How to find work as a Junior Developer

I would ask myself “why should someone hire me over candidate x or candidate y”?
Based on other peoples experiences I have read, you are not applying to enough jobs. Also are you only applying in a specific area?

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If cold applying, I suggest searching web developer title:junior posted in last 24 hours each day. Only applying to the ones that are instant apply (for time/sanity). Extra step I took was e-mailing someone at the company directly and attaching my resume and cover letter, in addition to the online application. Around cover letter 10 you should have enough example topics that fit most of the jobs and copying and pasting and replacing a address, company name, and relevant example topic will take less than a minute per cover letter.

I second this.

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you kinda have to hustle to get that first position in software development

need to really interview a lot and get that first opportunity

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Hi, the answer of what you could do depends very much from where you live and the opportunities you have around you.

As a general rule I would say for sure to build your online portfolio, do some web search to see which companies around you you would like to work with and send them directly a mail with a presentation of yourself, your CV and the link to your webpage.
I think it’s important that your portfolio showcase some application that either could be useful to your future employee or that does solve some real-life problem (and that isn’t the usual boring “to do list” project).
If you have experience with data visualisation, it could be a nice dashboard that takes data from a backend.

Be sure to pay a ton of attention to the presentation of the content. It should be beautiful and, if possible, responsive (if you’re doing web development).
Usually in big-medium sized companies, they receive a lot of applications for the job position and they have few minutes to take a look at what you offer.
The more catching your presentation is, the better chance you have to put a foot in the doorstep (sadly the first impression matters).

Are there some applications/websites you can use to look for open positions nearby or to apply to jobs?
In Italy and Spain there is one called InfoJobs, maybe you have something similar.

If you can’t find anything directly and as a last resort, I’d suggest you to try to contact more than one job agency (hoping though that they know enough to not put you in a Java job when you know JavaScript because “they probably are the same stuff”).

I wish you good luck :slight_smile:

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i have a stupid question. I started going down this rabbit hole because somebody who acted like he knew what he was talking about said that there were three front end dev jobs for every one applicant. Is this actually not a seller’s market? Because if people out there are not in fact desperate to hire I don’t think I have a shot, assuming it’s even practical for an old dog like me to try to learn these new tricks. I’m enjoying myself, but I’m not an exceptional talent.

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@markthomastheolder I wrote another reply earlier about this: Do you see the web development profession becoming oversaturated with web developers

Tldr, lots of jobs, not necessarily lots of junior jobs.

But ‘older’ ‘juniors’ have a fair bit more to offer in terms of other skills and experiences. It’s hard to break into the industry, but possible.

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It really depends on location and your skill level relative to the market.

No one is desperate to hire a junior developer …

Seniors with a lot of experience yeah.

It’s definitely not a 3:1 ratio idk where that statistic came from.

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Companies desperately need people who can build software, there are a huge amount of jobs. But someone at a very junior level is by definition not someone who can just build some software. Hiring more people doesn’t fix this: 10 junior programmers will likely be slower and produce much worse software than one experienced programmer. In some respects, software is the most complex thing a human can build, and the ability to mould useful things from code often takes experience and high levels of skill. And that’s what companies need. That’s a problem, and there isn’t any specific set path to go from junior to experienced.

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How much does a B.A. in Computer Science help?

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It means an employer can assume (and possibly prove!) few things about an applicant:

  1. Grounding in useful concepts. Should in theory be able to apply that general knowledge to the specific languages/tools etc used on the job.
  2. Can work at one focussed thing for a sustained period of time then deliver it (cf final year).
  3. Can consistently produce work to deadlines.
  4. Can learn and improve over a sustained period of time.
  5. Can talk about and explain their work to others.

Doesn’t make the initial assumption correct, but it’s maybe easier than make a guess and take a chance?
And with this info, can then use an interview to figure out if the gaps that will exist in their knowledge can be filled easily. It’s harder to make that initial judgement for someone who hasn’t done a degree.


I think CS and programming go hand in hand or should be going hand in hand.

However programming is a skill just like welding is a skill that someone can learn. Not everyone can weld and not everyone can program.

CS helps give you theory but it isn’t usually practical and so you won’t learn the latest trends.


I’m also planning on building my very own portfolio and there are two questions that on my mind

1.What should I put instead if I’m not labeling myself as a junior?

  1. if its on the time on the interview would you tell yourself as a Junior when you are asked about yourself?
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I suggest you edit this post and include a link to your portfolio.

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I think it’s better to define yourself as a developer with X years of experience in Y field and giving examples of what you built and faced so far.

Different people will probably have different ideas/opinions on what a junior is capable of doing.

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Have you heard the term “fake it until you make it”?, that is what landing your first job as a developer is all about, build apps until you no longer feel as a junior developer. When you believe it, others will too. You should be either a software developer, web developer or mobile developer.

If they ask you about your experience then you tell the truth, but at the end of the day your projects will speak for you.

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Thank you everyone for the suggestions and feedback!

@RandellDawson: The thing about open-source projects is it’s hard to find one with a language I know, and isn’t thousands of files large. Even for the Hacktoberfest contest last month I had trouble finding projects that I could understand, so I made somewhat mediocore contributions. ie: Adding quotes to a chat-bot.

@Gilbert1391: I attached my resume and portfolio to the original post. I have a cover-letter template but I customize each one for the job post, researching the company and using keywords from the job post.

@veilance: I’m not being picky at all; I’m basically applying to everything Junior, a few intermediate, never Senior. The reason it’s at least 2 a day is I try to customize each cover letter to the posting. IDK, it’s what our career coach suggested. I don’t have my CS degree but I completed a bootcamp course so I did a lot of hands-on work in a short period of time.

@Etra: I live near Toronto, so I’m applying here and a few major cities nearby. Should I be applying to other provinces as well?

@Anon551122: I haven’t been cold applying, just directly to job postings. I like the extra step, I’ll try to do this as well. I’m not sure about the generic cover letters though, shouldn’t it be tailored specifically to impress the company?

@simonebogni: I live near Toronto, which is one of the major tech capitals of Canada. I built one additional project for my online portfolio, I’ve been trying to get a second one together. Maybe you’re right, I should try to do some cold-emailing as well.

@markthomastheolder: I’m not entirely sure, I’m kindof in the same boat.

@JacksonBates: I need to get some experience to go from young Junior to older Junior.

@DanCouper: That makes a lot of sense, but it’s also frustrating. :slightly_frowning_face:

@TechCoder: Those are both good questions, but I’m not sure.

@SoldierCoder: I attached my resume and portfolio to the original post.

I am basically in the same boat. I have been applying to every position that pops up. I have at least had 2 interviews but no luck landing a job as of yet… I am taking the time to improve and better myself in the trade while searching.

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