Jane Smith, an ambitious self-taught web developer with 1.5 years of experience, is seeking support and guidance from industry professionals and hiring managers as she struggles to find her footing in the competitive tech job market.

Woman shrugging
✅ AI Essay Writer ✅ AI Detector ✅ Plagchecker ✅ Paraphraser
✅ Summarizer ✅ Citation Generator

Image of a software developer
The door into the industry is not always easy to open for self-taught coders. Image credit: careerfoundry.com

Smith, who holds a BA and has six years of experience in an unrelated field, left her previous career in June 2022 to focus on web development. She has been sustaining herself with gig work and part-time jobs while honing her skills in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and React. With a solid understanding of these programming languages, Smith has built an impressive portfolio showcasing her projects.

Despite applying to over 100 job openings in the Austin area and remote positions, Smith has only received auto-generated rejection emails and scam attempts. She is currently contemplating enrolling in a coding boot camp to increase her chances of success, despite her reservations about the financial commitment.

Smith is open to connecting with those who have succeeded in similar circumstances or hiring managers who can provide guidance and possible redirection. She also welcomes the opportunity for voice or video calls or Discord chats to discuss her concerns and receive expert advice.

Smith’s determination and quick-learning abilities are apparent in her progress thus far. However, she now looks to the tech community for encouragement and direction to ensure her continued growth in this competitive industry.

In response to her Reddit message, she received an outpouring of advice, encouragement, and relatable experiences.

Several Redditors suggested Smith take advantage of various resources to get her resume critiqued. One user recommended using the local community college’s career center services. The Redditor, who seemed to have had experience with this approach, mentioned that these centers often serve not just students but also the local community. They provide a platform where job seekers can have their resumes evaluated and tailored for specific roles.

“I’d say (at least where I live) you could go into your local community college’s career center (make an appointment first) because my state’s community colleges serve the community, not just students. So, if you go in with your resume and say, “Hey, I’m not getting anything back from this,” they can help you tailor it to the jobs you’re looking for. Other states’ community colleges’ rules may vary and may be based on enrollment.”

Another witty piece of advice was about networking, with users reminding Smith not to underestimate its power. One user shared their strategy of building a relationship with their university department chair over informal weekly meetings, highlighting the potential benefits of such networking tactics.

“It might also be helpful to make friends with the department chair. I’m at a university, but I go full Ted Lasso with my chair once a week and drop in with coffee and a scone or coffee cake, and we just talk for a minute about stuff that’s not always school-related. Never underestimate the power of pastry.”

Several Redditors also pointed out the importance of a well-rounded skill set. They suggested that Smith expand her knowledge beyond HTML, CSS, and JavaScript/React to include other skills like automated testing, session management, Figma, and basic web application security. They emphasized that many projects are not static web pages and often require backend functionality and a supporting database.

Just HTML, CSS, and Javascript/React alone are not sufficient. Do you know automated testing? Can you work with the session “log in” functionality? Do you know Figma? Do you know web application security on a basic level? Most of the projects are not static web pages where you can get away with HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Very often, there is also a backend functionality and a supporting database as well. And even when concentrating only on static web pages, then you will still need to know automated testing and often also Figma. When a website lets a user make an account, then it also has to have a backend functionality, and you will have to deal with web application security.”

Users also encouraged Smith to showcase her skills effectively. They stressed the importance of having projects or writings that demonstrate her grasp of the programming languages she claims to know. One commenter noted that it’s hard to give advice or feedback with limited information, implying that Smith’s portfolio and resume might benefit from more substantial evidence of her skills.

A Redditor in a similar situation to Smith’s shared their decision to enroll in a boot camp to learn backend development, viewing it as a long-term investment. They encouraged Smith to consider this path, echoing her own thoughts about possibly enrolling in a boot camp.

“Decided to learn backend but know I don’t want to self-teach for another year and definitely need guidance, so last month I decided to go the boot camp route. Applied, interviewed, and got in. I will be attending a May-August cohort learning Java. Taking out a loan which isn’t ideal, but I’m thinking long-term as an investment in my future, and it will pay off (and help expedite getting my foot in the door, ideally). Best of luck to you; don’t give up.” 

Overall, the Reddit community’s feedback was a mix of practical advice, shared experiences, and words of encouragement, all aimed at helping Smith overcome her career obstacles and break into the tech industry.

Related stories:

Bachelors or Bootcamp – Choosing the Right Path for Aspiring Coders

Why Do Universities Mostly Teach Theoretical Courses and not Real Coding Skills?

How to Learn Python: 10 Best Free and Paid Resources To Try in 2023

Getting into Programming & Coding in Java, JavaScript & Python: Should You Get Into IT — Top Coding Tips of The Month

Opt out or Contact us anytime. See our Privacy Notice

Follow us on Reddit for more insights and updates.

Comments (0)

Welcome to A*Help comments!

We’re all about debate and discussion at A*Help.

We value the diverse opinions of users, so you may find points of view that you don’t agree with. And that’s cool. However, there are certain things we’re not OK with: attempts to manipulate our data in any way, for example, or the posting of discriminative, offensive, hateful, or disparaging material.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Register | Lost your password?