Career Prospects for Rural Developers

Hey, everyone! This is my first post here on the forums. Nice to meet you all!

I’m curious about the viability of getting a job as a junior web developer in rural America. (The Midwest, specifically) The closest “tech hub” near me is Ann Arbor, as I’m based in Michigan. This would be roughly an hour commute to and from work. Is remote work as a junior developer out of the question?

Of course, I know that anything is possible, but perhaps some veterans could chime in with their sage knowledge. Thanks in advance!

Hi, welcome to the forums. It’s not out of the question to get remote work at all, but if you want to be a software developer you have to be serious.

If you don’t have experience, be prepared to have a lot of portfolio projects that you know inside and out. For web dev, learn commonly used enterprise technologies such as ASP.NET and WordPress that may not be flashy but will get you a job. Look at job postings and the technologies they want you to know; if you don’t know one, study it very hard and if you can, make a project out of showing off what you learned.

At the same time, go meet people. You need to network, and by that I mean going to job fairs and hiring events at Michigan whenever you can. Ask the recruiters what they’re looking for. Sign up for hackathons there, too. Follow people on LinkedIn, go to seminars and meetups, and reach out to people that have the jobs you want so they can guide you in a specific direction (and be specific about what you want so you can get good at it).

Lastly, you need to be prepared to sacrifice. You need to spend hours every day learning new skills and applying them to your portfolio. You also need to spend hours every day applying to jobs and calibrating your goals towards the future you want. Always follow up on your applications and ask for feedback when you get denied even if they ignore you. Be ready to make that hour commute and maybe even relocate to a better job market.

You have to be completely open to losing, being rejected, and never feeling good enough. It might take so long and be so difficult that you feel like just giving up and getting a “normal” job like everybody else. But when you make it, wherever you make it, you’ll be in one of the most lucrative, rewarding, and incredible careers in the world.

Believe in yourself, apply wherever you can, code every day, and never stop trying. Start right now!!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to write this stellar answer!

Currently, I’m working on online courses and learning the prerequisite skills for applying to web development jobs. While I’m confident in my abilities, I know that there is a lot that I still need to learn in order to begin applying. I’m also aware that many people in this field suffer from imposter syndrome, so I’m also curious about how I might know when to start applying.

Your post has really motivated me in my journey. Thanks again!

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