How are some people able to get jobs within months?

How are some people able to get jobs within months?
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#1

It’s really great hearing about campers getting developer jobs. It’s a source for motivation and inspiration, and I’m honestly happy every time I see such a post.

However, one thing that I really don’t understand, is how are some people managing to get jobs within merely months of learning. Speaking for myself, I’ve first started coding about 3 years ago when I did a 2 year certificate in college, and got started with web development about 6 months ago (after having not coded in over a year). First got a Udemy course, then found FCC and as a result found out about P1xt’s guides, and have been following one of them for about 3 months.

I just don’t get the amount of time it’s taking me (and a lot others I’m sure) just to get to the point to apply for jobs compared to those who land their first job in just 3-6 months since starting to code for the first time in their lives.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying the learning process and all, but whenever I see someone got a job in merely months I sometimes think maybe I’m doing something wrong or not putting enough effort or something. Or perhaps I should have been applying to jobs or something (even though I’ve tried once I finished my certificate and got no interviews, so I want to try again after building a portfolio). I don’t want the “fast” way by any means, but at the same time staying in a job you don’t like because there’s no other choice is also unproductive (I won’t get into the details for a few reasons, and I hope this time I won’t come across as complaining or something, as it has happened in the past).

What do you guys think? Would be great to hear some thoughts on the matter.


#2

Well, are you applying to jobs?
Most companies don’t expect much out of a junior developer, sometimes having a rough idea of the basics is more than enough. FCC provides a portfolio, which is probably more than the other junior candidates have to offer.

It’s not like a quest in a game, you don’t really need specific pre requisites to get a job. Sometimes you live in a place with a lot of open jobs and few people to fill those positions, thus companies will pay more and ask for less and even be willing to train you. Or you could live in LA or NY, where there’s a lot of work and a lot of people, thus you are expected to know more as a junior developer.

As for how much effort you put in, it depends on how much this matters to you. If you feel like you’re not doing enough, you’re probably not doing enough. Only you can know that stuff.

tl;dr: it’s not a recipe, apply for jobs, otherwise you won’t know.


#3

I’m not applying for jobs yet because I’m following P1xt’s Web Dev with Computer Science guide, and would like to start applying after finishing Tier 2, which to be honest according to my calculations would take me at least 5-6 more months. I want to walk into and out of interviews completely comfortable in my skills. Well, after having said this, the extra time it’s taking is actually a plus in a way.

As for the effort part, I’ve been putting an average of 3-5 hours a day on the guide, and more on my days off. I work 5 shifts a week, but recently reduced to 3-4 shifts in order to put more time on coding. I’m also considering quitting my current job but this is too risky and might not be a viable option (though my savings could last me a few months if I knew for sure I’m going to get a job within that timeframe, but unfortunately there’s no such guarantee).


#4

I wonder this too. I’ve put in around 20 applications for entry-level positions in a large US city and only got one interview (for a non-developer job!). This is certainly not a lot of applications, but I thought I’d at least have a few interviews by now.

I suspect that the people you read about come from rural areas or countries where there’s not as much competition/companies don’t expect as much from their juniors. Just my guess, no disrespect intended.


#5

I don’t think you’ve disrespected anyone. It only makes sense that the more time you put in, the better you become.

Anyways, a former classmate has recently gotten a job. Trust me, you don’t want to see his code. Being a beginner is one thing, but the guy I’m talking about doesn’t even follow best practices. How he managed to get a developer job without experience is beyond me. I guess luck also plays a role. Go figure. No offence to anyone whatsoever.


#6

I suspect a lot of it too has to do with who you know…who you get to know…ie networking. In a couple of the posts from people who got jobs, they happened to just be at the right place to mention to the right person what they were studying and got a job offer. What I got out of that was…put yourself out there.

