Tech Layoffs

How To Find A Developer Job In 2023 (With Little Or No Experience)

Do you want to know a little secret?

You can get a highly-paid developer job without tons of experience in 2023. 

Now, before you call me crazy, let me explain. 

For the record, I’m a self-taught Senior Software Developer, who mentored 230+ JavaScript developers, helping them fill their technical gaps and land high-paying jobs in record time. 

So yes, I’ve been around the block a time or two. 

To understand how you can stand out in 2023 developer’s job market we need to understand first what is going on in software development right now…

Current Situation

Inflation, recession, war, and a weak global economy pushed tech companies into making massive job cuts.

Tech CEOs became obsessed with efficiency instead of growth. Layoffs became increasingly common, with every big tech company getting rid of hundreds of developers at the same time. 

This created what I call the “perfect storm” and flooded the job market with thousands of developers, many of them very experienced.

The software development market has turned on its head in 2023 with many developers struggling to find jobs.

If you’ve been looking for a software developer job recently, you know what I am talking about. Hundreds of applicants for each position, long interview processes that go nowhere, code challenges, and technical interviews that don’t give you any feedback. 

In the software development market, we went from Disneyland to Zombieland!

Even Senior Devs are struggling to find jobs. Junior Developers, CS students, and Bootcamp Graduates became literally invisible in the market. 

And just when the market showed signs of recovery, AI came over. Promising to automate more coding tasks, eliminating more developer job. The wet dream of tech CEOs was about to come true.

The developer job market keeps getting slapped in the face.

All these factors have put more pressure on the developer job market making it one of the toughest moments to land a good software developer job. And the less experience you have, the harder it gets.

The Good News

Don’t despair yet, there is some good stuff coming up. It’s been over 12 months since the first round of layoffs. Companies are realising that, yes, cutting costs and getting rid of coders kind of stabilised them financially.

But if they want to keep on making money, they need to keep delivering value (a.k.a. features) to their customers. And to do that, they need developers.

What’s more, even if AI and low-code/no-code platforms are the new shiny toys around the block, they won’t replace human developers any time soon. They actually proved not to be really precise. 

Just like a toddler trying to write an essay, AI models writing code need tons of supervision. 

So, how do you land a software development job in this new crazy market? And how do you do it when you don’t have tens of years of experience writing code?

The thing is, most online advice about how to stand out and how to find a developer job is close to useless. It is either too generic or makes no sense in the real world. 

Things like updating your CV, showing your side projects, and networking are simply what every other developer out there is doing.

Doing the same things as every developer out there won't help you stand out from the competition. If you want different results, you want to do different things.

Number one, because the market has changed and is changing faster than ever before. So, what used to work doesn’t anymore because everyone is doing it

Secondly, most YouTubers and Tech Influencers out there don’t have any “skin in the game”. If their advice is crap it doesn’t matter. You’ve already watched the video and given them what they want, your attention.

They won’t help you stand out from the crowd. 

Particularly if you are a Junior Dev.

When your developer career is at stake and you need to pay rent, you need concrete proven advice on what actually works. This is what this article will be full of.

I tried to cover things with the maximum amount of detail. But if you are missing something, feel free to drop me an email. I am pretty busy, but I try to answer all of your questions. 

The first thing we will talk about is Mindset. 

Because I can share with you the best tips and tricks on how to get a developer job. But if you procrastinate, get distracted, don’t execute, and don’t take action on this stuff, it is as good as nothing. 

Remember, information doesn’t mean transformation. You learn by doing, not by reading. 

This is why the first thing we need to fix is your Mindset.

1. Fix Your Mindset (Or Fail Before You Start)

The market has changed, things that worked a few years ago don’t work anymore. You need to approach technical interviews and the market with a whole different attitude.

1.1 Quality Over Quantity

Getting a software developer job in 2023 is not a number game anymore. But numbers still matter. 

Inflation, recession, and layoffs mean that companies are getting a lot pickier about who they hire. And a lot pickier about who they invite for a technical interview.

Think about it this way. 

Let’s say you have a bad CV and LinkedIn profile. You read online that to get a developer job you need to mass apply. So you apply to 100 jobs and you barely get any answers…

Would applying to 1000 more make you successful? Probably not. Because there is a certain level in the market that you have to be above. And if you are under, you go to the Spam folder. You get nothing. Not even a thank you email.

It is time to prioritize quality over quantity in your developer job search.

So, in your CV, LinkedIn profile, and job application you need to prioritize quality over quantity.

Don’t confuse this with perfectionism. It doesn’t mean personalised cover letters or spending hours on job applications (another waste of time). 

It means putting a bit of extra effort into crafting your job artifacts( CV & LinkedIn profile). After that, we go back to the numbers. 

1.2. Focus

There are only 2 things you should care about during the job-hunting process. Getting technical interviews, doing technical interviews.

Everything else is secondary.

I will repeat, EVERYTHING else is secondary (side-projects, learning new shiny frameworks, or whatever comes your way). Don’t invent work to avoid what you know you have to do. Jump straight into the water and stay there until you learn how to swim. 

You main goal is getting a job. Not doing side-projects or learning more. Those are only means to an end. Keep the main thing, the main thing.

Think about it like this. 

If you are in the jungle and the night is coming, learning algebra won’t help you. It will kill you. What you need to make a fire and find something to eat.

If you need to find a job in the next 3 to 6 months, and you are a JavaScript developer learning Kubernetes won’t really help you. 

The only way to get better at finding job positions is by searching for jobs. The only way to get better at technical interviews is by doing technical interviews. 

Not by stopping and learning some fancy new framework, library, or concept that might or might not help you. Stay focused and keep your priorities straight.

🚨P.S. Are you looking to fast-track to the Senior level with quality resources, feedback, and accountability? Click here to join our Free Community - The Senior Dev Academy. 🚨

1.3. Ignore Most Feedback 

Or, better said, take the feedback from companies with a pinch of salt. 

Here is how the story goes...

You do a technical interview. You do your best but you don’t pass. For whatever reason. You ask for feedback and you get feedback like “Oh you don’t seem Senior enough... you should look at Web Performance more”. 

So you jump in and spend another 4 weeks learning Web Performance. In the next interview, you get asked about Data Structures instead. You have no clue. You jump in and repeat the cycle. 

After 6 months, you learned a lot about many things. But you still don’t have a job and money is running out. Big, big failure. 

When a company gives you feedback, analyze it and see what you can learn. But, don’t change your whole strategy because of that. If a bunch of people point out the same, then it might be worth it to put a few hours in it. 

1.4. Ego Is The Enemy 

Looking for a developer job in 2023 and doing technical interviews is an emotional rollercoaster.

No matter how good you are, you will find yourself on the spot all the time. There will be constant ups and downs messing with your emotions.

One day they are ready to make an offer, the other, they want to invite you for a third technical interview. If you want to stay sane, you need to develop a Stoic Mindset. Don’t invest your ego into the process.

Hunting for a dev job is be an emotional rollercoaster. Adopt a Stoic Mindset and don't let failure stop you. 

Don’t invest too much energy in companies that don’t invest back. Your time is better spent applying to jobs and talking to people that are truly looking for great software developers like yourself. 

1.5. Leave the “Scarcity Mindset”. 

Despite everything you see on the news, software companies are desperate to hire great engineers. They want to make profits and for that, they need to deliver products. 

The challenge companies face is too much noise in the developer job market.

With every coder out there claiming to be an expert programmer, is hard to make the difference between developers that can do the job and the ones that don’t.

Forget all the other developers complaining about the market. That is a scarcity mindset. Sure, things are not as easy as they used to be. But, there are plenty of great opportunities out there. 

All the AI noise and the recession mean companies need to release more applications and integrate AI into them. 

And what do you need for that?


Now that you got rid of limiting beliefs that sabotage most developers, you are ready for action. Let’s jump in by first avoiding critical mistakes during the job hunt. 

2. Avoid Killer Job Hunting Mistakes 

Before we dive into what you should do, let’s talk about what you should not do. Here are a few major mistakes you should avoid when looking for a developer job in 2023…

2.1. Lack of preparation.

The first and biggest mistake I see developers making in 2023 when looking for a job is not spending enough time making sure their application is solid.

Look I don’t want you to fail, I want you to succeed. And I am here to tell you that if you want to get a developer job in this market, you will have to push yourself a bit. 

You will have to work a bit extra, to be a bit more prepared and a bit more sharp than any other software developer out there.

