Restarting my career life, trying to leave SSDI behind

Hello and Thanks for reading. :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ll start by saying Thank You FCC. This is such a great resource for someone in my unique situation. I’ve been living on SSI and/or SSDI (social security disability) since 1999. Even though I have a degree in Computer Science and I was a certified Web Dev back in 2008 (now defunct).

I found it was near impossible for me to find work back then in IT of any kind (2008, When the bottom dropped out of IT work in the US). I was hit with the double whammy of not being able to find meaningful work and SSDI wouldn’t allow me to do so without losing my medical benefits. I just spent the next decade until now, doing odd computer repair jobs and selling stuff online for spare income.

I decided I’ve had enough of living on next to nothing. So, I’ve resolved to get back in the game and update my skill set. Learn to code in a updated lang. Then hopefully to find meaningful employment and/or opportunity. Obviously, I can’t afford to cough up 2000+ Dollars for a coding bootcamp somewhere, nor afford to travel and stay somewhere on top of that. Simply out of the budget and I have a home to maintain. So, FCC is a boon to me. The whole free bootcamp thing is great. Back in the day (80s-2000s), I had to go buy books and such, then teach myself by ‘feeling around in the dark’ so to speak; then pay an ungodly amount for a certification test that may or may not help one get a job.
Thank you again. If nothing else; I have something to show a potential employer.

Now, that being said. I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed at late, feeling a bit stupid too. So much has changed in the past ten years. I have past experience in IT but my skills are out-of-date, mostly. A case of ‘impostor syndrome’ I suppose. I’m middle-aged now and don’t learn as fast as I used too (I consciously know the difference). Still have plenty of drive to learn/succeed, but, feel very insecure about my abilities and prospects. I try to do at least 3 challenges aday, I aim for 10 possibly maybe more. Read whatever resources I can find, etc.

To the point; I read several posts on this forum about people looking to network, just starting out and looking to network. I’m curious if there’s anyone else on here in my same situation or similar. Is anyone out there that can offer advice or resources that would be helpful to my particular situation. I’m also interested in networking for long term employment.

I’ll read every comment.


Hi @jjmorgan2 and welcome to the FCC community!

There are lots of resources you can check depending on your interests. For starters, if you are doing the whole curriculum I suggest you read You Don’t Know JS, an free online ebook which is very good if you really want to learn JS while getting the certificates of FCC.

There are other resources which offer some free courses like Code Academy, though it has some premium courses.

You can also go to DEV, there are a lot of developers there who write really helpful posts and are very friendly. If you go there don’t forget to follow me haha. Also, check Twitter, a lot of developers are there and it’s a good tool for networking when mixed with DEV.

I see you have some background in IT, technology gets old but there are things like logic and SQL that are still the same. I really suggest you check this resources and start building a portfolio soon!

Good luck and don’t hesitate to ask the FCC community!

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Thank You! looking at JS book now…and just signed on to DEV via Github.

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I’m currently reading Eloquent JavaScript, which is also free, and I highly recommend it.

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Thanks, I’ll have a look…


I’m in a somewhat similar situation as you are. Long story lol. I’ve tried out various websites/sites including FCC… Code Academy, Udemy, Udacity and others for practice like edabit, Leetcode and another… HackerRank I think.

On a side note I’m surprised that "SSDI wouldn’t allow me to do so without losing my medical benefits. " because as I understand it- even if your SSDI stops (mine is about to because of the non IT job I have- a bit more money and ‘experience’ after a long dry spell) you can still keep the Medicare for 7.5 more years. When you do get a job you can elect to get the group insurance- That would become primary while Medicare is secondary.

I can only help with deaf-related networking lol. Otherwise as I’ve mentioned before elsewhere- Slack is a good medium to find networking- look for Dev Slack groups in your area- along with Meetups (I have a love-hate relationship with those and anything public…:confused: ).

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Thanks for responding. :slight_smile: I’m on the “ticket to work” program…I don’t have the Meidcaid input, just the Medicare. I was told only 36 months (3 years) I could keep the medical, not seven. Even less time, if employer offered full coverage. So I dunno…I get told something different by everyone even at the SSDI office. I know the for the hearing impaired the rules are slightly different.
In any case, I’m afraid I start working somewhere in IT long enough that if I lose my medical; I may not get it back is all (Horror stories, I’ve been told of people in similar situation). I’ve been in and out of IT long enough, longer term could just mean six months OR “we’ve decided to move to ______, here’s your severance.” etc, etc.

I wanted to be sure I’m long term employable before I took the leap and cut the safety net away. From what I understand it a huge legal pain to restart the benefit payments after even a year. I have mild BPD (avoidant social anxiety), so if I had to work customer service side of IT again, Like helpdesk. I’d think I’d croak…lol

Congrats on your Job, btw. I’m on DEV right now so thanks


I am in a similar situation. I have BPD, and recently got on SSDI. I am working to develop my skills to stay busy and improve my situation. I have a PhD in chemistry, but spent the last ten years in career limbo due to my illness. I would like to make a website for people like us using poetry. I am learning how to make voice assistant software in Python on the side, and hope one day to make a website that reads you poems. Poetry was a hobby I started ten years ago, and the passion is something that I want to bring into this new web world. Feel free to email me, my contact is if you have any questions or think I can help you in any way.


OO! hello there, I have BPD but, my Disability stems from being crushed from the waist down in auto accident in '99. 2 & 1/2lbs of Metal implants, 10 years and a limp later + two undergrad degrees in Computer science and Math throw in alot of now out of date networking and software certs…and Still no job. So I defiantly understand. I gave up for a while there.

Luckily, I can say my BPD is ‘self-regulating’ (therapists’ term, not mine) but still gets me into trouble sometimes when I lash out. I try my best to talk myself down and out of the irrational emotions. I’m a type C cluster not so much fearful/anxiety but more the uncontrollable paranoia and self-imposed isolation. I am the “Will you please just go away.” type…lol, I can say, I’m no where near as bad as some with the same condition as me have it…but still I have issues working with general public and/or customer service. You tried CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy?) Its like Buddhism or Stoicism…Sorta works for me and it you can do it on your own.

I’m not into poetry so much, but I’m HUGE fan of classic Literature and philosophy. Unless you’re talking poetry like ‘The Divine Comedy’ or ‘The Odyssey.’ I’ll email you when I get a free moment past errands and studies.

anyway…I plan on tackling Python myself soon. Honestly, I’m thankful for SSDI, but you just can’t live on it…I want more out of my life than sitting around being useless.(“useless” yeah, yeah…irrational, I know, but want to be more independent)…


Hi, cool that you are motivated. In my opinion starting small projects and following best practices are keys to not waste time. To do so, I like to find good repos with nice architectures, you can have a look at mine (design not great, but follows overall best practices) if you are interested by node/react: