How do you not get discouraged?

I’ve been listening to a lot of programming podcasts (I listened to every episode of the freeCodeCamp one and am on episode 153 of JavaScript Jabber) where theres lots of episodes where people talk about how the industry needs more developers and interviews with people who got jobs with very little experience. I also see posts on Twitter about people getting jobs as software developers after just doing a bootcamp or a couple of the freeCodeCamp curriculum courses.

I graduated with a Computer Science degree 2 and a half years ago, have done 3 of freeCodeCamp certifications (and am actively working on finishing the rest), practice coding problems everyday, go to all/most of the programming meetup groups in my area, read programming books nightly, and feel like the industry is just leaving me behind and I can’t do anything about it. I work on improving myself and try to stay engulfed in the programming culture but no company will hire me. What do I have to do? If i’m doing the right things how long do I have to wait for it to pay off? Do I have to wait for me to finish all of freeCodeCamp? It really is just a process of waiting in place even if i’m doing all the actions I can to improve and learn.

Am I a bad person and is there something wrong wrong with me? What quality do all of these people that catch breaks have that I don’t (am I dunning kruger stupid and don’t realize it)? I feel like I have zero control over my ability to get a job as a software developer and why is that the case?

Also every time I see another Tweet/blog/podcast about how another person with no experience got a job in 3 months with no degree it hurts me inside and makes me feel inadequate and rejected arbitrarily. I don’t no how to make it stop, I also can never get back the years i’ve spent trying to get a job when if someone would have given me a chances 2 years ago I would have 2 years of experience and people would want to hire me. It really feels like there is something wrong with the industry or i’m just really unlucky or completely incompetent (without knowing it) and I don’t know what actions i’m supposed to take outside of the ones i’m taking already.


I think people who can boast getting a job after several months of learning to code are the rare exception, not the rule. There’s a strong self-selection bias at play there. You can be certain that vast majority of people who land a developer job have been learning to code for years, but because that’s less exceptional they are much less likely to make blog posts about it and guest star in podcasts. You don’t hear from them, you only hear the exceptional stories.

Do you have a portfolio? I haven’t started applying for dev jobs myself, but I don’t think employers care much about how many tutorials you’ve watched or how many certifications you have. They care much more about what you can do, as evidenced by what you have built.


Yeah just echo @ArtemPetrov, it makes sense from a show standpoint to present the feel good stories. You might find one that has a underdog angle, someone who fought and struggled for a long time to finally catch a break. But mostly you’ll see exceptional situations because…well it makes for a good show.

There’s a ton of factors in trying to score a job, so why don’t we focus on one at a time. If you can, post your resume and your portfolio. Might be a good idea to get some feedback on how you’re presenting yourself.


Thing 1: Job markets are extremely regional. Just because a large skill gap exists in the industry, doesn’t mean that there is one in your area.

Thing 2: Even with a large skill gap and even when you have a strong background, job hunting requires a LOT of proactive hard work. It’s stressful and exhausting and hard and can go on for several months even if you are treating your job hunt like a full-time job.


My portfolio is
I actually took it off my resume because my projects are kind of old and the only thing that I actually like is the weekly watchlist site because it’s actually useful to me. My codepen has more recent stuff I’ve been doing for freeCodeCamp but I don’t think it’s good enough to appeal to any employer: I’m getting to the Front End libraries projects to use react and redux now that I finished the Responsive web design projects. I also started doing a daily coding problem and tweeting it as a sort of motivation to myself to keep doing it and am reading the algorithm design manual to work on algorithms (I had an algorithms class in school so it’s familiar but it’s necessary for me to practice because I failed a TripleByte screening and they recommended that book).

Does my stuff scream incompetence and if so how do I make that not the case?

It is ok to be discouraged. Job searching can be a heartbreaking and stressful process.

Don’t let the lack of opportunity make you doubt your abilities. If you are truly doing everything you say you’re doing, then you should be as well prepared as anybody. A lot of people on the job are not 100% qualified according to their own job descriptions. It is a common fault of companies to over list qualifications for positions in order to acquire overqualified talent for lower salary.