Simply applying to jobs without proper preparation won't get you far in the 2023 developer job market.

And every interview is won before is done. The interview is done while you are researching the market, improving your CV and LinkedIn, crafting good interview answers, and of course, polishing your technical skills. 

Now you know it. So don’t procrastinate. Do the work.  

2.2. Giving up too early

Most developers either give up silently. For me, both of those options are as good as quitting. Due to lack of preparation, they get few calls. 

Then they invest all their time and energy in the two or three companies they are having calls with. And when those opportunities fail, they are devastated and quit. 

They stop pushing and tell themselves they are waiting for the market to get better. Or they settle for a salary that is less than they deserve. Or even worse, they go back to a job they hate.

Developers who will succeed in this job market have a “Whatever it takes” mindset.

The truth is in most cases if they just persisted a bit more, they would have been successful. Look, regardless of how prepared you are in the job hunt, there are hundreds of variables you don’t control.

Companies have their own timelines.

Budgets change. Some better candidate gets in the pipeline. No matter how confident you are, you should prepare for things going nowhere.

This makes getting a developer job a matter of statistics.

Statistics is more about big numbers than precision. The bigger the number of hands you play, the bigger the possibility of getting that developer job you are looking for.

You can’t win if you don’t play. So keep on playing.

🚨P.S. Are you looking to fast-track to the Senior level with quality resources, feedback, and accountability? Click here to join our Free Community - The Senior Dev Academy. 🚨

2.3. Not Keeping Track Of Things

I know that logging the jobs you are applying for in an Excel sheet is a time-consuming task. It is also very boring. I know that.

But if you don’t track your numbers, how will you know what worked and what not?

How are you going to know how many applications you need to do to reach your goal? Or know who and from what company is calling you?

All the effort you put into logging your applications will pay off. So do it.

2.4. [Junior] Relying on Side Projects or Portfolio

Nothing screams "I don't have enough experience" like listing side-projects on your CV.

Do that and you probably won't even get invited to technical interviews. Instead, learn from Senior Developers. Integrate "side-projects" experience into professional experience. 

Quantify impact, show the technologies you’ve worked with, and put them in context. Don’t use side projects as a replacement for experience. Make them professional experience.

2.5. [Junior] Not Understating Power Dynamics

As the interview process develops, the power shifts from the company to you, and from you to the company. By power, I mean the ability to influence a certain outcome, to get what you want.

For example, when you send your CV to random companies, they have all the power. They are not looking for developers, and you are looking for a job.

Or when you spend 15 hours on a code challenge, and they say “We will get back to you” and leave you hanging for a week, they have all the power.

Not understanding how power flips during the technical interview process will lower your ability to negotiate and get what you want.

When they look for someone with exactly your skills, you have all the power. When you get an offer letter, you have all the power. 

Understanding the power balance during the technical interview process will allow you to adapt your strategy and minimize your losses (time, energy, and emotional investment).

3. Getting Technical Interviews

Being able to get technical interviews is the most important skill you can develop. Even more crucial than passing those interviews.

Because if you know you can get as many interviews as you need, you will be more relaxed during the process. You will get more opportunities to practice your skills.

And if you get an offer that doesn’t match what you are looking for, being able to get technical interviews with ease will allow you to negotiate. 

In fact, every developer that I know that struggles with interviewing, actually struggles with getting interviews in the first place. 

So why do most developers struggle to get interviews right now?

To understand that, let’s first take a look at the normal interview process at an average software company: 

Typical interview process in a small to medium software company.

If you are not getting interviews there is something wrong with your CV.

The thing that is mostly wrong with developer CVs is a perceived “lack of experience” in the required tech stack. Especially for Junior Devs.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, companies are getting pickier and pickier. With dozens of candidates at the door, they only want to hire software engineers who will deliver. Experience is an indicator of that.

Back in the day getting rejected because of lack of experience used to happen only to Mid-level and Junior devs. In the current market, it happens to Senior Developers as well. It will probably be the main obstacle you will have to work around when looking for a job.

Okay, so how can you work around it?

Should you lie about your experience in your CV? Should you make up stuff? Should you write a blog? Should you work on open source? 

None of these things.

Let me repeat this: you should not waste any of your precious time with open source, side projects, or anything else that is not applying for jobs and doing job interviews. 