This is such a solitary type of thing, especially the studying part, and for the most part, no one is much interested in hearing about it. So its super easy to just not tell anyone anything, or talk to anyone about anything which leaves us isolated from the people who would be interested…or perhaps even if not them, know someone who would be interested and could serve as a personal referral.

It’s because of those stories that I have decided to make a point to be more vocal about what I do, and what my goals are. Even if no one so far is interested or know what Im talking about, talking into thin air is better than not at all. For all I know, a friend of mine might talk to someone and offhand mention…oh yeah a friend of mind does web design and she said shes studying something to get a job or something…and they may be like ooh, tell me more…at which point they can give them my card or number (most of my friends have several of my cards, a throwback from my freelance days). Maybe Im dreaming, but hey…may as well right? LOL

Anyway, with not just this, but anything in life, I often see people in jobs / situations and think…now how in the world did they of all people land that!!! But most often than not, its cause they put themselves out there which put them in a position to meet the right people who would help them get there.

Full disclosure… I have a serious case of imposters syndrome…for most of my life Ive been studying off and on, and feeling like, as soon as I finish studying this Ill be ready. Ive been saying that for years now, cause there always is, and always will be something to study. But the stories on this forum have been beyond inspiriting, and Ive decided that as soon as I get my portfolio fleshed out with at least 4 projects, Im going to start applying.


#7

Agreed with what you say here. It very much has to do with the people you know. [quote=“cndragn, post:6, topic:112289”]
I have a serious case of imposters syndrome [/quote] I tend to have the same feeling. So, I think the right thing to do is not to rush things, and do one thing at a time. First complete the FCC bootcamp. FCC has put together a very solid bootcamp, that will make you a good FS developer. Second, you start looking for a job once you have a nice portfolio to show. I hear people complete like 2 very simple html/css apps, and already start looking for a job. I don’t think it’s right. Or, don’t be surprised if your employer asks you to do things that are far from mentally stimulating.


#8

My mentor completed an immersive bootcamp and got a job right after she completed it. Here are some of the things she has been sharing with me:

  1. meetups are invaluable–get out there and be seen–you get to earn things that will help improve your coding as well as show potential employers or friends/relatives of employers that you are interested. This is hardest for me because I am shy and introverted, but I did it and have met a lot of really nice people and have gotten lots of help on my coding journey.

  2. portfolio-employers want to see your work–you don’t have to have a lot of projects to be a JD, but you need to show employers some of what you know

  3. some larger companies are not the best for beginners–if you don’t know much, you get tasks no-one else wants and you don’t learn new skills.

Hope this helps!


#9

I would guess that these people (in addition to putting in a lot of intense work into their education) are actually focusing on the goal of getting a job. They apply early and often. They focus on learning how to apply in a way that will get you an interview. They study and practice the specific skills of interviewing. It can be difficult, exhausting, and discouraging to make getting a job your job, but with some luck and a lot of effort you can do it.


#10

To add to what others already said, and some worth repeating…

  • depends on supply and demand in that country/city/location
  • depends on who you know, or who knows about you
  • luck… hate to say it, it’s part of life. Seems unfair sometimes
  • specifics of job offer are unknown… salary amount, full time or part time… you just read they got a job.
  • I read here some countries pay web devs $12/day. While some paid equivalent of $25/hr starting. Wide range of salary
  • education of user. College graduate and just got into web dev? Or total beginner, or non college graduate. We don’t know.
  • how well they marketed themselves, connections, networking
  • how needy is the company? Did company just took advantage of job applicant? Read one story update here that after few months, guy quit the company because he’s just being used by company and underpaid.

Anyways… bottom line is you won’t catch a fish if you don’t put out bait and are just standing on the river bank. You may have the best fishing rod, best equipment, best fishing knowledge… but if voure not using it, somebody with just a tree branch and a few worms may get lucky and even catch a fish! Some small, and some may even land a big one!


#11

I know it’s already been said, but IMO it bears repeating:

People who get jobs are generally the ones who put time, energy, & effort into actually getting a job.

