About The Author
Hi, my name is Casey, I am sharing my journey and tips while learning to code.

Zero to Fired: Lessons Learned on My First Software Developer Job

by Casey Spaulding

My first software developer job did not go as expected and no I did not lie about my experience. It was a great start-up company but at first, I was not sure if I should take the job because they used a legacy coding language and framework that I had no experience with. I had just started learning software development 6 months prior and was very new to the profession so this did worry me.

I had built a few full-stack web applications with ASP.NET to show on my portfolio and that was it. Looking back I should not have taken the position and should not have even applied.

To keep this short here are my lessons learned:

  1. Do not apply until you are sure you are ready. I am a risk taker and I started applying too soon. Some start applying too late. So you need to understand the type of person you are.
  2. Learning a new framework and language on your first job may be harder than you think.
  3. Learn your computer science basics before starting, (Big O, DSA, etc.) to help you understand how and why something works. A side benefit is you can communicate and understand what other developers are explaining to you.
  4. It’s okay to be humble but there is also being too humble. Make sure you explain and show what you can do early.
  5. Ask more questions at the interview about training and make it crystal clear about your current level of knowledge.
  6. Build at least 3-5 full-stack projects from zero on your own. Outside a book, class, or course. That’s right, and it may take a while but you will definitely be ready then. I realized that I did not know as much as I thought when I started writing my own programs from zero.
  7. I’m not sure start-up companies are a great place for someone starting out in software development but I could be wrong.


I am very thankful for the opportunity that was given to me and I really believe I messed up even reaching out to them. If you are thinking I oversold my qualifications. I did not. Really! I was upfront about this being my first software development job and that I was completely new to this. They took a chance on me and I still appreciate the opportunity even if it did not work out.

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