Is it possible for me to get a job in web development while I’m a decent coder (by decent go read notes on Update) even though my English is not perfect (Is not my native language), and there so much racism against my ethnicity (Hispanic). I went through many interviews already and now I feel a little bit less confident about myself. I think I’m a very good person, worker and coder, so I don’t know how to reflect that to the others.

I’m in the United States and I’m trying to get a job Either Front End, Back End, or Full Stack.

About the racism, I mean, most of the time interviewers don’t have enough patience to hear me out. I talk very slowly because of the language barrier, I believe more than racism is that they don’t have enough time I guess, but they are not letting me show up myself.

UPDATE: Thanks to the answers provided by you, I want to update that the “racism” part of this question I don’t longer need answers about it. It was a misunderstanding on my side, and I should didn’t have to address that. Anyways I’m not going to take that out, because another person might have the same misunderstanding.

By the way I’m citizen but I wasn’t raised in the USA.

I’m trying to get an entry level position.

Technologies: [HTML(HTML5: WebGL, Local Storage, Etc), CSS Preprocessors and Frameworks (Bootstrap, Bulma, Material, SASS, LESS), Javascript (Asynchronous, OOP, Functional), JavaScript Frameworks and Libraries (React.js, Vue.js, jQuery), State Management (Redux, Vuex) , Node.js (Only the Basics), Node.js Frameworks and Packages (MVC and REST: Hapi.js, Feather.js, Sails.js, Express.js ; Webscokets: Socket.io ; Webscrapper: Puppeter.js) DevOps (Docker, Kubernetes), daas (Firebase), Cloud Hosting (Heroku, Digital Ocean), DB (SQL, and NoSQL), Mobile (React Native and Flutter) versión control (github, gitlab), unit testing(Jest), Compilers (Babel, typescript), integrations of more technologies using http request in a Docker container for microservices ] and much more, not only technologies but logic, algorithms, data structures, and the knowledge of the uses of al these technologies. This is only a fraction, but I wanted to be more specific than the last time.

I don’t have any degree, but I won two hackathons.

In conclusion, 1. It was my fault mention racism, this is not a factor of not being hired. 2.I need to practice more English.

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    Please don't include links to your profile or resume, as it is a form of SPAM. Now... what country are you in (your location says Atlanta)? What kind of role are you seeking (frontend backend fullstack?) – DarkCygnus Sep 11 '19 at 20:40
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    You say you don't speak English fluently, but you live in USA. Have you considered improving your pronunciation and speaking skill? Consider also practicing and rehearsing before your interviews, so your performance is more fluid – DarkCygnus Sep 11 '19 at 20:55
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    My mother language is also Spanish. To be honest, it's harder than English. However, perhaps you are still "thinking in Spanish". When one does so, it's harder to translate to English, as Spanish tends to be way more descriptive and detailed, and that could be the reason your performance in interviews is not the best. Try rehearsing with a friend so you are more fluent when speaking in interviews :) – DarkCygnus Sep 11 '19 at 21:01
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    if you are a decent coder, you can actually demonstrate this. Have some well-polished projects doing real stuff in a github account as a portefolio and include that link in your resume. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Sep 12 '19 at 10:19
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    This question is a little hard to address (for me at least) because you seem to be mixing two very different issues: How do you get a job with no directly relevant professional experience? (i.e. how do you go from a hobby programmer to a professional programmer) and, how do you overcome a language barrier in interviews? I know this might seem like one problem to you, but thhey have very specific and different answers. As you're looking through the answers people are posting below, I would make sure to solve both questions, as I don't think you'll get a job by just solving one of them. – dwizum Sep 12 '19 at 12:50

The short answer to your question is "Yes".

Now for the longer answer.

You are an entry level developer. What you think of as "decent" today will change, radically. What you think of as a large program will change. What you think of every aspect of everything about what being a developer is all about, will change.

So, you need to alter your perception from "while I’m a decent coder" to "I'm an entry-level developer and I have a lot to learn."

You are more likely to encounter negative attitudes from people who are reacting to "while I’m a decent coder" than your ethnicity. Remember that you are likely to work with people who've been practicing your profession for longer than you've been alive. And many of us have been through decades of new hires who think that writing a few tens of thousands of lines of code is some huge amount.

Adjust your perspective, recognize that you're new to all this, and keep in mind that programming / developing / coding is much more a meritocracy than many other fields.