To be honest, recruiters probably don’t even take the time to look at your github or code, so the question is, are you getting past the recruiters and hiring managers? Have you been getting interviews and correspondence with companies to get a chance to demonstrate your technical ability? If not then you’re probably worried about the wrong thing. It may not be about your abilities rather your approach to job search.

You mentioned a lot about what your doing to learn but not a lot about what you’re doing to get jobs. More details on those would help. Are you making LinkedIn connections on meet ups? What services are you using beyond regular job boards?


I got referred by a person at a meetup and applied to the job but after the email conversation and me applying to the job I haven’t heard back. About a year ago I got a referral to apply to an internship and I applied and got no reply back. At the meetups i’ve been going to recently I talk to people but none of them are hiring except a view places that wanted senior devs. I talked to one of the people at the company about their stack and what made them decide to migrate to Vue from Angular 1.X instead of React or something else (basically because it’s closer syntactically and less work to migrate).

I applied to that company and listed in my application that I had been there for meetups but got no reply. I thanked the person that gave me a reference and followed them on Twitter too. That said most meetups I go to I get zero interaction with employers and often I don’t even learn anything because I know what’s being spoken about (except for the larger js meetup). I find many of the meetups in my area to be like half bootcamp people looking for jobs and like half or less people that actually work in the industry.

Like i’m not in a position to help the bootcamp people because I can’t help them get a job being a failure of a job finder myself and people say your not supposed to say you are at a meetup to find a job because that looks bad (yet that seems to be why people go to the meetups). I find I can always find better resources to learn online than any talk i’ve seen yet.

I spoke to a recruiter about a month ago and she said they were looking for more senior people but maybe they would be in contact later but have heard nothing since. I had am email correspondance about a week or two ago with someone who said that they were starting with more senior people but in December I should email back (which I will).

That said mostly I just apply online and get overlooked and have had little success making connections or getting any benefit from going to meetups.

So that actually sounds like you may have to improve your resume writing, and maybe get better at following up on applications.

When you get referral it is usually a good idea to ask for a direct contact to the hiring manager, like an email address. That way you can not only notify them directly that you applied, but also follow up on applications to get a more straight forward answer.

Outside of that, I’d broaden my horizon. Front-end frameworks and the JavaScript stack is a good entry way, but a lot of companies still relies on SQL databases and Java/C as their core stack backend. Knowing how to make complex SQL searches and some Java/.Net Frameworks can really increase the size of your job market. There are only so many front-end dev jobs and they are competitive because a lot of people apply, so shoot for full stack positions. You don’t have to be expert on everything, but being competent on more than just the front-end makes you a better candidate.

I am convinced the reason I got hired in my current job is because I am a good front-end developer. The majority of my project involves front-end development and my team doesn’t have a lot of people with front-end experience beyond me. However, I also probably wouldn’t be hired if I only have front-end experience, because the position I fill is that of a full stack developer. Even though only 15% of what I do is backend, I also couldn’t do my job properly without it.

Frameworks and code challenge are important, but also dig into software architecture, design pattern, and system design. A lot of times, that’s what separates you from the pack and show that you’re not just a coder, but a person that can design and engineer software.


I’m going to give you a bit of tough love but I just want to be clear that I’m sincerely trying to help you out. I took a look at your projects and if I would have to guess why you haven’t been hired I would say its because your projects aren’t impressing employers. Are those your only projects? If they are then I’m a bit concerned honestly because you’ve had about 4 years of computer science study and 2.5 years since graduation and those seem to be your only projects. I get that maybe you’re new to web development but do you have anything to show for your CS degree? The first 3 FCC certs are basic to begin with but it didn’t seem like you put much effort into making them look nice.

