No idea what I'm doing, need some direction

I love this site. I really do. I’m 25 years old and I knew nothing about coding when I started a few weeks ago. Like many of you on these forums, I’m completely broke, which is one of the reasons I came to this site in the first place. Someone told me about the opportunity in coding, both financially and creatively, and I was immediately intrigued, maybe even slightly obsessed.

I’m a full-time musician. I play in a bar band, a wedding band, a friend’s original band, my own original band, and have my own solo acoustic thing going pretty steady. Music is my passion and I don’t want to stop doing it for the world. This is one reason I was so fascinated by learning code and getting a job in this field, I met a guy who does it in the van when he’s on tour. He works his own hours from home, or wherever he might be that day, and doesn’t have to put down the guitar for his career. I didn’t think to ask at the time exactly what his job was or what company he worked for, assuming he doesn’t just do freelance work, but I knew that I wanted to do what he was doing…somehow…

Is this dream possible? If so, how do I go about getting started, besides finishing FCC? Where do I go after this, what job title do I put into google, what kind of credentials will employers look for, does FCC go very far on a resume or do I need to go to school, and, finally, how much money can I expect to make?

I know this is a long post with a lot of questions but I really need some direction. Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer some help.

I think what you are looking for is Freelancer positions.

You don´t need to go to school to make a living from coding but, I think making a living from Freelacing its going to take you more effort and time than just finding a job in the industry as the majority of people are looking for…

To be honest there are more jobs nowdays in development positions that are not the tipical 40hrs a week, including remote positions and just 20-30hours a week (at least in several european countries, dont know where you are from).

FCC + Making full projects on your own (websites/Apps) is all you need to land a job or get the enough skills to get your “dream” possible. But just have in mind that the remote/freelancing positions will be the most challenging to apply for. (not saying is not possible, I´m just saying that if you can land a normal job after 1 year, remote position probably will take the double of effort, just because its a more priviliged position and you are expected to know really well what you are doing).

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So heres the thing, FCC isn’t really a full course of any sort. It is more of reference material as it doesn’t dive deep into why things are the way they are on a website.
But it is really useful in honing your abilities and the projects are useful to test your skills.

Investing in a proper course actually goes a long way, I do recommend as I have learnt a great deal through their interactive courses.
Use FCC as a supplement material alongside it and you will be making superb sites in no time at all.

As for job title it all depends on what you decide to do… You can google the different types of developers but there are 3 main types:
Front-end developers: Who mainly deal with the UX design and everything you see on a website
Back-end developers: Who mainly deal with server side portion of websites like databases.
Full stack developer: Does both back end and front end.

As a developer, employers look mainly at previous projects and works you have done before than any degree or certificates. Convince them of your talents and you can easily find a job, the market potential is high as more and more business are now going online than ever before.

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Your dream IS possible! The way I know that is because many other people are doing it as we speak. It’s not like you have to reinvent the wheel and do something no other person has done, or even only a select few have done. Take your friend you mentioned as an example.

Like you, I also come from an artsy background (novelist), and I want an engaging career that will prosper me financially, and also allow me to practice my craft. Once I started coding, I was hooked! Not only do I enjoy the challenge, I’ve discovered more inspiration for my writing somehow. I now have the confidence that I’ll possess highly marketable skills that will take care of me and my art.

You have LOTS of options. If you’re looking for just any job ASAP, FCC is probably the bulk of what you need, based on the posts I’ve read in this forum.

I would suggest to start with the type of role you’d like to do. Pretty much any software role will have opportunities for remote work. Choose what you want to do, then learn the coding languages associated with that role.

For example, I’m interested in Android development. FCC has given me a great foundation, but I’m also going to need to learn Android studio (which I’ve already started), Java, and likely Kotlin. is a great free resource for learning specific languages and tools. When I was struggling with FCC’s JavaScript curriculum, I used Udacity and to supplement it, and the different perspectives helped me tremendously!

LaunchCode might also be of use to you. I don’t know what city/country you’re in, but they provide a nice blueprint depending on which path you decide to take (frontend, backend, mobile) to prepare you for a job. If you can’t access on-site their resources, they have lists of other free online resources to help you.

