How do you not get discouraged?

I don’t “want to teach myself” I have taught myself, continue to teach myself and haven’t spoken to a boot camp grad that made me feel like I could gain something (outside of connections) from going to a boot camp. That said I’ll contradict myself and say there is no such thing as being “self taught” (or at least it’s very uncommon to just independently discover known things by just thinking with no resources) and that in reality you are leveraging resources that exist and learning from them, and those resources come from other people. I can either leverage free/low cost resources online and learn from them, or pay a massive premium to do the same thing with a group of people and an instructor/instructors to ask questions. Maybe the boot camps in my area are bad but in any case all a boot camp does is give you a curriculum to do and has people to answer questions, I can just do a curriculum myself and find answers online and make connections with people at the meetups I go to, if anything confining myself to a narrow boot camp curriculum would limit what I can do like redirect my focus on areas specific to what I need to know.

Blindly using a hash table for absolutely everything suggests a lack of data structure knowledge (although if you want to be lazy it’s probably the best way to be lazy and get by without terrible performance). I also didn’t say that you “can’t” use a hash table on small data, just that the performance gain is so marginal that prematurely optimization on that level likely isn’t worth it, especially it doesn’t represent the data as well as an Array or list for a mental model. Obviously if you need to repeatedly grab single elements (with arbitrarily random properties) from a large list of elements, a hash map is a perfect data structure for that problem. With web you should be looking at network calls /file size first (serving that static html wrappers before injecting the data that fills the sections, etc) in classical computing the bottleneck was usually waiting for the disk, however if computation is the bottleneck you should prioritize efficient algorithms and using appropriate data structures to make those algorithms fast.

It seems like you are a “book smart” person. If you don’t believe coding boot camp would gain anything for you then my last suggestion is to start your own startup since I could tell you are a difficult person to work with by just talking to you. I take a look at your portfolio it look very very basic, you also don’t have any back-end languag nor sql project in there. No one would know what you could do without an instruction step by step guidance. You mentioned a lot about where you get this project from too. You need to know how to use your knowledge to make thing not just learn it then not doing anything with it.

Well, with all your knowledge you can create youtube channel and start to teach others how to code!

I may know some things but there are a lot more things I don’t know. Part of my frustration is finding the next thing to improve at and furthermore how deep to go with that thing to not waste time. Like if I use say, Postgres with a simple node app and I’m familiar but not super proficient with sql database design should I devote my time to reading everything I can about SQL best practices and general database design or should I just throw something functional together knowing that there will likely be inefficiencies and that the design may not be scalable? If I’m asked questions about database design it would be better to have read about best practices whereas if I just make something, it may look good to have something that uses sql on my portfolio (that isn’t using something that handles queries for me like rails, or entity framework or whatever other tools abstract sql queries). Furthermore is it a good choice to choose Postgres over other databases like mongo, elastisearch, Cassandra etc. In my college database class we used MySQL and if I wanted to focus on a Microsoft stack I would learn sql server.

There is a massive opportunity cost choice paradox that there seems to be no solution to. My plan was just to do all of freeCodeCamp to eliminate this decision and just do something but this entire thread has made me doubt doing freeCodeCamp and go back to having no clear direction (other than finishing up my portfolio).

It’s also very dangerous to think well as long as I’m spending my time working on something things will eventually work out, I “trusted the process” in college and it got me nowhere. So now I’m overly skeptical of any actions I take because they may be waste.

As far as teaching others it’s impossible to know what I know that someone else may not. There is the common problem of either over explaining things someone understands and also under explaining things that someone doesn’t understand. I’ve tried to help a little bit by making pull requests trying to fix issues when I see multiple people struggle with the same challenge on freeCodeCamp (although there were a couple that I did incorrectly from a branch of fcc not my own fork and didn’t fix because I was working on something else) and even this shows different difficulties of teaching; if you know something it may not be obvious to you what you know that you could easily tell someone to solve their problem because you are not the same person. Also even if you have had that same struggle before you may have forgotten what it was like to be in that position.

Furthermore, I don’t think I would add any value by making YouTube videos about programming, there are already plenty of people doing that and I can’t think of how my perspective would help anymore than any of the other perspectives in videos and more selfishly I’m not sure if that would help me get a job or be a better programmer more than other things I could be doing. I feel similar about blog posts; I feel like people are just creating noise to draw attention to themselves unless they are an absolute expert and the domain leader at what they are writing about.

That said it is often recommended that even begginers should write blog posts because maybe it has value to someone. So I made a simple review of a podcast I was listening to on this forum because it was interesting hearing about the JavaScript ecosystem in 2012 and how something’s have changed but others haven’t so much. I’m pretty sure no one read it and I didn’t get anything from writing it so it was essentially waste. The same goes for when I’ve reached out to people or companies with really heartfelt long cover letters and gotten terse, or worse, automated responses indicating that the cover letter wasn’t read at all.