The most effective way to get interviews is to apply for job positions with a relevant CV.

That’s it. 

A highly optimized CV and LinkedIn profile are the ONLY things you need to go to market. You should only spend time on making these two better.

You should obsess over them. Anything else is procrastination and wasting time.

LinkedIn will make sure people contact you and ask for your CV. Your CV will make sure they invite you for a Screening Call and open the hiring process.

Because your LinkedIn profile is mostly a reflection of your CV, I will only dive deep into the first one. I will clarify how to use the CV to update your LinkedIn profile afterward.

🚨P.S. Are you looking to fast-track to the Senior level with quality resources, feedback, and accountability? Click here to join our Free Community - The Senior Dev Academy. 🚨

The Anatomy Of A Great Developer CV

The #1 quality of a good developer CV is relevance. Relevance means that it matches as well as possible the requirements of the job position.

And that it uses well quantified proven experience to back that relevance up. A great developer CV answers two questions: 

  1. Do you have the relevant skills for the job? 
  2. Do you have the proof to back them up? 

This proves the final point, is it worth it to call you up for an interview or no?

That’s it.

Too many devs get distracted by fonts, colors, and formatting. When in fact the only thing that matter is the content. It is what’s inside the sandwich, not the packaging. Show them the bacon and the cheese and they will buy the burger.

Tip: Keep your formatting basic and focus on the content.

This brings us to the three stages of building a developer CV & LinkedIn that get you interviews. 

  1. Research 
  2. CV Writing & Bulletproofing 
  3. Linkedin Update

Okay, so let’s start with the research part of things. Remember, preparation. 

3.1. Research

The first and most important step to do when writing a relevant dev CV is to know what the market wants in the first place.

How can you do this? Simple.

Go to LinkedIn and search for the kind of developer job you are looking for. Save around 10 to 15 jobs that you think would fit you best.

Look at the kind of technologies they are looking for. The salaries they offer. And anything else that stands out. Take notes.

When you do this analysis keep in mind the 80/20 rule. We want to pick skills that the market as a whole needs, not only a specific company. 

For example, let’s say one company wants a full-stack developer who knows Kafka. If you are a full-stack dev, this is not an invitation for you to go and learn Kafka (that would actually be bad advice).

Another example. In 2023, most frontend developers for example besides having Senior level skills in the frontend are also required to contribute across the full stack. That will take months and we are looking for the 80% remember.

The better your research, the more relevant you CV and LinkedIn will be.

If what you want is to find that developer job fast, you will want to discard any skills that take more than a few days to master.

Now it is time to sell, not to build. You can invest in long-term skills after you get the job and your rent is paid.

Okay, keep all these notes at hand, you will use them soon when we are going to write that CV. Now on to the second step…

3.2. Developer CV Writing & Bulletproofing 

By now you should have a clear idea of what companies are looking for and how to better express that in your CV. It is time to go write that little baby. 

But still, you will face one big obstacle…

What if you have nothing to write about? What if you are a fresh graduate?

Or a Junior dev with little to show? Or a Senior Developer who got stuck in a dead-end job with little to show for it.

Don’t worry, either way, I got you covered.

I. If You Have NO Experience Writing Code Professionally

My advice here is to get the best side project you ever had and describe it in the same way as professional experience. In the job position, you can say self-employed and put the name of the project as your main project.

And now comes the interesting part. You will want to dissect this project and quantify everything you’ve done here just like if you were working for a real company. Talk about the tech stack, the number of features, talk about the infrastructure, logging, monitoring… Etc.

Given that team contributions matter a lot, you can also ask one of your friends to get involved in the project so you can also talk about teamwork (a key skill for working in bigger companies).

You also want to answer the main questions about the project. What was the business goal? What is the tech stack and architecture? How is the team looking? What is your role there?

The less experience you’ve got, the harder it is. But you have to really think that you are self-employed working on this software app as a technical co-founder.

If you don’t have much experience writing professional code you might need to get creative in your CV.

One last note for the writing part. Do not use Chat GPT to write your CV. At least fully. People will realize that and discard you from the beginning.

Senior Dev Tip: If you get stuck writing the CV, you can use ChatGPT to help you. Tell it the experience you have and ask it how would it quantify it. What else would it add? And use those ideas to move forward.

