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SeongKuk Han
SeongKuk Han

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7 Reasons Why Finding a Job Has Gotten Harder as a Junior React Developer

Hi there,

If you’ve clicked on this post, you probably have the same situation I am in.

Before we start, let's make things clear. I’m not a big tech guy. I’m a junior or mid-level developer without a job. I don’t have the extensive experience many of you might expect. But if I had a secure job, I wouldn’t be writing about this topic or seeing things as clearly as I do now. I’m one tiny person in the crowd, not living a celebrity life.

I focus on React because that’s where my experience lies. I’m writing this post to share my thoughts on the current situation and to hear your opinions as well.

1. Economy

This one is obvious. If you don’t feel the impact of the economy now, you might later. Various factors like elections, crises, and other reasons can obscure the reality, but the economy is tough worldwide. Some regions face serious issues, with people even selling biometric data for money. This economic hardship affects the job market too.

2. Overpopulation

Do you still believe a 6-month bootcamp or a CS degree will make sure to get you a high-paying job? It could still happen, but not as often as it used to. The industry is flooded with people, one of the reasons we might pick is advertising through bootcamps, tiktok, youtube, and media stuff. These institutions are businesses, not charities. They attract people with promises of high salaries, but the reality is tougher. Many people quit their jobs to enter this field with high hopes. If they’re from top universities or exceptionally quick learners, they might succeed. But for most of us, it’s a challenging path.

3. Social Media

Social media can be great for networking, but it’s important to filter the content you see. Negative posts about hundreds of failed applications can demoralize you before you even try. Successful people often don’t spend much time on social media unless it’s part of their job. Instead, focus on positive, educational content like coding challenges. Use social media wisely—don’t let it distract you from your goals. You might need to spend more time on coding, not socializing online.

4. Competitors Better Than Us

Frontend development includes deployment, testing, libraries, CSS frameworks, and more. The core skills are crucial, but companies often prefer hiring people who already know the specific tools they use. It would be better for companies to hire people who already have experience with the skills they need. There are tons of candidates out there, so even if they narrow the requirements, they will still have plenty of applicants. If they want to hire developers with strong core skills, they might simplify the job description and use keywords like '+5 years', 'senior', 'lead', or 'mentoring'. Yes, that excludes us.

5. Easy Access to High-Quality Content

Leetcode? Go to Neetcode.
Want practical advice? Go to Theo.
Enjoy watching videos guilt-free? Go to The Prime Time.

There’s tons of high-quality content out there to help us build our skills, and bootcamps that push us to code a lot. It’s incredibly easy to access—we don’t even need to pay, just maybe a subscription fee, internet, and electricity. But if you’re spending all day hitting the like button on posts like 'typeof([] + 1) === "string"', consider whether you’re really learning the right stuff.

6. Misleading Information Overload

With so much information available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. As a junior developer, you might not know which content to follow, leading to an inefficient learning path. While exploring different resources can be beneficial, it’s important to stay focused if your goal is to secure a job. Many people are taking more direct routes to job opportunities.

7. Technology Advancements

AI might not replace you any time soon, but it could replace some of your skills. I'm not just talking about AI. Look at the React Compiler, for instance. As experienced React developers, we know where to use useCallback, useMemo, memo, and other performance optimizations in React. This sets us apart from frontend developers experienced in other libraries or frameworks, who still need to learn these nuances. We’ve used these hundreds of times and are ready to work with them.

However, the React Compiler will soon handle these optimizations automatically. I kind of expected this, given the competition from Svelte, SolidJS, Vue 3, and other frameworks with better performance. Without changes, React might lose its edge. I feel like I'm losing one of my friends I hung out with. Of course, I'll learn how it works and keep honing my skills, but, you know, It's been four years since I first learned hooks. It just feels a bit weird.

So, What Can We Do?

  1. Deepen Your Skills: Dig in more deeply and build a skill set that makes you stand out among hundreds of candidates. Have a strong weapon for yourself.

  2. Become an Entrepreneur: Create your own services and become an entrepreneur. It may not be feasible if you’re struggling financially, but it’s worth considering. These projects can also serve as portfolios when you re-enter the job market.

  3. Content Creation: This ties into entrepreneurship. Many people have turned to content creation, and now programming videos can get millions of views. For example, watch this video: Are Developers Ok? - ThePrimeagen. We’re now laughing while watching programming content; it’s no longer just boring study material. There’s a reason why some talented developers quit their jobs to start YouTube channels. As developers, we can build our businesses while creating content. This could also become your motivation and portfolio.

Some people seem to be leaving the field because of the job market. It might be the best time to stay if you love coding itself, not just the money.
I don't care even if I get minimum wage as long as I can do coding for a living. But now, what? It is a big dream in this market.

This is it.

Thanks for reading this article. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.
I don’t intend to demoralize you. I won't give up. If you want to keep going, let’s keep going together.

There’s no failure until we stop trying.

Top comments (6)

mark_anderson_c3cd76c422a profile image
Mark Anderson

A good article, well wriiten from the heart.

I have been working on a goal I have for the past 15 years. It is a big hill to climb. I have seen other companies with millions of dollars of investment startup and then just disappear. I am still here plugging away and nearly there.
As Anmol mentioned, it is a lot to do with patience and commitment. Keep focused and commited, you will get there.

I hope you find your path and success.

lico profile image
SeongKuk Han

Thanks for reading this article and leaving here your words.
I hope you make a good process to achieve your goal. I will try to keep myself focused and committed to my goal. Once again, thank you very much.

therehastobeaneasierway profile image

Imagine it's the end of the dot com bubble, and you threw in the towel because the economy shifted. You'd be missing out on one of the biggest tech booms yet to come. Now imagine that you used that time to reinvest in yourself. Duh. Exactly.

lico profile image
SeongKuk Han

You'd be missing out on one of the biggest tech booms yet to come.

  • I agree with you. One of the biggest tech booms ja. The current situation is tough, it is true, but, I believe all of the effort we put in will be paying off soon. Thank you for your comment!
anmolbaranwal profile image
Anmol Baranwal

I believe that a little bit of patience and determination to do something without expecting anything in return will take you very far. I've done it, and anyone can do it too.

lico profile image
SeongKuk Han

That's very true ja. Thanks for leaving good words here. 🙏