They Rejected Us.

Everyone’s been rejected - these are our stories
To add your own, please open an issue or tweet me at @jkup

Troy Connor

@troy0820 (Software Engineer)

Got rejected from Dominion Enterprises fresh out of college trying to do some PHP. I attended Meetups with Norfolk.js and found myself in a great community. I contributed to open source and was very apprehensive about leaving my government job to become a developer. I met great people who encouraged me and helped me get rid of my imposter syndrome. Now I'm a full-time Software Engineer with Emerging Technology Advisors. Keep fighting for it.

Luke Schunk

@LukeSchunk (Software Engineer)

When I was a designer, I was rejected from countless internships and junior positions at agencies like Huge, RGA, and more. Decided to learn to code and can't wait to apply to some of those companies again - as a developer.

Marco Hengstenberg

@nice2meatu (Smashing Magazine)

In late 2012, during a phone interview, I was told that, by judging from my résumé, I might better look for a trainee position. One week later I applied at Smashing Magazine and was hired right away – full time.

Victor Trac

@victortrac (Wikibuy)

As a freshly minted EE, American Megatrends rejected me as a BIOS engineer. I decided to move to and work in Europe for 4 years, where I got to travel extensively, and then took a job at a startup in Austin, TX, having never visited the state before. The startup grew and even IPO'd, and since then I've had a great time back in the startup game.

Greg Tarnoff

@gregtarnoff (Accessibility Consultant)

I applied to a job for Web Accessibilty Engineer with Expedia and was rejected due to 'not having enough experience'.

Mark K Cowan


Rejected by various small companies, have since rejected Google and Amazon and am working on space technologies

Abad Federico

@abad (Popcorn Time)

Rejected by Twitter, got depressed but then I created Popcorn Time!. Don't lose hope and keep your head up, adventures are around the corner!

Adrian C


In my junior year of college, I had a phone interview with Apple for an internship. They asked me a question that took me a bit of time to answer, and the interviewer cut me off in the middle, saying "if you can't answer a question that is so simple quickly how could you expect to be hired by Apple." I went on to be hired at Microsoft, and then Apple and then get into a Ph.D. program.

Coby Benveniste


I was at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for a year. The school academics office was telling me that I had to take three semesters of Physics, including Quantum Physics and Thermodynamics, and that if I didn't like that, then I didn't belong at the school. I dropped out, and was almost immediately hired as a freelance contractor at a billion dollar investment company, and told that I could name my own price. Suck it, UIUC.


@aditya1 (Anonymous)

I'm originally from India. I have been rejected by 10-15 universities before landing in Virginia Tech. It took me 3 years to get my first admit. During my grad school I have been rejected by Google for not knowing their book search algorithm :-). Rejected by Microsoft for whatever reason and I blew up Amazon interview. Now work at European company in New England. Still eager to go to Silicon Valley, maybe 2016 is my year.

Sam Saccone

@samccone (🐐)

I could not even get an unpaid internship at a newspaper because I was going to add too much overhead. 🆒

Eray Arslan

@erayarslan (markakod)

Rejected by Valve Software for a Software Engineer position because i was young. (when i was 19)

Sagar Savla

@sagz (Facebook)

As I was finishing my Masters' I applied to so many companies that I was getting a rejection at least once a day. If I search my inbox for the word 'regret', I get over a hundred emails of these rejections. But I kept applying and kept interviewing. I finally got some offers and worked at companies like PayPal, Lyft and Facebook; after a lot of perseverance. You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.

Robert Wilkins

@rwilki (Self Employed)

I submitted applications to Sucuri, Buffer, and Road Runner Sports in hopes of furthering my career as a web and graphic designer. Ultimately, my career path has evolved just fine as I'm busier now more than ever working for myself. I'm challenged, rewarded, and love what I do. If I could manage the stress, it would be all good.

Lyn Muldrow

@lynmuldrow (Front-end Developer)

After bootcamp, I was rejected over 50 times in three months by companies like Pandora, Twilio, and Zendesk for not having enough experience. Received an offer with an amazing company and now I motivate youth and others like me to succeed. Never let anyone tell you that you're not worthy. Keep going.

Scott Kosman

@humantorch (adidas)

Survived multiple phone and Skype interviews with Apple (from Europe) as well as a take-home developer assignment. Flew to Cupertino for a round of in-person, highly technical interviews less than 24 hours after a 14 hour flight. Got my rejection notice 3 hours afterwards. Ended up as a Director in a production company and am now a Senior Digital Manager at adidas.

Adam Sontag

@ajpiano (Bocoup)

I wanted to be a professional football player but the New York Jets didn't want me because I couldn't run a sub-4.3 second 40 yard dash. Now I am Director of Community at Bocoup so I like to think I landed on my feet.

Mark DiMarco


I was literally asked to leave the office 15 minutes into the interview. The guy said "I don't think either of us should waste any more of our time" and turned around to face his computer. I sat in the parking lot for 30 minutes thinking I'd never be a developer.

Peter Kim

@pkayfire (OSS)

Rejected by AngelList because I froze up during an interview and forgot the fibonacci sequence (seriously). Received an offer from Stripe a month later. Now cofounder at a top 500 US site. Never ever give up.

Jonas Orinovski

@jokoon (OSS)

I was rejected by ubisoft, bull/amesys, and dozen of other tech companies, because I don't have experience in java, .net, while I'm skilled in C/C++, python, linux. I went through many tests, including IQ (125) and programming tests. Still unemployed. Have given up, but I still intend to make a tiny game, if I can find the motivation.

John Slegers

@johnslegers (Cascade & PHPPowerTools)

For frontend developer jobs, I'm usually told I don't have enough design skills. For backend developer jobs, I'm usually told I don't have enough experience in this or that framework. I'm currently unemployed.

Lindsey Campbell

@_lindseytron (InVision)

Interviewed and rejected by two local startups in medical and education spaces. They talked down to me during my interview, wouldn't respond to emails, and left me hanging. The following week I landed my job at InVision. :)

Patrick Haney


Apple interviewed me 4 times for 3 positions, all while I was employed at Harvard University. I even had to talk through designing the "iStove" for Steve Jobs and explain how Google Maps worked using a whiteboard. They never hired me and I left Harvard to work for myself a year later.

Rajat Arora

@rajatonit (BlackBerry)

Was rejected by many companies which one of them was AutoDesk whom escorted me out of their office midway through the interview for having more knowledge of java over C++. I kept at it and now work at BlackBerry as my job. #StickWithIt

Ricardo Correa

@rcorrear (OSS)

After applying for a Senior Development Engineer position at Amazon I get an email from HR for the Senior Cloud Support Engineer position. After two (technical) phone interviews and an 8 hour on-site multi team interview I get back the results: You really did very well in the interviews, but we're not extending an offer because you are a better fit for our Senior Development Engineer position!!

Steven Hauser


Rejected by GitHub for a frontend developer opening because my HTML, CSS, and JS skills were strong, but I failed to demonstrate my Ruby skills.

Brian Salcedo

@salcedo (OSS)

Got rejected by Linode because I'm a convicted hacker. Shortly thereafter, I won $50 Linode credit and a Raspberry Pi 2 through a Linode-sponsored challenge on True Ability. They probably think I hacked that too.

Neil Kistner

@wyze (Monsanto)

I was rejected by Facebook and Netflix at the technical interview/coding exercises. Now I write ES2015 && React all day at Monsanto.

Angel Colberg

@angelcolberg (Mozilla)

I've been rejected by Google, Apple and FB. Ended up working with Microsoft, Apple, Google and Mozilla. Never take it personal.

Dhananjay Nakrani

@playingDJ (Google)

During campus-placements in undergrad, interviewed with Samsung-India. Due to favoritism, I was rejected. Almost lost faith from meritocracy. Later got to do Google Summer of Code (Summer'14) and Google Internship (Summer'15). In grad school, received full time offers from both Yahoo & Google. Now, headed to Google for full time. Still, I have a long way to go. ;) My point is, don't lose faith because of a few incidents. Keep working. "Adventure is out there!"

Jason Shen

@jasonshen (IBM)

Applied to the Harvard Business School as a Stanford honors grad with a 740 GMAT, no interview. Was rejected from Airbnb for a customer support role and later was passed over for a PM role at Google after 2 phone screens. I've cofounded Y Combinator startup (Ridejoy YC S11) and was selected by the White House to serve as a Presidential Innovation Fellow. Today I'm a product manager at Etsy. Timing and fit are everything.

