This is a copy of a post I left on Reddit, and I want to note first that almost all of what I’m saying here doesn’t apply to the forums here at fCC. This has been the most welcoming and helpful environment I’ve found yet. Still, the question persists…
Sorry if the following sounds a bit melodramatic. I’m not trying to post a sob story, but I do feel like I’m on the brink of tears. Please bear with me.
I’m learning to code online. I started in HS and have come back to it a few times. I have a decent grasp of the concepts, and I know that I need to keep working on new projects and learning. This isn’t my problem.
The problem I have is that the question “How do I get a coding job without a degree?” is answered across the internet with one resounding answer: networking. As in, personal networking. “Get your name out there and get known!” But that’s the extent of it. This is a skill that I have lacked my entire life. I am an extremely introverted person, and most of the time when I do post something on the internet (pick a social media or forum) it’s generally met with either waves of toxicity or simple links to other, perhaps slightly more specific, social media platforms.
I have no experience. I have no jobs to list in the last ten years (disabled) to put on a resume. So, I guess at this point, I’m hitting what I’ve heard referred to as “the plateau”. I understand that it’s a slog, and I have to just keep working my way through it. But, I feel like I’m going the wrong direction. It doesn’t matter how complex a system I may be able to code up, if Johnny, CEO of Big Bad Co. doesn’t know my name, I’m never going anywhere. I have very few “friends” outside the house I live in, and none of them have any idea what a for loop is.
So, to wrap up: I know I need to get out of my shell (toughen up, buttercup) and not take things people say online so hard, but how am I supposed to make “friends” in the tech community when no one seems willing to be friendly?
Specific questions about code can get answers sometimes (i.e. “Why does ‘while(a > 1) a++;’ produce an infinite loop?”) if you’re willing to brave StackOverflow. But, things like “Hey, how is everyone?” on Discord or “Anybody looking for help with a project?” on… anything, really, are generally met with silence, at best.
Still, despite personal experience, I keep hearing about how friendly the tech community is supposed to be, which only serves to reinforce the idea that I must be doing something wrong.