Hello everyone! I’m new to the site, and I wanted to ask for advice. (This might be a long post, so feel free to skip to the tl;dr section at the bottom)
I have been interested in programming since I had my first course in middle school in 1996 (QBasic programming ), but I never pursued it professionally. I have a degree in pharmaceutical chemistry, and I’m in the process of completing a PhD program, focused in biophysics, but wages for pharma jobs in Mexico are fairly low, even for Mexico standards, and due to financial troubles, I had to postpone work on my PhD thesis to get a job. I’m currently working as a translator for a Japanese company.
I have used programming sparsely both in my work (usually as Excel VBA scripts to make tasks easier) and in my getting my degree (C++ and Pyhton, used in simulation assignments). In a previous job I had the chance to develop a web app that incorporated Google maps so that employees could register locations they visited during their work day, and supervisors could log in to review progress reports.
Here’s the thing. My main life goal is to be able to migrate out of Mexico (preferrably to Canada, Ireland or Japan. US would be nice as well, but immigration there is more difficult, I believe). In order to get to that goal, I need a job in any of the target countries, and it seems that web and app development are in high demand everywhere, and not only that, it’s also a very well paid position.
But of course, before thinking of applying to a job like that, one needs experience in the selected area, and usually above average performance. I’ve thought of participating in open source projects, but it would seem that you need to invest a good deal of time in order to contribute anything of importance.
In an ideal situation, if I would get a junior position or paid internship that could keep me financially afloat (around $20K a year) and that allows me to work from Mexico, I could get experience, do a little networking and find out if this career choice is good for me or not. The thing is, even if such a position exists, how can I assess if I’m ready to take on professional level projects, given that I’ve only used programming for my own needs so far?
Sorry for the long post. Thanks for your attention!
tl;dr - Are there any junior positions or internships that could pay $18K-$24K a year that would take an aspiring self-taught backend developer, working remotely, and if there is, how do I know if I’m ready to take on real projects? Any leads would be greatly appreciated.