Should I pursue a risky career move?

Hello everyone,

I’m a masters student in computer science currently working as a software engineering intern.

Over the past year I came to know about remote work, open source and web dev (though Twitter, Youtube and EddieHub) which eventually brought me to freeCodeCamp.

I am considering leaving my internship once its done and take a gap so I can complete the first 10 certifications (still undecided about this) in freeCodeCamp and then contribute a lot to open source so I can find a remote, open source, full stack web dev job.

The reason why I’m interested in this is because of the enormous pay, the flexibility of work timings and work culture.

What is stopping me from going ahead is that I know this move is very risky because I am leaving a good opportunity in hope of something better and there is no guarantee it will work.

Adding to my trouble is that I suffer from an anxiety disorder and its been quite a battle alongside being an intern. Thankfully I’m able to fight back and stay on the winning side through a ton of positive thinking and medical help.

Another possible option for me is to continue my internship (and a guaranteed job offer from my internship) + learning from FCC/Open Source on the side

So does anyone have any advice for me so I can make a better decision? I really would appreciate any advice!

Thank you so much!

As a rule you’ll to learn much more much faster in an intern role than by self-teaching, and in terms of getting a job post-MA, that will be more valuable. Self-teaching things is very hard, experience trumps almost anything else, working on real things alongside people you can ask for help is generally more useful than anything else. This isn’t 100% true in all cases, but you’re asking for advice so that has to be the answer here.

A masters’ in CS will get you a job in software engineering, you’re not going to vastly enhance your prospects here. If you have money to take a break, sure, but you’re not going to make yourself vastly more employable afaics. You need experience, that is not giving you experience.

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If you search the forum you will find others have asked questions about remote work.
You may benefit from the answers they received.
It is definitely a considerable risk to leave what is already in your hand to attempt to get “two in the bush”. I am quoting from the common English idiom “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”.

Leaving the current position isn’t really the biggest issue though you may regret it, I think the issue is that you may not find a remote position that pays well and allows for career advancement (that position may have never existed and may never exist). But we know that in-person jobs that pay well and allow for career advancement exist, there is no question here.

Not to mention that you would be wasting that M.Sc. (you didn’t mention what your thesis was in)?

I think it is worth noting that no job will be without stress (imaginary remote one or otherwise). You will need to hone in on those copying mechanisms and maybe prioritize getting good at those more.

I would also try to take the pulse of the area around you. Are new grads struggling to find work? If yes you are already ahead of the pack. That may also be worth considering. Also note that fcc’s curriculum is meant to work around people’s work schedule. So there is no need to dedicate yourself entirely to it full-time.

Just my two cents here obviously and I hope you get to hear from many others.

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I think you could find remote work within the same time frame while continuing the internship/degree.

The degree and the internship will probably look better on your cv.

Open source means contributing code to public projects for free. What do you mean by an open source job?

Also you’re probably best specialising in the area you’re strongest at rather than aiming for full stack jobs.

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What is stopping me from going ahead is that I know this move is very risky because I am leaving a good opportunity in hope of something better and there is no guarantee it will work.

I didn’t understand what do you mean by “…this move is very risky…”, can you explain in detail ?

Adding to my trouble is that I suffer from an anxiety disorder and its been quite a battle alongside being an intern. Thankfully I’m able to fight back and stay on the winning side through a ton of positive thinking and medical help.

I suggest try out daily meditation ( check out this YT playlist and practice as well ), taking regular breaks, going out in nature, joining a club which is doing social service etc. This will surely help you cope with anxiety issue.

All the very best

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Thank you so much Vikram

the risks involved are:

  1. not having people with me (in person) who can offer faster feedback & support
  2. I have to find my own mistakes and seek a solution
  3. losing motivation
  4. there is no clear idea how long it will take me to find a job

there may be more but I am able to remember this much for now

Yes your points are very helpful! Thank you so much Dan!

Thank you so much for your advice!!

My degree is a “masters in computer science” - MTech CSE - and the job prospects are decent for all students

I wished to aim higher than what I’ve got and if possible and work toward that goal.

And yes, finding a remote position that pays well is possible to get but it is definitely a tough journey (unfortunately - from what I see practically)

I’ve come this far somehow by a variety of strategies and professional help and I’m grateful to have helpful advice like yours :slight_smile:

Thank you so much Mike!!

an open source job is one that pays you to contribute to a specific open source project or projects

the idea of doing my internship/degree along with finding remote work seems to be more practical

also specialising in the area I’m at right now qt work (C# & WPF) may also be better for me

Hi @aldehyde !

Welcome to the forum!

I work for a remote only company and really enjoy it. But with these type of companies your communication skills need to be really strong. You need to be forth coming in your status updates and involved with the team conversations throughout the day. You can’t be silent all day and code alone by yourself, especially as a junior. You need to present throughout the day and reach out for help when you get stuck so you team will stay connected with you. There are companies that are resistent to hiring juniors in remote roles because they are not able to monitor them in a physical office so be aware of this as you go through the job process.

If you are interested in web dev, you only need to focus on the first 7 certifications which covers full stack javascript. The python certs are more geared towards data science.

But also, I personally don’t think you should leave a guaranteed job offer after your internship to pursue learning alone for a year and then trying your hand in the job market. If you comb through the #career section in the forum, you will find plenty of people trying to land their first jobs in tech and the biggest barrier is that they don’t have previous job experience to rely on.

I went down the self taught journey and was able to land a job but it is hard work. Having some form of work experience will be more beneficial to you. If you are learning from this current company and growing, I would suggest taking the job offer after you finish your internship and learn from your co workers.

As mentioned earlier, you will learn way more on the job. You can still go through the curriculum too at a pace that works for you.

Gaining whatever experience you can from more experienced developers at your company will set you up for success down the line.

Hope that helps!

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THANK YOU!!!

every point of yours has helped me immensely Jessica!