I'm a musician switching career and I need help

Hi there,

My story is sort of unusual and I’m afraid that it might be putting recruters off.

I am 28 and got a bachelor’s degree in computer networks 7 years ago, after what I decided to have a shot at the music industry. I built a decently popular music project out there and I wrote music for games every now and then, but the social pressure and financial stress of being a freelance in the music industry recently started to put me off.

So I made a big decision to switch to development and keep the music career as more of a hobby and side-project thing. But I feel like my online presence is so big that recruiters don’t even try with me when they google my name and see a lot of activity with my musician profile.

I recently got an interview for a React Native position, which would have been great for me, but most of the questions actually revolved around if I was available and “how my next album is going” (he actually asked this, and it’s obviouly a trap). I am currently 100% focused on web development and don’t even have any music work, but it is really hard to prove.

Any people having similar experiences switching career and getting that first, transition job? Any tips?

Thank you!


Sounds to me like you need an online development portfolio that overshadows your online music presence.

You could also apply for remote jobs with companies who are in countries that may never have heard of you.

There is something that I am not sure to get. Why even bother to ask you to come for an interview if they will not hire you anyway? So, I tend to think that they are somehow interested in your profile.

Did you explain yourself honestly about why you want to get a developer job?

I do not see anything wrong with your reasons. We all need financial stability.

But yes, you may need to show how serious you are as a developer and that you are better at it than in music. You have a professional level in music and you make a living with it. You have to show that you are a true professional as a web developer to make a living with it, too.

Anyway, keep pushing! :slight_smile:

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Switching careers can be hard but it is very much possible. Just keep pushing. Show the employers that you are serious about working as a web developer. As @JaceyBennett mentioned you can try applying for remote jobs to get experience and show that your capable but I should also mention, don’t always wait for someone to hire you whether that’s from a freelance gig and permanent job. Do as many of your own personal projects as you can. This really does show to the potential employers that you are passionate in what you’re doing.

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Reading this, I don’t see it as as a trap. I think it’s more of a curiosity from them, maybe the HR is thinking “finally… someone who is not a “gamer” and have a life outside of programming!” LOL.

When they interview, they also profile for personality fit. I think just present yourself as professional as possible, friendly, easy to get along.

Also, create more projects, beyond the simple Game of Life, or Calculator. Work on complete website projects. Looking at your portfolio page, you seem to have an eye for design and aesthetics – something which lots of coders don’t have. So try to use that as an advantage to separate yourself from the rest of the coder pack.

PS: Saw the youtube video. Haha I dig it. It’s like Instrumental-Heavy Metal-Electronic Dance music.

PS2: It’s well known there is a high correlation between programmers, and electronics and also being musicians (amateur, garage bands, or professionally speaking). Just check out google for lots of papers, articles, discussion about the subject.


@remigallego I will suggest to focus on the FreeCodeCamp portfolio and assisting code events look there for web development careers. I just landed my first Job as software developer this week, I am 32. I wrote my story here https://medium.com/@techednelson/how-i-became-a-web-developer-got-an-google-udacity-scholarship-and-land-my-first-software-3503d8cb6af7


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That music is awesome btw :ok_hand:

I don’t necessarily think it is a trap! I am switching from a well established career in the construction industry and also in my spare time breed little shetland ponies.The ponies are ALWAYS bought up :sweat_smile: Its just a good ice breaker I think between myself and the employer, and they want to see what makes you “tick” if you like!

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Wow, that interview actually didn’t go as bad as I thought it did. Just got a mail for the recruiter, and I’m in! I got the job! I’m now a React Native developer I guess. :slight_smile:
Thanks guys, and thank you FreeCodeCamp!



This is now the best FCC forum thread ever!

Good luck in the new job.

Congrats on the new job!

and hope you still keep on making your music… because nobody else will.

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Congrats on the job!

I wanted to put in my $0.02 on the album interview question:

Hiring and interviewing are long, tedious, boring processes. If a candidate happens to have anything interesting about them, it’s a wonderful thing. “Finally! We can talk about something other than jobs and interviewing and this whole hiring process that has punched my spirit in the gut!”

If the interviewer brings up the detail, it’s a good thing. Something about you stood out to them, so much so that they wanted to talk to you about it, and standing out in a sea of candidates is hard. If they talk to you about this something, they’re more likely to feel a stronger connection to you and feel as though they got a chance to get to know you. It’s huge bonus points for you because they’ll be able to better evaluate your fit and if you’re someone they would want to work with. Otherwise, those are hard things to evaluate in a candidate.


Nuthin’ but net. applause Gives some of us aging print designers some hope.

That’s true, I think at the time I was too nervous to take it as something positive. But hey, turns out I got the job, so I most likely was wrong thinking he was trying to set up a trap question. He just cares about what I’m doing other than going to job interviews, which is great! :smile:

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Congratulations on the job!

Back around 2012/13 I saw you headline The Boilerroom in Guildford with Hacktivist supporting haha. You are a huge talent musically and I really loved the record you had out around that time. Seriously that was a big achievement and something really interesting to take forward with you. I’d be really interested in hearing about how you got on in the new job man, please keep us posted.

Hiring and interviewing are long, tedious, boring processes. If a candidate happens to have anything interesting about them, it’s a wonderful thing. … Something about you stood out to them, so much so that they wanted to talk to you about it, and standing out in a sea of candidates is hard.

Yeah, I agree that that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve had a weird path myself music -> tech -> must -> trying to break into web dev. When I interviewed at Intel all those years ago, I explicitly remember one of my interviewers loving that I was a musician. He felt it meant I would have creative solutions. As I interview for web dev, I sometimes get similar reactions. One guy also had a masters in music so we talked about how that was a good thing in some ways.

But I agree, you need to make sure they don’t think your loyalty is divided. I’ve made it clear that I want to transition and want gigging to be a weekend hobby. I always cringe when people post their resumes/portfolios and at the top is says Web Develop/Comic Book Artist/DJ/Dog Walker. Uhhh? Are you really committed. I saw one where “web developer” was listed last. I just try make it clear what my intentions are. I do mention music since it has been such a part of my work history and I do have an MA in it, but I try to make it clear what my focus is now.

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