly start working on what I used to do before quitting; Pest Control. P.S. I am still learning by taking these courses like ES6, React, and Node. Some projects as well… slowly but surely.

Has anyone gone through this situation and had to go back to the old job?


Hi, my thinking is if you are able to make a real full stack app with django + react and node + react then lie by saying you were freelancer for 1 or 2 years and you should find a job easy. (It’s important to lie, to install trust.)
By real app, I mean to use redux + selector for react, and following the best practices containers/stateless components.

Next step would be to learn graphql as it is the modern way to play with API. (It will probably replace REST in the future).

The other solution would be to create projects ready made in 1h without using any best practice and complexity. But then you should be extremly lucky, like those people who can find a job by learning only for 3-4 months :slight_smile:


important to lie?

Well YMMV but I wouldn’t lie… couldn’t if I tried. Lying doesn’t always, if ever, build trust…

Anyway-- to the OP- the job I am in right now is not my old job really- it’s a new job but has nothing to do with Web Dev or IT- kind of a “stopgap” measure to both bring some extra money in and get something more in addition to my recent courses/cohort/projects on my resume after so many years (life went kablooey for a while). I know of and have seen others either go back to their old jobs or new non-IT/developer related jobs while continuing to look for a Web Dev (and/or tester in my case) job.


Lying on your resume is absolutely out of the question and is horrible advice. It’s easy to check these things and if OP is hired and can’t do tasks at the level he specified in his resume, he’d be fired on the spot and it would follow him around the industry.

This is a seriously bad take.


@NielsDom I appreciate the advice but I don’t believe in lying to get a job. I would be lying to myself. I love programming not because of what I can get by programming but for what I can do with programming. However, I agree with you on building a building a more robust app with Django, react and node. React and Node are next on my list to learn. I am currently going full force with ES6 and I’ll add Graphql to my list as well.

@Ducky My plan is to be proficient in the Front end with JavaScript/React, and have fun building some projects. Then I’ll start applying to jobs again.

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Lying may get you initial interviews, but I doubt you’ll be able to pass any reasonable technical interview.

Don’t learn technologies just for the sake of learning them. Check your local job boards to see what employers are looking for (are there really that many entry level python (or backend in general) jobs in your region?).

Frontend would be the best bet: only one language to choose from (JavaScript).
Then learn the framework that is the most popular in your region or the region you’re willing to move to (here results for React).

Then you go through job postings, see what’s required and learn that (unless it’s something very obscure or something really old). Read this (it’s still relevant in 2019 :).

And keep applying.

I did the research; Reach and Node are in demand in LA that is why I have them on my list to learn. React and Node also works perfectly with Python. Now, when it comes to finding a position for entry level for python, there are not that many. There are more opening for Front end using React or React Developer or JavaScript Developer. Learning the front end will only make me more rounded, so I am looking forward to building with these new Technologies.

Thanks for the links, awesome stuff.

It seems to me that you are focusing more on the frameworks and languages used compared to actual problem solving in programming. I suggest you focus more on algorithms and practice on sites like or hackerrank, there are alot of sites out there that prepares you for interview.

What stands you out as a good programmer is one that is able to solve problems, Things like ES6, react and node are frameworks and tools that help you reduce code. Although they are important for development, they are no means to substitute actual problem-solving skills when you are dealing with code and good companies will test you on those

The problem I find with many self-thought developers is that they fail to understand what is good code, jumping on a framework and only think about making their code work. Ignoring core principals such as OOP, algorithms and design patterns which are the core part of designing good code.

Don’t get discouraged by this, programming is something that takes a lot of practice and writing code to be better.

Here is what I suggest:

Join meetups, meet developers in the field to network with other developers, so people can give you advice
Continue building projects, as you build projects refactor them ask yourself if you can write something better and cleaner. Use only the essentials without a framework html/css and javascript. As you build bigger and bigger projects only then start using frameworks to see how much it helps reduce your code.
Do algorithms challenges daily 1-3 :

repeat this daily , and slowly work your way up. You will get there eventually. Focus on learning what is writing good quality code and dont worry too much about frameworks


This is a very bad suggestion, please rethink what you wrote.

Even if OP lie his way through the job, he won’t be able to lie on the actual job which requires him to code.

There are a lot of stories on Reddit where HR has hired clueless people, and those people become unproductive, doing nothing on the job and are placed aside getting fired eventually. You are right that some people are lucky enough to find a job after learning 3-4 months. But those people are not hired based on their skill but on their aptitude for learning which is more valuable than hard skills alone.

I have serious doubt that you have experience in the field, from your reply, it shows many red flags to potential employers. Please do not throw assumptions and suggest things that do more harm then good if you are unsure.

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OP’s problem is that he’s not getting any interviews. And knowing OOP, algorithms and design patterns won’t improve his chances, but having few modern frameworks + portfolio of some projects using those frameworks probably will. Of course clean code, design patterns and some CS fundamentals are nice to have, but without CS degree it’s better to have some hands-on experience. Also you can get pretty far in frontend without knowing any algorithms.

