How can I avoid feeling depressed when looking at job postings?

Hello. I’ve been looking at job postings on LinkedIn and I find it difficult not to feel demotivated or depressed with the amount of demands that recruiters make. Even for entry-level jobs they request at least 3-5 years of experience working as a software developer. Even if I had a CS degree (I don’t, I have an engineering degree) I don’t think I would be able to fulfill such demands as a recent graduate. I joined Handshake recently to see if the job postings on that platform would be a little more reasonable, yet I find companies looking for “experts” in machine learning for a mere data science internship.

How do you guys deal with that? Do you apply for the position regardless of your experience level and the numerous demands made by these recruiters?


When I search for jobs and type “Entry Level Front-End” I see that the job web site makes assumptions incorrectly and returns even results with as much as 3-5 years of experience. I assure you: that is a failing of the AI/prediction algorithm of the job website. True entry evel jobs do exist and can be found by checking carefully to make sure that the job site really did return an entry level job.

  1. Try searching for the term “Junior” and the language or job title you want.
  2. Search for internships or co-ops.

Thank you for the tips. Do you have any recommended websites that are more likely to have a greater amount of entry-level jobs? Speaking from my own experience, LinkedIn has become just a place to show your entire CV or just as a regular social media website, not really to look for jobs, as most of them ask for 3-5 years of experience or even more than that. I’ve found a few that said “Junior” in the title and even those were asking for a minimum 1 year in the role.

Keep coding. Gain more experience even if it isn’t paid and directed by someone else.
Have you gone beyond a portfolio site with HTML/CSS and implemented JavaScript functionality? Have you gone beyond that and learned how to serve PHP or Python or Node with a database to require login to your site (not simple and quite useful!).
Look at the technologies listed in the 1 year jobs and practice all of them.
In other words, you’ll be ready for that 1 year required job that decides to consider you.

Yes, I have been coding for quite some time already. I was mostly interested in becoming a Machine Learning Engineer, but I have tried some front-end and back-end stuff as well (though I am not interested at all in becoming a professional front-end/back-end engineer). A friend and I were working on a Social Media app (currently on pause), I was responsible for implementing the back-end, which included serving JWT for authentication and typical CRUD operations using FastAPI. The jobs I find frequently ask for a certain time of professional experience, and often ask for experience working with cloud providers like AWS/Azure.

I’m in the same boat with job hunt difficulty.

I’m studying Full Stack here so that I have the skills at JavaScript that are more commensurate with my general skill level.
It turns out that a lot of companies will tell an experienced professional like me that when they are hiring for 0 - 1 years experience, they are only hiring for a total beginner in the field because they are cultivating their own future workforce that way. And that is good for you!
So the advice I received is that I should train on my own and go for non-entry level once I had the skill; and that is because I have non-JavaScript professional web dev experience already.

  1. If the jobs aren’t available at this time for 0 - 1 years professional experience, they will be in the future when the job market turns around.
  2. Keep working on your own. The companies ask for a certain number of years and they will translate that to actual skill: It would not be unheard of for a 1 year experience posting to be given to exceptional candidates without professional experience. And you can become exceptional on your own if you keep working. Muddle through the hard problems even if the outcome is nothing fancy to look at.
  3. AWS/Azure are extremely challenging to even experience devs: the cloud is the future though. I recently took the cloud course from codecademy and I recommend it. Now I am following advice to practice just a little bit at a time. If you aren’t ready for AWS/Azure check out Heroku: they have a free tier for hosting open source projects and they are a “Platform as a Service PaaS” which immediately tells you they are simpiler than a IaaC or FaaS. Added bonus, they do support IaaC once you learn enough you can challenge yourself by adding that.

Thanks, I am going to keep working and see what happens. About Heroku, they have unfortunately discontinued their free plan recently. AWS/Azure offer free 12-month plans but I don’t want to “waste” my chance to get these plans yet, ideally I would use them during a period where I can be fully dedicated to learning the technology.

Turns out you are right about that!

When a company lists AWS/Azure it means they are using one or the other or both. However, it also means they are looking for cloud experience and deployment experience.

The cloud is the modern way to do deployments. Before the cloud, there were simpler server-based architectures which were easier to deploy to and which are often now free! You can search for “free domain hosting” and learn about deploying to an old LAMP stack.

In addition to being about deployment, the cloud is about serverless deployment. Some free ways to add to your cloud skills include learning about Docker and Virtual Machines.

I use Docker in my development environment to simulate the hosted environment. And it’s free to run locally on your machine and the configuration of a local Docker container is the same as or similar to the configuration of a Docker container for deployment.

If you haven’t ever deployed to a server-based environment, learning about the origins of deployment through deploying your social media website to a traditional server environment will help you with foundational concepts once you start to study the cloud. Understanding Containers and Virtual Machines will help you foundationally also.

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I had completely forgotten that sometimes job postings will ask for experience with Docker and Kubernetes, so thanks for reminding me of these other things I have yet to learn too. I had considered using Docker for the social media app I am working with my friend, mostly so that there aren’t any conflicts with the versions of packages and languages we are using, but gave up on it at the time because our time is limited and having to learn something else would delay development. But, if it helps with deployment as well, then we are going to have to learn it eventually and it’s better sooner than later!

Prioritizing is a good idea: Docker will help with some deployments and not others: it will depend on which Cloud you choose and on which style within the Cloud you choose.
Right now I have Angular/PHP deployed to an old LAMP stack (free).
Locally, I’m developing with Docker instances and it offers a lot of convenience because setup of the environment can be really quick.
I thought I would study Kubernettes at this point, however instead I have diverted and am porting the PHP to Python and learning to deploy Python/Flask without Docker on Heroku (not free, however decent price).

Junior posting looking for no prior professional experience yet significant programming experience: BA/BS in a coding-related field + 4 years programming experience (college course programming experience is what is being counted in this posting).
Look out for postings like this that say _ years “programming experience” instead of _ years “professional experience”.
Junior Back End Python Developer Posting (Indeed)

Sometimes though I see job postings that just say “experience”, and it’s unclear to me which type of experience they are referring to, and if any practical unpaid experience counts as “experience” to them.

I would be careful with the un-qualified term “experience” and would assume that it is asking for “professional experience”. There are concepts that professional experience has that programming experience does not have – for instance, skills like Git, Agile, Teamwork; so make sure you’re using those three on your social media project with your friend and you’ll be most likely to be seen as having “commensurate” to professional experience.

With this job market, you’re not seeing a lot of examples of the right type of job for someone with really good training still lacking professional experience – try to look for positings like that Python posting except in the correct job title and experience for your skills and interests.

Keep looking, keep coding, and you’ll be ready when eventually the job market will turn around.

I promise you, I’m following my own advice; you’re not the only one having difficulty matching up with job descriptions.

I saw all the experienced Java jobs expected either more years of professional Java experience than I had or the right number of years plus years of Angular and Azure/AWS which I have only about a few months professional experience in. So, I went back to the basics and am skilling up from level 0 on HTML/CSS/JS and I’m building out an Angular app and slowly progressing through evolutions of deployment. I have the app fully deployed to LAMP stack and now I’ve got some experience deploying a dummy app to Heroku so I am porting the full app to Python and Heroku this month for my app. I’m studying on Oracle OCI cloud because I found some really good free sources and they are helping me understand IAM on AWS better than the AWS training did.

At any level of skill, keep training until you have the skills the industry is requesting through their job postings.

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