How much is my profile worth?

I would like to talk about my chances to get a job as a web developer and about the salary and career possibilities.

Around 2-3 years ago coding became one of my hobbies. Alongside my studies, which are a combination of management and engineering, I started to learn HTML, CSS, JS/JQuery, MySQL and PHP. The basics. During my studies, we’ve also covered some basics of computer science and java. Designing algorithms, object-oriented programming, models of software development and so on.

Around 1,5 years ago I discovered Meteor and my interest became even stronger and I expanded my knowledge by Blaze, MongoDB and basics of NodeJS. The most necessary things at that time to develop a meteor based web application, which was for a study project. Later I started with React and Apollo, which I think is just awesome.

Today I am about to finish my Master’s degree. I have more or less good knowledge in web development. Well it’s hard to tell how good they actually are since I have no one to compare myself to. Sometimes I am very confident, sometimes I am very frustrated. But if I get enough time and internet access, I am able to develop a responsive and reactive good looking web application on my own. Preferably in Meteor + React + Apollo

I am still lacking knowledge in working within a web dev team and VCS, since most of my work I have done solo. My portfolio is still very small and most of the work is not meant for public.

I am 28 and from Germany but flexible for a job abroad and thinking about to make a job out of my hobby. I still have a lot of fun with it and I hope this won’t change if it will be my job. :slight_smile:

Now the Questions:

Is my profile worth something in web development? Or will people just laugh at me if I start to apply?

My plan is to use the next months to build a strong portfolio. I was thinking to analyze the job offers and expand my knowledge according to the requirements. Maybe even visit some classes from the computer science studies, which is still possible for me for the next 6 months. Well and start to apply in that direction.

But will the effort pay off? Of course, sooner or later I would expect to get the tasks and payment according to the level of my education. But since I have no CS degree, will I even qualify for that level? Will I have to start at the very bottom as someone with no degree at all? At the end, I will have to pay my bills. How much can I expect to earn at the beginning and later?

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I’ve personally worked in large well known companies where two of the top paid developers studied philosophy and geography. When I started my career, I recall my first interview in which I asked the manager if he wants to see my degree, he said no, he only cares if I can deliver. I’m not undermining the importance of specialized degree, but I think it can be bypassed easily with passion to programming, all the information you need is online.

Beside most of the stuff I learnt at university are now considered legacy after less then 8 years. So if you enjoy programming, thinking logically, have an appetite for continuous learning, problem solving and creativity, then I think you’ll do great regardless of your educational background. With that said, you need to pass the HR hurdle in large companies, because they tend to do exact match when they filter for potential resumes.

For the salary, take a look at glassdoor web developer entry position and don’t underestimate what you already know, you bring different perspective to the table with your master and education so I wouldn’t discount that.


Depending upon your financial situation, you might want to consider a 2-3 month unpaid internship with a local high tech company. That can give you actual work experience as a developer, and a positive recommendation from a “former employer” when you go after a regular job.

The only piece of advice I would add here is to try and contribute to some open source projects to help wrap your head around the idea of collaboration. I wouldn’t say familiarity with git and things like issues and PRs is a strict prerequisite, but to me, it could definitely be the tie-breaker between two devs with similar skill sets.

If you did something like an unpaid internship, there is also plenty of space for one-offs and short term projects on sites like upwork. I’ve read plenty of horror stories about those sites, but in general, I’ve found them an effective way to moonlight/earn extra money/build up some regular one-off clients.

Germany is a great place to be and lack of a CS degree barely an issue. Plenty of web work for developers and product managers (I know even non-EU in non-dev roles can cash >€2k/month informally in small town tech companies).

Your management and engineering studies are far from irrelevant. Don’t overlook their applicability.

Don’t worry about starting at the bottom. Mobility/churn is high in tech.

I’d suggest putting together a small portfolio aimed at common business cases - landing page, cms, ecommerce, listings… with your React/ES6+ skills, making sure to add back end variety (gql, meteor/node) but absolutely don’t wait, rather immediately start to do the essential getting out and meeting people to find opportunities

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I could [always] use another dev. PM me if you’d be interested. My lead dev is a “10X developer”–they really exist! You’d probably learn more working on real projects with senior developers than self-study. Our apps are complex and we are doing a lot of sophisticated things.

Regarding a degree, I’ve hired people with a Ph.D. in Computer Science who I’d never let near my repos again. Personally, I dropped out of college after taking only one CompSci class–then went on to have a 25 year career as a software engineer and IT consultant for some of the world’s biggest companies. Don’t let any university stop you from becoming a great developer.


here in switzerland, we are still lacking good developers. depending on your experience and your skills you can earn 5000 and more after bachelor or master.

usually its good to have a portfolio with some open source projects or other projects you work on. Also, commiting on other projects or blogging about tech stuff is good if you want to apply for a job.

Also to answer your question: nobody will laugh at you. react and angular are both wanted. And having full-stack experience like with meteor is also a good skill (i always say: “from git init - until deploy to prod”