Working independently on microservices. Am I on the right track?

I learned on FCC some front end for general knowledge, now learning backend, which is a lot harder since it doesn’t have the immediate visual feedback. I intend to go over CS projects in JS next (I already studied all the CS stuff ages ago in a bootcamp but forgot), and some Python. Cryptography seems extremely interesting to me but I completely failed the Coursera course in it…
My goal is to develop microservices since they’re so compartmental and I want to work as independently and remotely as possible due to my plan to immigrate while also working.
Am I on the right track?

Sure. I’m a big fan of having people follow the FCC path, but there are other ways to learn this stuff. FCC teaches primarily the node/express/mongo b/e path, but there are others. FCC covers microservices, but if you want to learn them another way and/or with a different stack, that will work. You won’t end up with a MERN stack but you’ll end up with a viable stack.

My question is whether it’s possible at all to work independently and remotely on microservices. What kind of business should I be aiming to build? People who try to work remotely or independently always write here it’s nearly impossible.

Those are two different ideas…

Remotely: You certainly can get remote work doing b/e work. You are specializing in b/e so that limits your options so you are limiting your options. Plus, you are further specializing in microservers, and that further limits your options. Plus, it is very hard to get a first job. And you are further limiting yourself by trying to get your first job as a remote worker - it is very hard to convince a company to let a new worker work remotely. And getting a b/e job (imho) is hard for the first job - it’s pretty easy to make a mistake that could cost a company a lot.

Independently: So, you want to work independently? Not only are you inexperienced and unknown to the company, but you want to work independently? I think this would be a hard sell even for an experienced worker. Most companies promote teamwork and do not want to silo their workers like that, “Alan will work on the X service, Betty will work on the Y service, and Carl will work on the Z service”. Not only is that often wasteful, if Carl gets hit by a bus suddenly someone else has to dig in to Carl’s work and he’s been unsupervised and “doing his own thing” so no one knows how the hell to maintain his stuff. No, that is going to be very hard to find. At best, you would work as part of a small team that works on a range of microservices, checking and approving each others work.

I understand the desire for location independence. There are jobs that are 100% location independent. There are varying degrees of location independence: they want you in the same city so you can come in for occasional meetings, they want you in the same timezone for online meetings whenever they want, they want you in a range of timezones so there are times when online meetings will work, etc.

I’m right now trying to find a remote job to let me move to Europe. It’s tough. And I have a couple years experience with a major company and am willing to work with a team.

People who try to work remotely or independently always write here it’s nearly impossible.

And do you think that if you keep asking the question, you will magically get the answer you want?

My advice would be to get a job, any job. Build up a resume. Keep looking until something comes along that fits your needs. But nothing makes that process easier faster than experience.


I wanted to point out that just because microservices are built to be isolated by themselves, this doesn’t mean the people who work on them are also “isolated”.

As @kevinSmith pointed out, odds are if your working for a tech company using microservices, you’d probably be on a team that manages a group of them, rather than given a service by itself.

I wouldn’t concern yourself with what you work on if you want a remote job. Id focus mostly on getting to a point where you can sell yourself to remote work in the first place. even with the pandemic, not all devs work remote, nor can all devs be productive working remotely.

Usually the #1 for a company to let you work remotely is to have done it before in some capacity. This could be freelancing, working part-time remote, or just trying it out here and there. This way the company knows your still productive working remote. If you have that history, its a much easier sell. This still doesn’t mean you can always do it in every company, but it is the main requirement for doing it at all.

Good luck, keep learning, keep building!

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