Unsure if I should continue with web dev - your experiences would be appreciated

Hi there,

I am a newbie to FCC , 37 years old from London UK.

Would be grateful for some help and advice on my situation.

Last month I left my first web dev role as a comp science grad four months after starting because of no support, mentor ship, a passive aggressive boss who wanted to control everything I do. It was suffocating me, I felt anxious, stressed and nervous most days.

I had explained during my interview I was new to JS and SQL and was reassured support would be readily available. From the outset my boss was laughing me when I asked him questions, used to get angry at other times.

Despite this I managed to create some fixes using JS as per the requirements given to me and then he would go and change the requirements. This made me feel angry and when I presented the initial requirements he said “oh well I mad e a mistake”.

To cut a long story short, I am wondering if I should continue in this web dev world. I am new to it, need guidance and mentoring but am afraid if I am honest if I start another company and its deja vue.

I know its only one experience but it really has left me low in confidence and self esteem even though I know it was not my fault I feel hurt.

Since then I have been following FCC tutorials and am enjoying what I am learning. The sense of achievement of creating something from code is wonderful. However I am concerned whether I should continue in this field altogether now?

I did an internship at an engineering company also and my first year was great, I then moved departments and the boss there was also passive aggressive, belittling, patronising and condescending. I did explain how his behaviour was sapping the life air out of me and my creativity. I then went back to uni and finished my comp science degree.

My problem is after having both these experiences I am seriously considering a career in another IT related field because I do not want to work with people who shout at me. Or try and make out them are better then me because they know how to code. Its seriously not good for my mental health.

Sometimes when I code I get this sense of negative thinking, whereby I beat myself up horribly, I would not speak to anyone the way my mind speaks to me. Miraculously it disappears when my code works. Its like even before I sit down and code I have these demons attacking me “you can’t do this”, “you’re not good enough”, “they’re all better then you”. It really makes me question where this comes from and whether this career is worth it for me.

Please do not think I am a timid, introverted and shy guy. Far from it. To give you an idea of my personality I am a peoples person, happy go lucky, I’m a volunteer street fundraiser during my spare time for local charities which involves going up to random strangers and speaking to them. I sometimes get a donation I sometimes get blanked. However it never bothers me or makes me feel afraid or inadequate like software or web dev does. Part of me really wants to make it as a web / software dev but the other part just says why do you want to work in an industry full of people with massive egos or who like thinking they are the best thing since sliced bread because they know how to code but they suck in other areas of life like kindness, compassion, humility.

I am not getting any younger and really want to enter a work industry I enjoy. I would be grateful to hear from those in the industry what you would do?

What do you guys think? Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you

I’m not yet in the industry, but I suspect your experiences are outliers. If the majority of software developers’ bosses were as you describe, I don’t think anyone could stand to work in the field.

To frame it another way, getting into a bad relationship doesn’t mean that all relationships are bad and that you should stop trying. You just move on to someone who respects you and whom you feel comfortable with. I hope you can find the motivation to do the same with your career. Best wishes. :slightly_smiling_face:


There are assholes in every industry, but web development doesn’t have a particular culture of harassment like you’ve described. Look at all the developers here on the forum who donate their time to help others. Based on that, it can be argued that you have known more helpful developers than rude ones.


Hello Xirokx
Please don’t take what I say negatively but I feel you have some other problem. Are you suffering from depression due to any other problem?

And about your boss, there are good and bad people in almost all the field. So even if you change your field it doesn’t guarantee that your new boss would be good. And if you actually like coding then you would feel worse about leaving it.

Also every newbie is bad. I am starting to learn Front End Development and frankly I am horrible at it. I had to struggle so much just to create Tribute page. Even as an User Interface Designer where i had some success I still feel that I am not good. But I also see many people praising my work.

The thing is there is always someone better. And if we always look at them to criticize our-self then we will end up becoming our own enemy. Rather what we can do is learn from the people who are better than us. And fill what’s missing in us. The more we fill the better we get.

