This is a great write up. It’s very thorough, thanks for taking the time to share your experience in job searching. One thing I definitely agree with and echo is that the job board sites are not a waste of time. The thing is, everyone has their own experience. Some use job boards and find success, and others find a job through other means
Don’t Rush Yourself
I’ve seen a lot of Internet writings about people who’ve gone from no exposure to coding to a hired developer within 6 months. Realize that those people are the unicorns. Be happy for them, but realize it will likely take you at least a year if you have a full time job. I’d spent over two years working through Free Code Camp off and on before I got to a level where companies wanted to talk to me. Don’t think of it as a competition for jobs against other developers where if you move too slow, you’ll get left behind. There are more job openings out there than you could ever hope to apply to.
Once you get good at building applications, companies will be enthusiastic about getting you in for an interview because there just aren’t many people at that level who aren’t already working for another company. It’s not a race. Once you’re ready, companies will want to hire you. I promise.
When are you ready?
When it comes to learning to code, I like to think of it like learning to climb a mountain.
Before even reaching base camp, you need to learn about what gear you’ll need, how each piece works, and how all the pieces work together. Then, you need to practice using your gear until you’re comfortable. Then, you need to learn to climb. You’ll maybe start on some boulders, then steep hills, then some short peaks, and keep building up skills from there. Over time, you’ll encounter obstacles you’ve never faced before and gain experience and priceless lessons from failures and frustration. The key is to just keep going. Learn from your failures, and move on.
Do, fail, learn, repeat.
Eventually, it gets easier and easier, and you can attempt to summit larger and larger mountains.