RealToughCandy Entry Level Software Jobs Survey

Entry Level Software Developer Jobs: Top Frustrations

Finding a job you enjoy is hard enough.

But when it comes to entry level software developer jobs, there are some things that are particularly frustrating.

I recently polled 119 software developers currently in the business who shared some of their experiences. If you’re wondering about the realities of the workplace, read on!

119 respondents answered: what was the most frustrating thing about your first dev job?

Over one in three respondents said the learning curve was the most frustrating (34%), followed by an existing code base issue such as spaghetti code or poor documentation (30%). Coming in third, with a significantly reduced number of votes, was management issues (13%), followed by a tie with workflow (11%) and the all-encompassing “something else” (11%).

RealToughCandy Entry Level Software Jobs Survey
Above: RealToughCandy’s 1st Dev Job & Frustration Survey Results.

Over one in three respondents said the learning curve was the most frustrating (34%), followed by an existing code base issue such as spaghetti code or poor documentation (30%).

Let’s take a look at what developers in the software business are saying.

lalaithan straight-up left the job after four months:

My first dev manager could be described as a seagull in a bad way. I went bonkers and left after four months. My skills had severely stagnated because I got little input about anything, even after showing up an hour later on purpose to make him notice…

RealToughCandy Entry Level Software Jobs lalaithan
RealToughCandy’s Entry Level Software Jobs Frustration & Response: lalaithan

…While Donovan was subjected to a particularly disappointing bait-and-switch:

My first dev job was a “hook line and sinker” type of job. Years ago I was contacted by a recruiter who was looking for candidates for a web dev role and told me that I would be working with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery. I was gullible and assumed I would be building and or managing websites.

Come to find out it was more of an analytical role using light JavaScript and the training they had only lasted for a week for an about 1 or 2 hours per day and the rest we on our own to figure things out, sink or swim pretty much… I had no experience in analytical tracking on websites at that time.

Don’t get me wrong, the pay and the environment was great but web analytics wasn’t something I was passionate about. So I was excited when my contract ended.

In interviews and with recruiters ask questions up front on the role you are applying for make sure it’s something you want to do.

RealToughCandy Entry Level Software Jobs Donovan
RealToughCandy’s Entry Level Software Jobs & Frustration Response: Donovan

Seth, currently a software intern, is still trying to figure out his impact:

Maybe it’s because my first dev job was/is an internship, but for me the hard part is that I’m working on bits and pieces of code, but because I’m a junior dev I’m not privy to the big picture and how my code is really making a difference.

RealToughCandy Entry Level Software Jobs Seth
RealToughCandy’s Entry Level Software Jobs & Frustration Response: Seth

Finally, Xero0077 notes that everything is different at an enterprise job than when you’re developing at home:

Realizing that enterprise level applications are massive. I got my first job after about a year of self teaching through Udemy.

I thought I was ready because I did fairly well when asked technical questions during phone interviews and the one in person interview that landed me my job. Everything was done a different way. [Even] making commits is done differently. I started out helping add little features here and there with plenty of handholding.

As we go along I’m responsible for adding whole features myself, but my [tech] lead is always available for questions. I spend most of my time updating/maintaining existing applications. I’m happy with it so far.

I get to work with the tech I want to work with and if I want to do something that can’t be used on the job, I’ll do it on my own time on personal project.

RealToughCandy Entry Level Software Jobs Zero0077
RealToughCandy’s Entry Level Software Jobs & Frustration Response: Xero0077

Don’t let these realities get you discouraged when it comes to landing a dev job!

As you can see, people who vented their frustrations are still proudly in the business; dealing with work-related issues, for better or worse, comes with the territory. But this survey can give you some insight on the reality of various work-related frustrations, helping prepare you for the road ahead.



If you’re a code newbie interested in securing one of the thousands of currently-unfilled entry level software developer jobs, just keep your head up and do your best. You’ll do just fine (everyone in the biz gets frustrated sooner or later; it’s part of the human experience!), and soon enough you’ll be able to contribute to surveys like this one we explored today. 🙂

If you enjoyed this article, please share it so it can help other developers prepare for the workforce!

Up Next: Are coding bootcamp worth it?

-RTC

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