If you want to impress employers you should focus on the projects for the last 3 FCC certs and try to make them look sleek and professional. I would say you should focus on these things:

  1. Improving your CSS skills
  2. Working on a framework like React
  3. Utilize APIs (or more impressively: write your own)
  4. Learn a back-end like Node.js with a database like SQLite or MongoDB
  5. Tie it all together into a full stack web app and deploy it

Having full stack projects would be so much more impressive to employers. They show that you know what you’re doing and that you’re able to learn various technologies in a short span of time.
Besides actual code I would say maybe you’re not marketing yourself properly on your resumes. Try to get feedback from other developers for your resume and projects


Heres my resume in it’s current form for reference on that: resume

The issue is in college I didn’t know that you needed to save your projects so I just deleted everything after a class. Nobody told me I needed a portfolio. Although to be fair the only project that was kind of notable was a group project that was Android app to measure how much trash people threw out, but even then it was kind of unimpressive (it was supposed to help out the city but they stopped contacting us like halfway and our professor pushed us into doing a simple app that wouldn’t actually solve the problem rather than try to get sensors on the trucks which is a solution that actually would have worked but was out of our scope and we needed something to show for the class). That said I don’t remember any of the Android stuff anymore and it would be outdated.

A lot of the other projects I did in college had no UI, like writing a bunch a c programs that we ran on GPUs in a parallel processing class, and a bunch of Matlab code that was to make classifiers for an image recognition class, or some java code I wrote to parse a bunch of text from articles and create predictions about what words were more likely to appear in articles that came from certain categories like sports, politics etc. That said these were all naive implementations that could have been a lot better.

Also nobody told me in college that you were supposed to do “projects” I thought thats what the school was supposed to do, ie prepare you to be able to perform a job, and I didn’t even realize that until about 3 months after graduating in October 2016 when I discovered freeCodeCamp.

I’ve done some backend stuff before but it was just pre packaged stuff like Rails, Express, and Loopback and I never learned anything deeply. I messed around and served html files with just core node.js but didn’t make a framework out of it because it seemed wasteful and I just wanted to see how to serve a simple file and stopped at that. I did the same thing with PHP and http access files and served some dummy files to routes and got bored.

I’ve done SQL but i’ve never been good at it (I did a reasonable amount of query problems on codewars and had a class in college that used MySQL but I don’t know it anymore). I also used Mongo.db on the simple postapic app that I have on my portfolio but that basically followed a tutorial where I made some changes.

I used Vue.js to make some dummy projects and also used it in a job interview where I was given 8 hours to build a project but I ran into cors issues while serving from heroku that took me like 2 hours to figure what was going on and I just ended up with a simple web page that had a form route that submitted data to a database and I was super embarrassed. I think I did some simple tutorial app that used angular 5 but remember nothing.

I’ve only used React for another dummy project using loopback that was a tutorial and the tic tac toe tutorial on the docs which I read through. I spent some time looking through the source code because I read about the fiber diffing stuff and I wanted to figure out how that works but then I thought that thats not useful to get a job.

Also I wasted a lot of time trying out like 15-20 languages on codewars just doing easy problems because I wanted to mess around with the syntax. But also did a lot of level 5-3 problems in Java/JavaScript but found out recently that HackerRank is better for doing interview style problems and codewars is more puzzly so I was using a bad site for programming challenges.

I it really worth the effort to write an HTTP server in a low level language like C or Rust when I absolutely wont be doing that in a first job and that problem is already solved (also my implementation is going to be inefficient and useless compared to anything that exists and is used)?

I rushed through the Responsive Web Design projects because I wanted to get on to the React and backend part of freeCodeCamp. I was originally going to use React and on every one of the projects to grind it in my memory through repetition but saw that the challenges recommended just CSS (admittedly it would be totally useless to use react on those) so when I saw that I just got the tests to pass and then added some CSS so they don’t look terrible, that said I admit CSS is probably my biggest weakness but I was going to try and just use a framework like bootstrap or materialize (or maybe something lessor know so it isn’t obvious?) on the later projects. I actually liked how my CSS came out on this project though: Build a Technical Documentation Page

The whole point of me committing to finish freeCodeCamp was to stop trying every random thing on a shallow level and getting bored and switching to some other random thing all the time (a month a go I was going to .NET meetups, had .NET core installed on my mac and was reading the .NET and C# documentation (I had used some C# to make a black jack in Unity in college because I didn’t know how to build a UI). I then realized that what I know best now is JavaScript so i should probably focus and hone what I know best right now.

