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I'm a bit confused right now. I think I messed up a perfectly good opportunity to find work because I ran too fast towards looking for a job. Here are the details.
I graduated from code boot camp in mid-November. I spent extra hours after regular working hours were over, grinding away. My camp runs a career fair where kind people from the surrounding area with ties to our business development branch come in and interview students. Camp grads can only attend one, ever. I took the one taking place 3 weeks later. In retrospect, I feel like I should have bided my time and attended the later career fair but it's in February and at the time, I thought that was too far away. I feel dumb. Of the 4 interviews I did, I got 2 email confirmations and then 1 invite to a hiring day.
I go to the event. There are 3 other candidates. My interview was alright and then we received a practical test. We were to build out a project as much as we can, add documentation in a readme, and a way to build out the project from the repo. I did my best but in the end, I got passed over. No problem. But then I find out one of the other 3 guys was a dead ringer. This dude had 3 months of previous experience in the same role! He was a good guy and he definitely deserved it. I bear no ill will.
So I started looking inward. I don't have a traditional background. My repo has a decent number of commits but I haven't had a code review, ever. I might suck, I don't know! Did I screw up by not biding my time and "launching" during the later career fair a few months later?
I can't help but feel like career fairs are just like meet and greets. They are formalities and the only people anybody wants already has enough experience to do the job anyways. Nobody wants juniors, ever. Maybe I should just work a regular job and for the next few months on nights and weekends contribute to open source or non-profits. Maybe after a few months, I can break into the industry. I'm lost right now. Can I get some advice?