So stop worrying about whether you are good or not. Even if you are not, you can always get better by taking the good from people who you consider good. And also learning. And at one stage you will find people praising you.

So positive mindset is the most important thing you need. It doesn’t matter in which field you are.

Secondly you need to surround yourself with good people. And it can be tough. I mean you may never know in which job you will find it. But keep trying. Maybe you can open your own web development business.

Thirdly if you like coding then keep trying. You can get a different job but try coding part-time.

Hope this helps.

PS. I am not that good in english so please kindly ignore any issues.

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I’ve found myself in a similar position before and thought i’d share my experience with you. I am currently a Front-end developer, but prior to that I have been Android programming and PHP development.
The first company I was in, went straight into it after University. Although they were nice bosses, they expected you to work 24/7 and it sucked the life out of me. I was beyond tired and that was the start of my experience of going downhill. I began to not like coding, my confidence/self-esteem dropped and really questioned my profession.

I went into the second company, again really nice people to work with, work was a bit outdated, it was hard to keep up-to-date but I left because I didn’t feel like I fitted in. Again, this knocked my confidence, questioned why I was in this career.

When I moved back closer to home, I went in to do a PHP job but turned out I was purely responsible for social media. I did it for a year because it was a very comfortable job and you know what I missed coding. I missed feeling the achievement of completing tasks, bug hunting, fixing problems, re-writing solutions twenty different ways and self-improving.

I realised I made a mistake, I really did miss coding. So I applied for a Junior role and admit I had imposter syndrome. I got the job, where I still am today. It’s been a year or so but what I really want to say is having support from your boss and team can really make a difference. I work with a lot of people who have massive ego’s and think they are brilliant and even call my code crap on regular basis. I also have a lot of people who say I am really good but ultimately it’s down to what you believe yourself.

From what you have written, I can already see the passion and drive you have, yes you’re just starting out but don’t let this knock your confidence. Everyone has to start somewhere and all have started from the beginning too. There are plenty of developers out here willing to help you, unfortunately you got knocked down your first time and may even your second, just don’t give up if it’s something you want to do.

If you want to code, do it, in your own time is best as you have the freedom to do whatever you want. Put everything on Github, create a blog to remember, go to conferences and read as many blogs/tutorials as you can. If you want advice, ask questions, i’d be more than happy to provide an email address to help in any way I can.

Hope some of this boosts your confidence and don’t give up :slight_smile:


Thanks for your reply

I appreciate what you say however the web dev world in which I live consists of assholes.

Hopefully I will find helpful developers instead of rudes on here that I can make friendships with and learn from or work together with


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Your English is good I understood what you said and it makes sense.

You know when you have had a few negative experiences and each time you put your heart and soul into wanting it to work but are pushed down so much you break, it becomes hard to believe there are nicer devs out there.

I would certainly love and dream to work with such people.

I need to find those good people asap.

thanks for taking the time to reply

wow really appreciate your response because it gives me hope and optimism.

Like yourself my last two dev roles after graduation have sucked the life air out of me similar to you. I am currently off work trying to get my head back into a sane state. The anxiety and stress encountered admittedly has left me with very low self esteem at the moment.

It was then I discovered FCC and am starting to believe again, slowly.

That’s so true when I did a part time job throughout uni in my final year which did not involve writing code, debugging or thinking about layouts and design I did miss it. However the stress and anxiety was non existent and the imposter syndrome also did not exist. Yet I felt a sense of missing out on what was happening in the dev world so kept up with blog posts where possible.

Believing in myself as a web dev and the code I write is the stone wall I am trying to break down. It’s so damn hard. One sarcastic comment from a boss or co-worker leaves me having to fight off the negative self talk a lot. I am not like this in other areas of my life. Why am I so sensitive when it comes to dev? I think its because I want it so bad and believe I can make it. However I feel like I just need positive reinforcement and to practise self validation when I do not get it. However it grinds me down when I do not get it. It makes me feel like I am a robot and worthless at times. This is what I really need to work on as well as improving my skills if I am to succeed in this industry. At the moment I don’t have any fight in me, I am recharging my batteries whilst learning new dev skills using FCC and other sources so if/when I get a web dev job I know I have some skills and then just have battle the criticism.