Senior Dev Tip: If you are a Bootcamp graduate, use that as professional experience as well. Don’t put it into the education section. Add it as “Software Development Trainee”, and describe what you were building and learning as professional experience.

II. If You Already Have Experience

Let’s say you are a more experienced Junior Dev or a Mid-level dev who has some experience but not enough to cut it. Or maybe even a Senior Developer that has been told the same. 

Think of everyone you worked with, and of every piece of technology you worked with. Technologies, web services, infrastructure, frontend backend. Write down everything you have your hands on.

A great developer CV tells a story of progression and growth.

Quantify it and extend the hell out of it. Oversell. Trust me, in the current developer job market, you are never overqualified.

Senior Dev Tip: to write the bullet points in your CV, use the format “Achieved [X] as quantified by [Y] through doing [Z].”

3.3 Updating your Linkedin 

Once your CV is finished, you want to check for red flags one last time. After that, you are ready to update your LinkedIn profile.

This should be a simple copy-paste. One exception is the skills section where you should go back to the notes you’ve made in the research section.

4. Pass Technical Interviews 

Contrary to what you’ve been told since writing your first line of code, hiring decisions in software engineering are very, very binary. 

Companies say they hire for attitude and culture fit. But only after you prove you have the technical skills to do the job. Sure, they might claim something different on social media. But if you want to succeed in this world, look at what people do, not at what they say. 

The usual interview process looks like this…

You apply.

Then you get a call from an internal or external recruiter. Also called a Screening Call.

Depending on how you do there, you will be asked to move forward. The next step is either a live coding interview or a take-home challenge.

I know most developers hate live coding because of the pressure to perform. But I will explain why live coding challenges are the number 1 technical interview type you want to get good at.

You see when you do a coding challenge, you get some instructions, work on it for like 30 hours, send it back and nothing (remember power dynamics during the interview).

Because once you send that thing over, the company has all the power. Most times they have 5 people working on the same challenge.

Chances are high that you will get some generic feedback back and no invitation for an interview.

There are 2 solutions to this…

Number 1: Get Good At Live Coding Interviews

Wha? Yes. I want you to get good at the one thing you probably hate the most. Writing code under pressure with strangers staring at you. 

Live coding interviews are the best interviews you can make. Because, in a live coding interview you only invest 1 to 2 hours max of your time. 

Live Coding Interviews be like...

And you get instant feedback from the interviewers so you can improve and move on fast. You also get to know them a bit and build a relationship which makes ghosting less likely. 

Number 2: Deliver Great Take-Home Challenges With Minimum Effort

By having a structured process not just jumping into the code you can be 3x to 5x more effective when it comes to doing take-home challenges. And you want to spend as much time building it as “selling it”.

That can mean deploying it to some Cloud provider.

Making a short Loom video about it. Make sure the readme is well written, some tests are there, and make sure you explain what you would do if you had more time.

If you want me to write a full article about how to solve a take home challenge, let me know. 

Summary & Next Steps

At this point, you should already have done a few dozen interviews and some of them decided to make you an offer.

Congrats! You made it! Make sure you celebrate and best of success in your new position! 

Congrats! You made it! 

Congrats! You made it!

If you are not there yet, then go back to applying to jobs, doing screening calls and technical interviews.

There you have it.

The complete guide on how to get a software development job in 2023 with little or no experience.

If you follow the steps I outline in this article, you approach the job market with the right mindset, sell yourself properly, and master the Technical Interview...

You will land a well-paid developer job in 2023 and beyond, even if you have little to no experience.

🚨P.S. Are you looking to fast-track to the Senior level with quality resources, feedback, and accountability? Click here to join our Free Community - The Senior Dev Academy. 🚨

Oh and by the way I wrote a full paper about that builds up on this, where I go much deeper into what’s happening right now in the development market and give you specific tips on how to stand out. 

From Mindset, to how to Write your CV, and what structure to follow during the application process. You can read it for free here. 

Best of success, 


P.S. If there is any topic from this article you want me to deep dive into, let me know in the comments :)

P.S. If you want to work with me and my team to help you personally during the developer job search, or fast-tracking your skills to the Senior level so you confidently get the pay and recognition you deserve as a developer, apply here for your Premium Mentorship.

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