Applying for my first developer job

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Ok, so I started about 5 months ago learning JavaScript in order to land a new job. So far I've managed to learn the MERN stack and done some small projects. Today I saw a job openning and I want to apply. How do I know when I'm ready? What projects should I include in my portfolio site? (working on it) What should I expect if I get a call? Its a front-end development job and they're just asking for basic js knowledge and some react and selenium.

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Hey Eldarin, great question. I’m the CTO and co-founder at Firmhouse. We’re not a 100% JavaScript shop myself but here’s what I generally look at when reviewing candidates:

  • has this person “put in the work” to get where they’re at now? Eg: did you make side projects, do you have a blog? Are you actively participating in some kind of community?
  • do you come across as a positive, nice, and pragmatic person, so that you’ll fit in our team and top up the energy we have?
  • I normally do an informal “get to know each other” chat as first call. This might be different with other companies you apply depending on their interviewing process.

Maybe your most important question: when do I apply? I’d say: if you think you can perform half of the job they’re asking: apply. Job posts usually ask for the “ideal” in terms of tech skills, but people are happy to hire someone with less skill but a great attitude or communication style (I would).

And I know it’s not the most fun thing to have; but in the chance that you get rejected. You will feel down for a little bit it. But after that you hopefully know why you were rejected. Sometimes it’s not even your fault but it’s just it a good match, and that’s ok.

You’ll learn, continue your personal improvement, and with every interview or rejection you’ll know how far you are, and eventually land a great job because now you know what you’re looking for and able to!


Thanks Michiel, that's some great insight. I'm working on my portfolio right now, I'm building some projects to showcase the skills I've learned. I'm glad this community is always looking to help other members in their development.

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