Hello everyone! It is my first topic on this forum, even though I have been here for a while. I have no idea where to start, so let me write something about my current position.
I am in my very late 20s’ (28 now), Polish citizen, with Automotive Technician degree from high school and English Language and Literature BA degree plus TESOL certificate as I work as an English teacher at a university. Computers and technical stuff were always my cup of tea, but programming not necessarily. I did some simple programming as a kid but quickly lost my hope as I am not very good at Maths. After graduating from high school I did some very low paid jobs for a short time and meanwhile, I have started my BA degree to improve my English. During my university times, I went to Turkey as a part of a students exchange programme and even though this country was never my dream country I somehow settled down here for nearly 8 years so far, I have a quite decent life. I can afford some basic stuff like saving some money, investing a little, having a car, motorcycle, nice apartment with a nice view, holiday 3 times a year, no credits, debts etc. For many people, it is a pure definition of being a “loser ESL teacher abroad”, for others it’s a decent life that I have no right to complain about it.
My job is not bad, I have a lot of time for myself and I even like it but the thing is that I don’t want to do it anymore. After some time, you realise that you basically always talk about the same grammar rules over and over again, people see you as a “loser” who couldn’t find a proper job in his country, and I know that it will only get worse since my salary is not going to be much higher, I have almost no future and possibilities of finding a job in EU countries and I don’t feel satisfied with it.
This feeling started many years ago, since that time I have been constantly thinking what can I do in my life, what kind of skill to acquire, work on it, move back to my country or other EU country and don’t feel like a “loser” anymore. Programming was on my mind for a long time, and this website was one of the places where I have started ( I am about to finish Front-end libraries certificate now). Tried many different courses, and technologies. I have built some Arduino projects, published Android app, created and deployed a few “full-stack” websites and did a lot of other smaller things. Sometimes I feel like I am on a right track, I invest my time into a valuable skill which can grant me a good job in the future, satisfaction and respect from people.
However, on the other hand, time is passing it will be nearly 3 years since I have started learning myself web development, and still, I get stuck at very simple problems here and there. I am almost 30, have no CS degree nor experience, I am definitely not genius and most probably I will never be even a really good programmer, in the best case just get good enough to find a job. Moreover, I also hear about many people who are a bit younger than me, much more disciplined and talented, have great portfolios and still, they struggle to find a job. Current situation made it even worse, just got recovered from coronavirus recently. I was also considering taking a Bootcamp or even trying to find a university that will let me make my MA degree in something related to CS. Maybe I am just chasing a “dream” that is never going to become true?
Programming at first looked like a dream job, you create something from nothing, help others, it seems like it is much easier and logical to teach computers to do something than humans. The more I dive into the topic, the more things appear on the way, it is like never-ending road. There are millions of “success” stories about people who taught themselves how to code within a few months and found a well-paid job, everything in less than a year. I know even one person like that, she used to be an English teacher as an expat here in Turkey like me, took a Bootcamp in Canada and works at a software company right now, as a front-end developer. On the other hand, when I read some post on this forum and listen to some people it seems like winning on a lottery. Moreover, when you are just a self-learner like me, there is no time, money nor environment pressure what makes it even more difficult to get focused.
What I have tried to say is that I have invested quite a lot of time, hoping that it can be a good time maybe even money investment in the future. Something that will make me feel satisfied and give many opportunities in the future. However, truth doesn’t look so inspiring, as there are so many young guys with their CS degrees, and situation on the market is not good neither. Maybe it is time to face the truth and just give it up, or keep it just a fun hobby and nothing else? Are there any other “ESL teachers” who managed to switch their careers to programming or are on their way?