It’s basically that simple. Studying is all well and good, but unless you’re (general “you” here, not speaking to anyone specifically here) actively going forth to get a job, you’ll never get one. The people who get jobs are the ones with motivation and persistence, and won’t let anyone or anything get in their way. If you’ve read the success stories, they all have a theme of people who were highly motivated to get a coding job and then did something about it.

So if there’s anyone out there who thinks “I’ll just study and then maybe one day I’ll be good enough”, then stop that kind of thinking right now. Sure, study to a point. But then stop and do the work of looking for a job, otherwise it will never happen.

Also, remember that technical knowledge is just one aspect. The most intellectually brilliant person in the world could have all the knowledge of something, but could also be the kind of person that few people want to work with (no offense intended but Bill Gates comes to mind there, as he was infamously difficult to work for/with when he was running Microsoft—and Steve Jobs was infamously difficult to work with as well, btw). So you also have to build social and other soft skills in order to succeed in the job market. What hasn’t been said yet is that the people who get jobs faster could also just have better soft skills, and may not even have great hard skills. Yes, the world isn’t fair, but we all have to deal with it. :wink:


How do you not get discouraged?
#12

You already sound as if you are employable. If you are uncertain of this, complete the following course and you will be ready.


#13

Yep, that’s probably a big one. As an interviewer (in an unrelated field) I can tell you that the potential candidate’s actual skills are secondary to who they present themselves as (who they appear to be at least - you can’t really know a person in a 1-hr interview but you get a pretty good idea of their personality). The reality is that employers will hire people they like. And that’s not a reflection on the person necessarily but a reflection on the chemistry between the two or three or four people in the interview. This is a problem for those who have the skills but may not be very good at interviews.


#14

@geekysmurf Well, even though I’m following one of P1xt’s guides and have went through a ton of resources, I still don’t really have many projects to put on my portfolio and resume. I’m following the guide strictly, and as per P1xt’s advice, I’ll start applying once I finish Tier 2 of the guide I’m following, in order to be sure I’m job ready with a proper portfolio. As for The Web Developer Bootcamp, I had finished the front end section before I found FCC, at which point I decided to stick to the guide.


#15

Out of curiosity, what is this guide you speak of?


#16

@AmirF27 What and where is this guide so I can check it out?

Also, here are some links for project ideas.

Hope this helps.


#17

The guides by P1xt are structured pathways that a member put together, which many of us here are doing because its made of of many sources (inc FCC of course) and incredibly comprehensive. There are 3 different guides, just depends on your goals which one you choose. There are 4 in total…just do a search for P1xt guide and youll find them all.


#18

@AmirF27 I’m one of the people who got a job within a couple of months after I joined an intensive 9 week actual bootcamp in Ruby on Rails. It was not a cheap bootcamp though, but because I’ve invested my savings in it, I gave it all my energy and focus. I could have done it by myself online but I tend to procrastinate if I work on my own pace so it would have taken longer. I actually learned about freecodecamp from that bootcamp I paid money for (ironic). In fact, one of my bootcamp tutors was asking us to do the JS course in Freecodecamp, so don’t think a paid bootcamp will make a big difference (it just pressures you to do a lot more work each day).

This was all very recent. I actually come from a different background with a degree in chemical engineering, so I didn’t have any clue on programming or web development. Due to a lot of circumstances, I’ve been unemployed for a long while. And I wouldn’t have considered programming had I stayed in my previous career. I went to a startup weekend once (around this time last year) and I was inspired by the way the developers who had the technical abilities to create working prototypes of useful business ideas within just 48 hours. By Autumn I joined this bootcamp and we created stuff and a full app as well as a graduation project.

So how did I get a job you ask?

We can eliminate “personal” networking, I am living in a foreign country and I don’t know anyone here. However, the bootcamp institute does have networking and because they have graduated other successful students, employers tend to reach to them to ask for fresh developers (most of these employers are start-ups). Just for information, more than half of the people taking this bootcamp are from different backgrounds, not CS.

