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Discussion on: Advice for a struggling bootcamp grad?

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Colin Morgan

Employers want to see two things, education and professional experience. If you have less of one they want to see more of the other. You did a bootcamp, which is great to kickstart your learning, but it's not really considered "real" education in the context of job applications. So you need to compensate with professional experience.

I was pretty much in a similar situation when I first started, excluding the bootcamp. I scraped every resource I could find for any level of freelance work to put on my resume. After enough ten hour projects at $10/hr fixing people's broken websites it began to get easier. Now I'm ten years in and managing a team of software engineers.

There's tons of work out there that most people believe is beneath them. Stuff like building/fixing newsletters, customizing wordpress themes, maintaining "legacy" frameworks. Start expanding your knowledge into older frameworks/software/tools. Do you know how many web applications were built using the first version of Angular? Thousands. All those apps needs to be maintained and most people don't want to do it.

Keep applying for jobs but don't sit idle while waiting to hear back. Find someone to pay you to use your skills, no matter how small the job. Then get a reference from them, put it on your resume, rinse and repeat. Do that a few times and you're no longer a "bootcamp grad", you're an experienced developer.

Post on reddit.com/r/forhire, cragislist, kijiji, etc. Dig into posts like news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23379195 and see who's hiring for freelance work. Checkout sites like upwork and freelancer. Find local businesses that need help with their websites. Whatver it takes to get paid experience under your belt.

Lastly, good luck. It's a long and difficult journey but it's cetainly worth the effort if it's what you truly want.