How do you not get discouraged?

I have to echo the tough-love messages that are coming out in response to your question.

Companies don’t care about your pieces of paper. Your CS degree may tick a box for some companies but it doesn’t show your specialised skills or what motivates you. Companies want you to demonstrate that you can work with them, and their teams.

Don’t complain that companies won’t hire you when you won’t show your work because you think it’s not good enough. If you don’t like the projects you’ve done, improve them, redo them or make more. Put it all on GitHub too.

Daily coding challenges are all good. It does help to have algo skills. But consider that you may be using them as a procrastination tool, stopping you from doing the work that will actually get you hired. See above - portfolio!

You might not even need a Portfolio website, unless you want to be a freelancer. I’ve been pro for two years and had my CV in front of more companies than I can remember - only one has commented that I don’t have a portfolio site. I just have my CV, LinkedIn and GitHub.

I haven’t read your code but it seems you are quite technically competent. Your problem appears to be that you lack the self confidence to show yourself as a developer. That may be affecting your motivation to build the great portfolio that you are capable of creating.

While you’re building that great portfolio you need to figure out how to set yourself apart from other people in your position (you are not the only CS grad with a bunch of FCC projects). Stop asking what you can get out of meetups and start asking what you can give to them. How can you contribute to your local developer community? That said, what sets you apart from your competition will, by definition, be different for everyone. Try looking at all those stories about people getting their first job and ask yourself how they set themselves apart.

Incidentally, I am growing to hate those survivor-bias-laden stories about another person who got a job after three weeks on FCC! I see them so often on my LinkedIn and Google feeds that it is starting to feel like FCC blog is rinsing a new one every week because they have little other content to offer. Obviously they do have other content, but I am personally quite bored of those stories and reading this I am considering the damage it is doing to those of us who don’t get the same results. I thank you for sharing your story and enlightening me on that.

Keep working, keep contributing, be patient with yourself.

You will get there! :smiley:


What you’re doing now is all well and good, but I noticed a key part missing: you should be writing code. Forget the “practice coding problems.” Those might help you during a “whiteboard interview” but you won’t likely get to that stage without something cool to show off. So build a really cool project (or 2 or 3) first. If your goal is full-stack development, then you should make a full-stack app and deploy it on Netlify or Heroku. And make the full-stack app high-quality—a full-featured back-end, with a front-end that looks clean and professional. Don’t try to deploy stuff on GitHub Pages or CodePen—GitHub Pages should only be for a personal site, and CodePen should only be used to show experimental or “proof of concept” stuff, not finished projects. If you want to deploy front-end projects, use something else like

Also your “portfolio page” needs to be re-done, as it doesn’t look very professional right now. Stick to a solid color for your background—white is best, but you could also use either gray or light black. Use a traditional web-safe font like Arial. Make your presentation of your projects clean, sleek, and professional.

And don’t use Bootstrap on your personal site. It’s fine to use it for a project, but you should show that you can write and structure your CSS from scratch, and that you can make a responsive site without it.

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Should I work on my portfolio first (before I go through freeCodeCamp) or should I go through freeCodeCamp and redo the portfolio after? I honestly feel like I need to do the daily problem on the white board because I failed a technical screening but thats only 30 minutes - 1 hour a day usually in the morning so i’m not going to stop doing that (I fill like it’s like working out where it’s more important to not not do than it is to go crazy with and spend all your time doing it). I have my internship from 9 - 5 monday to thursday and work at a grocery store usually 5 - 8pm on monday and 12-8pm on Saturday. I also go to the gym on tuesdays for about 2-3 hours to lift (I dropped to 1 day from 2 to get more time to work on stuff). And often tuesday or thursday I go to a programming meetup but not all the time. So that gives me about an hour on the busy days, and 4ish hours on the not busy days. The days I get to work on stuff all day are Friday and Sunday. So when I have those long periods should the first thing I work on be my portfolio layout (obviously my projects can’t change while i’m working on the layout)? I try to get in bed at 10-10:30PM and read whatever programming book i’m reading for the time for around an hour and then go to sleep (right now I’m reading an algorithm book which is actually quite helpful so far and the next book is going to be Effective JavaScript because I’ve heard a lot of podcasts with the author Dave Herman and he seems to be the kind of person I would want to learn from because he has a deep background in programming languages). After that I was going to finish up the front end libraries certification on freeCodeCamp by making my old projects pass the test cases and making the 2 that i’m lacking in React.

The reason I lean on freeCodeCamp is there is nothing I actually want to build so it just feeds me projects to do. Is this probably a bad path for me? Like the whole point is that as someone who want’s to be employable it’s actually entirely unclear what I need to do to be employable so I don’t even know the actionable steps I need to take. Me making this thread is now making me doubt my decision to use freeCodeCamp because it sounds like i’m being recommended mostly to not use freeCodeCamp, which I liked because it at least gave me a measurable goal.

I’m not using coding problems as procrastination, I applied on TripleByte and didn’t get past the 2 15 minute programming problem challenges they gave so I felt it was necessary to work on that skill for a time boxed amount of time daily to improve. I only do 1 problem a day and use my other time to work through the freeCodeCamp curriculum right now, although it seems like a lot of people are advising me to just make projects on my own but I don’t have anything I want to make or any problems I want to solve other than getting a dev job. I don’t have any creative ideas about something I could build that would get me a job so I just have been leaning on FCC to complete its projects.

Is this a poor decision?

When you have a CS degree, you don’t need to be doing the FCC curriculum. Tons of college students who graduate with a CS degree get jobs, even in web development, without doing any further education. And the people who should be focusing their time on FCC first and foremost are those who don’t have any formal education or CS degrees. That’s not you, so you don’t need to be doing FCC right now.

If your goal is to get a job asap, work on your portfolio first. It shouldn’t take much time to do anyway, certainly no more than 1 day. The FCC curriculum is a much longer-term time investment.

You should really try to come up with a project that you want to build. The idea by itself will set you apart from other job applicants—many other people have done the FCC projects, so doing them won’t really set you apart. If you didn’t do a year-long CS project during your final year, I’d consider doing this your highest priority.

Your resume (posted above) could stand to be improved in various areas. If you’re interested in feedback on it, make a new thread and plenty of people on the forums here will be happy to offer feedback.

Also, don’t call yourself a software developer when you’re straight out of school. That hurts your credibility. Either call yourself a “CS graduate” or “aspiring software developer”.

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You don’t need to be that creative, you’re not the only one with the problem of figuring out what to build and the answers are already there.


  • What apps do you use a lot? Recreate them, or rather more basic versions of them.

Okay cool. It’s not a poor decision to work on algo challenges at all. Especially if you do it in a time-boxed way.

You have the skills. But the reason you aren’t getting work is because you aren’t demonstrating that ability because, from what you’re saying, you’re not showing it to the people you need to. It seems, from what you said earlier, that this is because you aren’t happy with the project work you’ve done.

Do more FCC projects, sure, but spend some time improving the ones you have, so that you can be at least willing to show them to employers.

It’s hard to gauge without a good idea of your technical ability.

Let’s put it this way, if I asked you build a calculator in 8 hours using your favorite front-end library, can you do it?

If I asked you to build a full stack note taking app in 3 days, can you do it?

If I give you an excel sheet of data, how quickly can you build a rest API using your favorite database and backend Framework? A week? Less than a week?

These are some of the things I had to do in interviews. I’d say they are very reasonable and accomplishable things. If you are capable of doing these thing competently within the specified timeline, then you don’t need to go through the entirety of the FCC curriculum. Pick and choose your weaknesses and strengthen it.

Utilizing the same skills for those 3 things I mentioned, build something full stack, for example, an Instagram clone or the night life app. There, you officially have something to put on your resume that demonstrates you can be a full stack developer.

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Ain’t that the truth. There’s a high demand for welders all over the world, but it’s rare for me to find a stick or MIG job where I live. And when I DO find one, they want someone with 2+ years of experience, or I have to compete against a bunch of guys who have a much more developed background than me. Oh, and a vehicle.

Disclaimer - it took me a good 3 years to get my first full time job offer. I had 1 year of aimless wandering and 2 years of (thankfully paid) internships in that time, did half of the FCC front end cert and also some formal study through a university. The offer came through one of the internships. The first internship came through a guy I met on the FCC forum.

I’m pretty sure I will always feel like I’m dunning-kruger stupid, (and maybe I was a bit and that helped me be brave enough to apply for things), but I don’t think that you are. There will ALWAYS be new things to learn that you don’t know, but you can’t know all of them before applying for jobs. You need to focus on applying for jobs now.

Just guessing here, but here are two things I’ve learned through my experience that might help you.

  1. Perfectionism takes time.
  2. Ego will block you from getting hired.

A common barrier I see, especially for younger people, is a need to be seen as being right. In a team, this leads straight to conflict and it makes it hard for managers to make the hire. Managers care most about the existing team working well and productively together and they will not risk that.

Your number one priority is to show them that you won’t risk that team harmony. Better yet, show them that you can raise team morale with your enthusiasm and humility. The best way I have found for this is to express a willingness to learn and to be comfortable with looking stupid.
Flat out just say, “I will sometimes look stupid” and be genuinely happy to be aiming for a team where you can look stupid often. It means that you will be surrounded by people who can teach you, and that you will filter out toxic work places in the interview process.

In my successful interviews I said things like:

“There is so much I don’t know, but I am confident in my ability to learn quickly and this project has so much to teach me.”
“I often feel dumb when I am coding, but the feeling of figuring it out is so satisfying”
“I am excited to work under the people who work here, and learn from their expertise”
“I am really interested not only in the coding side of the job, but working with people and learning how to be a part of the team. Even if it means making coffee sometimes” (they will not actually expect coffee, but will appreciate that you are humble enough to subserviate yourself)

I live in Germany and I speak very poor German so I often sound like an absolute dumbass. That has been painful, but it meant that I had to be comfortable with having the social status of someone who speaks at the level of a 4 year old and takes 15 minutes to write an email.
It was a huge barrier, but I think that the removal of my ego from the equation (trying to look smart was impossible) had some upside. I had to be friendly, nice, helpful and humble instead. I tried to display that I was always making a big effort to learn and to contribute, to let my actual work be my advocate, and it was amazing how much people were able to connect with me over that. If a coworker isn’t afraid to tell you that you are maybe doing something wrong, then they won’t be afraid to teach you things and your work will quickly evolve to be what the company needs from you.

Secondly, shoot for some internships. They will be low paid, but they can turbocharge your learning. And they can lead to other things.

My first internship project was rough. I was working on a dead-end project, there was weird company politics going on, and I was using an enterprise programming language designed for the finance industry, but that was being used for the event processing of factory production machines - that had no documentation. It was frustrating and probably slowed me down. But it led to another much better project in js, which was wonderful, and most importantly, a good reference letter. Once you have something like a reference letter, that proves you can work in a team, you are a much less risky hire.

So I would recommend looking for a 3 or 6 month internship at a reputable company, unpaid if need be. Prepare to look stupid, strive to work well in a team and aim to get a letter of recommendation and then life will get easier. It will keep being hard and you will have to keep putting in effort and doing uncomfortable things, but just know that you are totally normal and your situation is normal too.

There is nothing wrong with you that you need to be hiding!


Curious on the whole internship side of things… aren’t they somewhat limiting on who they’ll take on for these roles? I see mainly “Only recent college graduates” (I have a college degree but it’s not recent lol). Apprenticeship is similar but there are a few that I applied for that didn’t have stipulations on who could apply…

I’m currently in a non programming internship at a software company, I have a good relationship with my boss and and the other coworker on my team and at the very least I was able to write some helpful VBA macros to utilize my programming skills. The issue with this current company is out of 300 employees there are only 14 devs and they only hire senior people so when I found that out I went full speed on trying to apply to other positions and got back to working on FCC and doing algorithm problems (after I failed one online screening).

My boss said he would give me a reference but he’s not a developer so I don’t really have a reference that is a developer. Since most people told me to rework my resume thats the first thing i’m doing. iIm basically copying that bootstrap template resume that WhisperPntr showed but doing it in vanilla html, css, and a little js for window.scroll with no dependencies on jquery or bootstrap, although i’m still using font awesome and 1 google font (i’m not sure if it’s worth digging through font awesome for just what i’m using out of it and only using that, or if webpack tree shakes that stuff out I could do that).

Once I redo the resume (I was busy driving to meet family for thanksgiving the past 2 days but i’ve got the layout mostly done) i’ll start applying to jobs again and also pick a fullstack project to build and try to make it as clean and presentable as possible to have something shiny on my portfolio.

It’s honestly really refreshing and encouraging to hear that some people don’t get jobs after like 1 month of freeCodeCamp so maybe i’m not just stupid, thanks for taking the time to write this.

I am not very experienced though but I find a few things in your portfolio very Unprofessional and like to suggest a few things

  1. The URL to your portfolio isn’t in a standard format or in a way that isn’t easy to remember for anyone

  2. you pursue skills that are related to design and Development and yet your portfolio doesn’t look very impressive or sexy and If I am not wrong there’s already a template available for that portfolio
    because I myself used it once in the past and then built a new one from scratch

  3. You have some game built on codepen why not bring that game to your portfolio and present it in a way that visitor would be playing it. When I played that game it took me a couple of minutes to understand what it is all about, there also isn’t any help section on How to play that game, and I also sometimes didn’t understand when the pattern started.

  4. we have resumes to keep things formal (black and white) and portfolio to show up your casual work as well so design it in an attractive way, I would suggest you to google top ten best developer portfolios I bet you will realize How much Hard work you need to put in.