Also saying CSS is “basic” is ridiculous, CSS is just as difficult as anything else in programming, because you can’t reason about it, you just have to change things and see how it looks. With programming you can often reason about something and figure it out.

My worry with focusing heavily on CSS is that that might look bad to employers because that would make me look more like a designer, my goal with CSS is to be just good enough to be dangerous (which i’m not yet) and try to be an expert in JavaScript and other areas. I especially find things like performance and getting files really small, caching strategies with service workers, and also JavaScript engines.

I simply can’t do all of that now though so I picked a narrow simple path to target of finishing all of FCC while doing 1 algorithm problem a day and reading a programming book for an hour each night (I just finished Clean Code, am reading The Algorithm Design Manual now, and next will be Effective JavaScript). I’m going to keep going to meetups, and now that you’ve pointed it out put a little more focus on getting my css passible because it isn’t right now (i’m not trying to be a designer though).

I wasn’t saying that CSS is basic. When I said the first 3 certs are basic I meant that the requirements are simple so if you want them to stand out you have to make the CSS really nice instead of having the bare minimum. I’m not telling you to focus heavily on CSS but you should be doing more with it than you have so far. I also didn’t say to write your own HTTP server with C or Rust but you should be practicing setting up a database and writing a basic API with back-end frameworks like Node.js and Express. Even if you don’t end up working on the back-end in your first job its important to show that you know how to navigate the basics.

Just as you said, focus on a single path and tech stack and try to get really good at it. In FCC’s case that stack is the MERN stack. If you can make projects that utilize the full stack then you should be good to go.

Don’t get discouraged. It’s a lot of work and the truth of the matter is that you’ll have to do everything possible to stand out. Junior positions are competitive. You remedy that by building full stack projects so you don’t look so junior. Its totally possible to skip the “junior” role but you have to show that you know what you’re doing. Take it a step at a time. FCC is a good start. I would recommend checking out a few udemy courses which you can often get for $10.

One last piece of advice is to be willing to move to another state if you haven’t been already willing. It’ll open up your options and many companies offer relocation bonuses.


Hi MP7373,

No. It doesn’t scream incompetence because I understand you did it all from scratch. however, that said you are doing things the hard way.

You’re making the same mistake I used to make by being too honest and not extensively using pre-existing codebases and templates by customizing them.

Exercise your google-fu to the absolute max. Be SHAMELESS and remember the old adage used for artists: Good artists copy. Great artists steal.

What does this mean?

Well, take a long hard look through the lense of an employer and be very judicious with how you display yourself.

First look at your resume page which I again believe is all custom coded.

Now look at this one.

Even though the second one doesn’t have a link to actual code, if you were the employer which looks more professional and impressive?

Before you think he’s a design and coding genius and you’re not, first realize his template is out there. You can snag it.

Second, trust me when I say all coders, all successful programmers, designers and illustrators have built their portfolios from pre-existing work.

All of them just tweaked it to their liking.

It’s therefore up to you to pick and choose, soak up the good design vibes, and modify.

Therefore, the time you spend should NOT be on re-inventing the wheel again and again. Instead it’s designing a premade base done by bonafide designers, customized to look sexy, innovative and unique. And your code? Same thing. Google to see if it’s been done before you on a highly rated arena.

But most importantly do NOT give up, MP7373. You have what I don’t have and with a spiffy portfolio and good taste you can command a higher salary than myself.

However, do spend far more time cheating the system in an ethical way.

Build on the great work of others, collaborate and share code-bases, and keep going.


After looking at your resume. You’re not as prepared as you should be.

It seems like you omitted much of your college experience. It seems like you didn’t list any of the languages or tools you used during your CS degree, or any relevant coursework. Heck, you used VBA in your internship and you did not even list it in your skills.

It sounds like you took a few classes in machine learning, which is a hot buzzword, but it’s nowhere on your resume. Sure it was naive implementations, but did you understand the concepts? If you were asked about it in an interview, can you speak eloquently about it and demonstrate you have the foundation to learn more if needed?

