A Bit Lost. And By A Bit, I Mean A LOT

Okay, so there is a bit of a wall of text incoming.

To start, I’ve been working in IT for the last six years, first as a PC Tech and now as a NOC engineer. Before landing my first job in IT I graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Computer Systems Administration.

About two years ago I decided I needed a BS degree if I was going to be able to transition from a NOC Engineer to a Software Engineer. I’ve been enrolled in an online BS degree program ever since and will be graduating in December.

Four months ago I decided I wasn’t really learning enough in my degree program to actually become a web developer (there is only one web related course in the curriculum) so I decided to enroll in a ruby on rails full-stack boot-camp. Going through the boot-camp while going school and working was tough, but I almost literally ate, slept, worked and coded and made it through. After boot-camp graduation in March, I was disappointed by how few places in the LA area were looking for Rails developers, (something I should I looked much deeper into before committing to the program) but applied to all the jobs I could find anyway.

I’ve been able to land two interviews, but both of them were Front-end JavaScript positions and the technical interview was done entirely in JavaScript. Needless to say, as my background is in Ruby and I only knew the basics of JavaScript, I failed miserably.

Ever since then, I have been learning JavaScript with EJS and FreeCodeCamp (almost finished the front-end cert), but don’t really know enough to create anything besides very simple projects. For the last two months, that’s all I’ve done is JavaScript coding. Well not entirely, I spent about three weeks coding in nothing, but Python and Django after going to a meetup and being inspired by the Python devs that I met there. Unfortunately, there are even fewer jobs for someone who knows a Python web framework here in LA…

Recently I started learning React, as that seems to be the most popular framework and the one that has the most open positions in the LA area. It’s been really hard to learn, but I’m pushing through. I can make super simple apps like a task manager, but nothing like what I can do with Rails or Django.

I guess my question is, should I continue down the JavaScript path or go back to my Rails and Ruby roots? It’s been almost three months since my boot-camp graduation and I feel like I’ve forgotten a lot of what I learned about the Rails framework.

Should I just stop applying for jobs and wait until I graduate with my BS?

Honestly, I’m so lost right now. F. I just want a job doing software development.

1 Like

My advice is the same as my response to another post. It, in turn, has a link to another comment. I recommend reading them both. They’re not very long.

Why should you care about my opinion?

  1. I’ve done a lot of interviewing/hiring.
  2. I have no degree and have been CTO of a company, and I’ve been writing code professionally for over 16 years.

Thanks Shawn. I’ll take a look at your other posts.

I cannot speak about the tech skills in detail as I am not a coder (yet). However, I would suggest getting on Indeed or Dice and looking at job ads for the job title you want. Make notes (CSS: 3 hash marks so far, Javascript: 7 hashmarks, etc) on which skills they are looking for and then look at that list after checking out 30+ jobs (in your area or the area you want to relocate to). It will become obvious what skills are sought after and which are not.

I did this to help me make decisions regarding which skills to focus on. My data security spouse suggested that I learn to program so I am also taking a Python course. GL!