Online networking with no connections

I live in a city of roughly 15,000 people in regional Australia. The industries here are agriculture and energy - the nearby La Trobe Valley produces a lot of the state’s electricity. I actually wanted to be a farmer, but developing a disability at age 13 put paid to that dream. I can’t drive (currently - working on getting my license at the moment) and there are no networking type meetings and events I can get to. I have no previous professional connections because I have never worked due to long term disability (I’m 34 now).

I am starting to know enough about programming to answer the questions of other beginners, although I have low confidence. But I am going to set myself to answer a question on FCC as often as I know the answer. I hear this is one way to build a network online, but is it actually possible to build a meaningful network 100% online? Can you get away without in-person stuff? I will need a driver’s license before I can work because remote jobs are so rare but don’t know how long it will take me to be able to learn to drive, and the advice seems to be “start networking NOW”. I am just unsure of what I should be doing to achieve that. Does anyone have any additional advice?

Yes 100%, but it still requires a lot of work, possibly more work than if you were lucky with some “built-in network” you have in real life, like a family member with connections.

Fully online networking as a developer usually leverages a number of different digital platforms to not only show off your skills via projects, but to communicate, and advertise them in a multitude of ways. It still takes a lot of work and it wont happen overnight.

This is an interesting concern. If you want an “in-person” job then yes you’ll probably need to get a license and learn to drive. However, this assumes there are jobs within driving distance you could get hired for. I’d look into job sites to see what’s in your area, and see what they are looking for.

Its possible the selection isn’t that great, or focused on specific aspects. Regardless you should get an idea of what the job market is looking for and focus on those areas as you learn. However, a remote job, or hybrid might not be off the table if you leverage the above mentioned networking possibilities of building up your skills via online networking, both proactive and passive methods should be used. IE a portfolio is passive, where-as reaching out to a recruiter on LinkedIn is active.

Depending on your disability, learning to drive shouldn’t be as difficult as to learning all the things you’d need to be a developer. Learning to drive is very common, and a majority of people are deemed “fit” enough for it. The same can’t be said for learning to program and develop software. Furthermore driving has more or less been exactly the same for the last 100 years. Maybe with some different technologies and some changes to road laws, but for the most part its been the same. The same can’t be said for technology which changes constantly.

If learning to drive is too daunting of a learning task, be warned that there’s more out there to learn and that having a “fear of learning” or something similar might be a deal breaker for any sort of software developer job. Accept the challenge, learn what you can and try your best, all you can do at the end of the day.

Good luck, keep learning, keep building :+1:

Learning to drive isn’t daunting - the problem I’m having is that I have no family that will help me get up my hours, and on a pension, can’t afford the amount of lessons I require for this. The only program that helps people like me won’t accept me because it cuts out at age 23, so their insurance won’t cover me. I am currently trying to find an alternate way of learning to drive, but it ain’t easy to find! :joy:
But I am hopeful the NDIA might come through…

If I could drive, I could take on a hybrid job in Melbourne. I have indeed been looking. Melbourne is too far too drive every day, but I could manage 2 days a week, maybe even 3. There are junior, hybrid roles that pop up frequently.

Sorry - I just got a notification that someone had said “If I tell you what to do to get more attention online and create your own network online will you do it?” But can’t see the post now I’m here.
In response to that person, in case it’s my connection not working and the post still exists, I think: if you have to ask first, the answer is probably going to be no. But thank you for your offer.

It was spam and got flagged and removed.