For starters, what was your concentration in your computer science BS? Maybe curriculums have changed since your graduation, but UNC Charlotte offers concentrations on their Computer Science degrees, and most schools have focus area for broad subjects such as computer science. If you had one, add it to your resume, more information that can point to a certain level of proficiency does not hurt.

Same goes with your capstone project. Even if you don’t have the codebase anymore, or the technology is no longer up to date. You should still remember what you did, the design decisions you made, the collaborative experience. The tech isn’t the only thing that matters. Capstone projects and Undergraduate thesis are the best proof of achievement for an undergraduate career, so if you had one, you should list it. Until you have a better project to displace it, you should have it.

The way you have it set up right now, it seems like you went to school to study CS, but had nothing worthwhile to show for it. If I were a recruiter, I’d have questions.

It’s a bad sign, how many times you mentioned that you learned something but no longer remember in that reply. Skill decay is inevitable, but you shouldn’t be losing confidence on everything you’ve learned like this.

I’d suggest you take a boot camp approach and really focus on 2 things, FCC and p1xt’s job ready guide for JavaScript. Put in the hours not only getting through the challenges but review and reinforce the concepts weekly to prevent skill decay. Consider finding a peer to keep you accountable. Build that momentum and confidence.

At the same time, contact your school’s career services. UNC Charlotte actually offers career advising for alums, use that resource to improve your job searching process. Consider doing A/B test and version control on your resumes and see if you can improve your rate of correspondence.



Sell your CS degree hard (not every developer has one).
You have a lot of time to work on your portfolio / resume / interviewing.

2.5 years of 0 developer experience after graduation is a bad sign for a recruiter. What did you do for 2.5 years? You will need to have some good reasons when a recruiter asks about this.

Going to echo WhisperPntr here that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, copypasta code when necessary.

I’m not really sure what the focus of your goal is right now - is it front end? back end? full stack?

Your portfolio needs to be focused and tailored to hit the right points. It needs to tell a story. Your portfolio has to speak for itself that it represents you and your brand. What do you want it to represent? Your design skills? Back end skills? Full stack skills?

You keep talking about and complaining about someone not giving you a chance 2 years ago … going to be real honest here that the only person that can change that is you. FORGET the past, it clearly is dragging at you because the industry is BOOMING. Getting a job, any job is hard and the first one after graduation even more so. It doesn’t have anything to do with luck. It takes guts, blood, sweat, tears. There is nothing wrong with the industry, it is tech and it is competitive.

Actions to take:
Resume - consider using creddle
Portfolio - use a template and follow it
Try and find something in tech that excites you, whether that is web development or something else (gaming, ML, AI etc) make 1-2 really solid projects in it and apply to companies that work in that specific field.


Don’t pay attention to the unicorns!! Anytime someone says they got a job, if all they have is like a calculator and landing page, while I’m happy for them, I don’t even read the story because I know that’s not the case for most people!

Truth is, competition is stiff out here and you need to stand out. Unfortunately, your projects are the reason you are not getting the job. But that’s perfectly fine, as long as you can improve.

If you went through CS, you have to have something to show for it. Internship experience? Capstone? Projects? Do you have any friends who have jobs that can put in a good word for you?

Just to give you a gold standard, which I think is important. Here are some people I try to make my projects as good as. P.S. They are both employed, so use their projects as standards to hold yourself to. Even if they aren’t as clean, just try to get close to the cleanliness of these projects and you will probably get a job.

There are probably people better than them out there.
Knowing guys like this are your competition, should motivate you to push yourself further in all of your projects


If I listed everything I touched my resume would smell of dishonesty and look silly:
Languages: JavaScript, Java, TypeScript, C, C++, Rust, C#, PHP, Ruby, MatLab, Python, Haskell, Elixir, Visual Basic, VBA

Other: React, Vue, Angular 1.x, Angular > 2, Jquery, Node.js, Ruby on Rails, Unity, Express, Loopback, NPM, Webpack, Babel, Agile, TDD, Scrum, Kanban, SOLID design principles, Design Patterns, Progressive Web Apps, SEO, accessibility, HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, Materialize, Android, image processing, data mining, parallel computing, programming language design, UML, JSON, XML, MySQL, Postgres, Mongodb, Firebase, Git.

