Seriously, how do I get my foot into the door?

I have applied to many places with no response back. I have a github profile with many projects. I attend Meetups in my area. I study diligently. I have been doing this for 3 years now.

I keep seeing mostly .NET, Java, and Wordpress around my area, which I have never touched.

Everyday, I keep trying not to pull my hair out and give up.

I am seeking employers that will hire me with my skillset. I live in Tennessee. I am skilles in HTML, CSS (SCSS), JavaScript, PHP (mainly procedural with some OOP), SQL, and NodeJS/Express. I have been studying VueJS lately.

I seek junior-level positions aimed for those with minimal experience where I can learn from a team of experienced developers, almost like an internship but paid.

Getting your first dev job is tough, you will have to work hard and even have some luck (being in the right place at the right time kind of luck). First thing you should do is to build a strong portfolio, if you don’t have one then start doing it now. A portfolio is the only way people can see what you can do.

If you do have a portfolio, then submit it for review. Also learn technologies are in demand near your area, unless you are willing to move.

1 Like


.Net and Java for web developement…yuck!!!

I do have a github account with plenty of projects I have worked on

When you get a new job you might need to learn a new technology you don’t feel very comfortable with, and you will have to deal with it.

A GitHub account is not near the same as a portfolio where people can see your projects live, recruiters or people from HR for instance don’t know anything about GitHub (and why should they?), so they won’t waste 1 minute checking your GitHub account, they are too busy for that.

I strongly suggest you to build a portfolio, with no prior experience a portfolio is the only way you can show people the things you can do.

1 Like

I completely agree. I scored my dream job as my first true dev job mostly because of hard work, and because it was my dream job, with a whole lot of luck sprinkled in.

What I mean by that is I was passionate about the product itself (I work on the front end of a Auto Racing Video Game’s UI - I was a paying member of this service for years, so I knew the product better than most developers), so my passion was self-evident before I even submitted my resume.

I was extremely lucky too because the job was open, and it was in the skills I use (React, JavaScript, Webpack, Babel, Bootstrap, HTML5 and some CSS although not much). These jobs that are right in your wheelhouse don’t grow on trees, so I was very fortunate to find it, and even more fortunate that one of my favorite hobbies had a job opening in my area of the country.

I know me saying all this is probably depressing in a sense, because there were many things that worked in my favor that I had no right to be in my favor. These are things another person can’t rightfully reproduce. But those things alone didn’t land me the job. I’ll do my best to share what I’ve learned that I think did land me the job.

Master Something, Or Many Things.

Seriously. Master something. Or many things. But if you want to list something as a skill on your Resume master it. You’re better off having 3 things you are a master at, than 15 things you’re only half good at (or worse). For me, I considered myself above-average in ES6 JavaScript, CSS3, React and to a lesser extent Node.js, Webpack and Babel.

Dive into hard problems. Master ES6+ JavaScript before you dive in deep in React (and really, get to know ES2019+ too). Know things that more senior level devs might not have caught up on. Just two weeks ago I taught one of the Sr. devs I work with what a React Fragment is, and how it’s used. I’m not saying all Sr. dev’s don’t know this, but if you master as much as possible there will be areas where you’ll end up filling in gaps your Sr devs will have missed.

Some topics I’d recommend you know like the back of your hand if you can:

  1. ES2018+ JavaScript (TypeScript would be cool, but only if you see a lot of job postings in your area. Master the basics first, then you can evolve into TS later). Take tests, really really work hard on knowing the hard parts. Closures, Promises, Classes, inheritence. If you know those well, you’re hire-able as is.
  2. Make your own React boilerplate. Learn how to configure webpack, babel, and eslint, and prettier boilerplate. It will be invaluable to understand how your tools work.
  3. Make apps. Make them non-trivial. Do the freeCodeCamp apps here. For me, the game of life was something that impressed the guys I interviewed with (and I thought it was pretty basic to be honest). You never know which ones will stand out, so make them, and make them good! If they aren’t finished, or don’t represent you well, don’t share them on your portfolio yet. Sure, let them be public on your GitHub account, but don’t promote them as if it’s a finished product.
  4. Master Git. Seriously, if you master this one thing you’ll be set for life. It seems simple, and it is, but working with teams with it is on another level. This is why contributing to open source is so valuable. I’ve been in my dream job for 10 months now, and I still think I suck at it. You can be better than me, I know you can.

Don’t Try To Master Everything

I fell into this trap so many times it makes me want to cry. Everything is new, and exciting. I tried to learn how to code C++, C, PHP, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Node.js, Wordpress theming, React, and Angular on my journey. Each time I tried to learn it I put my heart and soul into it for a week or two, then lost interest and failed.

I was quickly becoming a jack of all trades, master of none. It was horrible. I was bad at HTML, bad at JavaScript, and bad at all the other programming languages. It killed me on so many fronts. To start with, I knew I sucked at these other languages, so it got me depressed. It reinforced itself when I would apply to these companies and could barely ever get a reply because I hadn’t built anything worth showing off (I never finished anything!), so all I had was code examples to show, and half-baked examples at that.

So don’t do what I did, don’t try to know everything. Pick something, anything, and commit to learning it. All the way. If you don’t find the passion to learn the thing, then trade it for another. It took me years until I found React and it was the first technology that really hit home with me. I was so passionate about React, that learning the same ES6+ JavaScript that I hated learning on my own was no longer a burden. It was something I looked forward to doing, rather than loathing.

This is why I said, don’t try to learn everything. Master the core things you value, and the market values, and go all in on it. Don’t advertise skills you’re not willing to invest in proceeding with.

You should be as confident speaking on 2 or 3 technologies as you are about your own best friends and family members. Nobody knows everything about everyone, and neither does everyone know everything about code. But there’s plenty of resources out there that expose what topics are worth knowing, and if you can be as familiar with those topics as you can be relative to your friends and family, you’ll be fine.

I waited 3 1/2 months for my dream job after I thought I was “ready”. The wait sucks. I wish I could make it easier for you. But I promise you, if you invest in yourself, it will pay off for you.

Sorry for the long essay, but I just got rolling and couldn’t stop.

Best of luck with everything!!


It’s honestly not that much effort to learn in Java or .Net(C#) with decent foundation. Underlying concept of web development is language agnostic. It’s about handling request and responses, interacting with backend to create functional APIs. Unless your definition of web development is limited to the front end or specific full stack-ish frameworks like meteor or laravel.

It’s pretty challenging if your skill set is mostly limited to the front end. The competition pool is very large and the unqualified candidate pool is even larger, so it leads to a pretty stringent selection process cold applying.

Do you have a website? No person who is not a developer is going to go through your Github…I have mentioned my website and the projects in my websites in every interview when they asked if I knew this or that and I am certain I got both of my dev jobs simply because I had a website with stuff to show.

I second this so much! Even as a developer myself, unless I’m looking for something specific (e.g. a code snippet on how something is implemented), I rarely just go through a person’s github to ‘read’ what they can do. If it requires me to download and run the project locally, I’m usually too lazy for that. I personally don’t care all that much about portfolio website; having live demo of projects alone will strongly increase the chance of me wanting to check out sb’s work. Make it as easy for other people to see/interact with your work as possible.

Have you tried fast track?? You have to solve some programming challenges in order for them to help you get a job. They are a total of 3 challenges I believe 2 can be in JavaScript, the other one is Java or c# only