Finished a online coding bootcamp...

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Ponderosa
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:46 pm

Finished a online coding bootcamp...

Post by Ponderosa » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:24 pm

And now I'm not sure if its what I want to do. I have a remote job and did it while working, so it didn't have opportunity cost on top of the 9k I paid to go. Overall I really enjoyed the program and mental challenge over the winter months especially.

As I'm looking for jobs (and getting rejected a shit ton - job market for juniors is pretty slow) I'm not so sure I want to do it anymore. I don't know why but the thought of slogging my way through website support + development makes me kinda sick to my stomach. This is weird because I enjoyed the programming. The bootcamp comes with great job hunting support, so I feel like there is a window of opportunity to take if I'd like to make the switch now. If I tell them I don't want something now it may close a few doors, and that is what I'm afraid of. In some ways they are pushing me to apply and accept jobs that I really don't feel good about or the pay is crap (relatively speaking). Most of these jobs would be a 20-30k paycut. Granted I can be picky and take 6 months to find something I like.

I wanted to make this change because awhile ago my job was pretty unsatisfying. It still is pretty boring, but I work completely remote and can get my job done in 15-20 hours a week. The main downside is that I feel a bit lonely and restless often. A big pro is I am managing pretty serious mental illness and on bad days it doesn't affect my work, since I can be at home with my dog. If it matters, I make close to 6 figures and is an extremely stable job. If I got a new job, there is a high likelihood I'd need another car further increasing expenses..

Anyways, I think I'm rounding a corner thinking finding a job that is satisfying might be impossible. Maybe I should just focus on finding hobbies and other interests while raking in the money for now. I've just invested a ton of thought and money into this change and it feels challenging to just let go of it. Really what it boils down to is I don't know what I want anymore, and that is uncomfortable.

This might be more fitting in a journal entry, but this section seems like a good place to get thoughts and advice.

bigato
Posts: 1934
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: Finished a online coding bootcamp...

Post by bigato » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:34 pm

If you don't hate your current job too much, keep at it since it gives you plenty of free time to take hobbies which can include coding for some free software or even starting your own project, for profit or not! Those will count as experience as well, so you don't loose the momentum you gained from the boot camp. Keep in contact with people, ask what they are doing, invite them out for a coffee every now and then, and if you later decide you want to jump on that train, it will be available to you.

ether
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:50 am
Location: Charlotte, USA
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Re: Finished a online coding bootcamp...

Post by ether » Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:38 pm

What job market (aka city) are you in? I used to teach bootcamps and can try to hook you up with some consulting firms. If you're US based you should be getting 30/hr min

Scott 2
Posts: 1276
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: Finished a online coding bootcamp...

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:14 pm

Could you automate part of your current job with the skills you learned? Maybe make life easier and reach a point where you are no longer junior?

Ponderosa
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:46 pm

Re: Finished a online coding bootcamp...

Post by Ponderosa » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:20 am

Part of my growing disdain for this field is the hyper competitive nature of it. It is one thing to build fun applications but an entirely different story to:

1. Do a bunch of crazy coding tests to get an interview.
2. Keep up on a million different technologies to keep competitive.
3. Keep your LinkedIn perfect so everyone thinks you are a great product for their business.

Maybe I'm not cut out for it. There are easier ways to make money. Also number 3 is probably why I'm a part of this community anyway.

EDIT: I haven't even got my first job in this field.

Nomad
Posts: 149
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 5:23 pm
Location: UK

Re: Finished a online coding bootcamp...

Post by Nomad » Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:02 pm

@Ponderosa
I've been working in IT for hmmm. a long time.
What some employers like to see is a project or two you've made yourself. You could make a little demo thing and put it onto
GitHub or BitBucket.
Employers are always looking for Junior Developers/Programmers so they want people who have an interest and are intelligent but they
don't expect you to know everything. In fact, it is good to get people in early to train them the 'right way' to do things.
e.g. using standard design patterns, putting comments/logging, creating unit and integration tests etc.
Don't sweat it, the first job is the most difficult to get, after that, agencies essentially pester you to look at other jobs.

Yes, technologies change but if you pick the correct main language to use, they just slowly evolve with new features.
For example, I started using Java in 1997 and I was using it today. Many of the surrounding technologies are far more recent.
The other staple technology is relational databases/SQL. They are as old as dirt and will still be around in ten years because they are so
flexible.
Another good thing that employers like is certification exams. e.g. Oracle Certified Java Associate/Programmer/Developer etc.
Or Certified Oracle 11G Administrator kind of thing. You can get the books for those courses cheaply and download practice exams to see
the style of questions.
Keep plugging away.

cimorene12
Posts: 585
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:10 am

Re: Finished a online coding bootcamp...

