Realities, career change challenges

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I’m 36 now and am tired of hearing how easy it is to get a programmer job, how there are tens of thousands of programmer jobs out there, how the demand is so high, how ‘they just can’t find enough programmers’. I know that if I can JUST get started and prove myself I would be a valuable asset.

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The national job market is not the same as your local job market. While programming can lend itself to remote work, this is a small fraction of the programming jobs and are much more competitive than on-site jobs. Regardless of background or skill, people who are trying to start a new career usually have to go where the jobs are. I’ve watched incredibly talented programmers with decades of experience struggle to find work even in cities when those cities don’t have a strong tech presence. There may be jobs in your area, and there are remote jobs, but they’re not going to be in line with the national numbers.

As for the skills/experience “required” according to a job post - apply anyway. In my experience, newly hired programmers rarely match the candidate described in their job posting. (I went on a rant about it and other job-hunt related issues in this forum a couple months ago, if you want to hear my tangent on the situation).


Thanks for your reply. Are you really not a bot?

Sure, post the link in a reply so I can read it.

I guess having to move near Seattle is unavoidable, then. That’s disappointing. I really don’t want to move my family.

Fill out a ton of applications. Use fancy wording, and try to minimize anything bad. Do you have a unique style? Something that stands out about you?

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Well, from the sounds of it, its unlikely that I will have much luck finding remote positions with no previous dev experience. So, that basically means I need to plan to relocate my family if I want a real shot. As I mentioned, that is the undesirable route. I guess I’ll need to get creative.

Overall, maybe I just needed to vent a little, but it’s clear that its a bit premature for me to be thinking about pursuing a dev position. I’m learning reactjs/redux in addition to working through fcc. Completing these and having a solid portfolio published on my domain would be a hugely positive step. The fact is I’m trying to put the wagon before the horse. Once I feel that I can build a resume which is strong, it would make sense to follow your advice of blasting out a ton of applications. I’ve always shied away from overstating my abilities. I believe that a strong work ethic and attention to detail are two attributes which make me stand out, in addition to my ability to quickly understand complex concepts.

Since you’ve mentioned Seattle specifically a couple times, I’m assuming that’s a city close to you or one that you’re interested in. Whether moving there (or any other city) is what’s best for you and your family is something no one else can tell you. But try not to get discouraged by comparing your experience to national statistics.

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Thanks for your thoughtful response.