Would programming a robot prove my worth?

So I have been working on my survey page website on and off for the last week since I’ve been trying hard to get a non-programming job, but now I’m in a lull where I am either rejected for every job I’ve tried out for, or having to wait for two weeks to a month or two to find out if I even got the job or not, and I have jury duty all of next month, so that is going to greatly slow down my ability and appeal in getting a job.

So I’m giving up on job searching for now. Except, everything at home drives me crazy. I can’t enjoy video games because I feel like I’m deadweight and do not deserve it. I can’t enjoy the day because I am isolated where I live and have very little space to move. And I can’t enjoy coding a website because I’m constantly thinking about getting a job or being trapped in a loop in life, and frankly, I’ve been kind of bored of web development lately, and I’ve also been doubting my ability to comprehend it.

But I don’t want to give up on it because that’s exactly what I’ve done with a lot of things in the past, which is why I am in the situation I am in now, and for all I know, learning this stuff may be my last option for getting out of this situation for good. If I can generate my own money wherever I am, so as long as I have a laptop and internet access, I will never be useless again.

It’s just tough because it’s not very engaging right now, and I can’t even get past my first survey page. And then there’s guys completing 300 challenges and like, 14 projects in two days while working four jobs with a wife and kids or some stuff like that.

But anyways, I’ve got an idea. What if I programmed something that was more interesting to me? What if I programmed a robot to do something cool?

I once bought a Jumping Race drone from Parrot to practice programming with it, but I couldn’t fit it into my bag too easily while travelling, so I gave it as a gift to this kid I met in a hostel, since he was into robotics and things like that and was just smart in general. Before that, I considered using ComputerCraft in Minecraft.

I think that there’s probably not a lot of work online involving robotics, but surely programming a robot to do something cool would be a feat. So what if I programmed a turtle in Minecraft to build an entire castle? Or what if I programmed a turtle in real life to draw some complex picture? I know it isn’t web development, and I know it won’t earn me certification, but would it be enough to get the attention of some company to hire me on? Can I do robotics work over the internet?

Yes, if you are able to program a robot you would definitely receive top offers from major companies. I am assuming you mean something built by Boston Dynamics but at a much smaller scale. However, this will involve lots and lots of time learning. You will need to start from low-level programming such as c++, python and utilize sophisticated algorithms, machine learning, etc… This will obviously have a higher bar of entry than web development.

But as long as you are determined and fully committed, I am sure you can achieve your goal. I would start with learning about Internet of Things with Raspberry or Arduino as your starting point.

It’s hard to get out of that mode of self-doubt and dread and nothing is enjoyable. It’s something that happens to lots of people at some time in their lives. One possible route out is to accept that things are not enjoyable and to be fierce with yourself about putting in hours every day to work on what you have chosen. When I’m in this mode, I require that I set at the computer and either do the work or stare at the work to be done. No Internet surfing or videos etc. Doing the work is slightly more fun. In this mode, your usual ability to tell whether something is a good idea for you is compromised: things that ARE a good idea (like coding every day) will FEEL like they are not good. (Because EVERYTHING feels not good when you’re in this mode.) Chances are good that 1 to 3 months from now you’ll pop back into enthusiasm.
GOOD LUCK! Hang in there!

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Going from web dev to robotics is quite the jump… but at the same time, if your interest is truly in robotics and not at all into web dev, then its worth perusing the thing that interests you. What concerns me though is not that you are saying its where your passion lays, you wonder if it will prove your worth. Just…something to mull over.

Side note though, we all have our slumps. I once didnt study or code for about 4 months, and I felt much like how you describe. I couldnt even get pleasure out of playing a game, or watching a movie, or anything at all…cause I felt like I should either be studying or getting a job or figuring myself out…something other than wasting my time doing nothing productive. It didnt mean I didnt enjoy what I did or my goals changed…I was just burnt out and needed a break. After pulling myself together, Ive been non-stop and loving every moment of this journey.

Anyway, Udacity has a nanodegree in robotics… Ive heard amazing things about their nano degree programs, just be aware, it really is a whole other set of skills, but just check it out and see if its something you would enjoy…even if you dont do this particular course, you can at least read up on what goes into getting started.


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Thank you. I’m going to see what books they use in Udacity, if any. Then I could enroll the next semester.