Anyone else currently doing low-wage jobs?

Hi there… my 2 cents on your situation is you have to be patient!. I’m older than you, have a toddler, next to no support network to help look after her and have to try find 3 hrs + a day to learn to code on top of a 40 hr week day job I also hate… its possible, but pretty hard and getting enough sleep and taking time out to relax a little is sooo important. From all the reading on the web I’ve done, learning to code to a proficient level is going to take a long time…! I’m saving as much as I can in order to quit my day job and be able to code 60 hours a week for about 6 months (once I’m at the stage where I’m building portfolio projects rather than learning the basics). Thing is - do you have to go to college to get a CS degree ? is it possible to study online through a university wherever you live? that way avoid having to quit work and end up with a massive student loan? Lots of jobs where I live (Australia) also don’t ask for a CS degree, only proof you can do the job (as in a portfolio). Also don’t give up on seeing your friends, as you’ll just burn-out and be miserable. If you don’t know if you are ready or not, have a look at the free CS courses on Udacity (Georgia Tech section). You could do some of them and find out if you even LIKE doing CS stuff, finding your niche is also a hard part…Good luck!


How can I delete a thread I have made? Can some admin delete it? I regret making it…

Before you delete your thread, let me just say, follow your heart, dude. I had a really rough time transitioning into college and ended up dropping out. I finally got my act together and took twice as long to finish my degree as I should have. Yeah, I was a few years “behind” everyone else at my age, but what really helped me was putting things into perspective. Don’t compare yourself to others too much or treat life too much like a rat race. The best way to keep from overthinking your situation and getting all depressed is to start comparing yourself to the yourself from yesterday, and no one else. Did you learn about or even create something that you’re passionate about in the last 24 hours? Then you can consider that progress and be happy about it.

It’s okay to be passionate about moving up in life and creating more opportunities for yourself, moving up the social ladder, etc. It can be a good motivator. But no matter how much you move up that ladder and start filling your pocket with better paychecks, there is always going to be someone with more. More power, more money, more prestige. No matter how good you get at programming, there is always going to be someone better. If you obsess over this, you will start getting depressed. Focus on being better than the you from yesterday, while keeping your sights on your goals.

If this means getting a CS degree, well, if you think it will take you in the direction you want your life to go in, then go for it. Getting an educating is essentially the best investment you can make, and a CS degree is probably a much safer investment than many other types of degrees. Do you have the option to take out student loans? If you start doing research on schools, can you track down the right people who can talk to you about alumni services, job placement stats, etc.? Be an open book about yourself, your background, and what you are looking for in a CS program before you decide to invest. But once you do, go all in. Work part time if you have to pay the bills, but take out loans if it means completing your education.

Once you get on track to completing a goal, especially something as huge as a college degree, you will feel like you’re a part of something bigger and will (hopefully) feel even more motivated to keep pushing on and finding ways to enjoy life. On a similar note, it’s okay to say no to hanging out every now and then, but when you (inevitably) meet new people in college while pursuing your CS degree, you should definitely strive to strengthen those connections and make new friends. You will be a lot happier as a result. I also recommend giving yourself time every now and then to continue playing music, if only to relieve some stress when you feel like you need it. Balance and a fresh perspective/outlook on life will do wonders for you, man.

You may want to pay a visit to the GetMotivated subreddit for inspiration or self-help books that will get you thinking differently about your situation and put you in a better mindset to start improving it. Either way, at some point, you just have to stop questioning yourself and jump in. Good luck!


@AmirF27 - Good to see you active. First, lets paraphrase a quote from 'Fight Club"

“We are raised to believe that we will all be Presidents, astronauts, and doctors. No one ever teaches us how to deal with being waiters, busboys, and bus drivers.”

90% of us are like you, or have been in your spot. Unsatisfied. The only difference is your brave enough to say it.

And to end with a Winston Churchill quote:

“When you find yourself going through hell. Just keep going”

If you keep going you will find yourself somewhere new. You should keep the post up. You’d be surprised how one person’s honesty can help others just by reading.


Hey bro, don’t delete this thread and don’t be so apologetic! You are going through tough times and are frustrated. You just wanted to vent it out and needed some consolation and may be advice so you created this thread. Nobody is going to hurt by just this thread. I will give you a longer response later…

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I don’t think your fast food boss cares about you.

Every week I tell him the next week I want only 4 shifts, only to receive 5 (if I object I get asked, “And what are you doing in your free time? It’s better spent at work making money”)

WT_. He is saying this to you even if he knows that you are practicing coding?? Don’t take everything people say at the face value. He just wants you to remain there and do the job for him. However keep doing the job, if that’s how you support yourself financially. If the current job is eating your too much time, You can keep searching for another job such that it leaves you more time. (And leave the current job only after you get the another job).