So hard work, ofcourse plus dedication. We focused mainly on our graduation project app (it was a team project), as the bootcamp institute invites employers to the presentation day. I later got a couple of interview-offers from startups. I know a person who was in my batch that got hired within a week. In the end I still applied for jobs, and I managed to join a small sized international company which programs in Java mainly (different from the RoR I had learnt in the bootcamp)… so I’m learning a lot everyday in this job. But its a really great company and team members that teach you different stuff.

But here is the situation: the bootcamp institute can help you get to the interviews stage or help you with contacts to use when applying for jobs. Or alternatives to the bootcamp is the people you meet in Meetups, hackathons and startup events (they are mostly good for networking). But beyond all of them, if you apply here and there, and someone invites you over, it really depends on you passing the interview. So this is the second part to how to get the job in the interview.

  1. unless you lied in your application and claimed to have created non-existent apps or worked in complex frameworks , the employer knows and expects to be interviewing someone in a junior level. If you made it to the interview stage it means you have passed the initial screening tests. So you are still good.
    So, they might ask you tricky questions but they are gauging your way of thinking not experience, so definitely the complexity of technical questions will be less. If you have 2 years experience in something, then they will ask you more to feel the depth of that experience. If you have less, they will ask you less complex questions.

  2. Speaking of the way of thinking, its how you approach a problem, how you attempt to solve it, how to validate your own approach and also how to say that you don’t know about something but it does sound similar to something you might have known. These are all thinking skills but also the way you show them on your interview will depend on your self-marketing skills. Similar to what @Soupedenuit said.

  3. Companies would ask you on how do you develop your programming skills more. So, for example my company told me (after I already started my job) they also thought that people who dedicated time and money to bootcamps shows they are more committed to developing themselves more. However, it doesn’t matter if its for money or for free, what matters is progress!!! For example, showing them your progress in FreeCodeCamp is really a good thing. But saying that you love learning about front end, and then they ask you ’ tell us what did you learn’, and you reply back ‘I just joined this online course last week’ is not a good way to show you have been improving your skills. And ofcourse having a portofolio is very useful. Like a github account where all the small snippets you code could be uploaded there and saved for reference. Your prospective employers won’t read your code line by line, but if you compare two applicants, one has no activity on github and one has at least 10 to 20 repo on github (even if they are small code files), who would you choose. Remember a company would also hire a developer that would contribute to the growth of their knowledge base and teach other team members from their own background and experience.

So, bottom line, don’t wait till you reach that “prepared stage”, no one is ever prepared, and the more you learn about something, the more you will realise you still need to learn more about this thing and more about this other thing etc… So, give it a go now and apply (or attend some events and network to have more contacts), if you get it well, you save time and you learn more programming while being paid, if you don’t at least you get more experience with the interviews and types of companies in the market and how to better place your learning path and self-marketing to such companies. Good luck!


#19

@tindrew @geekysmurf The guide I’m talking about is P1xt’s Web Dev with Computer Science guide. Thanks for the links @geekysmurf ! Will check them out. :smiley:


#20

I understand what you mean. But I think that people learn at different speed. Another factor is that some people feel more confident than other.
That said, being a Developer doesn’t only involve being able to code (this is indeed, in my opinion, the easiest part). In the most cases you will have to prove communication, decision making, time management or leadership skills. Sometimes I just wish to sit and code (and get stuff done), but it’s not that easy. Moreover from the mere technical point of view although it’s not my field of expertise I had to learn some devops stuff (like CI/CD, terraform, AWS, etc…) that I couldn’t have practiced on my own. That’s why I think, once one has the basis , she should be looking for a job. The sooner one starts, the better. There’s plenty​ of stuff you learn while working and the upside is… You’re paid for it :slight_smile: