What am I doing?

I plan on quitting my current job soon and I have started learning python in my free time. I want to become a freelance programmer but I don’t really know what I should learn so I came here to see if anyone could help me get started on the right path.

I hope that you aren’t quitting your job in expectation of getting a freelance programming job. Sometimes people act like if you get a few months of tutorials under your belt, you can easily land a coding job.

These jobs are there, and they pay well, but they are hard to get, especially starting out. I’m not trying to discourage you, just trying to set some reasonable expectations. I am a guy that learned to code from FCC and got a job. But it took almost two years of hard work. #ymmv

My advice is to figure out what you might want to do and work your ass off. I don’t know what the market is for freelance Python coders. I would be a little wary because it is used in a lot of universities so there are a lot of Python coders out there and some of the Python applications like (ML/DS) are very technical and probably mostly go to people with degrees. Once of the things that drew me to web dev is that it is relatively easy to get a job without a degree. That’s what got me to try FCC (this was before we had the Python section). But figure out some goal and work your ass off.

My other advice is not to count your chickens before they hatch - either keep your old job or get a new one or whatever. You need some way to pay the bills.


We can try to help you as you’re learning to program, but we can’t promise you specific results or specific time frames. I don’t know anything about your specific situation, but I encourage you to think about how long you can realistically live on savings and what you’ll do if you don’t have a programming job by then. Maybe you have a supportive family or are independently wealthy and this isn’t a concern. You do you, but do it safely. If leaving your job does feel like a risk, then I recommend being very clear on your learning objectives before making that commitment. Know what type of programming you want to learn, and why, and how you’re going to do it. I suggest at least getting your feet wet and spending a few months going through beginner material before jumping in full time, but that’s your call.


Thank you for your input. I do have other sources of income to supplement the money I get from my job so I will be ok there. The real reason I am quitting my job is that it makes me depressed when I am there and I always have anxiety attacks caused by work. I’m not 100% on being a freelance programmer I just don’t want to feel like I am working a mundane 9-5.
I do not know how long it will take me to make money from programming but I know it will be worth it, and I’m 19 so the only way is up for me. :grin:

I took a few coding classes in high school that showed me the basics of HTML, C++, Python, and Java and I loved it. I know that programming is for me I am just not sure what type of programming I would want to jump into if that makes sense.

Well, it’s still a job. I mean, I guess if you’re a freelancer, you have a little more freedom, but you still have to put in hours, and you still have deadlines, and you still have boring things. If it were all fun and games, they wouldn’t need to pay us. They pay us well because it takes a lot of training and it is hard work. And it can certainly be stressful.

and I’m 19

Have you considered getting a degree?

I know when I was young I would have thought doing it my own way and being my own boss - I would have thought that sounded awesome. As you get older, things like stability, health insurance, retirement plans, etc. - they start to sound really cool. You’re still young - you could build yourself a bright future.

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Going to have to second this motion. Yes, being able to code is important but being a well-rounded educated person is too. You will almost certainly have more career opportunities if you have a college degree. So if you have the means and time to devote to higher education I would highly recommend it.


If you’re still not sure what you want to focus on because everything seems cool, then starting a traditional path might be a really good idea. A good Computer Science degree is designed to set you up for a wide array of career paths and help you figure out where your strengths or interests are. If full time university seems unattainable to you (trust me, I know how expensive and logistically difficult it can be) then you should at least check out community colleges. That’s a great way to get some structured education, figure out what you like, and build your network. If you decide to continue studying, you can usually transfer into a 4 year college and if not your resume will still look more impressive than if you spent a year or two unemployed and studying on your own.

If you have the resources to commit to full time study, then I really think that you should look at schools that have a good CS department but don’t have insane tuition. Many of the smaller state schools are actually really good and with a developer salary, many of us who attend them pay of student loans fairly quickly. At least do some research and really think about it.

It depends on what it is that you object to. Since you’re young, I’m guessing that your sense of workplaces is pretty vague and/or based on media. Being a programmer is usually still an office job… Just more likely to involve pink hair and Doctor Who references. It’s not dull though. You’re usually doing difficult work that requires skill, research, and a lot of focus. But yeah, you have to try to stay awake while someone talks about quarterly projections or some crap and grimace at some dude in a tie saying “Working hard or hardly working?” once a week. It’s not so bad. They give us noise cancelling headphones these days and you can usually scare people off by ranting about how timezones are humanity’s single worst invention and why the fuck does Arizona get to skip daylight savings time? If you shake your fist and say “deprecated library dependencies” enough times, you can even get out of some mandatory meetings.

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‘depracated library dependencies’!
like it. will that work in an amazon delivery job?
(it will, trust me)

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i 100% support the getting the degree idea. there is no substitute for the great 4 year degree. but i will say this if it comes down to a self learning or forking 20k on a bootcamp that guarantee a job in 4 months of coding, im not buying that. even if its true it be very hard to hold onto the job and keep up with all the other developers who took years being self taught or went through getting a CS or CE. i find i hard to believe that u can learn evertything you need to know in just 3 or 4 months. i prefer going 2 years self taught and paying nothring over paying 20k for a bootcamp thats precarious what happens in 4 months. but i will say if im going to pay money it will be on higher education for sure. the degree proves you busted your ass in getting it, no one can ever refute that.

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