  5. Your resume looks boring to me when I open it why not get a ready-made cool professional template for free on Novoresume

  6. maybe you are not approaching the employer who needs you I would suggest you too look for jobs on Angel Co One of the coolest startup hiring websites mostly for developers it is very clean and ad-free. and yes most of them pay very well and don’t require a college degree they just need the skills to do their work.

One more thing very Important it’s not only about How much work you put in,its also about when and in What Direction,Don’t compare yourself with others keep learning and experimenting new things,No one gets successful without putting in the efforts,it may look like those who got hired may not be very talented or skilled as you are but you don’t know what they might have gone through and did what you missed. If you keep comparing you will only get pissed off and lose hope.

I would suggest you calm down look around, Meet new people with same interests look what they are working on look if someone needs help in development maybe you could look for clients and help them build their business websites, Work on Different projects show them online bring them to your portfolios You have got some great skills that million people are still unaware or struggling to learn them, remember world is too big to accept peoples rejections, just because someone said no doesn’t mean you can’t have a better option just keep looking and Never Give Up.

Cheers :slight_smile:

Novoresume has been tested against ATS, but in general I’d advise against attempts to “pretty up” one’s resume due to the prevalence of application tracking system that can really jumble up your resume text. It’s pointless if your resume doesn’t get through the machines to get to a human.

Dont be discouraged. I believe you have lots of opportunity there unlike us in the Philippines. We are always looking forward for some work on your place. Just tidy up your portfolio, I saw what you have done in the page, just post some more of what you did especially for web-based. I"ve noticed you have nodejs, and other javascript frameworks. Send lots of applications, I believe someone will notice you soon. Also listen,-read, what the above poster is advising you. Just choose some good ones, that you believe helpful enough for you to go on. Theres a lot of sites that offers job like, and upwork. Just prepare your resume. God bless.

Maybe you should look for an actual coding boot camp near your location to refresh every single thing. There are some coding boot camp you don’t have to pay until you get a job. If you have that dedication i highly suggest go look for one. 100% it will work for you if you are committed to it best of luck fella, and this is my rule of thumb if you prefer to use an iterate while && for loop over enumerable and hash map. That show me you only know the basic.

I can learn everything better than the bootcamps around me can teach me on my own, and I already know 90% of what they teach. I’ve talked to the people coming out of them and it would be a massive waste of time for me, it’s below my level. If I could take the time to learn on my own I would just do it by myself not feed a scam bootcamp that charges thousands of dollars for information you can easily get online.

The ONLY advantage of bootcamps would be the social engineering aspect of having people around you that you could reference (which is the disgusting part of human society).

Also preference over for and while to iterate is just syntax and indicates nothing about ability. For/while gives you more control with the ability to break/continue do lots of things more than just iterate. A preference for for syntax says nothing about not knowing there are other ways to iterate.

When dealing with large amounts of data I wouldn’t O(n) loop through an array to search for a element and would use a Hash Map (in most) but on many a fixed n that doesn’t grow that’s essentially irrelevant. I’m actually not even sure where I used for and while loops that makes you say that. I understand data structures.

Most of the successful coding bootcamp grad had a comp science degrees tho. Not only that , the tech industry required you to have a good network with other people. I wouldn’t call them a a scammer tbh since they actually give you what you need and all you have to do is finish it, then they do the rest. I took a look at your projects, majority of them are static web page and none of them are that creative you even mentioned that you took some sample code from someone else. That is a red flag

None of your projects are full stack though?

Hard to say you know the information from a bootcamp without any projects to show for it.

You could have taken a bootcamp to focus and get the knowledge / network and ability to work with a team. You could have taken it 2.5 years ago and been employed for 2.5 years…

Your rationalizations for not taking a bootcamp aren’t very valid outside of it being expensive but what is more expensive being unemployed for 2.5 years or ~9k or thinkful has an offer that they take 20% of your salary for a year and you don’t pay any upfront costs.

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Buddy, they are not scam. If i were the recruiter and i take a look at Bootcamp candidate compare to your i would take them. Why? Because they been train to delivery product that up to date. I understand that you want to teach yourself, but it look like you learn it the wrong way. About grinding hackerrank and other stuff to get good at technical interview. Here is a tip, buy “Cracking through the interview code” book. It had almost everything in there for you. You also told us that you didn’t try hard like the other people during college, but reality in this field, you need you to be a try hard to be success. Don’t blame college blame yourself for learn nothing at those year. Bootcamp is a great redemption path. Take it or keep add up the stress to your head and destroy your mental health. For the hash map, it could use to solve every single problem with enumerable , and you are wrong about use it for only big data. You can use it for small data as well and it much faster than using an array, only if you know how. Anyway buddy, you had a lot of chance in your life, but you already make a wrong turn. Now it the time to decide it.