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General Discussion

Robert Niemczewski
Robert Niemczewski
4,560 Points

Quiting my job and risking it!

So I came to the conclusion that writing code and learning web develeopment and working a full time do not really go together so I am really close to quiting my current job and learning as much as I can so I can land a entry-level job as a web developer and go from there.

I have some friends that work for web development companies so if I learn more maybe I could even work with them.

Also, I am in situation that I will be fine if I don't work for a month or two and try to find a job that I like.

My plan is to come up with a plan that will tell me what to do and what to learn each day, also I want to make couple projects for other people so I can add it to my portfolio and also can get the experience with working for a client.

I am just worried that it may not work as I want it and Ill have to go back to my old job, or something, yet I feel if I work my ass off work a month/two, working apx 14-16 hours a day I can really make it happen!

Whats your opinion and advices on that!?

5 Answers

Chase Lee
Chase Lee
29,275 Points

If you can get decent then you should be able to land a job as there are a shortage of programers in the U.S. (that is if you do live in the states), I'm telling you this based on what I've heard. I have never got a job as I am only a student and still living with my parents. But again that's just what I've heard and might have interrupted it wrong.

Chase Lee
Chase Lee
29,275 Points

Here is a video that really got me into programing...I thought that maybe you'd like it too.

I'm at the same crossorads. I graduated college last year and discovered I was lacking the skills to get a software development job in the areas I'm interested. Now, that I have a better idea of what I need to learn and how long it may take, I'm faced with giving up a side job to devote all my time to coding. I'm equally scared that I may do all this work and still may not land a job in software development.

I think the best I can do weigh is the pros/cons of the situation. I do have financial backing from my parents while take this risky journey and it's a journey I rather take in the short term than to wonder "what if?" I will definitely look at how to do the full-time studying on top of earning my own keep and juggling adult responsibilites.

Robert Niemczewski
Robert Niemczewski
4,560 Points

Chase,

That is my plan to land a entry-level job and go from there, those jobs pay around 14-15 an hour to start and this is what I am making right now and I hate my job so it is what it is.

Jessica, so you actually just work on code and learn, how is it going then?

Robert:

Yep, I've been work on code Mon-Fri. I believe in a balance so my weekend are off-limits to coding--my guitar receives weekend love! I set aside a block of time just for coding. Once the time is up, I move on to my other duties. Surely, I would love to be able to sit for 12 hours and learn a topic everyday but my learning is I need slow and steady. I can't cram--that only leads to short-term memorization. Coding is defnitely practice and in the end that's the only shortcut. I've been working on various home/college projects for the last few years so I am able to accerelate in some areas (OOP, databases, web dev) and have to slowly graze for months over unfamiliar terriitory (complex algorithms and data structures, design patterns).

Are you brand new to web development?

Oh, to give you an idea about my progress so far...

December 2012: Took a short introduction to Android class without knowing Java. I relied on my previous C# knowledge to get me by.

January '13: Picked up a Java book because I was still confused about some Java concepts after the Android class. Finished in in early March. (Had a foot injury so I had a few weeks off to heal)

April '13: Returned to Android.

Today: Getting ready to start planning my own app from the ground up--UML, ERDs, etc.

Chase Lee
Chase Lee
29,275 Points

I've heard that most entry level jobs for programers are $80,000...What country do you live in?

Im speaking from experience, it takes a lot longer than you think, even with a good working plan in place.

I tried working 10 hours per day learning and it just cannot be done, you don't retain as much information as you should and its counter productive.

Stay at your job until you can land a new job working in web development, the journey lasts a lot longer than you are expecting. Its hard to hear and agree with since I am sure you are as excited as I am about doing this as a career but its the truth.

For my learning I follow the learning adventures here on Treehouse, but I organized myself even a little better.

I took a notebook and wrote down everything I want to learn. Then I found the courses here on treehouse. I have a systamatic way of working through courses, retaining information and staying on track.

I used to get side tracked when I saw something new ( I would be doing html+CSS then jump straight into RoR) It was a waste of time since I was not ready to tackle RoR.

Anyway, I wrote down everything I want to learn and I wrote down how many Mins I thought each badge would take me to learn and complete.

My goal is to complete 2 badges per day, this usually takes me an hour or two. As I am going through each badge I am taking notes on a piece of paper. I bought a notebook and I start a new page for each new badge, this way I can refer to my notebook for key points when answering questions or building websites of my own.

Try and mitigate your "Risk" at the moment your risk levels are pretty high, quitting your job and learning for 2 months to hopefully land a job in that time is very high risk.

Taking things slower and building a portfolio, may take your 6+ months but your risk will be much lower

To summarize:

  1. Stay at your job (everything is easier with money)
  2. Build your portfolio while learning at your job take notes and create your own way to tackle learning & content
  3. Try and land a freelance job or two
  4. Try and get a job within the development field

I wish you the best of luck, it seems like we are in the same shoes on this one, just remember "Rome was not built in a day"

I never really understood that quote until very recently :)

+2 with Jack Carr. It definitely takes time. (Not to conflict with my previous advice or post but I already have a background in development. I'm just rusty in some areas that a few months would bring me up to speed)

Chase Lee
Chase Lee
29,275 Points

That sound like good advice...Although I have know idea if it is, but it sounds good

Robert Niemczewski
Robert Niemczewski
4,560 Points

Damnn Jack,

I think we are in the same shoes, I just thought it would be faster and better but you might be right, everything is easier with money!

