Wanting to change careers, but I’m overwhelmed

Sorry for the long post, but I’m a little overwhelmed and need some guidance. I’ve started seriously considering changing careers. The more I code the more I realize how much I’m enjoying it. So far I only have html, css and javascript (which I’m currently learning) so I’m not sure what I want to do within the industry, but I know I want to be a part of it. Currently, I have no experience in the computer / tech industry aside from just being a computer nerd lol. I am a retail store manager, and have an A.A in psychology.

I know that FCC isn’t going to be enough for me to land a position within the field, so I started to look at other ways to learn. I brought some books, incorporated videos and I’m working on different projects to start putting together a portfolio. I practice on a project and take my lessons everyday for at least an hour, on my days off I spend most of my day doing so as well. When I have a spare moment at work, I try to read one of the books. However, I still don’t think this will be enough. I’m dyslexic so math unfortunately is a challenge.

I’ve looked into the hack reactor bootcamp. My concern is that my job unfortunately isn’t very flexible (it changes from week to week so my schedule is never consistent) which makes it difficult to attend classes that are scheduled at certain times and the cost is a concern as well. So I looked into doing an online bachelors degree. Bellevue university has a software developer or a web developer degree, that I could do. Being 29 years old, I haven’t been in school in a long time so I’m afraid of taking out money, and not completing the program.

Any suggestions on what I can do to change careers?

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I think that you’re probably overwhelming yourself by trying to form a complete plan (I do this too).

It seems like you’ve set yourself up really well by working through freeCodeCamp and doing things like reading books in your downtime. My suggestion is to give this phase some time. When you’ve built strong core skills, you’ll find yourself getting into a lot more exploration. Hopefully, projects like those on freeCodeCamp and any others you pickup from your other books and courses will send you down some rabbit holes of research and experimentation. You start going “deep” into areas that are relevant to something you want to build. This is when your education becomes naturally self-directed.

You may eventually want to attend a bootcamp, but I wouldn’t put too much focus on that now. A good bootcamp should be designed for students who already know how to code, but need to ramp up the intensity of their studies to feel more “job ready”. I wouldn’t consider applying for one until you feel confident in your JavaScript. For more on bootcamps in particular, I’m going to defer to all the research that Quincy put in here:

TLDR: You’ll be able to answer many of these questions/concerns yourself as you gain more experience through your current resources.


Hi @Dreaming !

I am also a beginner looking into getting in the tech industry.

So I understand you being overwhelmed. It is tough to change careers.

I would just continue to practice, build projects, read articles, listen to podcasts and research.

As for bootcamps, I would definitely do some serious research and make sure the camp is beneficial to you. I have heard many horror stories from people who spent a lot of money on bootcamps that didn’t work out.

As long as you do your research then you should be fine.

Here are some articles from FCC news from people who successfully switched careers.

Happy coding!

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Thank you both for the good advice and the artilcles will check them out. I’ll keep learning and practicing.

Hi Dreaming!
What a lovely name!
Are you a procrastinator by any chance? Just asking because it fits your choice of name. I am one. Like you, I too, would like to get into programming. I enjoy the challenge of everything involved in this area.
But, I don’t think I have enough knowledge or skills to entry the industry anytime soon. Now that used to panic me. But now I am more relaxed about it and have decided to come up with my own plan.

  1. Complete the challenges on FCC;
  2. Devise my own challenges and use a suitable editor, like Codepen, Visual Studio, Notepad, to play around;
  3. Use w3schools and other sites to progress;
  4. Share those projects and;
  5. Hope it all works!

I think that you can get yourself in a muddle if you try and take everything on at once. I always remind myself that this is a new thing and like all new things they take time to learn.
In fact, I was just thinking only yesterday how much I know now compared to this time last year when I dipped my toe in the coding pool so to speak! Back then I tried Mimo app and then Sololearn which were both very useful.

Anyway, good luck on your journey.

Jayne :cowboy_hat_face:

Hi Dreaming, In my (limited) experience, I would sincerely recommend, first to learn the basics of the theory (in your case,the programming languages). Second, try to make mini-projects, then projects, then better projects.When you have taken at least some months,you can enter to the networking phase. This stage is difficult, do industry research, but at the same time, please, do not stop coding. Unless you still need to fix some things(eg.Learn the mechanism of Git and Github,and so on.) The thing,is never stop doing coding, or something related to it (even during networking.) Personally I would not recommend bootcamps.Regarding advanced certifications or degree, is better to take them only if you are in very good financial conditions. What I have said here is what I am doing, but, in Data Science path. However, I think you can make the needed adjustments whitout any problem. Good look in your journey!