Where do I find these developers willing to help me?

Yep I have created a github account and started putting some of my work on there albeit from tutorials I have followed I have referenced the tutorials. Over time I aim to just put my own individual work on there. I am starting off from the bottom however so code for at least 1+ hour per day to keep my hand in the game and familarise myself with tools and syntax as well as ideas and layouts.

I need to create a blog, would love to go to meetups or conferences but do not how or where to find them yet, any ideas and would really appreciate keeping in contact to receive further help and support.

Thanks so much I don’t want to give up, I just need to become stronger and find good dev’s to be around that I can build friendships with so when I do get a dev job when I am being beat down, if I do, then I will have a network of support in place, currently thats something I really desperately need.

Thank you

so true

I really too hope I can become motivated again


You’re welcome, i’m glad I can help.
I’ve have been in your position before and most likely will find myself in it again at some point. I suffered from anxiety and depression but I didn’t realise I had it until I talked to someone. Then I realised I could change, I realised that no matter where you go, who you speak to or what task you work on. Someone will disagree with you and even may call it crap, if a developer just calls your work crap with no explanation. They are not worth your time.

If someone asks you the reason why you did it that way and explained a different way or the reasons why they do not agree. Hence, sparks up a discussion, these are the people who are worth your time, they are the ones who are trying to mentor you and help you. It is extremely hard to break that wall, believe me, my functional lead keeps telling me to do it all the time. One thing he did say this week actually was, “if you try and please everyone you become no one. Now you need to decide on who you want to be.”

I think with front-end development you will get these battles unfortunately wherever you go, but I think you can overcome it but if you don’t have to go in straight away as you said take a break, code in your personal time and enjoy it.

On thing you’ve written that has actually made me smile was this:

Honest answer: it’s because you care! Which is a good quality to have in my opinion.

As for developers who will help are those on Twitter, Github forums, here and the conferences/events. The DDD events are usually quite good but you do have to travel. Here’s a link to all of them.
I admit i’m not from London but maybe eventbrite or something like that might have them.

As for a blog checkout Github pages, they let you do a free Jekyll blog.

That’s the right attitude to have, build a network of friends with positive attitudes and you will be fine. Anything else I can help, I will just let me know. :smile:

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Please forget your experience with that manager, they apparently had other issues that were outside of your control. I’ve had good managers, great managers, and horrible managers all within the IT realm. I’ve recently moved away from storage server administration and back into coding (15 years since I’ve done it) and now I work with some of the most encouraging and nicest people I’ve known. Don’t give up because of some sour saps who can’t see past their own nose want to make you feel bad. Don’t give them that, just keep moving forward.


I’ve had many jobs. I’m 34 and I’ve had ~15 different jobs, three of those were in tech and two have been developer jobs. My first two tech jobs were AWFUL. Also, most jobs I’ve had were awful in ways similar to what you describe, just not programming related.

In my opinion, what you experienced in your last job are problems that are not exclusive to tech. You worked in a crappy company. The reality is that MOST companies are crappy. Just because you are a developer doesn’t exclude you from having to deal with other people and the negative garbage that they toss at you.

The difference is, in the tech/software world, the skills you can gain are very valuable and you can take those skills in innumerable directions. Right now, I’m making great pay contracting for a company that is really great to work for. The atmosphere is pretty relaxed, and I work from home. I actually sleep in every morning, pick my tasks…it’s amazing. It took me years to get here, but I’d never have an opportunity like this if I were still in retail or auto sales or any of the other things I’ve done.

I think you should give programming/dev another shot. It’s demoralizing sometimes but I promise you, you can find a better company to work for, or you can become a contractor/ freelancer and make it on your own. It feels impossible, until you make it.

Thank you so very much for taking the time to reply.

