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How I got my first job as a developer after failing for 300 times

learnersbucket profile image Prashant Yadav Originally published at learnersbucket.com ・10 min read

How I got my first job as a developer after failing for 300 times

Hi, I am Prashant Yadav, Technical writer at learnersbucket.com

I had recently tweeted about what I had to go through for finding my first job as developer.

After getting such a overwhelming response for my tweet, many people asked me to share my experience about how I got my first job after applying for more than 300 times.

It was one of the most difficult phase which I have went through and I can only say one thing that you should not give up yet.

Here is my journey of finding my first job.

Table of contents

Indian education system

India is the second most populous country in the world with majority of young peoples which fall in the age group of 18 – 60.

The total of numbers of students who become job eligible every year are more than the populations of many countries.

According to a survey in the year 2016 – 17 there were 35705905 students passed out who were looking for a job.

Course Number Of Students
Phd 141037
M.Phil 43267
Post Graduate 4007570
Under Graduate 28348197
PG Diploma 213051
Diploma 2612209
Certificate 166617
Integrated 173957

Students who study from top institutions such as IIT’s, NIT’s, BIT’s, IIM’s, IIIT’s, IIS, etc get some priority because it really difficult to get admission into these institutions and one has to crack hard entrance exams for it.

Those who made it to them are some of the brilliant minds on earth.

The students in India often classify themselves as they have studied from Tier1, Tier2, Tier3 colleges.

Tier1 > Tier2 > Tier3. This is how order of priority works mainly for top companies and well funded startups because everyone seek value for money and they want to hire best talent for their work.

Students who are from different streams from these colleges also go for IT jobs because they pay well. So some who has done BTech (4 year Engineering course) from Tier3 college face more difficulty in finding a job than their top levels.

My Background

I live in Mumbai(Bombay) suburbs and done my schooling here only. Me and my brother both were computer geeks from early age.

I was a very average student and had no future goal what so ever. After getting 50% in my 12th or high school, I was not getting admission in any college so using the in-house quota I took BSC(CS) course which is 3 year degree program in the same college.

I never passed any of my semesters in a single attempt and but I think I was lucky enough of not getting failed in any year, some how I used to clear the semesters in the next attempt with god graces 🙏🏻 by just getting the passing marks.

My brother (He is a BTech from Tier 3) recommended me that I should get certain certifications done because a BSC graduate has no value at all in India or I will have to pursue post graduation which is another 3 years of course which was not possible for me (Hard times).

So I did a C++ and Java certification from Aptech for 12000 rupees because the only interest I had was in computers. I became good at problem solving and used to understand things quickly but the course was not so good as it had to be.

It was the last year of the college in which I had to build a project in the final semester (There is no internship for a 3 years course).

Out of 60 peoples in my batch there were only few who did their project by themselves while others have bought the projects. I was one of the few who built the project by their own, PHP was very hot back in 2015 and because everyone was building their projects in JAVA, I decided to use PHP to bring a change and by watching youtube tutorials I have built-ed an online Pet Food Shop.

Struggle to find a job

t was June 2015 when my result came out and I got to know that I have failed in 2 subjects in written exam but for my project I got 90/100.

There is buzz in Indian education system that if you fail for few marks then during re-checking they pass you, so I applied for re-checking of the papers and was waiting for the new result.

Meanwhile because of the financial uncertainties in the family, I decided to look for a job.

Some of my college friends had enrolled in higher education while others had started working in call center, because they didn’t had any knowledge of programming, they just had a degree and getting a job in call centers were not so hard.

I didn’t wanted to join a call center because I knew if get into these then I will never be able to get out of it.

So I decided to try my luck in the IT industry. I took reference from my brothers resume and created a one for myself and then started applying for jobs.

As I had my certification done in JAVA so I decided to apply for JAVA related jobs.

I created my profile on the online job portals like Monster.com, Indeed, Shine.com, etc and after few days I started receiving emails regarding the walk in interviews at different places in Mumbai.

I went for my first walk-in interview and when I reached the place, I saw around 500 students has came for the same position, even after waiting for 10 hours straight I did not even got a chance for the first round of interview.

Next day I went for another walk-in and same happened then again and so on.

After going for around 70 – 75 walk-ins I gave up, I thought I am not going to get a job like this where for a single position so many peoples are applying.

After discussing things with my brother I got to know that as JAVA is the only programming that is thought to the students in engineering that is why so many of them are showing up for walk-ins for JAVA related jobs.

To bring a change, I updated my resume and started applying for PHP job because this was the only other language I knew.

This worked for me and for around next 20 walk-ins to which I went for, I was at least able to give few rounds of interviews but never heard back from them.

I was really getting depressed and frustrated at the same time, you know If I am doing one walk-in in a day then it was already around 100 days which was more than 3 months and I didn’t got a job.

The major problem here was how the companies hire in India, these walk-ins are only done by service based companies who provide service to the clients, products based companies hire limited peoples and they do it directly from campus.

