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I've always enjoyed programming. I started playing around with computers and later basic programming when I was around eleven or twelve and it kind of grew from there. When I got into highschool, I started to make friends with other people who were interested in it, and by my junior year of highschool, I along with a few friends started freelancing doing websites and webapps for local business and organizations. I had no college interests. I didn't want to spend four years being taught things I already knew / thought I could learn a lot faster. At the time, I also wanted to stay freelance forever. About a year after graduating, I realized the latter wasn't very practical. I got moved to South Carolina and knew no one (also a state with limited tech opportunities) I started to apply to entry-level / junior positions all over the country with no avail. I mistakenly though that my two years of freelance work would mean something. I ended up landing my current part-time remote contract after 3 months of job searching and 100's of applications. I thought going back to school would help my future prospects, and started at a local community college, but ended up hating it, and I don't think I want to continue next semester. It's looking like now, I might get an offer working for a state government agency, but I'm starting to doubt my career choice.
I find it hard to learn anything anymore. I may start, but can't keep concentration and end up screwing off reading Reddit or something else. It's also hard to start a project without a real problem behind it. I also don't feel like it will be a very good career. The huge push for STEM education seems to do nothing but saturate the entry level and keep those senior level positions open. I'm sure that companies will catch on and when they find out that anyone can d this job with minimal training, wages will shoot down. I find myself questioning the last seven or so years of my life and wondering if I should look into switching careers. I'm only 19, so I fell it's still possible, but have no idea what else I would enjoy. Has anyone else experienced this sort of feeling, what did you do about it?
Who says you have to be a programmer for the rest of your life? The biggest mistake I ever made was buying a house, because that meant I had to live there long-term.
I've been in IT for nearly 20 years and only ended up in it because I had a B.S. degree and good math skills. Now after 20 years, I'm sick of it. I am sick of where I live and what I do. I want to do something else and live somewhere else. Since I now have 2 B.S. and an M.S. I have many other doors that I can enter and don't have to be coupled to IT. I am planning on leaving IT and teaching in the next 5 years. I don't want to do it quite yet as I'm making very good money and will probably never make that much again.
As for you, go to school, even part-time until you know what you want in life. For some people, including me, I still don't know what I want. Do some freelance work and go to school. School sucks, but there are girls there and there is social life there. You will be giving those up without college and the opportunity to move into something you might love because you don't have a degree.
The biggest mistake I ever made was buying a house,
Many places that doesn't matter now.
Used to be that the rule was 5 years for a house and 3 years for a condo. If you could stay put that long then getting out after that would be a positive net income.
There are quite a few places now where one can get out of a house after just a couple of years.
One cannot guess about market down turns of course. But right now most larger cities in the nation have substantial year to year gains in housing and there is no problem selling. Even Detroit is seeing an up turn. Problem isn't is selling so much in buying. And it can even be more of a problem if one wants to target specific neighborhoods.
I see what you're saying. I felt it was a mistake because I bought the house for a woman and she eventually went her own way. Also, it will cost me real estate fees to move and as I told my Dad, it makes no sense to sell a 200k house with a tiny mortgage to take out a loan on a 300k house. And lastly, if I wanted to work in another city or country, then getting that contract and quickly selling my house would not be so easy.
I'd prefer to live in a luxury apartment, as long as I had a garage to leave the car, especially during the snowy winters.
Then now is the time to switch if you want to. Just remember, whatever you switch too, needs to be able to pay the bills, and afford you a comfortable lifestyle(family too, if that is a factor), for the next 45+ years.
First two years of work represents a junior level programmer in my world. Somewhere around 3 to 5 you might move to mid level, and somewhere at 5-7 you reach senior. I do not consider education an equivalent for actual work experience. However the normal comparison is that a 4 year degree is worth 2 years (so a junior), MA represents a mid level and a PHD is a senior. I consider those last two laughable if they have no comparable work experience (working while getting the degree.) The exception there can can in very specific hot technologies - deep learning would be one of those now.
Second STEM has nothing to do with the job market. STEM activism isn't filling the pipeline - not even close. You might be in a place that is saturated but it doesn't mean the entire nation is.
Third, employers don't have any idea what they are doing when hiring. And that is helped even less by developers who (might) excel at programming but then think that they can evaluate other people via asking some ill thought out questions that they 'think' are technical. The developers have neither the conversational experience (after all not their job) nor education/hr background to evaluate what would in fact make a good interview process and questions.
Consequently they end up floundering around while rationalizing that their process is 'good'. So a prospective interviewee must just keep trying.
Fourth however an interviewee must accept the possibility that they just do not do interviews well. Not surprising, again just like the interviewer, their skill set is not targeting those abilities that work well for an interview. If one really ones to excel in being an interviewee then a career is sales is probably the way to go.
I find it hard to learn anything anymore
That is the sad reality of work and passion. You hit the wall early because you started young. It is the rare exception that continue to have that passion for a lifetime. And that has nothing to do with programming - it applies to every human activity.
I'm only 19, so I fell it's still possible
Of course it is possible. Possible at 30. Possible at 50.
Possible isn't the question. The question is what.
I got moved to South Carolina
I wouldn't live anywhere with less than 1.5 million in the metropolitan area that I was in. It gives more companies to apply to. If you want really hot than the San Fran area (San Jose, Silicon Valley) or Seattle are great big sucking black holes for IT talent.
I wouldn't live anywhere with less than 1.5 million in the metropolitan area that I was in.
I live in a very conservative 1 million persons metor area and besides having less options for employment, there are less options in just about everything, including: dining, entertainment, and even companionship.
Yes, Columbus is nice, clean, and the economy is strong, but there's little to do. The university area is cool, but it's not for older folks. I almost moved to Cincy in 2004, but Great American Insurance would only offer me a 3 month contract to hire; so I stayed in Columbus.
It's not easy, and I think STEM is oversold to a great degree. When you hear them saying "we need way more of x people", run away from x as quickly as possible. What that statement translates to is "we don't want to pay x workers anything, so we need an oversupply." It's odd that they never say there's a need for upper management or CEO, despite the stratospheric wages.
Balancing that, nothing is worse than working retail/foodservice, so if that's your only other choice stick with IT. The company I work for hires 200+ skilled welders or mechanics for every IT job, so if you have an aptitude for those skills that's another option.
If you want to go further with self-education, you might look into volunteering on an open-source project. That would get you past the "project without a real problem behind it," and you could point to your ability to work with others. Also, concentrate on your debugging and testing skills. Those are gold.
I think I'm starting to gain some steam on a MCV project I started. I've never had such a hard time learning something new.
I've decided that Entity Framework is both good, and terrible. However, it's not good until you've figured out how to address all the terrible stuff, and even then it's not so much "good" as it is a horrific series of compromises and workarounds that you've learned to live with.
I've decided that MVC is the evil twin of EF. My view that web development sucks big hairy donkey testicles has not changed. At all.
If it wasn't for the possibility that I could make a butt-load of cash from this, I'd stop working on it.
I think I'm getting to be too old to code.
".45 ACP - because shooting twice is just silly" - JSOP, 2010 ----- You can never have too much ammo - unless you're swimming, or on fire. - JSOP, 2010 ----- When you pry the gun from my cold dead hands, be careful - the barrel will be very hot. - JSOP, 2013
it's not good until you've figured out how to address all the terrible stuff, and even then it's not so much "good" as it is a horrific series of compromises and workarounds that you've learned to live with.
John Simmons / outlaw programmer wrote:
I think I'm getting to be too old to code.
I so get that, though I've come to realize that I've gotten too old to code the way everyone thinks coding should be done.