Post by cimorene12 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:33 pm

Ponderosa wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:24 pm
I wanted to make this change because awhile ago my job was pretty unsatisfying. It still is pretty boring, but I work completely remote and can get my job done in 15-20 hours a week. The main downside is that I feel a bit lonely and restless often. A big pro is I am managing pretty serious mental illness and on bad days it doesn't affect my work, since I can be at home with my dog. If it matters, I make close to 6 figures and is an extremely stable job. If I got a new job, there is a high likelihood I'd need another car further increasing expenses..
If you feel lonely and restless, you can address that in other ways than switching careers. I've worked from home for a few years now and need more human interaction than I initially thought.

I'd still keep using their job hunting resources, but taking a 20k-30k pay cut to enter an industry you don't actually want to be in sounds awful. Point out to the people that your current salary is X and that you're a remote employee.

Ponderosa
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:46 pm

Re: Finished a online coding bootcamp...

Post by Ponderosa » Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:30 am

@cimorene12

How did satisfy your need for more human interaction while working remote? I make plans with friends frequently and go to a gym that has classes but there is vast gulfs of time (8++ hours) when I'm at home and it can be hard!

cimorene12
Posts: 585
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:10 am

Re: Finished a online coding bootcamp...

Post by cimorene12 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:40 pm

Break up that time, especially if you can get your work done in 15-20 hours a week. I'm a bigger spender in a lot of ways, so I've rented coworking space just to be around other human beings. You don't have to go in every day. You can get a pass for a certain number of days in some places.

I work out a lot. You're already going to the gym for classes, so it wouldn't even be a big change in habits for you to spend even more time there. I have a FitBit to track things.

I live near a good variety of parks, and it's very normal for me to take a morning walk on the beach (which is a public park). I'll also take my laptop to work in some of the local cafes or the library. It can cost money to be around other humans, but I think that the payoff is worth the cost.

Ponderosa
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:46 pm

Re: Finished a online coding bootcamp...

Post by Ponderosa » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:47 pm

Thanks for the tips. I don't get out much when I work so that could be the problem. I'll just budget a bit more to get out and be around people.

Update on the job search: I've a couple interviews coming up, and one company I really got a good feeling for, until I heard they start developers at 50k (average around here for 0-1 years experience is 70k). Wut?

But yeah, might go through the process and make a move if I really want to. Otherwise I think I can optimize my setup here more to be happy. I'm grateful for the position I'm in. It is definitely interesting to see what you value when the rubber meets the road.

cimorene12
Posts: 585
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:10 am

Re: Finished a online coding bootcamp...

Post by cimorene12 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:41 pm

I think it is valuable to get interview experience even if the salary range is lower than your current salary. It's good to peek over the fence once in a while. You don't seem like you'd take a 50k job when you already make nearly 6 figures, but it's not going to hurt to interview.

Ponderosa
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:46 pm

Re: Finished a online coding bootcamp...

Post by Ponderosa » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:02 am

Agreed. I'm going to the interview anyway to get some practice. One company I spoke to at a hiring event (sponsored by the coding bootcamp) is already interested in hiring me after a 20 min talk that included technical questions. I thought I totally bombed the technical part. They will be giving an offer before I even meet with the companies I'm most interested in, so this might get tricky.

I have a couple options, assuming I get offers (high likelihood):

1. Top company will have the highest pay and has a great reputation. Location is good because I can bike or take the bus. No 2nd car needed! Only catch is the guy I talked to seem to indicate when you get hired you may either get a developer or systems engineer job - you don't know which until you get the offer or start. The systems engineer involves testing the website and monitoring performance and not much development. This isn't my goal but could be interesting. The person I talked to the phone though who is arranging the interviews says I'll be talking to a different department which is hiring software engineers so I might be OK. Work life balance is reported to be quite good.

2. 2nd company has competitive compensation and without a doubt I'll be doing what I want. Most likely will need another car but bike ride might be 10+ miles and impassable in winter. I guess we will see. Only catch is that it is contract-to-hire which I don't prefer but most people get on within a year. I'd say the car ride would take <15 mins.

3. 3rd Company is giving me an offer already. Fulltime employment and probably competitive compensation, but they you are a consultant working at a variety of companies. This can get dicey for me with commutes. I really hate long ones.

3. Tied with 3 is a major tech powerhouse and hasn't got back to me yet. I'm probably going to interview with them but it will be later on. The recruiter said I could reach out if I'm getting offers and speed things along. This company would probably have the highest pay but could potentially have the highest hours. Great location as well.

4. Really good vibe initially but apparently company isn't doing stellar and many people leave to terrible pay (15-20k below average entry level salary). Culture is reported to be good. Commute would suck. Probably not going to go for this one.

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