Another newb looking for advice

Another newb looking for advice
0

#1

Ahoy FCC. Taking the advice to get involved and posting.

Looking for suggestions and direction towards the goal of establishing a new career, without degrees (just like everyone else, I know).

I’m in my 30’s but have at least a passing familiarity with the basics… I just have’t done anything beyond hobbyist status (basic HTML), and nothing at all code related for many years. I’m expecting I count as an absolute beginner. Hopefully my other life experiences end up helping in the end. I’m starting at the beginning here. But I pick things up quickly, am detail oriented, and self motivated (I’ve been self employed for years), and have some familiarity with graphic design.

I’ve looked over some (of the many) similar posts. I understand there’s no one path, and no guarantee anywhere along the line. The goal is to find gainful work by next summer. I’m located in Phoenix AZ, but have an eventual preference for freelance and remote work (as I’d like to be able to travel and take work with me, I also intend to relocate to rural New Hampshire in the long term). I’m not expecting instant results, and I don’t have full-time levels of free time to dedicate (though my work allows me flexibility). 1-4 hours a day is probably realistic.

A friend has been suggesting for awhile to get into doing wordpress sites. This sounds like it may dovetail with my desires well, but I’m not tied to the idea. If nothing else, it’s likely a good starting point. I’m guessing the competition for the sort of job I’d most like is not insignificant., so i don’t want to be overly specific. It seems like there’s a huge amount of people doing the same thing I am, and very little way to stand out. A local criagslist search shows a lot of freelancers offering services, and very few options for entry jobs in the field.

My intent is to build a site for my own business, as both practice and portfolio. Two birds, as they say. I can be my own first client.

Guidelines, local resources, online sources (other than FCC), or things along those lines are what I’m looking for.

Thanks!


#2

There seems to be a lot of freelance work based around WP. Now, there is also a lot of competition so the wages tend to be lower, but there does seem to be a lot of work for it.

Yes, breaking into the field is difficult, especially if you are looking for a “job” job. But once you get that first on the job experience, it gets easier. A lot of it will depend on your experience, your portfolio, who you know, how well you network, your geographical location, and just plain luck.

But it’s not going to get any easier by complaining about it. I would not recommend this if you do not love coding. But if you love to code then do it for that reason. Build up your skills, and your portfolio, and your network - and eventually all that will intersect with luck and market demand and you will get a job - it just may not be as soon as you hope.


#3

Honestly, you’re putting the cart before the horse, borrowing worries from tomorrow, and probably a couple other cliches too. From what you’ve said of your knowledge and experience, you still need to learn a fair amount of fundamentals (including whether this is really something you want to do) before you start to worry about what type of development you want to do professionally.


#4

Well, thanks for the advice. :slight_smile: I fully admit to looking too far down the line of possible events, and I like to borrow worries from tomorrow to avoid drowning in today’s. I like to be prepared even for things that are unlikely to happen. It’s a character trait.

So… “CODING ZOMG! I LOVE WRITING COMMANDS!” or… nothing? You guys got into what you do professionally(?) primarily so you could sit at home in your free time doing it? I’m all about the journey being the true treasure, but that seems a little excessive application of it. /humorous tone

I’m not overly concerned about the type of development I want to do professionally, not at this point, just recognizing that different paths may be better suited towards it than others. That’s always been part of the excuse not to bother, the initial hurdle of where to focus. Most other, similar posts are followed up by something along the lines of “what is your goal, what are hoping to accomplish”. That’s what I was doing: setting a goal, and a timeline, to break down the problem into an order of operations to progressively knock out. Intent, starting point, timeline, and location seemed to be relevant information asked for in other threads.

“Next summer” may be too optimistic? It was a timeline decided on due to other factors, but that’s exactly what I’m trying to assess. I’ll be plugging along a couple hours a day on here, and picking up some books to peruse at other times, which made a year (to start basic freelancing?) seem reasonable, compared to some other’s that spend a couple months and end up with a salary job. But summers are rough in my current line of work, and in Phoenix in general, so that’s my current goal. Maybe I should replace it with preparing for a coding bootcamp sort of thing outside Phoenix. To reaffirm: I’m /not/ expecting a 6 figure job in a few months. I’m trying to be realistic, but it’s entirely possible my estimations are totally off. I was hoping to be able to augment my income by next summer, and work on making it an actual career over the following few years. Unfortunately, that income thing is definitely a driving force.

On another thread, someone pointed out that JQuery is ‘on the way out’. There’s a ton of other terms that have been thrown around over the ~20 years I’ve been paying minimal attention to these things, all of which have entirely different relevance now than what they did at some other time. That’s the sort of direction I meant. It would suck to direct my efforts towards things on the way out, when I have limited time to dedicate towards learning them. Those trends are pretty much invisible outside the ‘scene’, but clear to those within it that take the time to look.

I mean, I doubt coding is in itself my life’s passion. I see it as a path, a set of skills and knowledge base, towards further goals. What we end up doing with those skills and knowledge should be what our life’s passion is, no?


#5

So… “CODING ZOMG! I LOVE WRITING COMMANDS!” or… nothing? You guys got into what you do professionally(?) primarily so you could sit at home in your free time doing it? I’m all about the journey being the true treasure, but that seems a little excessive application of it. /humorous tone

Not at all. I do this (helping campers) with my free time, but rarely spend my free time coding because 40 hours a week just isn’t enough for me. But learning to program is hard and frustrating. Doing it is hard and frustrating. The question is “Do you get satisfaction from it?”

I’m not overly concerned about the type of development I want to do professionally, not at this point, just recognizing that different paths may be better suited towards it than others. That’s always been part of the excuse not to bother, the initial hurdle of where to focus.

So here’s the thing - When it comes to the fundamentals (which will keep you busy for months) it doesn’t really matter. Many paths start in the same place. Maybe you’ll end up discovering that you want to work in another language. You’ll have to learn a different syntax, but you always have to start with variables, logical operators, loops, functions, data types and structures, algorithm design.

“Next summer” may be too optimistic?

There is no way for any of us to know that.