So.. umm, I dont know wha to do now.

I was going to quit college to learn full time in the hope to land a job or enough freelance work to support myself but I sat down and wrote stuff out and it was not a good idea (to me)

I am on a full time college course and I run a small game server with a small team, I also work on my fathers boat most weekends. Im super passionate about web design/development so I always find time to do the work, most weekends I start working on it at 10pm and finish around 12.

Once you have a good routine & goals set it gets much easier to keep on top of work.

Robert Niemczewski
Robert Niemczewski
4,560 Points

Well, I am a full time college student too, and my semester starts in couple weeks so a full time job and full time school will kill me to code, so that's what I am thinking of leaving my job since I still with my parents and the financial security will be there, I just think that a change like that would most likely find me a job that I will like...

Spen Taylor
Spen Taylor
13,027 Points

Very much agreed Jack!

For now, at least, it may be worth keeping your job. If your driven enough you'll put the learning hours in after your job - currently I'm working 40 hours a week and I'm usually averaging 5 to 8 hours a day between tutorials and building my own projects - It can definitely be done!

My aim is to save up for an intensive developer course, with a hefty price tag of around £10,000 all-in. The job that I'm working is extremely dull and, as a graduate, is a little below what I'd like to be doing in terms of being challenging and worthwhile.

The reason I raise this is because whenever I feel like I need some perking up and to get motivated I remember this quote: "Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people cant."

On that note I'll also add that you should try and work on your own project, using what you learn from tutorials but in a different context will really hammer the material into your head. You might find that the projects that you build for the sake of learning may end up being publishable and perhaps even profitable! - I'm getting fairly close to launching a small clothing brand that literally started as an excuse to play around with design and drawing! exciting times ahead!

Keep it going, once you have a bit of a portfolio built up - wether that be client work or things that you've built yourself - then consider dropping your job once your confident that you could be of use to a tech company :)

Good luck!

Hmm. Hey Jack, what do you think of just watching the videos and writing down the questions from the quizzes down and putting them on index cards?

Do you think it's better to also write notes anyways? I may just go back and do that for the html part.

It all depends how you learn best, I tried writing notes on the computer as I went a long, typing just doesn't sink in like writing pen to paper does for me.

I have a small notepad, maybe the size of 3 index cards ontop of each other, I tend to write quite a bit for each badge, I will usually hand write the code and then an explanation of what the code does. I will also write down key points he makes through the video, these points usually relate to the quiz.

So it all depends how you learn :). I say go ahead and try it, test out different ways and see what works best.

Good luck Carlos!

Yeah I think I learn visually and by learning. All I did was type up the code along with Nick so I could play around with it a bit (and the anki thing). I will do so and thanks bro. :D

Robert Niemczewski
Robert Niemczewski
4,560 Points

Thanks all,

but as I said before when school sarts full time and work full time, I really be out of a time to do any changes in my life, also I am in situation that I still live with my parents so honestly I have nothing to lose, maybe it is wort the risk?

Brandon Barrette
Brandon Barrette
20,485 Points

Remember, you can do it if you make time for it. I'd recommend what Jack said. Set aside a certain amount of time each day for just coding. Do that for a semester and see how it goes.

Also, the sooner you try to make things on your own, the better. It shows where you may be lacking in understanding and gives you direction on what you need to learn.

Treehouse videos are great, but they can be a crutch if you don't try working on your own. (Like having the solutions to textbook problems and then being given a pop quiz and having no idea what to do)

You can risk like I did, maybe my example won't help, but rather motivate you :), but it's up to you.

I've been working for a company as a web developer when I was 16, but I simply wanted to go alone and work on my own.

I've done a "smart" move, I've took two weeks off, and I've started working as a freelancer on odesk, I've earned 500$ in 2 weeks, that's like double, almost triple compared to my old salary. After that I've quit my job, at first, I had a horrible month, no projects, nothing, but after I've got lucky and earned around 1000$.

Considering I was working during school time, it was great.

It's was a really nice amount of cash I was earning for me, but I soon realized that I don't want to earn a lot of money, I just want to do awesome stuff, most of the time I'm doing things for free, and I'm working a week a month to get around 500-1000$.

Personal tip on freelancing, it's not about how much you know, but rather on how much trust the client gives you, because you can do an 100$ job for 500$, like most companies do, considering the taxes are annoyingly high.

So, if a 16 year, even romanian which are disgraced by a lot of people, could manage "the jungle" why can't you :) ?

BTW, I am 18 now :)

Robert Niemczewski
Robert Niemczewski
4,560 Points

Wow, great post man!

Yea, thats what I am thinking, If I can afford it now for at least a while, and I have saved up some money I am pretty sure that I should find something in the span of two months, becuase I just really want to start working on websites rather than doing my current job which I really really dislike.