Spencer Gibb

@spencerbgibb (Pivotal)

Interviewed at Netflix, didn't get the job. At Pivotal, I helped create Spring Cloud Netflix which integrates Netflix Open Source with Spring Boot. Now Netflix uses Spring Cloud Netflix... at Netflix.

Rachel White

@ohhoe (IBM)

When I graduated from a less than desirable college, no employers in New York would take me seriously... so I moved to St. Louis. Everyone in the midwest didn't care where I went to school, and instead I was highly in demand as a developer with a design background. I worked in agencies for 3 years, until I got a job offer from Adobe and moved back to NYC. Now I'm at IBM Watson, and it's the best.

Jake Johnson

@xyclos (OSS)

I was rejected by Amazon. I waited around for an hour for a phone interview with their "head of acquisitions". He emailed me later that night saying he didn't have my phone number. My number was in the email he replied to 😒. He ignored all my attempts to reschedule.

Dave Geddes

@geddski (Domo)

I totally bombed an interview at Trello about implementing linked lists in JavaScript. Today I’m a JS Architect at Domo.

Derick Bailey

@derickbailey (WatchMeCode)

I was told by a hiring manager at Netflix that my career would be over if I wasn't willing to relocate my family to San Francisco. Since then, I've had 2 full time jobs that were 100% remote (work from home), have been a full time consultant with clients around the world (Germany, Japan, Denmark, South America, Canada, and all over the U.S.) Now, I'm an entrepreneur as well as consultant, I work less hours than any full time job I've ever had, and I earn more than ever.

Rey Bango

@reybango (Microsoft)

I was rejected by Arthur Andersen Consulting in the '90s because I didn't have an undergraduate degree and also by a number of well-known Silicon Valley companies because I couldn't relocate. Since then I've worked at great companies like Mozilla, Telerik & Microsoft, all remotely and with no undergrad degree.

Chris Hartjes

@grmpyprogrammer (Mozilla)

I interviewed at Mozilla in 2008. I ran a gauntlet of 10 interviews in 8 hours. Didn’t get it. Ended up there Nov. 2015 anyway ;)

Ian Devlin

@iandevlin (Trivago)

Rejected by the Google HTML5 Developer Expert programme for not knowing enough about HTML5. Apparently being one of the HTML5 Doctors, writing many articles on the subject and having a book on HTML5 Multimedia being published wasn't enough for them.

Sebastian Brandes Kraaijenzank

@sebastianbk (Microsoft)

While finishing up my master's degree I was sending out tons of applications to big corps for software development jobs but I was rejected by virtually all of them. One week I was rejected by two companies I really wanted to work for so I was sad and got drunk in the weekend. The following Monday I had an offer from Microsoft sitting in my inbox.

Michael Shao

@abr71310 (Amazon)

I got turned away from every return offer from internships I had (7), as well as 85 companies I applied to for full-time (even after getting to onsites for over 15 of them!). I now work at Amazon and love what I'm doing. :)

Lloyd Watkin

@lloydwatkin (IMDB)

I was rejected by a top 10 website because I don't use semi-colons in my JavaScript. Now at IMDb / Amazon. Don't let them get you down :)

Sinan Midillili

@Sinanm89 (OSS)

A swedish startup company dropped from skype mid call after I told them I was born in Turkey. Im still blocked to this day.

Adam Reineke

@AdamTReineke (Microsoft)

At a college career fair, a Midwest healthcare company handed my resume back because GPA was too low, saying "save the paper". I went on to spend two great internships at Microsoft where I've continued full-time for over two years now.

Ralph Holzmann

@rlph (Vine)

I failed an interview at eGain for not knowing all the options on $.ajax. Went on to work for Bitovi and now Twitter / Vine.

Shaun LeBron


I wondered what I was really worth after getting rejected by two silicon valley startups. So I decided to stop giving up on my side projects.

Mike MacCana

@mikemaccana (CertSimple)

Got rejected by Google and within a few months was working there as a contractor. Later one of my projects was used in their recruiting ads as the kind of awesome work you can do at Google.

Sebastian McKenzie

@sebmck (Facebook)

Got rejected from a junior position at Atlassian for not knowing enough about JavaScript. Shortly after they now use the JavaScript compiler that I wrote across most of their JavaScript stack.

John-David Dalton

@jdalton (Microsoft)

I was rejected by Google, Mozilla, and Twitter before being hired by Microsoft. No ragrets.

Charlie Robbins

@indexzero (GoDaddy)

Was rejected by Google in New York in 2007 because I could not figure out how to list all subsets of a set correctly. I founded Nodejitsu and now work at GoDaddy.

Zachary Forrest y Salazar

@zdfs (Sonos)

Was rejected by Netflix, Twitter and TuneIn. Now I work at Sonos.

Brandon Weis

@brandonweis (Cirqle)

Rejected by Zenefits for not being expressive enough in implementing JavaScript serialized execution of async functions using callback. Got offered a senior position but didn't get it due to no work authorization. Both happened in the same afternoon. Still not giving up.

Kevin van Zonneveld

@kvz (Transloadit)

I was phone-screened by Google late 2010. I was nervous and unhappy with my performance but they never shared honest feedback or gave me a chance to set things straight.

Myles Borins


First time interviewing I didn't get past the phone screen at google, twitter, or a number of other places. A startup offered me a 10 week internship way below market rate. I held out and got a decent job at Famous Industries where I got a ton of excellent opportunities.

Bryan English

@bengl (Yahoo)

Rejected by Google, Twitter, Square and Airbnb for bombing the on-site onslaughts of technical mindbogglery. One startup even cut me out mid-interview one time (can't remember which one). Now I'm at Yahoo doing npm things, which is a pretty sweet gig.

Max Howell

@mxcl (Apple)

Google: 90% of our engineers use the software you wrote (Homebrew), but you can’t invert a binary tree on a whiteboard so fuck off.

Miguel Rios

@miguelrios (Twitter)

Before Twitter, I was rejected twice by big tech co, which only interviewed me cuz I had a scholarship they gave to Latino students.

Ben Sangster

@sangster (Twitter)

I was rejected at Amazon and other companies with no technical interviews because I wasn't a Java engineer.


@esten (Twitter)

I had an interview with Scribd, who I really liked at the time, and totally bombed. Blanked out on writing a linked list in Python.

Vikas Gorur

@vikasgorur (Twitter)

Got rejected by a storage startup despite extremely relevant experience. Interview was 5 whiteboard coding problems. I did well on three of them and okayish on the other two. Interviewed at Twitter three days and got an offer.

Sam Maskell

@samuelmaskell (Twitter)

Over the course of 9 months, I had tons of interviews, most of which I thought went very well, and I just kept getting rejected. I was ready to drastically lower my bar. Then, within about 5 days, I got an offer from both Twitter and Amazon.

Kelly King

@kng (Twitter)

I was rejected by YouTube and Pinterest before landing an awesome role at Twitter.

Anne-Gaelle Colom

@agcolom (jQuery)

I was refused a reference by my supervisor in France who thought the male student on my team did all the work.

Nick Morgan

@skilldrick (Twitter)

Facebook rejected me just before Twitter hired me. I was very junior then though, so don't really blame them.

Thomas Hunter

@tlhunter (Open Table)

A year and a half after being rejected by a popular payment gateway company I finally got my senior software title at a company where I write ES6 all day.

Eric Rosenberg

@DrJorts (Twitter)

I was rejected without interview at Dropbox. Escorted out halfway through my Microsoft interview. Now I'm senior eng at Twitter.

Alex Sexton

@SlexAxton (Stripe)

I didn't get past the Twitter phone screen. Not in the beginning of my career, like 3 years ago.

Juriy Zaytsev

@kangax (Facebook)

Fun fact: I did Google interview and was told I'm not that good of a JS developer :) So that's out of the way

Brian Holt

@holtbt (Netflix)

Rejected by LinkedIn for not knowing enough JS. Couldn't even get a phone screen with Google or Twitter. Went on to work for reddit and now Netflix.

Jon Kuperman

@jkup (Twitter)

I was rejected from 10 unpaid internships. Now I work at Twitter.

Chris Wanstrath

@defunkt (CEO, Github)

Before cofounding GitHub I applied for an engineering job at Yahoo and didn’t get it. Don’t let other people discourage you.

Kyle Simpson

@getify (Author of You Don't Know JS)

Major social network company rejected me after an interview with, "We didn't think you knew enough JS."