For anything I know there is someone that knows more about it, and if I have some unique combination of knowledge/experience that is valuable, I don’t know what that is to actually offer it to help others.

In general I just don’t know what to do, I only know of some things that would definitely not be good to do (like a boot camp).

Sounds like a case of paralysis by analysis. IMO just pick any stack and start building a full-stack project. Doesn’t have to be anything original or super-optimized. As long as it looks nice and works sufficiently fast for its number of users, it ought to get hiring managers’ attention.

I’m not sure if you really understood my previous post—most people who graduate with a CS degree tend to land their first jobs without any further education beyond the degree. Well it should also be said that these people often work at internships/jobs during their junior and senior years too (you didn’t say if you did that). And assuming you’re still in your early 20s (25 at most), it shouldn’t be that hard to land a job since most companies should still take you on as an intern. Most companies prefer to hire CS graduates, in fact, so it should be that much easier for you to land a job when you’re still young and relatively fresh out of school.

Barring a lack of completed projects to show for your degree and/or skill, the only other thing you need to do is put in genuine effort to land a job, instead of spending time studying. I’d suggest reading this thread for advice:

In particular, my response in that thread where I also cite soft skills being a large part in getting hired quickly: How are some people able to get jobs within months?


…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.

…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 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.

While I agree there are many things colleges can and should do better, it seems you put little to no effort in exploring even the basics of what is expected/required to get a software developer job. These comments and some others are raising red flags for me.

I get you think internships are for "tryhard"s and are disgusted with the need for social networking but this is really a case of you needing to adapt. It’s a part of our society and whether it’s a good thing or not is another topic. You need to change your mindset. Stop treating the parts of job hunting as the enemy and learn to work with them.

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Try looking at job postings in your area and see what tech stack they are looking for or a tech stack you are interested in.

Then make a project in that specific tech stack and apply to those jobs.

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What kinds of things should i be saying to people who I interact with and how should I be presenting myself? In high school I read some business books like the classical How to Make Friends and Influence People and another book about Body Language. I’ve also watched YouTube videos on posture and how to present yourself but despite my efforts, i’ve honestly never had any success with that sort of thing. I remember trying really hard to remember peoples names when I was 18 to get better at it but even with conscious effort I would forget peoples names that I ran into at the gym frequently.

I also don’t know what actions I should be taking at meetups to leverage the people I meet there (and now that I think about it I don’t know anyones name except the meetup organizer), I tend to have good conversations about things but haven’t been able to do anything with that. I got 1 job referral but I applied and got no response back, it’s been at least 2 weeks should I have emailed after around 5 days? If so what should I say in an email where I want to hear back from a job I applied to where I had contact with a person? The problem for me is I tend to have such a different view on these sort of things that it’s hard for me to empathize and figure out what would look good to another person, because what looks good to another person is often what I would see as annoying and obnoxious.

Another thing that worries me is how do I look excited and eager to work for a place in an interview if I manage to get one? Even if I really want a job i’m the kind of person that it’s hard to see that in and people tend to think I don’t like them or am standoffish (or at least it feels that way). People also say “find a company that you want to work for” but I don’t really know what kind of company I would like, outside of the people being nice and maybe flexible hours and coffee/food which is basic stuff that most companies tend to have. I guess I’d prefer to have the opportunity to go to tech conventions or have learning opportunities with a company as well because I don’t want to get stuck in a legacy stack that slowly dies (even though i can obviously always learn new things outside of work).

I’ve tried to write long honest cover letters more recently (and my honest now is a lot better than my honest in the past 2 years because i’m doing more now than I ever have) to see if that had a better effect than my previous shorter ones but that hasn’t really worked out. I also don’t know what interval I should email people back after I apply (I really don’t want to do the email software that lets you see if people have read your emails and would rather just do it on some interval).

I always struggled in school with introducing myself because I didn’t know what “me” I wanted other people to see “me” as, and I still feel that way. It’s especially difficult because there are different company cultures and what I present could make them all feel differently, and I really don’t want to have to be dishonest. I just can’t find an honest way to present myself that doesn’t sound terrible.

All this said I do work well in teams and actually always got good grades on group projects in school. I was more motivated working with other people because they were relying on me; I couldn’t let other people who cared more about grades than I did down.

It sounds to me like you are seeking external validation when really only you can give yourself that.

No one at FCC can read your mind and tell you what you should do.

Kind of need some counciling tbh and no shame in that OP.

Hey MP7373,

I appreciate how honest you’re getting with your posts. Some short points.

Are you willing to move?

  • If yes, leverage your mobility and go where the work is.

How many applications are you submitting per day?

  • If it’s less than 8, bump it up.
  • Read this article if you haven’t already:
  • There are different tiers of job interviews. I got my first job after a 10 minute phone screen where the most technical question was “Rate your React skills on a scale from 1-10.” No joke. Yes, it was a serious job and I learned a ton. After the first job, people will talk to you much more readily so take anything (including short term contracting work).

Looking at interviewing in phases, which phase are you struggling with?

  • Can you get past a behavioral phone screen? (recruiter calls, schmoozes a little, talks about the company, asks you about your projects/experience a little)
  • If yes, are you getting stumped by technical screens? What kind? Quiz questions or coding challenges?
  • It doesn’t sound like you’ve had any onsite interviews.

You seem to be preoccupied with your skills. IMHO, the only technical skill you should be sharpening is solving coding problems. It’s a gatekeeper skill with most jobs. You’ll figure out the rest once they hire you.

I had met a lot of people like you. The problem that i had with them was they often drag about themselves a lot. They talk about their hobby i’m not talking about gym hobby, mountain climbing hobby. I’m talking about kid type of hobby like video game and anime. It discouraged me to speak to them, because i want to talk about healthy topic. Those kind of hobby you should keep it to yourself because it your inner childhood. We are adult now, we should not take it out in real world after 18. If you want to talk about it be good at hiding it. I definitely would want you to take those off your portfolio because when recruiter see that type of thing. What do they see you in their mind? Let be real, recruiter are from old generation they don’t like the stuff that the new gen does, so they would put you in a lazy categories. That what a lot adult think about gamer, lazy disorganize, lame, and childish. This maybe harsh to hear but i just want to drop it down here. I used to watch, and did those i quit all of them together at 16 to focus to become an adult and more responsibility and confident. I got more friends, healthy life, more outgoing, and more social life. I had never speak and have a ball to open my mouth to talk to anyone before 16 when i moved to US. Because of video game, anime gave me a lot anxiety toward a real person, it robbed half of my confident and ate my life slowly. I glad i made a huge changed early before it too late. I hope you find your way back in.

Dude…there’s no shame in playing video games well beyond childhood. Last time I heard the majority of people who play video games are like over the age of 30. We’re talking adults with full time jobs and probably kids. Look at the mass influx of video game streaming, they’re done by older people.

Same with anime. Listen, as long as what you enjoy doing doesn’t harm anyone (including yourself and without prior consent…just to cover all the bases :laughing:), then what’s the problem?

Sorry for going off topic @MP7373.

You seem very intelligent and have put a lot of thought into where you are and what you’re capable of. But I fear you’re overthinking things. To the point where you’re stagnating. And I totally get that, I do it too. A lot of folk do.

I know it’s easier said then done, but I’d pick a singular point to focus on, and then break that down into smaller steps if you have to. Like if you want to focus on just redoing your portfolio, then go for it. Pour that analytical brain of yours into making your portfolio and the projects within as awesome as you can. Research the hell out of it.

See what’s popular out there, look at developers who are getting a lot of action and study their work and how they’re presenting themselves. Look into what’s trending technology/language wise and compare it to those people. Are they following the trends? Are they sticking to tried and true languages? Do they mold themselves to a particular project? Do they have a varied body of work?

By the way I totally agree on the blog writing idea. Again I think you have a lot of outlooks to share, so a blog platform could be very beneficial to you. It will give you excellent practice into organizing your ideas and thoughts (and what future employer wouldn’t love a self-sufficient organized individual?).

Everybody had a different story. Myself I don’t think video game and anime are bad but too much is bad. My brother spent a lot of time doing those. He ended up with massive debt no job like OP, his day routines are anime,game, sleep,sit. He did nothing productives, my mom and dad really worried bout him but he just ignored their advices and keep doing what he is doing. I think OP just need to figure out his own solution to make it through. I also don’t like the idea put some of your personal hobbies like video game and cartoon in resume and portfolio unless you are apply for artist or game developer. This is web developer he should put something that sound more exciting about his work. Like describe his projects. I watched some streamer they even said that video game is bad and they play it because it their job to entertain the viewer. My uncle had 3 kids, 1 of them plan to drop out school to pursue this kind of fortnite streamer dream. It ended up him go to court because the guy skip too many days. The other 2 established a gaming gang which ridiculous. The culture is more insane than the previous generation now.

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Oh absolutely, I mean at the end of the day anything in excess is bad. Whether that’s food, shopping, drinking, etc. It’s always about moderation, and anytime something starts to effect your life in a detrimental way then it’s time to consider easing up or quitting all together. It’s when something goes from hobby to addiction that’s a huge problem.

My argument was the video games != adulthood, which is completely wrong. Lots of people play video games in their spare time, I do and I’m 36. Am I not an adult?

Now would I put that on a resume? Probably not, as you said unless it’s relevant to the position I’m applying for. But if an interviewer happens to strike up a conversation about let’s say RDR2, I’m gonna partake. Or if I’m networking with fellow developers and we start chatting about a particular game, where’s the harm in that? In both scenarios we’re making a connection with a mutual hobby. But @tiremon112 was making it out to be a shameful, unhealthy pastime that should be hidden away and not spoke of in general.

You’re clearly not quite approaching networking and meetups the right way when you’re thinking about “leveraging” the people there and when you don’t know anyone’s name except the organizer’s. Networking, at least as far with other developers (because you shouldn’t network the same way with other people like recruiters), should be about establishing rapport and friendly relationships, and potentially even friends. For starters, if you’re not learning much from meetups, you’re going to the wrong ones—find one that you can actually learn something from on an occasional basis. And the secondary purpose of meetups is actually meeting other people—i.e., developers and other working professionals. If you’re not networking with any other developers who are attending a meetup, you’re effectively wasting your time by attending. Get to know people and see where things go—you never know what might happen. And the more people you know at a meetup, the higher your chances become of being “known” and eventually you might get a referral that way. And referrals always lead to higher success rates in landing a job. But don’t go into a meetup specifically looking for a job this way, because most people are perceptive and will see right through that. Basically, just go to a meetup and socialize.

A lot of the other questions you’re asking would be better asked to people that you meet in person. Just look for people that you respect and think would be honest—a good way to open might be to say that you’re looking for a job and would like to know more about the job application process.

From what you’re saying, I’m guessing you’re not getting much results because you’re not putting yourself out there very much. Tell people you’re looking for a job, and ask for help. A lot of people will definitely offer to help when you’re still relatively young.

As for cover letters, don’t ever write a long one. Long cover letters are rarely actually read and have a higher chance of being tossed out. Make them short and to the point, and focus on selling yourself.

And companies are easy to break down—just think about company size (startups, small, medium, large enterprises), industry, and tech stack, for starters. Tons of people always want to work for the big tech companies in Silicon Valley and Seattle (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon), so your chances of getting into those companies won’t be high. But if you target local companies in your area, you’re way more likely to land something.

Finally, do a Google search on “soft skills”. It’s not clear that you quite understand what those are either. Soft skills are somewhat vague but are absolutely essential in landing and keeping a job, maybe even more than hard skills. Because it’s ok if you don’t have the best technical skills, but it’s not ok if you’re hurting a company’s bottom line in other ways.

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I actually do wonder just how many bootcamp grads HAVE CS degrees. In my cohort (larger than their usual size- an anomaly…)- I don’t think ANY of us had a CS degree. Music degrees, Education degrees (me being one of them), a few others I can’t remember, a chef… and If I remember I may have been the only one who had prior IT experience.

Overall bootcamps are not a scam I definitely agree though there are some who may end up in that category through the eyes of some people. There is a good network in most bootcamps too though I think it tends to work best if you live in the same state as your bootcamp. I keep in touch with mine though.

Side note: I also agree with other posters that while it doesn’t matter what kinds of hobbies you have, it’s not a great idea to put them on resumes (at the bare minimum) at least in the United States. Portfolios… that’s new territory- I’ve seen some people put their interests/hobbies on their portfolio site and some not. Might be a conversation starter… or it may be a turn off for the reader.

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If you are able to relocated anywhere within US try one of these consulting companies like Revanture.
After 2 years when your contract is over you have experience and it will be much easier to find a job.

But first I strongly recommend polishing your projects and portfolio to make them eye pleasing. Google about UX/UI and use these tips. Go on your favorite sites and see all the elements how they work together and try to copy things you like.
Try one of these color wheels where you can get matching colors that go well together.
Ask for more opportunities in your internship to do more code as you have good relationship with boss and would love to try tasks that are more challenging.
Maybe also stop over-analyzing what you should learn. Just see what are jobs asking for in your area and focus on few things. No one wants to hire jack of all trades and master of none. Raleigh is a tech hub so it should be easier than finding job somewhere in Arkansas or Oklahoma.
The idea is that you have to prove potential employer that you can do the job. And the way to prove it is through github and personal projects. And remember that you are essentially marketing yourself so do your best at selling yourself.

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Many in mine had cs adjacent majors, but the best performers were 3 non-major and 1 master level CS student.

Some bootcamps are essentially companies farming out their entry level employee training, so they are actually well connect, they’re just saving money on training