  • Thank you for your comment. I agree, but when I did put “while I’m good coder”, I wanted to demonstrate that I’ve been practicing a lot throughout all this year of side projects to all of you, because on this platform doesn’t let me demonstrate my portfolio is considered SPAM. Anyways, I agree that I have so much to learn and I’m new to this, but I’ve been learning a lot, I’ve won two hackathons on my first and second try. I say that I have like 5 years of side projects experience (btw different technologies) and I know is not the same, but I will say that I’m good and I have to say it. – Bryan Enid Sep 12 '19 at 12:12
  • And one more thing, I didn’t want to show up myself so much or demonstrate that my thoughts are “while I’m good coder just because I wrote thousand of lines of code”,Being honest I really agree with you , I should be saying that I have so much to learn, and I think that’s what I wanted to say because part of being a good coder is to be a good learner. this shows that my communication skill are not good, and this is what happens when I talk in English on the interviews. Sorry for the misunderstanding but thank you. – Bryan Enid Sep 12 '19 at 12:22
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    @BryanEnid - I appreciate your comments, honest I do. But I've been a professional software engineer for almost 40 years, and I've been writing code for 45. One of the problems in this profession is that we're all pretty smart, and that tends to make a lot of entry level developers overly confident. You won two hackathons, which is great. My code runs on several billion devices. There's nothing wrong with what you've done, but you remain an entry level developer. Once upon a time I was as well, and about 10 years into my career I realized that I wasn't nearly as good as I'd thought I was. – Julie in Austin Sep 12 '19 at 13:10
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    that’s awesome! But I really get it, I just didn’t want to say I’m aNewby because I’m not, but I didn’t said that I was a pro either , just decent. Sorry if those words were not the best. – Bryan Enid Sep 12 '19 at 13:55

I’m a decent coder, can I get a job without having job experience or internships?

Yes you can, as we all did at some point when we were seeking to land our first job.

Try to be realistic. Apply for junior roles, which are the ones you have more chances of getting hired in. Then, when you start gaining work experience and hands-on experience, it will be easier to land more senior roles.

Also, it is rare when one lands a job in the first try. Most of the time you have to apply several times to different companies to get an offer (or even an interview), so don't give up just yet.

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    Most of the time you have to apply several to many times to get just an interview. With no experience, it will take longer and be harder. The first job is usually the hardest to get. – thursdaysgeek Sep 11 '19 at 20:51
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    Indeed, usually the first is the hardest, or when changing career or industries (or when relocating to other country). – DarkCygnus Sep 11 '19 at 20:53

You say you are a 'decent coder', so I assume you must have some level of coding experience, that you have gained from somewhere?

There is a lot of demand out there for coding. I've seen people I know land entry-level coding jobs by showing they have experience with hobby projects, e.g. games coding, free software, or other hobby apps they have worked on in their spare time.

  • I’ve building my own apps – Bryan Enid Sep 11 '19 at 21:01
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    Ok, that's great. I would definitely mention those in a cover letter and in interviews. Even better if you can show some concrete examples. – Time4Tea Sep 11 '19 at 21:02
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    Yes, showing what you have done know is important. Usually, there are second round of interviews where things get more technical (and where one can fully focus on such aspects and show what one has done). But even before that, it's important to at least mention it somewhere in your resume – DarkCygnus Sep 11 '19 at 21:07

I'm going to give an answer on two facets... and you're probably not going to like the second facet.

First facet: Work Experience

To be honest, work experience is almost a proxy when it comes to coding, especially for junior-level positions. We don't think, "Hey, this person worked for 10 years as a coder, so let's hire him." We think, "Hey, this person worked for 10 years as a coder, so he can probably code." If you can demonstrate that you can code... guess what? Most people don't care about your work experience. If we're looking at someone with 10 years of .NET coding on a resume, versus someone that can actually demonstrate professional, clean, well-formed code they've written? That first applicant's actually the underdog. Because at the end of the day, the only thing we care about is: can this person do the job we need them to - work experience is just a proxy to help try to answer that question.

So, if you're a good coder? Then publish your code! Make it available on github. Put links to it on your CV/CoverSheet. Spin up a blog about your coding exploits, tips and tricks you've found, mistakes you've made, etc. Make it easy for an interviewer to say, "Oh, yeah, Bryan should be able to pump out the code we need for the open position."

Second Facet: Stop Blaming External Factors.

"and there so much racism against my ethnicity"

... and ...

"most of the time interviewers don’t have enough patience to hear me out.

I'm going to guess that you're just as weak at interviews as when you started and are just as unlikely to get hired as you were when you began job-hunting. Why? Because you're blaming external factors for your failures. It's easy to do (and you may even be partially right) - but that sort of attitude is what stops you from figuring out how you can improve, how you can do a better interview next time! After all, if it's simply racism/impatience that meant you didn't get hired, why bother getting better?

Your attitude should be: "I didn't get this job. What can I do better to make it more likely to be hired in the next interview?" Even if you walk out of the office of Racist McImpatient, you should still be trying to figure out a way to improve. Focusing your mental energies on stuff out of your control isn't productive. Figure out the things you can change to improve your situation, and focus on them instead.

