I failed at university, spent too long there without ever graduating. I learned a lot through self-study, though. The only company I worked at was an arrangement with a friend whose company needed people, so I stepped in, but eventually I deserted the job after the company went out of money and I went two months straight working without getting paid. Now I feel apprehensive of putting that job experience in my resume because I didn't come out of it in good terms with the company. I have many unfinished projects but keep them private on GitHub because I feel like the code is too bad to show off. How do I even get a job, now? Should I just quit the industry altogether? Aaaaaaaaaaaaa

Right now I'm just self-studying some things I had wanted to do since college (namely computer graphics and trying to build a game engine) but never actually got to study formally because I kept failing at the prerequisite courses because I always kept distracting myself from my studies and just not putting enough effort. Anyway, I'm willing to listen to your advice and your judgment alike. I feel somewhat confident that I can actually do a good job, but I also don't feel confident enough to apply for jobs since I always feel like my skills are lacking. I know about impostor syndrome, but at the core of it is the matter: is this impostor's syndrome, or am I in fact *actually* consistently bad and incompetent? Rationally speaking I tend to feel like the latter, yet I know the only thing I can do is to try and be better. I guess.

Anyway, completely unstructured thing, just me venting off my frustration and desperation in a place where at least people will read it and possibly offer some advice. Thank you for reading this far.

  • 4
    If you're this concerned about how good your code is, it's probably pretty good. I don't have a lot of experience but I'd say you should just get out there and apply for some positions. What's the worst thing that could happen?

    Do some interviews and explain this to the interviewer, show your passion. You don't have to have a lot of experience or any finished projects in your portfolio for entry level positions.

    EDIT: also I'm not sure it's a bad thing to have ended up in bad terms with your old company since it was their fault, not yours. Don't mention it, but if they ask you about it in an interview just tell the truth. Not sure if it's the best way to go, but that's what I would do.

    EDIT2: take everything I say with a grain of salt, I'm still an intern in my first job ever so I have almost zero experience.
  • 4
    Don't worry too much, like @neeno said, start racking up interview experience. Maybe start with offers that are not very interesting to get the hang of it and not burn good offers.

    Not graduating shouldn't be a problem in our field. All good.

    Make your private project public and archive them right away. It's a good way to show something yet state it's not being maintained anymore and should be taken with a grain of salt.

    We all had bad experiences, unfortunately. It's all good, don't hide it. Don't immediately speak about it but if asked, build a narrative that's vague enough your interviewer won't think you're a bad apple.

    Remember it's a two-way process, you interview a company as much as they interview you. Bad experiences are useful to direct your search in the best match possible. Eg. If they had a mismatched employee, they might look for red flags linked to it. You do that too.

    We don't always match and you discover that afterwards.

    All good. Keep up.
  • 2
    As someone that's hiring I prefer to see a GitHub profile with many repos than an empty one.
    Bad code quality is a warning sign for more senior developers (I usually look for tests), but with junior ones less so, and if it's very diverse and shows interest in broad-spectrum of things it's a huge plus. even unfinished.
  • 1
    Thank you all for your advice and words, I made my older repos public, and will keep on working on my current project so I can show it off
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