Hello! I saw a post about a career change at 35 and it spoke to me. I am also at that age and recently (May 2020) got my first job as a developer! So I wanted to share my story.
I became interested in coding and development when I took an accelerated C++ class. It was to fulfill a requirement. I sucked at it and later learned that is NOT where you should start. I was working in customer service, then project coordination, then accounting. A few years later, I came across the textbook (because I don't throw anything away) and my interest was piqued. I wondered if I could learn and if maybe I just wasn't ready for it. I started looking into ways to learn and what would be the easiest to learn. While searching, I came across the CodeNewbie podcast and listened to a few episodes; one about using CodeCademy. Thus, starting my journey.
I became really interested in the CodeNewbie Podcast and started listening to the backlog. There I listened to an interview about someone in St. Louis who went through LaunchCode. This is where my journey truly began. I started out on CodeCademy (free version, you think I'm made of money!?) learning Python 2. I had questions, I didn't understand, I had no consistency. That was my life.
So after hearing about LaunchCode, I researched it, applied (a few times), and got in!
So this is not an endorsement for LaunchCode (it is, tho). I am not a paid spokesperson. I just really like to spread the gospel of this organization because it helped me get where I am. If you have never heard about LaunchCode (hereby to be referred to as LC), it is an organization that teaches you to code. It is similar to a boot camp, except its free because of donations and grants. Yes, they are non-profit.
They are based in St. Louis, Mo but have expanded their reach to Kansas City, MO, Arkasas, and Florida. Because of Covid, 2020 brought in a independent study version, so you can essentially apply from anywhere. There are also a couple types of classes, LOC101, CoderGirl, and the straight up Codecamp. Once through those, you have to option to attend the Liftoff program where you create a project from scratch and gain interview and job readiness skills. Once, you have passed Liftoff, you join the Apprenticeship pool where they send you on interviews and help you land your first job. I definitely recommend taking a look at that link up there if you are interested.
True. So much to say so little. I'm so happy where I am and honestly, this was less of a career change and more of me actually starting a career. I wish I had come across LC sooner, but everything happens for a reason, I believe. I felt more like I was floating around in all of my previous jobs and I finally found something that sparks joy and frustration, but in a good way. My imposter syndrome has been going nonstop for the past 8 months, but I just got my 6 month review (November and December was a crazy time and there was no time to do it) and my boss had nothing but great things to say about me and my work. It definitely gave me a much needed boost and feeling that I made the right choice; that everything I've tried has lead me to this.
I haven't seen very many posts related to CMS's and PHP so I'm mulling over doing a series to help solidify my own knowledge and help anyone else out there. I've also been working from home this entire time, so I've also been thinking about doing a day in the life YouTube video. That one may not happen.
Anyway, If you've made it all the way down here, thank you so much for reading the ramblings of my journey. I just hope I can inspire someone they way I was.