Some sites that may be helpful to you when it comes time to job hunt: (my husband has successfully used this site)

How much can you expect to make? That will depend on your job, but pretty much anything in software will afford you a decent, comfortable living. Generally (though keep in mind there will be overlaps), the front end pays the least but will offer you more creative tasks (website design, UX/UI, etc). The backend usually pays more, but it sounds like the day-to-day tasks may be more monotonous (like maintaining databases, for example). Full stack development requires knowledge of both roles, and so requires more skills and training, but it pays the best - you can easily get to six figures, if not pretty darn close.

Mobile development is going to be similar to full stack, both in that it will require more training, and in that it’s quite lucrative.

Check the US Dept of Labor’s site to research expected salaries and job/industry growth: (If you’re not in the US, see if you can find your government’s site, or some other authority site.)

Most importantly, YOU GOT THIS!!!

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In a word, @jennifermck Jennifer response is awesome! There is no reason to demotivate yourself. I believe, to success in IT sector needs passion, working hard and can do attitude. Of course you must work hard. Hope, you are ready to work hard. Best Of Luck.

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It is possible, but I think you have to ground your expectations.

Software development is a full-time job, a lot of times, hours required could exceed full-time. Just because you work remotely or have flexible hours, doesn’t mean it is not mentally demanding or time-consuming.

You still have to co-operate with the people that do work normal hours, which means you still have to operate reasonable hours, otherwise, it’s going to be tough to get work done. You still have to be available at a reasonable time, and you have to be able to deliver on deadlines. Your responsibilities also increase as you rise in rank. Making your own hours is not the same as owning your hours, your time still belongs to your team, your company, and your clients.

There is no sugar coating it. It can be done, and you may not even need to get a degree or go to a specific program, but it is not going to be easy. It is already difficult to crack the industry as an outsider, and it is probably harder to obtain one with flexible hours and remote opportunities if you don’t have experience. You likely have to work twice as hard not only on learning, but also networking and job searching.

I’m going to have to disagree with you on getting a remote job being twice as hard as a regular job. I personally (meaning I didn’t meet them online) know many friends, in addition to an entire community, in my city who have made happy, successful careers working remotely. They told me it was equally as difficult as getting a regular job, they just had to use slightly different tactics.

Pointing out that something is possible is not “sugar coating,” nor is it discounting the hard work that goes into any successful venture. Let’s not talk ourselves out of it before we’ve even attempted it.

I am sure plenty of people make a good career being a remote developer/engineer/QA. I am not sure what the percentage of those comes from a non-coding background, and for how many of them that it is their first job in tech. Perhaps the more important question, how long did it take them to get to that point?

I am not trying to discourage the OP, rather ground his/her expectation, because even as a remote developer that’s allowed flexible hours or freelancer, the job perhaps allows less freedom then people think. Even with those amenities, he or she will have to reconcile the difficulties of managing both a job in tech and music, and sacrifices may have to be made. All this is assuming that he/she can get the job within his/her expected time frame.

It’s hard either way, but I’ m really taking a statistical approach of that remote jobs are only a subset of the total job market, and it is hard enough to obtain a job in the overall job market without a traditional background. It will definitely be harder if one has to do all this while pursuing a musical career. Maybe not twice as hard, but hard regardless.

I can’t speak for others, but personally, it was a struggle to get jobs initially as a self-taught programmer, and that’s without the filters of only looking for remote jobs with flexible hours and with me being pretty much dedicated full-time job seeker that send out applications and resume conservatively in the 1000+ range in a calendar year. We’ve seen people on the forum with CS degrees still have some struggles job searching. That may just be on us, but it is a possible experience.

The point I am trying to make is not for the OP to not try, rather ground their expectations and be properly prepared for the potential grind. Because he/she prefaced this with the reason that they don’t want to give up music and the somewhat vague image of a guy that can work anywhere, anytime, I want to make it extra clear that pursuing this career is not easy, some people have difficulties even though they are solely dedicated to it. If he/she does get the job, it’d have to be as much of a priority to him/her as music for it to really work out.

Companies don’t ask any less of your time or commitment just because you work remotely and set your own hour. Learning/Networking/Job Searching sink just as much time if not more if you have something else going on. This has to be one of the top priorities in your life if you want to succeed.

Well, suppose each person has their own pain points. Best of success to everyone!

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