Hey, this is my first post and I have a question!!
I am an 18 year old self-taught front-end web developer(HTML/HTML5, CSS/CSS3, JS, jQuery etc). I’ve been coding for some years now and also I’ve used resources like freecodecamp and codecademy. My question follows; How hard will it be for me to find a job in New York and what kind of salary should I expect?
No working experience nor traditional education probably quit difficult. The one thing you have going for you is front end jobs are hot right now. If you were to find a position you would be lucky to be making 60k yearly as the bottom most rung on the ladder. Anywhere else with average salary expect and living cost you would be luck at 40k a year. Realistically anyone looking to hire you is looking for someone cheap because you don’t really have anything to offer on paper. Anyone can say they have been using x technology for x years. Without working experience you’re essentially on the same level as a fresh college graduate but without the education. I think most companies would rather have a fresh college graduate unless they are looking for someone dirt cheap.
Where are you based now? If you’re not in NYC already, then you’ve a massive jump to make, not only in finding a role, but also in finding one that pays enough for you to live there. I gather rents there are very high indeed.
What if I have a portfolio??
Yea I’m in NY rn. It’s not cheap but manageable!! Plus it’s a hot spot for tech people!
Does your portfolio include actual sites you’ve built? (Rather than just designs and mock-ups.) Something to demonstrate what you can actually produce.
Yea I can build a portfolio of sites I build. If I have this, will this raise my chances and salary ??
A good portfolio is going to be essential, if you’re unable to point at any work done in an employment situation. You have to be able to show people what you can do, you do have to be aware that they will seek evidence that you can do what you say you can on your resume.
Thank you very much. I can build a bunch of different sites, but what would you recommend… How many sites should I put into my portfolio ?
Ideally, build “real” sites, rather than sample sites. By that, I mean build a site for a local non-profit of some kind who couldn’t afford to pay for one. You get the experience of working with a client, and goodwill which just might turn into a bit of freelance work later, and you have a genuine site for a genuine client to show for it. It doesn’t matter that you weren’t paid for doing it; it demonstrates your skills better than simply creating an imaginary site.
In my opinion you offer less value than a fresh college graduate and even an intern. I’m not saying you can’t get a job but it is going to be tough and you will need to adjust your expectations accordingly. Realistically most people including myself rather hire someone with a computer science and/or design education. A few simple websites in a portfolio wouldn’t change by mind.
Really, it seems to be the inverse in my experience. Employers don’t care what shiny papers you have - They want to see good looking sites in your folio, and lots of code on Github.
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