Which one will help more in getting web developer job fast - Projects or problem solving skills!

what should be my aim to get a job fast as I have a 2-year gap after graduation, I have covered fundamentals of HTML, CSS and JavaScript from freecodecamp itself.

After this, I was thinking of jumping right into doing mini projects like tic tac toe, hangman, drumkit etc. But instead of projects I thought to check how well I know javascript by solving some basic problems suggested by ChatGPT and hacker rank and after solving some basic javascript problems, I came to know that I know nothing (not clear in fundamentals), how come i was thinking about doing projects.
So i learnt that problem solving is very important even if you are jumping into easy beginner project .
In a lot of YouTube videos, I see people talking about how to get a job fast in 6 to 10 months by doing only projects but no one is talking about how a beginner can even start a project if he or she has not yet learned how to problem-solve.

As I have a career gap, I was thinking of getting a job as fast as I can, but here i think problem-solving skills will take a long time to get a job whereas doing a project seems like getting a job fast.

I see college fresher start their coding journey with problem solving skills because they have much time to graduate and get a job . They are just sharpening skills.

When I am solving problems. I feel like it’s a slower process of getting a job than doing projects because projects are to showcase, but ironically problem-solving skills help doing projects much faster.

But in my case what do I do, focus on problem-solving or projects?? OR I should allocate a few months for Problem-solving and a few months for projects OR I should do both simultaneously ?? I don’t have much time left as I have already dropped 2 years. PLEASE HELP ME OUT.

HI @gyanendramohanty0487 !

Welcome to the forum!

I am going to give it to you straight.

The market is tough right now especially for juniors and mids.

Getting a job as fast as possible is not a reality right now.

There are developers with experience that have been unemployed for months.
Sometimes 6-9months+ or more before landing another gig.

Prior to 2023, there was a period where the market was really hot.
Companies had a lot of money to spend and they were building a lot of products and hiring a lot of people.

But then access to money started drying up and a lot of projects didn’t end up panning out and started costing companies money.

So companies started looking at their balance sheet at their most expense line item which is people and started making cuts.
So you can see how many layoffs have been happening at big and small companies here ever since late 2022.

The point is, the market is flooded with talented people looking for a job.

So things are going to take longer then normal.

It is important to know when they got jobs though. Because like I said, there was a time where this was more of a possibility. Not the norm but more possible cases.

But for most people the job hunt will take a lot longer then 6-10 months. For most people today, if you combine learning, building, and job hunting it will take closer to 1 1/2 to 2 +years.

Plus the interview loop itself takes a while because it usually involves multiple rounds of interviews before an offer is made. This usually includes stuff like phone screens, technical interviews, behavioral interviews, etc. I think the most I ever during an interview loop was 4 total interviews before the offer was made. But I know developers that have had more. So that contributes to the time to get a job too.

My advice to you is to focus on building projects that take some time and consideration to build. Each of these projects should take a few weeks at least to build and have some complexity to them. Think about some time of problems you have run into and try building an application that solves some of those problems.

These projects don’t need to be perfect or the next billion dollar application. But projects where you can tell the developer put some time and consideration into will go a long way on your resume and in interviews then projects that only took a few hours to build.

These types of project will have you develop problem solving skills because you will need identify a problem and learn how to break it down and build it out just like on the job.
Danny Thompson has a great post going into more detail about this

You learn to problem solve by building projects.

You should reframe your mindset to growing as a developer to build projects AND problem.
Not problem solving OR building projects.

I would anticipate this whole job hunt process to take a lot longer then a few months because of the way the market is right now.
So if you are needing to get a job due to financial reasons, then I would suggest looking into getting a non tech job right now (service type jobs like retail or fast food) or gig economy work like door dash or uber. Anything that you can find right now in your area that will pay the bills while you make this transition.

Hope that helps

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I will just echo this sentiment.

The process of building the projects is what you will learn from. Projects are not just for showcasing what you know. You will run into tons of issues that you have to find solutions for. Some specific to your app that you can’t easily look up the answer for.

To be blunt, it is only because you haven’t built anything yet that this isn’t apparent to you. If you had you would know just how much you learn from building things on your own.

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