Theres probably other stuff but that’s what I can think of off the top of my head but this is silly looking. (I’ve tried lots of versions of different amounts of skills listed to no success)

It wasn’t exactly a machine learning class and we didn’t used neural networks. We just wrote functions that given an image it would return true or false based on some criteria like “is there a schoolbus in this image”. So we looked for things like circles for wheels, did some math on pixels to normalize them, but in many of the cases our implementations were so bad that just taking the RGB average of the entire image and saying if it was in a range (like close yellow for a school base) it would give a more accurate success rate (like 70%) than then my implementation other algorithms on our 100 images to test on. So I understand classifiers and that ML is often training to get a better classifier but these classifiers where self implemented (they didn’t change themselves based on input data being read incorrectly).

I’ve heard of K nearest neighbor being used as like the entry level know nothing ML algorithm and I used that in both that image processing class and a data mining class for different reasons, but again not with machine learning.

I was afraid of listing VBA because it might look like i’m not a “real programmer” and i’m like a business person writing really simple macros. In reality we should have a database for what i’m doing with VBA macros but it started small and now is the kind of thing that shouldn’t have been done with macros and despite my efforts to make the code readable/clean (i’m trying to put into practice what I learned from clean code) I doubt any person is going to be able to maintain it, not that it should be a final solution. I wasted time writing a lot of unit tests for classes that I only used in one module, writing tests that takes a starting sheet, copies that sheet, runs a macro on the copied sheet, and then checks if it matches the expected sheet to test macros that did really destructive things to make sure to not break the larger list (like searching if an ID column had been used with a DELETE action which means all other rows with that ID are actually invalid because it was deleted eventually, and removing all rows with that deleted ID).

I transferred into CS after 2.5 years of community college and was the last class to not have one of the focus areas they offer now. I picked the most general path (I think it was just called computing) because I thought that would give me the most options and I didn’t even know what programming was until day one of intro to CS (which I took after deciding to major in CS).
I found the UNC Charlotte career services to be useless went I went there before, no one I spoke to had any idea about the software industry and they gave generic resume advice that’s not relevant for developers.

As for making it look like I did something in college (which I honestly feel like I didn’t) how should I remedy that on my resume?

I didn’t know internships were required in school (because they weren’t), I also had summer classes every semester because I started CS as a transfer Junior taking intro to CS in January 2014 and needed to cram all of those classes in the summer to graduate in a reasonable time. Also all of the companies that came in classes wanting interns wanted 3.5 GPA students (so not me) so I figured internships were an extra that only the super tryhard (wag your tail for a treat, look at me look at me!) A students would do. I also didn’t realize that Cs were bad and was fine with Bs and Cs and had three Ds (2.79 GPA at graduation). I always thought grades were stupid (and still do) so I wasn’t going to play the hoop jumping game, and just focused on making sure I passed and could finish my degree. I occasionally made A’s but that was just totally random, and my advisor asked me how I made a D in the super easy database class but made a B in what was supposed to be the most difficult class for most students that many had to retake (computer architecture where you made a CPU out of and and or gates) and I had no answer. Like I really don’t understand traditional education and my experience with it has only led me to lose respect for any sort of degree that anyone has. It’s like, ok you’re a hoop jumping sheep that likely knows very little but sounds good on paper.

