Should I work on myself more before I apply to jobs?

My Background:
I’ve been doing freeCodeCamp for the past three years (with some breaks here and there). I’ve also jumped around in resources and worked on one team project with Chingu Cohorts. I’d say my level is around the front-end projects section.

I work full-time in a non tech job and code in my free time. My contract for my current job will be ending in February and I want to get into web development. I’ll have more time to improve my dev skills after February, but I thought I’d try applying for dev jobs now.

My First Interview:
I had my first interview today for a startup that deals with bitcoin exchange. It was for a front-end developer position. The interviewer was nice but I had a hard time answering some of the questions.

Things like how does user authentication work when you log in to a site like Facebook, or a more detailed answer about APIs beyond GET and POST requests.

He said he really liked my personality and that he was impressed I knew some stuff about development coming from a non-tech background, but also said I have a LOT of work to do before I could get a job. Things he specifically mentioned were APIs, authentication and security, Redux, and more React experience. He said I either need to get an internship or learn more then come back and try again.

Honestly I was surprised I got an interview because it wasn’t a junior developer position, but I was happy for the experience and feedback.

I’ve been spending about an hour a day applying for jobs the past couple weeks and then a couple more working on personal projects. Do you think I should apply for jobs less and code/learn more?

TL;DR: Interviewer said I need to work on myself for awhile then try again to get a job (at any company). Should I follow his advice?

Here is my portfolio, github, and resume if you want to see them:

No harm in keeping on applying, you might get lucky. Also be happy that they gave you actionable feedback on what you need to improve.
I think there is some wisdom to the advice I have seen floating around here that you should have at least one fullstack project under your belt before applying seriously.

1 Like

I think your interviewer’s feedback is probably the best feedback you can get. You probably need to have more knowledge in the areas of weakness he pointed out. However, to gain a passable knowledge, it would not take month and month of work, so there is no need to put your job search on pause.

Most of those things he pointed out are important to a front-end developer, like understanding API, Authentication, Security…etc, because while you may not implement them directly, these are all thing you need to interact with as front-end developer.

Other things of note that are not necessarily easy to find on FCC are like networking knowledge like what is HTTP and HTTP/2, what’s caching, the nature and structure of a request and response…etc. Debugging and identifying performance bottlenecks using a web browser developer tool. If you list React as your framework of choice, you should also be prepared to answer questions about how React works under the hood, like what is the virtual DOM, what is the lifecycle of components, important lifecycle methods…etc.

Long story short, Do work on improving yourself but don’t stop looking for jobs. Worst case scenario, you get rejected outright, but if you can continually get feedback from people from the industry and improve based on those feedbacks, then you can probably find a job faster because your are improving on skills and knowledge that you know the industry values