Seeking Your Opinion on My Future Employability


#1

Good Morning!

I have a decision I must make and am not around the right people to help me make it. I am very interested in hearing from either people who have been in my situation (long-term unemployed AND over 50 years old OR from someone who hires people).

Here’s my background: 51 years old, female, BS in MSIS from Oklahoma State University. I worked for almost 10 years in IT (Oracle programming, Java/Javascript,HTML, QA, tech support) in Virginia and Maryland with defense contractors and Seattle with banking. The programming work I did was not my code, it was taking code that already existed and either adding to it or bug fixing. I got laid off in May 2008 and have not been able to get back to work since, I think due to my age AND being out of work so long.

Last week I applied for and got accepted into a code boot camp for veterans in Chicago (their application process is how I discovered freeCodeCamp). Since I live in Italy there will be a significant cost to flying there, paying for the class, transportation, finding somewhere to live, something to sleep on, something to eat, taxes, etc etc etc. I only have $3,500 in my savings account and no income. I’m scared.

Here’s my question:

After successfully completing the boot camp, what do you think my chances are of finding decent employability remembering I’m 51 and been out of work almost 10 years? Is this another huge waste of my time and money?

Thank you for your opinion, I do value it.


#2

Firstly, I too am a veteran! Coming across another female vet happens so few and far between so its great to see you! :slight_smile:

I do not fit your criteria, but do hope you’ll take my point of view into consideration… You have two things going for you… you previously worked in IT so are already familiar with code, and this industry is such that with tenacity, you can learn on your own and be just as, or even more skilled than someone going into a bootcamp.

I understand your concerns with employability and your age…heres something to consider…do some research on the hiring process and read a few of the Got A Developer Job stories here on FCC and you’ll start to see a common theme… you don’t prove your value based on what you put on your resume, you prove your skills based on your portfolio and github, thats what gets you the interview, and how well you do on the tech interview is what gets you the job.

While a lot of younger people in the industry, there are also a lot of people who have looked to this as a second career. Granted, young men make up the majority of the tech industry, but Ive noticed a lot of effort being made to be more inclusive and less dismissive of atypical applicants. Of course, thats just in theory from where stand, but Ive read far more issues with entering the industry as a woman than due to age. As a 40-year old black female, I have every box checked when it comes to being under-represented in the tech industry… Thing is, thats not something you can control, and a battle you cant fight til you’re at that stage. What you can change and what you can do something about though is work on your coding skills…

Fact of the matter is, right now there is such a huge demand for good programmers…huge. There are a lot of people out there coming out of college with a CS degree, coming out of a 12 week bootcamp, learning on their own, who cant code worth a lick. People who chase certificates assuming thats enough to get them a job flood the job market. But, if you are devoted to really learning, have a strong portfolio and can pass the tech interview, you are ahead of the curve.

So yeah, speaking of the learning part…this is where Im going to say…be practical. If all you have left in savings is $3500, dont spend it all on a bootcamp, really… because going to bootcamp does not guarantee you a job. What you learn is, and if you can focus and dont need someone to tell you to study or tell you to do your work, then you very well can do this on your own.

Plus you’re a veteran, and employers across the board dig veterans…due to our training, its in our DNA to work well under pressure, pick up skills on the fly to get a job done, loyalty, integrity and tough as nails is how we come across to civilians…and if the employer is also a vet, thats just as good or even better as sorority / frat connection because we all hold our fellow comrades in high regard. It does carry with it a certain level of admiration and respect, esp as a female vet, because it takes a certain type of person to be able to serve in the military. I say all that because, you are looking at all the negative aspects of where you are coming from, and just want you to shit your perspective and see that you are coming into this with a huge positive.

Anyway! I hope something I said helps…!


#3

Hang in there Kim. I’m 51 and a veteran too. Keep building websites for your portfolio…it’s gotta work!!!


#4

Look at the BIG picture…

Should I stay or should I go?

What’s the worst and the best thing that could happen if you did NOT take this opportunity?
What’s the worst and the best thing that could happen if you take a chance at this opportunity?

Weigh in on that… get excited about the possibilities!

Re: Living expenses/room rental/food/etc.

Can you apply for credit cards right now? You know, just for emergency purposes.
Can you sell some assets? Garage sale, eBay?
Borrow from a 401K? Borrow from friends/family?
Stay at a relative/friend in Chicago? Find a roommate?
You can also work part-time with flexible hours (retail, restaurant, sales, tutoring, baby-sitting, etc) for some income.-- but with the gruelling schedule of these bootcamps, this may not be an option.
Learn Ramen hacks. (or equivalent Italian noodle hacks)


#5

Hello fellow camper.First,don't doubt whether you will get a job after the boot camp. If you make it to successfully complete the training,apply to several companies.You could start with at least ten applications.

If you weigh your financial chances and find that the money will not be enough for boot camp charges;you can alternatively remove the boot camp from your priority and concentrate to code here at freeCodeCamp.

In can understand your situation because I went through a disciplined course and I very well know what goes on.

However,fellow camper,please keep learning a new thing every day by coding daily.I only started coding here from February this year and finally feeling like I am headed in the right line.

If you feel frustrated by some challenges,take a break and some deep sleep.Then come back and keep at it.

Eventually,you will get what you wanted,cash and freedom.Who knows?, you could also become an employer by launching your problem solving app and registering it as a company.Just don't give up!

Lastly,keep up the fight.And by the way,you are in the right company of people of good will,awesome developers who are constantly seeking to make you an exceptional developer.

I had to literally put aside good jobs according to the eyes of the masses,just to have a humble time to learn to become a developer here.Take heart,and success in your undertakings.