One year ago, freeCodeCamp was my first experience about building web applications. Half year ago, I was accepted as a paid software engineer trainee at a IT company in the Netherlands. And one week ago, I just signed the new contract from the same company to continue working as a junior software engineer. As I went through all the ‘dark moments’ before my first developer job, I would love to share my story in here.
Let me start my story from the beginning of 2018 by which time I completed CS50 course. And moved on to freeCodeCode to start learning building web applications. With a finished portfolio website and small apps, I felt a lot of confidence to work as a web developer. So I sent out my applications to companies based on the Netherlands (as I live here). I did get two job interviews, but both rejected me. The main reason was because of my lack of experience (at least that’s what they told me. They wanted an experienced developer). But how can I became an experienced developer if they didn’t offer me the first job. Well, that’s the ‘TRUTH’. Not many companies want to take risk to invest money and efforts on a non-experienced person. I was totally lost by that period. I learnt from some posts mentioning the importance of connection especially when hunting for your first job. I took two-month break, hanging out in Germany and Pairs. Then back to the Netherlands again. Luckily enough, I found a coding school at campus, and it was FREE! I didn’t think that much. Immediately applied for a bootcamp student position. Solve algorithms problem from CS50 and phone interview (very seriously even it was just a bootcamp). I was enrolled into that 6-month full stack web development programme from July 2018 to January 2019. And … passed algorithms tests, MERNStack tests, etc. Eventually became a bootcamp graduate. Ok, now my story gets a bit verbose. To make it short, I passed phone interview and tech test and face-to-face interview (three rounds), and landed my first developer job as a paid trainee, and now I am already a junior software engineer working at the same company.
Really, from my point of view, hard working to become really skilled & making connections if possible are two keys to eventually work as a professional developer. Don’t worry about your age, your education background, just KEEP UP and BE PATIENT!
Finally, through my coding period (one year and a half up to now), I have got lots of inspirations from motivational YouTube videos. Therefore, I also want to leverage it to tell my story. If interested, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj2NgKvxjPk&t=1s
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Happy coding & Enjoy every day!