How to gain experience as a beginner?

Hello fellow experts and students of coding!
I have a question that has probably been asked before, but I haven’t been able to find any really good answers. Most web developer jobs I see are asking for at least a few years of job experience or more, and I was wondering how anyone ever gets that experience in the first place if everyone’s asking for experience. How do I gain that experience from the start? I’m not looking for some high paying position at all - just an environment where I can start accumulating that experience, even if it doesn’t pay at all.
Mind you, I’m not trying to skip the learning process - this is just planning for the future.

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Here is the reason for that.

Hiring is expensive.
It costs companies tens of thousands of dollars to go through the process of hiring someone new.

Even after that new employee is hired on, they still have to go through the onboarding process and you have to see in a few months if they were a good choice or not.

If companies hire the wrong person that doesn’t meet their expectations, then you just lost money and you have to start all over again.

That is why companies will tack on experience even for junior jobs.
They want to minimize their risk as much as possible.

One of the best ways is by building projects.

But not just any projects.

The biggest mistake newer developers make is putting small projects on their resume and portfolios.
Examples include weather apps, basic todo apps, etc.

Those are great projects when you are first learning and developing your skills.
But when you are at the point of applying for jobs, your projects need to be way more complex then that.

You should have 1 -2 big projects that took you weeks or months to build that has complexity to it. Build something that solves some sort of problem.
Projects where you grew a lot in the process.

Danny Thompson has a great post on linkedin about potential ideas that you can build

The reason why building good big projects will help you with the experience portion on the job hunt is because it will demonstrate that you know how to take an idea, problem solve, break it down and build it out

Remember that you want to derisk yourself as much as possible.

If you only have small apps to show, then you basically communicating to them that you are going to sink like a rock when trying to work on their applications and not be able to handle the work.

But if you have already taken the initiative to build some apps with some meat to it that looks like it took time and care, then you are communicating that you are not afraid of a challenge and will be able to learn and grow and apply value to their business.

Another way to gain experience is through open source work.

I believe there is a right way to go about open source work and a wrong way. And I think over the past few years, people have been trying to use contributing to open source as some sort of job hack and are missing the point all together.

When you find an open source project that you use and like, then you start thinking of ways to help so it can evolve and get better.

When you approach it from the standpoint of I want to help this project grow and create meaningful contributions, then you will not only be a valued contributor but also learn a ton in the process. It will expose to larger scale projects and you will learn how to work on a team. The more you start to work with the project, the deeper you will get into the codebase and start solving more complex issues. The more you start getting involved with the community and start helping them develop the project the more meaningful relationship you will build in this industry.

That type of experience holds a lot of weight and will show potential employers that you know how to work on a team and work in complex real world applications.

But unfortunately, what a lot of people will do is try to find a whole bunch of small issues and bounce around from repo to repo only solving small issues without any interest in growing.

Small issues are a great way to start and help out the project.
But you don’t want to just stay there.

A lot of people bounce around to different repos raking up small issues but all that is going to communicate to employers is that you can only handle small clearly defined issues which is not what the job is.

At the end of the day, you want to communicate to potential employers that you are ready for the task of jumping into a real codebase and tackling their business issues.

Hope that helps


Wow, thank you for such an elaborate response! That means a lot.
What you say makes sense and clarifies things a lot. Thank you. I can see the temptation to simply dabble around with small applications and not try something meaningful and dedication-requiring, and your warning is warmly recieved. I am still a beginner but will start thinking of some good ideas for a high level project.
Once again, thank you for your time!
Nicolas, 17.


Thanks for the nice organized list of great suggestions! Volunteer work - good idea; I didn’t know you could do that.
Thank you very much for the detailed reply - means a lot.


“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”


That is a good idea-- I wonder how to approach this?
If I had a project in mind, how would I go about approaching the business and offering the solution? I know a handful will be grateful, but I don’t want to come across as rude either?

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Please don’t post AI generated content


Please accept my sincerest apologies.I thought it was help full.I apologize.


Just bumping this up to see if anyone has any other ideas…

Please don’t bump threads like this if you have nothing meaningful to add. You are pushing down other posts.

Did you already complete everything in the response that you’ve already received? You should get off the forum and get to work if you are serious about gaining experience.

You don’t need more ideas, you need to practice and get to work on the ideas above.

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My apologies - I was not aware bumping wasn’t acceptable.
You’re right - an hour of work is worth a dozen ideas one can’t put into practice. Please know, however, that I do not want to skip the hard work that comes with becoming a developer. I simply want to make sure I’m working on the right things and not wasting my time. I’m learning completely by myself and occasionally need a bit of orientation from experts like yourself, so please have patience with me :slight_smile: .
I aplogize if I was being annoying in my request for ideas and wish you all the best @pkdvalis .
Greeting from a fellow coder,
Nicolas, 17.

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