I got a job, but what to do now?

Hi everyone! I will try and make this as short as possible, but would love an input on what I should do career-wise. I will start in the very very beginning so that there is a clear idea on where I am currently at and where I would like to be at.

A couple years ago, I was working a Municipal Government job, very physically demanding (labourer job) but paid enough to cover bills and mortgage. Originally this was my career till retirement (Currently 29 yrs old). I got involved in a car accident which resulted in me taking time away from work to recover. After receiving pressure from my work to return back, I made the most difficult decision of my life to leave the job completely and dedicate my time to recover from my injuries and find another job that doesn’t involve breaking my back.

I came across freecodecamp as a means to learn web development and get a headstart in the dev field. I worked on the program and excelled all the way up until Javascript. I started slowing down and became more and more unmotivated as I got deeper into it. Eventually I went from working on FCC every day, to every other day, to once a week. And decided to try and apply for jobs based on what I learned so far, hoping it’ll inch me towards FCC again. After about 6 months of applying for jobs non-stop I finally landed a job as a Development Support/ Quality Analyst for a video game company.

The job is full-time and i’m essentially a QA tester and all that good stuff. Now my end goal is to become a Software Engineer and hopefully get a work visa to be eligible to work in the States (i’m in Canada) but I have absolutely no idea how to do that. I currently am not working on FCC due to me not having any time nor energy to work on it after a full day shift. I’m about 3.5 months into this job and things are going good but I want to move up and earn my stripes to become a Developer even. I am wondering if someone can help me achieve that goal?

I know this type of job is extremely lucrative, the tech industry is booming and I see a lot of jobs desperately seeking junior devs, but typically require bachelors or years of experience (which I do not have) I also do not know how to build programs or work on anything honestly. The fact that I said in my resume that I was knowledgeable in CSS, HTML, and Java was enough to land me this job. So I’m wondering based on the information I provided, what should I do in order to progress?

Thank you so much and I hope I placed my subject and topic of discussion in the right category if not, please correct me :slight_smile: thank you so much!

Hi @Sherif123 !

I can’t really give you advice on the visa part because I am based in the states.
But here are my thoughts on the dev part of this conversation.

Now that you are working in a tech role and surrounded by other developers, take advantage of that.

Pick their brains about the industry, have 1 on 1’s with them, do some pair programming with them on side projects you are working on.
Your co workers can be a huge asset for you in this transition period.

I love collaborating with my coworkers and they have helped me level up and provide insights into this industry.

You never know where building connections with coworkers will lead. :slight_smile:

What works for me is to take breaks after work and just do a little bit in the evening.
It can be as little as 45 minutes.
That adds up over time.
Don’t feel pressured to do 4+ hours of programming.
And there might be days, where you are just not feeling it which is completely normal.

The important thing is to develop some sort of consistency, even if it is a little bit each day.

As for the actual job hunt itself, I would suggest getting plugged into tech twitter, and other programming communities.
When you are plugged into a community, you will learn about some cool opportunities and some companies to just stay away from.

If you build up some connections in this industry and let them know you are trying to switch over to a developer role, they might put you in touch with someone at that company and help you land an interview.

Hope that helps!

That’s incredible! Thank you so much :slight_smile: I was following this guy on Tik Tok who is also a self-taught developer, and I had asked him somewhat of a similar question in regards to what I should do to transition to a dev role.

The answer I received was to apply for other jobs outside the gaming industry because gaming developers are different than the typical software developers. Now i’m not expert but I would assume that what this guy was saying was somewhat right?

I want your intake on that haha

I also read some reviews on the company I work for and people have complained that there isn’t much room for growth. Although I can ask Software Developers questions, I can’t really dedicate time outside my scope of work to do 1 on 1s with the devs. I can only ask questions really lol

I haven’t heard one positive thing about the gaming industry.
It doesn’t seem to be a very stable long term plan because the industry seems so volatile.

Looking for jobs in web dev would be a better plan for sure.

I really appreciate your time in answering my questions! One last question if I may. If you were in my shoes and had 3.5 months of experience in the dev support, but want to move up in an industry away from gaming, should I start applying for jobs as of now? Or build experience so I can have that under my belt and THEN apply? I feel stuck but I don’t want to be stuck lol

There a guy who’s the Area Lead Manager in my dept, he mentioned he got a degree in computer science and was going to move to Software Dev but he felt stuck and decided to make this gaming job a lifelong career. I don’t want to fall under the same boat as him.

I would personally stay on the job till the 6-8 month mark unless it is a really toxic environment where you have to leave now.

That will give you some time to polish your projects, prepare for technical interviews, etc.

But I would start researching some good job companies in your area now and make a list.
Then if something really good pops up, you could go for it.

You solved your problem already and didnt notice: you need to find time to learn. Im also tired after my job, and i cant imagine learning to code from scratch with a full time job. Good luck. After learning the tech, If you befriend the right people at the company, and there isn’t too much bureaucracy, you might be able to haggle your way into picking up tickets. You could even start asking if thats even a possibility now to figure if its worth the effort learning their specific tech stack.