As services based works for different clients, these clients want to know what they are paying for.

So these companies hire students with better degree to show that the best peoples are working on their projects. That is why a BTech grad was getting priority over a BSC(cs) grad because for the same amount of money, someone with better degree will be hired.

That was one of the reason I think that I was not getting any job offer because I had only 3 year degree. Maybe I was also not up to the mark for these companies, I cannot deny it either.

I realized it after sometime, but I was in a no mood to give up. I thought that there would be at least one company who will willing to hire someone on their knowledge rather than degree.

In between I got a call from a consultancy agency that they will help me to get a job by connecting directly to companies which are hiring but I have to pay certain amount of money to them after getting shortlisted.

I did try this but later realized that it is a scam because only after the first interview they selected me and asked me to pay money as a security deposit.

After failing in all these things again I decided to change my strategy and instead of going for walk-ins I decided to apply directly for the companies on their career section.

I used to search for following and related terms on google.

Google Search 1
Google Search 2
Google Search 3

And open all the website then apply on their career section. I even used to go on next pages on google and apply even on those websites too.

I have also searched and applied for companies in specific regions in the suburbs of the Mumbai and applied to them, I don’t exactly remember how many job applications I have given but to my bad luck I didn’t got a response from any them.

It was already November mid and I had lost all my hope, but then one day I got a message on my Monster.com’s profile that a startup is interested in me.

Without wasting anytime I got into the discussion with them and next day I went for the interview. It was a startup mainly into web and e-commerce development with WordPress and Magento. As I had created a Online Pet Food Shop for my final year project, the founder asked me different question on it and later told me that we could have someone like you.

I was very happy, he told me to join his company on 1st of December but I will have to keep my 12th and final year mark sheet as a security deposit to him for 1 year after which he will give them back to me.

It was basically a bond for 1 year to make sure I don’t leave the company quickly.

I came home and shared the news with Dad and my brother. My brother said some companies do ask for these in way or other and freshers have to at least work for sometime in a organization because they invest in their training and they want to recover that value.

So we agreed on it and then Dad asked what will be the salary?, Oh Damn!. I said I forgot to ask about it, I was so desperate to get the job that I did not even think about it.

I called the founder next day and asked him about the salary and he said that it will be 72000 rupees/per year which was 6000 rupees / per month.

My dad did not agree to it, he said no way you should work on such an amount, the basic income in India is 18000 rupees per month. You will be ruining your career.

I took some time to think and later on decided to join the company. I explained my dad that see I don’t have a BTech degree and no one is willing to hire me, even if he is paying 6000 it is better than nothing. Once I start working and gather some experience it will be really helpful for me.

He understood me and said it is up to you. Take your chance.

I was the third employee in that company and it was self-bootstrapped by the owner so he not able to afford to the people with higher salary. I took this opportunity and worked for 6-7 days a week for the next 1.5 years.

These 1.5 years was the best of my life, being a small team with small budget we use to try to build everything ourselves and use open source as much as possible. It taught me many lessons which I could have never learned anywhere else.

From client handling to building and deploying website on cloud and learning new things in short span to woo the clients to get their projects and what not.

The projects I did here shined in my resume which let me get better jobs in my career. From following tutorials to build a project I went on creating a website using wordpress as headless CMS and Reactjs as frontend (Solo).

I was good at handling stuffs and in these 1.5 years got two promotions and while leaving that organization I was already making 18000 / per month.

It has been four years since I have been working and my currently salary in 15x more than my initial salary. I now work with some of the brightest mind in India who have came from these top institutes or as we say Tier1 institutes of country.

When I look back, I feel that it was my best decision to join that organization. I joined it to learn things rather than earning money. I had only one thought in my mind that if I worked hard, I would learn more here than in the next 3 years in my post graduation and it did pay off.

Many people think that it is necessary to have better degree to get a good job and I am not denying it. But not everyone can have the same thing in life, still you can make your own way. It will not be same initially but with time things will get normal.

I found my way after failing so many times and from this I can only suggest one thing to you, Don’t give up yet the best is waiting for you.

I will end this with this quote in Hindi:-

Zindagi inti takleef deti hain
Dil me phir bhi umeed bani rehti hai
Dil kehta hai ki kuch nahi hoga
Par kuch to hoga ye umeed kehti hai

Keep Hustling 😎.

If you want to learn more about how to crack interviews then you can follow me on twitter for some tips and tricks.

Also I have switched from PHP to Frontend development later and if you want to prepare for Full stack web development with javascript then keep visiting my blog learnersbucket.com 😁😁.

Posted on Jun 3 by:

learnersbucket profile

Prashant Yadav

@learnersbucket

I am javascript enthusiast, Founder and Writer at learnersbucket.com

Discussion

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Great article Prashant. People say that hindsight is 20/20 but taking that first job, even for a low wage, was a very wise decision. I'm happy it worked out for you.