Also, don’t strangle your social life. Leave out guitar, games, novels for now but do keep the social life. Just limit the time. Hang out with friends for one hour daily, it will keep your head fresh (but just one hour not more). And I think the evening is the best time for it as I do. Make a schedule plan of the day. Allocate hours.

Another thing I want to recommend is reading SENECA’s books. He was a stoic philosopher and a statesman of the roman times. Most of his books are in the form of letters written to his friends and family as a consolation and advice on life’s matters. I think they will definitely help you to come out of frustration and straighten up many things about life. Do at least try it. You can download his books from the internet.

I think you should also complete FCC curriculum and get the certificate. The certificate will help you to get the job.


Hey @AmirF27, read this:

Good luck, brother - I was pretty lost and dissatisfied with my life when I was your age, nowadays I can’t imagine being much more content. It gets better.


Wow, I am really amazed how supportive this community is! I agree with some of the other posters that this thread should not be deleted. It can be reassuring to read for people that others are going through the same hardships as they are.

Besides, yes, I am also working for minimum wage in a book store atm. Plus, I am almost 44! And I am still proud of my front-end development certificate.


@janschreiber Yeah I’m amazed too. It is a very supportive community indeed. If you think this thread shouldn’t be deleted, and some others seem to think the same way too, then I hope it can help others. I don’t think threads here can be deleted anyways.

Well good to know someone else can relate, and good to know the thread might have helped you in one way or another (I truly hope it did). If it did help you, then you’ve made my day. :slight_smile:

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Please have a conversation with your friend about your feelings and goals. Your dedication to what you really love doing is great, but trust me when I say that life sucks even more when you alienate people who care about you. At some point, the invitations will stop, and then you are alone.

I don’t think “ungrateful” is the right word. “Defensive”, perhaps. It seems to me that you have a lot of powerful, negative feelings to deal with, and while it’s totally within the purview of this community to talk about what you’re going through, nothing on these forums is going to change things for you. In fact, it seems like even though you are doing exactly what you should be doing (and have been assured of this several times), you come back with some other reason to feel bad about life, almost as if the advice and support here has gone unnoticed. For instance:

What’s strange is that the only place I read this online is in your posts. I’m not sure why you give your time to writers who are obviously petty, small minded, and disconnected from reality, but maybe it’s time you stop focusing on them and just do your own thing. You know what I call people who don’t have life figured out by 25? Basically everybody. In fact, anyone at any age who claims to have life “figured out” is either a charlatan or delusional. To be human is to want a balance of meaning, comfort, and pleasure. It’s not a race or a competition, it is the static condition that every single person goes through if they have the privilege of surviving childhood. That search doesn’t conclude when you land your dream job or meet the right person or earn a degree. Having the social, economic, and biological resources to do these things by age X doesn’t mean squat.

So who cares what people tell you? There will always be some jackass who will find some way to try to bring you down. Some people will tell you web development isn’t “real” programming. Some people will say your job isn’t as interesting as theirs. Some people will say your teeth aren’t white enough or you’ve got too much body fat or there’s something wrong with your hair. Instead of internalizing these criticisms, you should pity the critic. After all, they are probably just saying or writing these things because they need to hide some less-than-desireable qualities about themselves. And what are you supposed to do about these criticisms anyways? Go back in time?

You’ve brought up the idea of going to college several times now. I’m going to take a solid, unequivocal stance and tell you that you should not go to college. If you did, you would certainly learn some things. You would most definitely gain experience in your computer science classes that are difficult to get anywhere else. But do you know what else you would do? You’d feel like crap every day for being a 25 year old freshman. You shouldn’t, but you would. You’d also have to deal with going to classes before or after work. Many of your classes would be core requirements that you would resent taking because they have nothing to do with programming. You’d be tired, you’d have less money, and you’d spend much less time learning how to code. Worst of all, you’d spend four years slogging through a bunch of steps that might make you feel like you’re doing the right thing, but will leave you thoroughly unsatisfied when it comes time to get a job. You probably won’t retain much of the material because working while in college leaves less time for studying, and IMHO it looks much worse in an interview if you fumble the technical questions AND have a 4 year degree.

You don’t need college to succeed. You. Do. Not. Some places may be less likely to hire you, but try to amortize the time cost of a few interviews that go nowhere versus an entire education that might increase your chances at a job or two. The marginal utility of a degree approaches the same value you’d get from doing exactly what you’re doing.

