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Career change


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#1
Brando

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Has anybody made a career change in middle age?  I turn 40 this year, and I'm starting a coding boot camp to try to become a web developer.  I've been in insurance for a decade, currently regulating companies for the state government, but the pay isn't great for a family of 5, and I really don't like talking to the public on the phone, which is part of my current job. Mainly I don't like it because the people I talk to have already had an issue that lead to a claim, and then the claim went badly for them, so they're super upset.  It's emotionally draining, even if it is helping people.  The result is that I come home and don't have much energy left for the family, because my day has been full of "social" time, and I need my introvert time to heal, but that's impossible with a wife and three kids.

 

I think this will be really good for me, but I also have a bit of nervousness.  It's one thing to switch careers at 20 or 30, and a much bigger thing to do at 40. Anyone else go through it? Any advice?  



#2
Zathras

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Useful.

 

https://www.edx.org/



#3
Brando

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Right now I'm doing a boot camp on Udemy that's come highly recommended.  The teacher also teaches $21,000 in person boot camps, and is very knowledgeable and great.  This will probably take a couple of months, if I'm able to do it as frequently as I would like.  After that, there are a couple of other in-depth Udemy courses that I was able to get at a discount that focus on some additional stuff.

 

It helps that I have a specific company in mind and I know their requirements, so I can focus my education on those specific skills. And I'm assured that once you know enough, additional programming languages are easy to pick up.

 

But I'll definitely keep edX in mind.



#4
Tank

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Technically I did not become a Hollywood douchebag until 39. I was a graphic designer for 15 years before that.

#5
Brando

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I was thinking about you after I posted this.  It seems like that career change went wonderfully.  One of my biggest fears is doing this, getting a job somewhere other than the state, hating it and lose all of my state benefits.  And state employees have excellent benefits. If I keep the same job until I retire, and I never get promoted, I'll get $10k a month in retirement for the entire life of myself or my wife, whoever lives longest.  Which will definitely be my wife, barring something tragic like an accident or cancer.  So that's really hard to give up, but the state doesn't hire a lot of developers, so I'd be moving on to something new.  The good news is, I can at least transfer the balance to an IRA or new 401k if I leave, but that balance isn't as meaningful as the retirement plan.  

 

I guess there's no harm in doing the program and then looking.  Worst case scenario is I do my full-time job and pick up some web development as a sideline.  



#6
Odine

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Go for it man. All change is good.

#7
Destiny Skywalker

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Do you have a college degree? I ask because some companies (like mine) are snobby about having to have degrees. So we would never hire someone who just went to a coding boot camp. My husband has had a few people like this who they've hired for the business development side as contractors/temps, not engineering, but I will say he wasn't very impressed. Buggy code, bad at beta testing their own stuff. I have known at least 2 women who left Engineering and did the coding development thing and are now working as developers. They felt constrained by the 9-5 and wanted a different lifestyle. That said, it can be feast or famine. One of them kind of bounces from company to company. The other is just getting started but I think she has a better work ethic and more natural leadership skills, too.

If you are good, you will do awesome. From what I've seen you do here on Nightly with your Raspbery Pi mods, I think you have a knack for this. Just be aware that the industry is still fairly new and can have some ups and downs. The other thing to keep in mind is that it can be kind of like Seth's line of work. You might have to pitch your ideas and collaborate quite a bit. A little different than customer service but not truly an introverts dream, either.

#8
Zathras

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Right now I'm doing a boot camp on Udemy that's come highly recommended.  The teacher also teaches $21,000 in person boot camps, and is very knowledgeable and great.  This will probably take a couple of months, if I'm able to do it as frequently as I would like.  After that, there are a couple of other in-depth Udemy courses that I was able to get at a discount that focus on some additional stuff.

 

It helps that I have a specific company in mind and I know their requirements, so I can focus my education on those specific skills. And I'm assured that once you know enough, additional programming languages are easy to pick up.

 

But I'll definitely keep edX in mind.

