Seeking Advice on Career Progression as a Software Developer with Limited Coding Experience

I have a degree in Information Systems, but I didn’t learn much coding during my studies. Surprisingly, I got an internship as a software developer before finishing my degree. I lost that job, but I found another one in Software Engineering, where I currently work. The interview for this job was too easy and didn’t ask me basic software engineering questions, only behavioral ones. This experience made me lazy and made me take my work for granted. Now I feel stuck and don’t know what to do. I struggle with writing basic code, and for the past few years, I haven’t done any personal coding projects or gone to any job interviews. I’m scared of interviews now because I feel like I’m not good enough to be a mid-level or senior developer. Despite having six years of experience on paper, my skill level remains at a beginner level. I still want to work in this field because I like solving problems. But if I lose my current job just in case, it will be difficult to find a senior or mid-level position because I am currently stuck at a beginner level and lack any experience in whiteboard interviews. What should I do?

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Welcome to the forums!

Here’s the good news: you have six years of experience on paper which is GREAT for job searching and it sounds like your workload is not too high. That means you have plenty of time to develop portfolio projects and work on your problem-solving skills. When you get them, you’ll be very far ahead of everybody else who is “starting” to code just by virtue of your job title.

Have you gone through the freeCodeCamp curriculum? What is your current work like- just to get a feel for your skill level?


You somewhat answered yourself here.

Work on some personal projects, and do “basic code”.

Depending on how your job works, you could try to expand your role where possible. Maybe build something for work that is “extra”. Your work would appreciate it, and possibly give you more similar tasks, or at least you learn some new things. Just be sure to keep doing your day-to-day required tasks and it will be seen as an “extra” on-top of what you already do. This also should help with job security if your work sees you going above and beyond improving the business, and skillsets.

I’d focus on yourself, rather than what a “mid” or “senior” developer would get asked. if during an interview you are asked about something you don’t understand, then just say you don’t understand and try to see if you can “bridge the gap” between what you do know and what is being asked.

Worse case you really don’t know, but you are upfront about it. Odds are during most interviews you wont know some things being asked, so being truthful and upfront about is actually the best answer.

Outside of applying for other jobs, focus on what you can improve on from your current skillset, and work on that. It doesn’t matter what a “mid” or “senior” or “someone with 6 years of experience” should have, it only matters what you could do yesterday compared to today.

If you feel your skills are languishing because you’ve gotten too comfortable, find ways to get uncomfortable.


I just found out about freeCodeCamp, so I’ve started using them recently. Right now, most of my work involves fixing bugs in Java. But when things get complicated, like building a new application based on the current system, I feel lost. Honestly, I struggle with reading code properly, so I end up asking for help a lot. Sometimes, when it takes too long, other developers step in and do the work for me.

The first thing is to have faith in yourself.
If you feel you lack on something, find a way to do that, take a course, training. is a fantastic resource, which I am experiencing. If you have time to spare, use that time to go deeper in the courses and projects available there.
You will be in a much better position then. Best of luck! Listen, you can do it! :+1:

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