Look, you’re not a loser. You’re not failing at life. You’re not doing anything wrong. You seem like a smart, cool person who’s passionate about learning a skill that will take you places. So stop fixating on the past and on what other people tell you and focus on your life right now. You’re a success story in the making.


Also, take a look at this

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I’ve been hopping around low paid jobs for the past few years. I currently work at target (shout-out Codefu) and I’m 25 next month. This does feel pretty old to be such a loser.

First of all I’d take any advice with a heavy grain of salt unless you want to be in their position when you’re at their age. Not saying random people can’t give good advice (see: this post, lol) but you don’t want to listen to a person saying you’re not ready to do something that people 7 YEARS YOUNGER THAN YOU are doing en masse.

I’ve heard a lot that, if you’re an adult that wants to get a programming job and you’re out of school, it’s best to learn on your own than to go back (which is why we’re all here) but when it comes to doing something that gets your closer to your goals vs doing nothing (ie lagging while you tell yourself you’re learning to code) then doing something is probably the better choice.

If you hate your position then hate any advice encouraging you to stay there longer.

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Yes, it did. Helping each other out in difficult situations (whether it is coding in the strict sense or the more mundane problems people are struggling with while learning to code) is this forum’s very raison d’être. Keep going!

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Trust me, I understand exactly how you feel. But it doesn’t matter how long it took you to get to where you want to be, what matters is getting there. I m also 25 and I have been learning how to code for a while.At least you have a crappy job; I don’t have any. I think you will do well getting that degree, because you are focused and you already have basic knowledge of CS. Look at the bright side by 30, you will have a degree and probably some projects with years of mastering the art of programming. You can’t give up now, you have come to far.

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I have a bachelors in Computer Information Systems and I worked at a movie theater for minimum wage. My age? 27. As one of the people who posted before me said, it’s all about your portfolio. If I could do it all over I wouldn’t get my degree and focused primarily on coding so that I could have something to show the human resource manager who will be evaluating my employment at x company. I have about 35k in loans and I continue to ask for forbearance. One could say I wasted time considering I graduated high school two years early but I have to believe that those 10 -11 years from high school graduation - now wasn’t a waste of time. Looking back at it I pretty much had it made in the shade considering that my GPA was a 3.8 and my ACT 31 I think and my SAT wasn’t too far off. Yeah, I most likely could have went to harvard because I have three family members that went there but at that time I was thinking about going to an easy university so that I could complete my bachelors degree to get into medical school while being bank rolled by PS with my 5$ poker deposit ( at the time)… Or was it 20$? I forget, I’m getting old but all I know is that it made me a decent living until the DOJ came along with their ban hammer.

Let me be honest, I coded more in my bedroom by MYSELF than in college and highschool combined even with taking c++, visual basic, web programming class. Its all about motivation and hard work. What makes it worth it to me is that I can help nonprofit organizations out on my way to becoming a full stack web developer.

You want a degree? Go apply to a university, get enrolled and I’ll be your personal tutor for your classes as long as it’s not organic chem II or advanced differential equations. Tell me, what does a degree mean when you can’t get a job because you don’t have any “experience” because to me it doesn’t mean much of anything.

Jobs? I’m unemployed since my car broke down.Now, I have to apply for new jobs and list the past experience that I was fired from my previous jobs. Friends? FCC. GF? Left me because I wasn’t “motivated enough” however, she doesn’t want to go to college and prefers to work at Target. Monies? Still have some left from my BTC run and currently manage an investment portfolio for close family members which enables me to make enough just to cover rent and this tethered internet i’m on right now. I could throw in a medical condition I have but it could always be worse. You are here right now at FCC. Just put in the work, complete projects, ??? , profit , and give back when you can :). I’m too tired to type anymore so I leave you with this, stay focused on the challenges, make money to get by, and get a job as a full stack developer by the end of this year.

Now that I think about it… from here on out I’m not going to tell anyone about my bachelors degree and just tell people that I have graduated from highschool and humped a movie theater job until I got fired. I’m going to put that on my resume along with my certificate from FCC ( when I get it and I WILL GET IT THIS YEAR) and see if that bachelors degree really means something because I’m tired of all the idea that you NEED a college degree to get a job.

Note: I’ll make a pledge that if I don’t complete it and have a job by the end of this year, then I’ll keep this post up as my “wall of shame”. BACK TO CODING!

Last note: I originally came to this thread because the congratulatory “Nuclear Launch Detected.” made me chuckle and think back to my days of starcraft broodwar on battlenet and now you end up caused me to write this “WOT” that I’m subsequently binded to. Now i’m really tired and my typos are starting to show lol.


