I feel ready to apply for jobs - but I could use a push


I will attempt be brief, I am a self-taught programmer with 2 unrelated BAs. I formerly worked in media.

About 3 years ago I started learning through various resources, and I completed the bulk of the FCC materials at that time. I developed the projects as well as a few websites for practice.

After this, I moved into react-native and I developed a simple iPhone app, which I was able to use to get a professional consulting gig which lasted around 6 months - I left of my own choice.

After this I moved abroad to teach English and mathematics. While there, I was quickly hired by the English company and ended up designing and developing a cross-platform mobile application for the teaching company, which is now being used on a daily basis by 30-50 individuals and has several cool functions.

At present time, I am in the process of developing an app for another school here, which will be quite a large project, and the cool thing about this one is it will be in Russian when it is finished. (I came here to learn Russian, and would consider myself to be conversationally fluent now on a good day.)

I’m also knowledgeable about web dev, including React, VueJS and the MEAN stack, and I’ve used C# and done some database related work, but don’t dip into this on a daily basis anymore.

Currently, I’m pursuing a masters in Human Computer Interaction.

I’m really interested in development work and I want this to be my career, but as I’m more of a learned and terrible at self-marketing and assessment, I’m wondering what the outsider prospective on this would be? I give 100%, but I have a tendency to be extremely self-critical.

In particular, I’m keen on remote work. I realize from my research the challenges of finding such a position, but I know it is possible. Currently, remote work is my only viable option due to personal commitments outside of work. I realize that I may not have the traditional “experience” but I also think I can demonstrate some pretty cool aspects.

Any advice at all would be appreciated.

Hello @richardturnerdevelop,
It seems that you have a lot of development knowledge.
Did you licence your app for the English company to use? You could get a licence agreement and receive payments for their use.

No, I did not. To be frank, I’m not sure what that is. I was paid a one-time fee, which was quite low, but I figured it would be great experience to develop for an international company and even better that I was the sole developer and my app is being used everyday.

You have two degrees, a lot of “nontraditional” experience of the kind that people like to see, and a plethora of hard experience in app development with modern frameworks. So yeah, consider this a hard push. Finding remote work is easy; finding decent paying remote work of the kind you’re cut out for is not. I would suggest networking, especially with freelancers and independent app developers.

Also, have you considered selling mobile apps? Even if it doesn’t make you much cash, it’s phenomenal marketing for yourself.

Thank you for the response. I’ve considered selling them yes, I’m trying to turn that into a reliable source of income/experience, what ever it may be. Until I have some more reliable form of employment, it’s not such a priority. Where would you suggest networking? I’m of course, open to this.

Of course, a decent paying job is the goal, but I have a search time of approx. 4-5 months to try and secure something like this.

It sounds like you have more than enough experience to get a decent paying job. I would just put together a portfolio site, github and resume, if you haven’t already, and start applying to as many remote jobs as possible. You have nothing to lose.

I’m not sure what I should put in such a portfolio - I could put in some FCC projects and the apps. I have a github which I use for version control for these apps, but they are private. I have the reusme as well. Thank you for your response @DouglasDev.

Yes I would definitely put in the mobile apps you’ve written, and include some screenshots and info about the development process and functionality of the apps, and a download link, assuming that they are publicly available. I would only add the FCC projects if you feel that they are polished/complex enough to impress potential employers. Even if your projects on github are private, it’s still useful since github shows the number of commits you’ve made in the past year, and a high number of commit demonstrates that you are hard working and have some experience.

The company would pay you on a monthly / annual basis (depending on the duration of the licence) to have permission to use the app(s). I suppose it’s similar to a subscription. I’m not a fan of subscriptions for end-users, but being as the company is ‘international’, it should be able to pay a reasonable fee.

Right now, I am learning php to develop a specific CMS. When it’s done, each branch of the organisation could pay me a reasonable fee to use the service.

Self-marking isn’t easy, it requires people to talk about themselves, in a positive light, while not really mentioning any negative parts. For some people this is really hard. The easiest way to self market is simple, don’t market yourself, market what you’ve done, and how you did.

The truth is most employers don’t really care much about as long as you can work with others, and do the job. Since you already have a job where you work with others, I’m sure that side of things is covered.

The other side is if you can do the job your applying for, and it sounds like you already are doing development work, and meeting the demands software wise. So essentially, you already have a set of skills, put them to use, built something people use and are still learning more relevant technologies.

You sound ready, heck your technically already in a “dev” job from all looks of it.

The main thing I can see being a little tougher is proving you can work remotely effectively. If you current work has you working remotely and you work just fine, then good you should be fine. If you never have worked remotely for any significant amount of time, I suggest you make sure you know how to be and stay productive while doing such. Not all companies hire remotely, so this brings down the potential job offers, but they are out there. You will just have to find them :slight_smile:

Good luck! :smile: