I have had a messy career so far as a web developer. This is mostly because I have not focused on any particular technology in depth. I realize now what a big mistake that is.
I graduated college in 2012 with a number of programming, networking, and database courses under my belt but not enough to graduate with a major in Information Technology or Computer Science. I had no real focus in college and bounced around from program to program. So I graduated with a degree in Applied Arts and Sciences with concentrations in Information Technology Studies and Business Studies (2 separate concentrations).
During college I did one year-long internship that got me a software development job immediately after graduation.
Because I had not mastered any particular programming language (and still wasn't even 100% sure I wanted to be a developer), I was of very limited use to them. They provided paid ColdFusion training but I did not pass the certification test. I resigned shortly after 1 year of working there with plans to freelance. They were a government contractor and I found government software projects to be extremely boring.
I realize now what a dumb mistake I made by not taking full advantage of that job and taking the opportunities they offered more seriously.
On the positive side, I wrote a number of bug fixes and UI enhancements for their ColdFusion applications. I also (mostly on my own) fixed a very broken legacy VB application. I got along well with both my boss and co-workers. They seemed genuinely disapointed when I left.
I left that job in 2013 and haven't managed to get hired again as a developer anywhere else. I was not ready to freelance when I left, and it's only recently that I have realized my lack of focus to be the major root of my challenges.
I've had to take a number of crap jobs to pay my rent that really ate into the free time I had to spend on coding.
I am now focusing exclusively on PHP and WordPress plugin development.
My question is: should I include this job experience on my resume? Or just focus on the immediate projects I've worked on over the past year?
I learned so much from that job...and yet I can't help but wonder if a 2 year gap and a mediocre performance means I should just leave it in the past where it belongs.