I appreciate what you are saying about the negative garbage however you know when you are finding your feet, trying to stay afloat and it just keeps coming your way its enough to sink your confidence, self-esteem and self worth.

However, I am amazed by the kindness of your and others response. It is so nice of you all.

My plan is to go through the FCC curriculum and then start applying again, although just to say that makes me shudder.

I understand what you are saying. My last job was extremely negative, and I was fired…that was a huge hit against my self-confidence. I didn’t really have any other choices though, I had to find jobs. Now I’m in the best job I’ve ever had.

Life throws you curveballs, just know – not every job is a good fit, and that doesn’t say anything bad about you personally. The best you can do is to believe in yourself (just try to stay self-aware enough to learn from your mistakes). It’s a delicate balance. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (sometimes).

You can do it – I’m expecting to see your success story here soon! Good luck!

Whatever field you work in you are going to find bosses that are t***s. Unfortunately this is just the way the world works!

I am not yet in the industry, but I have interviewed at a few places. The first place was very structured, uniform and everyone was just coding away quietly. I walked in and everyone stopped and looked at me for a second and then carried on, I had negative vibes straight away and I just didn’t like the feel of the place. The guy seemed nice enough, and I have seem him since and he always smiles, but I just had a funny feeling that he could be problematic. Perhaps quite brash of me, and I know you shouldnt jump to conclusions but still…

The next place was completely different. I had good vibes straight away when I walked in, it looked like a place you would want to work rather than the school IT lab. Long story short, I didn’t get the position… I was gutted. This is the response I got from the boss:

Hi James,

It was great to meet you the other day. Unfortunately I am not going to be able to take things forward.

Although I think you are doing all the right things to get a job at present your skills to salary expectation don’t quite add up. My head developer said that they thought you would make a good junior developer based on your current skill set and we would pay a
bit lower than you stated for a junior salary.

My advice would be to continue on with what you are doing… Perhaps get a bit more freelance experience, plus build some themes for something like WordPress and publish those online. This could lead to an extra income, and also it is great to include in your portfolio

If you wanted to focus on the Python (which I would say is a good bet) take a look at https://www.djangoproject.com/ also perhaps look into some of the machine learning / AI stuff as that a big focus of companies at the moment.

Also take a look on stackoverflow as they do an end of year wrap up which shows growing skills based on questions.

Hopefully you will get yourself signed up on freelancer.com. As I said before, we outsource some of our development work there. Work away at getting yourself practical experience over the next year and this will bring you up to your salary expectation and then we will see what we can do.

Kind regards,

This is the kind of guy you want to work for! :smiley:

Anways, my advice to you buddy would be to stick with it. There are places out there that are going to be right for you! Maybe look at some smaller companies, these often offer a more intimate “family-like” feel to them. Currently I have been at my place of work for ten years and the team are my best friends.


Hi xirokx,
I’m quite old and this kind of things happen to me every day though. Sometimes things go better when I succed avoiding the worst. It’s not a great thing hoping for the best and realize this time I’m safe. But bosses are not the only people surrounding me. Or you.
There are lots of people asking me things, or pledging an advice or helping me all the time.
I feel confident I do my job better than my bosses let me know.
So I keep doing things looking for gratifications in results.
I don’t trust my bosses and they know it very well as I tell them that if they don’t want me on the job they can always remove me anytime. The fact is they know I’m confident and they aren’t. Eventually they can see things are working and simply ignore it. An old movie viewed so many times.
As for sensation of being stuck and the feeling like: “I can’t do it. It’s greater than me. I’m stupid”: well is always the same. My age didn’t help me. But as you have underlined, I eventually get rid of difficulties and feel great.
I don’t know really what I’m writing is helping you I think we come across such things in every rule we’re implied. We can’t avoid the lack of trust or gratification. Changing job is not the solution even if it seems better because there are no bosses in charities or university departments. So we have to cope with our self confidence only.
Pls. forgive my english.
I wish you all the best.