Looking for specific career advice

Hello all,

My name is Bella. I have a software degree but then ended up working in a bank for 11 years as a financial service representative. But coding was always something I was good at in college and my passion for problem solving has made me decide to switch my career to software.

My problem is that I do have a CS degree but no work experience in this industry. I am also currently working and I don’t want to quit my job to attend a bootcamp/college. I have started with a few courses on Python and working my way towards finishing it but have no idea what to study next.

I thought I would search for qualifications for a junior developer role on indeed but most of them require experience and ask for expertise in so many languages/concepts that I am getting confused. How can I get started at an entry level job in this industry with my current skills and I can keep learning/updating myself on new concepts on the job or on the side?

What I know :

C
C++
Python (in progress)
HTML, CSS & JavaScript (in progress on freecodecamp)
A little knowledge of algorithms and problem solving

If someone can give me advice on the steps I need to take to make me job ready, I would appreciate it.

Hey Bella,

nice to meet you! :wave:

Look out for the companies you want to work for. Find their niches and which implementation details (e.g. programming languages) are the biggest ones in this niche/field (e.g. Python in Data Science). Connect to people who work in this company and in your desired position and research (e.g. on Linkedin) what they are good at and their journey.

hey Bella
I know exactly your situation, I graduated with a degree in CS and was stuck in human resources administrative work for 8 years.
I am currently learning web dev from scratch, and luckily landed a position in coding which helps being exposed.
the trick is to go through a track and not feel overwhelmed. For example, the first time I heard of bootstrap I freaked out, but a few weeks later it seemed manageable.
I am personally learning the basics, no frameworks.
a big help is to build an actual project (no matter how small) my personal website looks like a page from the 90s but I am happy with it and adding my knowledge piece by piece.
I discovered a very important thing," the energy to keep going and hoping you will succeed is IMMENSE" and that energy will help along the way.
code happily and enjoy what you do and also BEST OF LUCK.

What part of your CS degree did you enjoy the most? Did you love getting down there at the machine language level? Did a well designed database soothe your soul? Did you prefer making interactive software with buttons and widgets? Update and refresh your knowledge in the area you like best. You already have the “broad” bit from school, so I suggest going “deep” into an area of interest.

C and C++ haven’t really changed since you learned them in school, but if they were your faves, brush up on them and start working on projects. The web has changed a lot in the last 11 years though, and many of the languages we learned for UIs (like Java and mobile device languages) are being encroached upon by the JavaScript family.

My take is that companies that use C and C++ are very specific. Banks, hospitals, and governments. You would find that internet ad tech companies that do exchanges are big on low-level C programs too. Generally those companies recruit on campus for entry-level positions. Like others said, you need to hustle to find ways to personally connect to someone to get a shot. For sure you would need a cover lever on those types of job applications.

Python these days mostly are used in data science jobs. If you want to go that route, definitely do one of the numerous free courses online about data science. There are many good ones.

HTML, CSS, and Javascript are web development technologies, and many companies use them. The benefit is that you can find lots of volunteering opportunities for these technologies, whereas no one is going to let you volunteer on their production C app that requires millisecond precision over their competitors.

TLDR - This depends on what you like and want to do. If you work at a bank already, I would try to leverage that. You can contact the HR at your bank to see what they know. If you have other friends who work at banks, ask if they can let you contact their HR. Entry level jobs asks the candidate to be eager and love problem solving and learning new things. If you can demonstrate those things, and stay gritty in the face of rejections, you can do it. Good luck.