20+ Years, no tech experience, trying to switch industries and career path

So I’ve got about 20 years of full time work experience since quitting graduate school, but none of it is really in the tech world. I’ve learned some skills (SQL Queries in MySQL, SQL Server, the Adobe basics i’m probably intermediate) but not a whole lot that is helpful for a developer job. I know I have to build up a portfolio / github repository of projects to demonstrate that I know what I’m doing in the development side, but how does one format their resume so that they can indicate they’ve been working for a while but demonstrate they have the skills for the job they are applying for at the same time.

I’ve been looking for a combination of career counselor / ‘head hunter’, type in person or online that could somehow help me not on craft the resume but help me figure out the best way to find a new job. I’m willing to relocate almost anywhere in the United States and work on pretty much any industry. I just really wanna work on code full time.

Anyone got any pointers in the right direction?

First I’d tell you to figure out what kind of a developer you want to be. Front/Back End, fullstack… Switching from one to another later on is easy. Then build a few projects that demo your skills.
I’d recommend attending a hackathon - no matter which path you choose (there is a shhhhhload of those happening). And contributing to some open source projects takes you further too.
If you got a few things to back you up ‘online’ it’s getting easier to say ‘I’ve been around, I already know some stuff’.

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I know that I want to be a developer - which is back end - and not a designer - front end - my primary stack would be rails based but I’m finding that JS is asked of even of junior rails developers hence why I’m here.

Part of my issue is time - i work 45 hours a week at a ‘full time’ non tech related job so i have to build my skills in that.

http://www.github.com/jemagee - i have repositories - in progress - started FCC last week to get my brain kick started - to get some focus on front end stuff since it seems it’s needed. My layout issues leave me a little short on the finished project concept :wink:

Designer != front-end developer. Designers do layouts, UI/UX, graphics. Front-end developers do code. And a lot. And I’m not talking css+html ;D

Even backend needs to know how to layout & bootstrap a site quickly, so you need to go through this pain ;D

As for ‘time shortage’… You need to seriously sacrifice a couple of hours a day even after you’re done with your day-job. But I think this is not much of a problem if you like what you’re doing. Even when you get frustrated like hell.


Though if you looked at most job advertisements you’d see

web designer - focuses on front end skills
web developer - focuses on back end skills

I know what I mean when I say web developer - and most of the jobs i look at do as well

As you wish - i have to type more characters

If you look at corpo type companies - you get unclear and mixed job positions because HR has no idea what they’re looking for or they’re looking for a swiss army knife. Last time I looked I saw ‘Senior Front End Full Stack Developer’ and had a laugh.

And no need to get hostile/defensive because we’re just stating here how crazy those positions & offers get.