The thing is: everyone starts out failing at interviewing. Pretty much nobody does one single interview and is instantly hired. But most people say, "Dang, I suck at this. What do I need to change?" Blaming an external factor short-circuits that... to the point that your question here doesn't even ask anywhere the simple thing "How do I improve?"

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    Work experience is not just a proxy for coding skills but also for coding in a team skills. Many companies won't hire people they consider likely to be entrenched single-person "teams". At some places that is no problem or the norm, but for most it can be a problem if you are perceived as a lone code ranger. Just as a possible extension or clarification of your first part, as at many places this could potentially be the harder battle to win (convincing people that OP works well in a team and can communicate well with team members). – Frank Hopkins Sep 12 '19 at 11:01
  • @FrankHopkins - Very true, and I was tempted to add a section about demonstrating that facet as well separately (open-source/communal projects, non-programming related group involvement, etc)... but it was already getting pretty long and the new addition wasn't flowing the best. – Kevin Sep 12 '19 at 13:12

The skills of being “a decent coder” on personal projects are very different from the skills of being a commercial or industrial programmer. Real-world programming usually involves working on existing codebases in a language that was already chosen, to fix bugs or add features. You don’t mention even one version control tool in your skills or one testing tool, these are absolutely vital skills for a working programmer and this says to everyone interviewing you that you have an unrealistic estimation of your abilities.

Furthermore, the vast, vast majority of Hispanic people in the US speak perfect English and are vocally indistinguishable from any other race. It’s the language of business and engineering, like it or not. Part of the job is to be fluent in English to communicate with customers, colleagues and so on. Even more, tech is dominated by non-whites such as Asians (I am non-white myself, not that it matters). It is absolutely not racism that is holding you back.

  • I will mention a version control, git. There you go. Do you want testing tool, Jest! And about the racism. Yeah you are right. Btw I wish I could put a longer list of my skills, but I can’t, it’s spam on this platform. – Bryan Enid Sep 12 '19 at 12:43
  • @bryan I see you still don’t get it. Good luck with your job search. – Gaius Sep 22 '19 at 6:45

For programmers, the ability to communicate is in my opinion and experience (native English speaker, 40 years a professional programmer) as important a skill as the actual coding. That's an unfortunate fact of life. We have to discuss designs, requirements, and problems, and we have to discuss them in clear and unambiguous detail. It's not just writing the program code: that's the easy part of our job.

While I can't really comment on whether or not there was actually racism in your interviews (I wasn't there), I'd offer the suggestion that facility with English is a legitimate factor in getting a job with an English-speaking team,

It's not overriding, of course: I work with programmers that have, shall I say, their own linguistic quirks, but they've got demonstrable track records that compensate for minor shortcomings elsewhere. If you're starting out, that may be tougher to prove.

This probably does not help as a "how to" answer. Consider it as background.

  • Thanks for your response. I totally agree! before building something I have to think about the architecture, DB structure, how all the microservices will talk to other services and on. But I think my English is good enough to communicate with other in regard all those details. I just don’t talk like a native speaker, or talk as fast as a native. I might have some grammar mistake but I can communicate, and totally understand others even though they talk fast. But I can communicate perfectly, I won 2 hackathon leading a group of 4, and they understand me. My problem is only on interviews. – Bryan Enid Sep 13 '19 at 14:30
  • By the way I’m not using a translator as google translate, this all my words, and I’m sure that you can understand me perhaps you might think it’s not so bad, or do you? I just think that interviewers are preferring native speakers than me. – Bryan Enid Sep 13 '19 at 14:35

Lots of decent answers. My addition is to do what all foreigners do. Look first among your own people for work. Most minorities support each other, in your case it's a pretty large minority. Racism won't be an issue.


Yes, you can get a job. Every of us has started with something. Of course it is much harder to get a job in top tech companies, but even there you have to show how good you are and it will be fine. if you are getting invitations to interviews already, you are on the way.

About racism: I don't think you have faced any racist in interview. That bad experience was because of your bad english. Just put yourself on the interviewer place and you will understand better the situation. I would reccomend to take some english cources and have more practice outside cources. More you speak english with native speakers, better is your language. Once you get better I bet you get your first job offers.

To summarize: you are getting invites to interviews, but somehow you are failing them. As you pointed out, your english is bad. I see this as main problem to get a job.

Wish you all best by job seeking!

  • Yes, thank you so much, I will do that. I get between 1 or 2 invitation for interviews per day. – Bryan Enid Sep 12 '19 at 12:30
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    Well, I wish I had the same number when I have searched for my first job. In my case I had only about 10 interviews in 6 months. When I got my first job offer, I almost cried. So, as I said just improve your english and your career will skyrocket – Andrei Suvorkov Sep 12 '19 at 12:33

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