How do you get a web developer job with no experience?

I'm learning to program from online classes but don't have any real world experience. Every "Junior" job on Indeed requires 2-4 years of experience. I'm a beginner but learning and eager to learn more. The programming "Bootcamps" are way too expensive for me and no guarantee of a job after. Can I volunteer to work for a company for free in exchange for some mentoring and real world experience? I figure in the startup world there are smart developers who need help but low on funds, and I can do the work for them in exchange for some mentoring. I don't know if this is a possibility to work for free for experience. I'm not in a university for college credit.


Web development jobs ask for experience, but what they're actually referring to is ability. You can "hack" this process by building projects publicly. Use GitHub, contribute to open source, and continue building for-fun projects to grow your skills.

Send your GitHub link along with applications, and you'll get some nibbles.

Good luck!

Answered 8 years ago

I'll echo Jason's comments on using GitHub and if you can build a reputation, Stack Overflow (but don't get downvoted). I'll also add my own too, since mentoring an intern in my own company is something I'm currently doing. I'm not currently looking to mentor anyone else atm, since it's a travesty for all of them to spread yourself too thin. Though am happy to discuss direction.

The short answer is yes, you can, but whether they're allowed to take you on in that capacity is another matter, since some countries rightly have laws to protect workers from exploitation. Plus, it crucially depends on the value you'll get from it and that they can provide. My experience has been quite positive taking on someone who is already degree educated, though in electronic systems engineering. My intern is very keen, has grasped the concepts of agility and DevOps well and my focus for them has been to get them doing two things.

The first, identifying a particular problem to solve and creating an open source project on GitHub to solve it. The second, blogging about it. The first encourages and attempts to exhibit technical skill. The second to communicate it. You can be the best programmer in the world but if nobody knows, you're as good as a nobody.

From the other side, you have to be willing to even present your own learning and development plan. It has to be as frictionless as possible. Especially in startup world. Many are low on funds, yes. However, they trade on time and skill. You have to respect that as every minute spent with you is a minute they're not trying to add revenue to their business, which risks them not having a business to fall back on. That does you no favours as then the reference you get isn't as powerful as it could be (though still useful). It's not uncommon for gem to spend 4 hours a week or more with you. If their revenue stream is normally 100K a year, then given a 40 hour week, that's 10K they've spent with you if they're not yet at the stage of passive income. However, it can still be a rewarding experience for both of you.

In any event, if you don't ask, you rarely get. So I wish you the best of luck in finding the right company.

Answered 8 years ago

Volunteering is a great way to gain real-world experience and add some interesting projects to your portfolio. When you are trying to establish yourself as a bonafide developer, freelance gigs will help you to build credibility. As well as putting your skills into practice, open source projects give you the opportunity to work collaboratively with other developers. When it comes to convincing employers that your job-ready, it is all about getting hands-on and putting your skills into action. Web development is an extremely broad field, and there are so many different avenues you can pursue. There are plenty of places to look for web developer jobs. Do not be shy about asking your friends or industry contacts if they know of anyone hiring. While it is not uncommon for experienced developers to be headhunted, those new to the industry have some convincing to do. If you are serious about landing a web developer role, you must tailor your resumĆ© and cover letter to each job you apply for. Make sure all the information about your skills, experience and qualifications is up-to-date, and upload a professional photo. Reinforce your skills with a concise, captivating heading that sums you up in one or two sentences. ā€œFrontend developer proficient in JavaScript, HTML and CSS, with extensive experience in the payment technology sector.
A crucial part of your application package is your web developer portfolio. Before applying for jobs, get your portfolio up to date with all your latest projects together with the right contact details. Focus on building a solid community around you and you will naturally open more professional doors. There are plenty of ways to meet fellow developers without necessarily feeling like you are networking. Hackathons provide the perfect opportunity to practice your skills and meet new people. When it comes to giving a good interview, you need to convince the interviewer that you have mastered the right skills and can hit the ground running. At the same time, you need to demonstrate genuine passion and enthusiasm for the role. It is highly likely that you will be asked to take a coding challenge or technical test as part of the interview process. Employers want to see that you are fully comfortable with at least HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery, so be ready to demonstrate this.
A large part of being a good web developer is teamwork. At the end of the day, employers want to be sure that you will work well with others and bring a positive attitude to the office.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

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