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I agree with you 100% that I have only focus on frameworks and not enough on algorithms and design patterns. I did learn about searching and sorting, maps and hashing, trees, graphs, and some computer science problems like the Knapsack and the Traveling Salesman problem. Good thing a purchased a while ago Beau’s ‘Algorithms in Motion’ course, so I will go over it again and practice in hackerrank, codesignal, or codewars.

Thanks for the advice @Balancedsan

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If OP is not getting any interviews , then what makes you think that portfolio and frameworks will be the difference on his chances. Portfolio helps , but a good employer are not looking for those things. I know someone who set programming questions to potential candidates , and portfolio dosent prove your skills, anyone can go to github , copy features and paste on their portfolio.

Knowing OOP, algorithms and design patterns are what stands you out in the end. Portfolio only shows your enthusiasm for code. But not actual skill. They are hiring you to be productive on the job, you are working on a team , if you cant write good code how are you going to contribute to enterprice code?

Theres a huge difference between enterprise code and personal project code. You are missing the point about what companies are looking at

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Actually algorithms is not just about the common data structures used. Its about how you solve problems in the shortest way possible that are error free . Those are the bare bones example , but you need to apply those in your work and actual projects. The best way is to practice those on questions that you need to solve in code those are what actually help you.

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Portfolio and frameworks will help him get through initial screening. If HR is looking at his CV and doesn’t see required keywords his CV is going trashed immediately.

That’s what companies are looking for!!! No one is expecting enterprise level code from a self-taught junior developer, but they expect enthusiasm and willingness to learn.


You do realize that there are thousands and thousands of coding boot camp grads that say the same thing with a portfolio saying that they have enthusiasm to learn. The reality is that enthusiasm do not equate to competency on the job.

I also did not say he should trash writing frameworks in his CV or resume, he should definitely include those things but he shouldn’t focus on those things intensively just for the sake of getting the job. Frameworks get changed a lot , and new frameworks gets introduced every year, if OP just focus on learning frameworks he will definitely fall behind.

The things that stick with a developer toolkit and giving them the adaptivity to learn different things is cs fundamentals and problem solving skills which takes tons of practice to master. Learning those things should take priority over frameworks as a good programmer can pick up frameworks easily

That’s why there are interview process and probation period.

React: Initial release May 29, 2013
Angular (2+): Initial release 14 September 2016
Vue: Initial release February 2014

Here are some of the reasons I haven’t got interviews: My main programming back end language is Python and Flask for the front end. These combination for Web Development is not in high demand, maybe if I was strong in Django. Another reason; there are not that many junior/entry level positions. Most Back end will required more of the problem solving and design patterns you are talking about. This is why I agree with you that If I want to get serious mainly on the back end I need to practice with real projects my algorithms and design patterns.

Now, what I am focusing right at this moment for the sake of moving forward and being successful at job hunting is to get strong in the front end adding these technologies I mention before. As I am learning these technologies and I am also having fun. I am enjoying learning the front end and only makes me better.

Your strong stand on learning the problem solving of algorithms and design patterns tells me that your preference is the back end or perhaps Data Analyst position.

Again you are missing the point about what i am saying , when i say frameworks get introduced every year i am not focused on the timeline when frameworks get introduced, furthermore you misunderstand the meaning of “frameworks”. Those 3 are not the only frameworks around. Take a look at these are all frameworks . The main point is that no one should focus on learning frameworks compared to fundamentals period. Because good fundamentals will let u pick those frameworks up easily.

The purpose of those frameworks are meant to reduce code so that we will write less code, but it does not substitute good coding practices of writing good robust code if you pick up a framework but you don’t refactor you end up writing more code with a framework then normal.

Your argument on the interview process and probation period are not helping the OP, OP shouldn’t just focus on just getting the job, which is what your whole argument is about. Rushing to get the job does not equate to maintaining the job or helping him improve his skillset, whether OP gets a good company and mentor is subjective to the company, some companies are a sink and swim culture. And those things i mention is what ensures that he will improve even if such situation so he does not waste his time.

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Actually you are mistaken on what you say, its not about the language .Yes companies are looking for you to be proficient , but what im trying to say is that programming fundamentals help u in the long run to be adaptable. Languages will be just tools. Its how you use the tool

You definately need a language to be proficient in , but end of the day each programming language is a tool and every thing you code is a nail. In the real world , you are expected to pick up different languages and popular languages change .

Furthermore design patterns and algorithms are the fundamentals in every software , not just back end . Even front end code in java script build on those fundamentals to write good code. This is why front end dev also have to pick this up.

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Actually they’re not.

I’ll end my contribution to this discussion by posting a link to an article by Dan Abramov (creator of Redux and the member of the core React team at Facebook):