So, background: I have a Ph.D. in a field which offered me some methodological training in data analysis, including a bit of R, and have programmed my whole life, but the degree is not one of the five or six ones that many jobs often list as essential (mathematics, computer science, etc.). I’m pivoted away from acaemia and toward the software industry. Initially I thought I was going to pay for a boot camp, but so many negative stories drove me to take the self-taught route, and the only way to motivate myself is to work on projects that I’m interested in and I think have potential. As a researcher, I’m interested in finding answers in data, and I’ve been advised that the Ph.D. is probably less dead weight (and student loans) in data science than it is in web/software development.
Anyway I asked a question on Quora and a senior developer posted almost in a rage at my “lack of focus,” at the idea that I would pursue both data science and general software development at the same time before I “had been in the industry 10 years” (in ten years I’ll be 42 going on 43 and I don’t even want to contemplate that). I just want to learn coding and become employable in a way that gives me a portfolio that actually interests me, and I can clearly see in my own mind how I can link the data side of things with web apps, maybe even some offline/Electron/etc. apps. I really don’t want to have to take a bet “am I more employable as a data scientist or as a software developer down the line” and I don’t want to pigeonhole myself, but I do really, really want to become employable.