Is it really worth it?

So I’m trying out coding… Again. I’m 34yo and when I graduated HS I understood Java, MyQSL, HTML, CSS, and PHP. I was learning Javascript. Then real life smacked me upside the head and now, 17 years and about $65k in student debt later, I have no degree, no job (disabled as of a few years ago), and no hardware but the phone I’m typing this on.

I’ve wanted to be a system developer since HS. It’s the closest thing I’ve ever had to a “dream” (to work for google or the like) and it fits my personality type like a glove. I keep trying. And failing.

So here I am trying again. I just finished the Cat Photo App tutorial. It took several hours for what rightfully should have been maybe 30min of work. Doing this on my phone is slow and tedious.

So the question, after all the complaining, is: is it really worth it? Are there actually opportunities out there for someone like me? Should I even bother?

Life has taught me that trying to do this on my own only leads to a depressive spiral that does more harm than good, so that opens another question: how do you find people in similar positions? I very rarely leave my house (never much reason to), and I’ve never been a very social person.

They say you have to have passion, talent, and networking (human not IT lol) skills to make it in this industry. I don’t know if I have any of those.

So, TL;DR - Is it even worth it to try when all you have is a phone and a wall to bang your head on?


Doing software development on a phone is unpleasant and difficult, in my experience.

There are jobs out there for self taught developers. I can’t say if it is worth the work for you personally since I am not you.

Get a laptop or computer if you can. Maybe a friend or family member has a spare computer or even a tablet kicking around that you can borrow for a bit. Check online marketplaces like Facebook, Kijiji etc for used or refurbished computers.

The very first computer I purchased for myself after deciding I wanted to try this coding thing out was from an IT guy on Facebook who refurbished old computers and it cost me $80 for the desktop, monitor, keyboard and mouse. It wasn’t a great machine by any means but it was 1000x better than coding on a phone

In the meantime… Check out Mimo. It’s a much better tool for learning to code if you’re confined to a smart phone:

If you know that you love the sort of work, then yes!

It’s worth it in so many ways:

  • If you enjoy it, you get to be like 1% of people who actually enjoy the work they do every day.
  • You’ll probably be paid pretty good. (in North America, at least the national average on the low-end, 1/4 to a million/year on the highest most extreme ends)
  • You’ll have the option to work for yourself as a consultant or freelancer if you want to.
  • You will have the skills to build your own products or services if you want to (more working for yourself).
  • All this “should we work from home or in the office” nonsense is mostly moot as tech was already quite progressive in terms of WFH/Hybrid options long before the pandemic and will continue those trends long after.
  • You get to play with computers all day.

Thank you. I have been trying to get a computer of some kind. I know that will be a major step. And thanks for the link, any resources are definitely appreciated.

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Here are my two cents: I am changing careers. My background is in foreign languages. Before I started any coding, there were some boxes that needed to be checked: Do I enjoy this kind of work? If so, what will my progress be like: is the ROI positive? Now I have to have to set some deadlines, etc. Set some goals for yourself, then you’ll have some objective standards to base your decisions on since feelings can flux a lot.


If you have a local public library, you can also go there to use the computers. (Even though you don’t like getting out much, it will be better than your phone. Plus, they may have other resources to teach you coding)


Maybe you can create a post on a site like Craigslist explaining your situation; ask if anyone would be willing to donate a laptop/desktop. Sometimes people have old hardware laying around or they’ve just bought a new piece of equipment and would be glad to help out.


I just want to say good luck Jtryon. Keep trucking. I just started coding yesterday , and have fallen in love with it and the community around it. I believe in you. It’s something you really want to do, so keep trying!

I want to say thank you to everyone that has replied here. I’ve made similar posts on other sites in the past and received very few helpful replies. I took everyone’s advice and started asking people. For some reason the idea of asking someone to just give me a computer never occurred to me. (“They’re so expensive! Why would anyone just give one away?”)

A few days ago, my roommate found an old computer of his mother’s that she no longer wanted. So, I am writing this post on an HP All-in-One running Windows 7 x86 with 2GB of RAM. And I’ve never been happier. It does everything I really need it to do, and I’ve been obsessed with it since I got it.

I’m a very introverted person, so I don’t reach out like that very often. Even writing this is really out of character for me, but I feel like it’s important. (Get out of my bubble) So, again, thank you, everyone for your support. I plan to make an honest try at this, and maybe by this time next year, I’ll actually be working. fingers crossed


Good job. Keep your eye on that brass ring.

Please join local meetup as well community / NGO which is doing some good things for others. This will help you to boost your confidence level to achieve your goal.

For me money = freedom, developer job pays you really well and you can use that money for good of others as well yourself as well.

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@Jtryon I highly recommend you to read below 3 books which helped me personally during my low time and I refer to them time to time


Hey I’m totally in the same boat of “trying to learn, hoping this career choice is good for me, failed a few times, need this to work out” . I learned HTML CSS etc. when I was in high school and I struggled through the cat photo app tutorial (just finished yesterday). I don’t have much advice to give but I’m rooting for you! I don’t have many friends in tech (or at all) but I’m trying to find a discord or something that will help me find people that share the same interests around me.

You got this! It’s hard and annoying at times but you got this!

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