Well, I am not one to easily comment on posts but yours touched me and i will like to just add up a little to what others have said. I left high school in 2007 and did computer maintenance for a year 2008/2009, and then the next year i studied cisco networking and got a cisco CCNA certification (one that i never used till date). I couldn’t tell u the whole story but i did an IT job and i wasn’t happy at all at first I was working full day from morning till 4pm as help desk in an organisation with a good pay according to my countries standard atleast. Ending 2013 I had to quite my job because even after moving my work time from 4pm to 12:30pm for closing time, i still wasn’t happy, totally hated my job it sucked, it was easy you had to go around and fix computers for people and it was just that backups and so on. Early 2014 i decided i will become a programmer not knowing what to do i started studying java, quite my job, with what little savings i had, studying for the first about 6 months and it was tough because i didn’t even know my left from my right, no orientation no nice FCC forum to point me to the right direction. The only good encouragement i got was the each time i started a new pdf or watched a new video, the writer will say programmer is tough but if u stick with it, it will eventually start making sense and so stick with it I did. Until it finally started making sense, then I ran out of funds, then i naturally jumped into web development because i could easily pick up jobs, and people seeing i had IT knowledge started asking me if i could build websites so i figured hmmm, i could build websites and pay my bills. Long story short, today i can program in java, C#, javascript, python, php, sql, html, css and and working with C++ with a host of frameworks. Am here because i want to get the FCC full stack web developer certificates. And yes am working actually have people fighting to employ me and I still haven’t gotten enough experience. and guess what i will turn 30 in May. So come to think about it our life situations are different so don’t let nobody tell you, you can’t do it. I can’t concentrate here because i have lots of projects am working on and my work too is pretty demanding but am having so much fun. So i hope that my story encouraged u. Don’t give up, don’t listen to people unless they are encouraging u and telling u, u can do it, keep up.


Do what you enjoy or passion with, not for the money.

If you feel uncomfortable with your current situation, why don’t you stop it and spend some time on researching what you really want?! It is a really simple thing.

BTW, 25 is young… Too young to be a slaver of money.

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Something else I think hasn’t been said yet: never let money be the source of your happiness! You are not entitled to anything.

Just so it’s clear I’m not wisecracking from a golden bathtub: I’m 32 and have also been working for low wages. It doesn’t bother me, since it has been for a good cause (a non-profit) and a great learning experience.

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Lots of great replies here and I agree with a lot of it - that you should keep this thread up for people in need of inspiration and motivation who may be in a similar place but may not post.

A college degree can be worth it, sure, but I think a bootcamp for your purposes will be better. They’ll teach you what you actually do on the job, so you can skip the general eds and all the other classes that aren’t truly necessary. It’s a shorter time frame (usually 3-6 months) and will cost less compared to a college degree, and there’s aid that can help you finance that. You do need a bit of programming experience beforehand for some, so keep going through the FCC curriculum!

I work in a low-wage job myself at the moment and am also learning to code at the same time, and many others are doing so too as you can see. You got to do what you got to do, so keep that job and make as much time as possible for coding - if you closely track your hours and allocate them, you’ll see that you have more time than you think you do. But don’t cut back on social life and certainly not on sleep - that contributes to depression.

Also, I know you mentioned that you’re making progress with other resources, but I highly recommend you make FCC your focus and do the other resources as well, but that should be second. If you really put all your focus on FCC, you’ll earn the front-end certificate soon, have a pretty decent background in front-end web development, and have a whole portfolio of projects to show, which as mentioned by others, is what employers look for.

Good luck!

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32 here, and I did a low wage job all my life, last 10 years at the same place. They offered me a deal, they would pay me 6 more months and I would get some help with interviews from a professional. I did this, because besides the fact that it was a low wage job, it was destroying me physically. The work hours were bad, and it was heavy as hell. There was not a day the last 5 years I would not have pain in my body somewhere.
My background is highschool, and I never finished college. So my resume is shit. after 3,5 months of the deal I still without a job. I am afraid I will end up at the same type of job in the end, maybe at lower wages. It kinda bugs me how low wages are on these heavy jobs. You see your boss do something you can do as well for much more money and no physical effort, but because you have a shitty resume you will never get that job.
In my opinion, if you are fit to program, you have a decent mental capability. You are able to analyse and solve complex problems. Still its hard to prove that you have this without a decent portfolio to back it up. I finished my calculator project, and nearly finished the pomodoro clock and know that I am capable of a lot. But I feel that for the next couple of years I won’t be able to feel fulfulled at any job I do. The world just never accepted who I am. All they look are certificated and degrees. So its accepting the low wage job, or have nothing at all. And maybe one day, if I keep up progressing my programming I will get a job that pays enough.

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