Thats why I really like what the internet does for education now, sites like freeCodeCamp, Khan academy, udemy, pluralsite, etc are all better resources than my college education (I honestly believe this so its hard for me to sell my degree yet companies value degrees for some reason?). In one of my college courses that used ruby on rails they had us do the codecademy course on ruby to get an overview of the language and I though “this is so much better than anything i’ve been taught in school”. I really want to see a world when colleges are unable to get students because everyone just learns everything alone with an internet connection, I think universities only provide value for researchers that need the facilities (and specific programs that need a physical facility) but it really doesn’t make sense for programming. The advantage of self learning is you can actually focus on what really matters, understanding the material. You don’t have to make the compromise of “well I could do x to reinforce my learning but if I don’t do y (which doesn’t help me learn) then I will get a bad grade”. You just always do x and grow and learn. Also if your maybe going in a poor direction and need advice you can look to online communities and ask how you can improve your path (which i’m doing here). So this leads me to a disposition of not valuing my college experience but companies valuing that over what I value which is actual learning, competence, and ability to perform a job.

I actually don’t like the generic “modern website” look and intentionally tried to not copy a design for a while, but I guess I should just copy it since other people do (I was afraid of doing this because then I would just look like a generic template website that just followed what other people do).

Also it’s obvious that my designs don’t look good to other people so i’ll try to emulate more.

Quality vs Quantity.

You’re doing many things, spending a lot of time on them. Are they all benefitting your learning journey and chances of getting a job? If yes, would you be able to give yourself a proof for that?
How much use have you made of what you’ve learned during those hundreds of hours spent on podcasts?
Are you reading books that are directly related to the problems and uncertainties you’re facing currently? Have you made use of that knowledge you got from those books?

There’s a good term for what you’re doing and it’s called mental masturbation. Get familiar with the 80/20 concept.

Do you at least have some good projects that showcase your skills? Cause you’ve probably invested at least 800-1000 hours (not including college) at this point and that’s enough to get really deep into any area.

If you’re as desperate at getting a job ASAP as it sounds, your best bet is probably to stop looking for a job and start actually learning. And stop defeating yourself in your mind.


There is maybe some knowledge gap on what machine learning and deep learning are, but that’s the least of your problem.

You need to workshops your resume. There are at least 3 FCC Medium posts on this particular subject and plenty others in the forum. Learn from them. If you don’t think your school career services helps you, you need to bring this up to other developers you meet at meetups.

To be brutally honest, I think you underutilized all the resources available to you in college. Internships, Co-op opportunities, capstone projects, senior thesis, career advisors, campus recruiting, hackathon, research…Etc. Things that you may have taken for granted for the try hards but not you. However that’s the past. For what it’s worth, you are still an Alumni, and most school of moderate size has robust alumni networks that can benefit your job search.

To make it look like you did something in college, you can start by putting the Android project you mentioned on your resume. As far as I can tell, it’s the only experience you cite thats actually collaborative.

On face value, it also looks like you accomplished less in 2.5 years post graduation than what a typical bootcamp graduate does in 3-4 month. Mostly because you don’t seem to have much to show for what you’ve learned. You have a few dummy projects as you call them, but they are things you can do following tutorials. You don’t want to be evaluated on paper, but the paper is all they have to evaluate.

Of all the things you “touched”, how many of them do you think you can confidently use to complete project on deadlines? There is no sense in listing everything. Tailor you skills to the job description and skills that you feel you can reasonable do in a job.

I’ve been where you are. Directionlessly trying to learn different things quickly, and sending applications into the ether. Whenever I did get interview I find out how horribly unprepared I really was.

I had to go through a bootcamp to really become displined, and understand that I need a level of focus to get jobs, rather than just hope I get pluck out of the ocean of random applicants.

You don’t have to do the same, but you do need to focus and accomplish to increase your chances. Structure your learning, create tangible achievements with incremental complexity, and keep yourself update on the skills. Whether it’s web development or otherwise, create a plan and stick to it. Without some good project to well demonstrate your skills, I’m afraid you won’t be able to seize career opportunities when they do become available.


Have you thought about freelancing? Granted it’s a lot of responsibility and you’ll have to wear a lot of hats, but…you’ll definitely get experience and have some projects to add to your portfolio. Plus it’ll show you can handle multiple areas at once (development, design, client service, research, marketing, branding, etc), also that you can produce on time, handle scope changes, problems you faced and how you overcame them. All that looks really good to potential employers.

Also too, if you happen to work with someone else, let’s say a dedicated graphic designer, that shows you can work in a team.