If you have something working for you, cool.  I just mentioned edx because I am using it now for a career change of my own.  

 

But, yeah. Go for it.  Don't do something you hate.

 

Technically I did not become a Hollywood douchebag until 39. I was a graphic designer for 15 years before that.

Age is meaningless these days.  With medicine advancing as it is, and it will only get better in the future, people in their 30s-40s right now will likely live to over 100 years old, assuming nothing catastrophic!



#9
Zathras

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double post



#10
Brando

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When I say I'm sick of people and the emotions, I deal with people crying and/or screaming on a daily basis. I'm fine dealing with people in a professional setting, and co-workers would have no idea I'm an introvert. I just can't stand the emotions.

I don't have a degree, but I have connections and at least half of the devs for several companies (including huge national or multi-national corporations based here) don't have degrees. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of places that won't look at you without a degree, but the job market here doesn't allow them to be too picky. There are more tech jobs than people, which is obviously different in other areas.

I wouldn't even consider it if I wouldn't be able to get a job, and it's not like I need to leave my job immediately. I can do some work on my own to build up a portfolio. I've been wanting to help some local churches update their websites, and I could easily do that as a volunteer in order to build up the portfolio even more. I haven't done it yet because it's been hard to make the time, but that would give good reason.

#11
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When I say I'm sick of people and the emotions, I deal with people crying and/or screaming on a daily basis. I'm fine dealing with people in a professional setting, and co-workers would have no idea I'm an introvert. I just can't stand the emotions.

 

I wouldn't last until lunch time on my first day!



#12
Brando

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When I say I'm sick of people and the emotions, I deal with people crying and/or screaming on a daily basis. I'm fine dealing with people in a professional setting, and co-workers would have no idea I'm an introvert. I just can't stand the emotions.

 

I wouldn't last until lunch time on my first day!

It takes a lot of patience and sympathy. I'm not in claims any more, but I always said that in claims you either get out or you get bitter. I never met an adjuster who had done the job for decades and wasn't angry all the time. It isn't quite as bad working for the government, because they're typically angry at someone else, although not always - it isn't unheard of to get death threats after saying the insurance company followed the law.

#13
Zathras

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Sounds very stressful, and hard to do.  I used to do inbound call center customer service for a bank.  Probably not anywhere near as stressful as your job, but  I got out of it because I was becoming physically ill. It's not worth it.



#14
Brando

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Sounds very stressful, and hard to do.  I used to do inbound call center customer service for a bank.  Probably not anywhere near as stressful as your job, but  I got out of it because I was becoming physically ill. It's not worth it.

I never did call center work for them, but as I mentioned previously I was in banking.  I was in banking, started as a teller and then worked my way up to being one of the top online banking / website people, then took a turn to do youth ministry, got out of that early 2009, couldn't find a job and eventually ended up in a pharmacy, and then moved on to insurance.  Being a teller was a mix of fun and terrible.  We had a lot of regular customers that you could laugh with, but there were also pretty terrible people.  And people feel freedom to be worse over the phone, so I can imagine that you were dealing with some stuff in that job.



#15
Tank

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Every goal I have ever had has been to deal with as few people as possible.



#16
Odine

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Every goal I have ever had has been to deal with as few people as possible.


Word.

#17
Ms. Spam

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Has anybody made a career change in middle age?  I turn 40 this year, and I'm starting a coding boot camp to try to become a web developer.  I've been in insurance for a decade, currently regulating companies for the state government, but the pay isn't great for a family of 5, and I really don't like talking to the public on the phone, which is part of my current job. Mainly I don't like it because the people I talk to have already had an issue that lead to a claim, and then the claim went badly for them, so they're super upset.  It's emotionally draining, even if it is helping people.  The result is that I come home and don't have much energy left for the family, because my day has been full of "social" time, and I need my introvert time to heal, but that's impossible with a wife and three kids.

 

I think this will be really good for me, but I also have a bit of nervousness.  It's one thing to switch careers at 20 or 30, and a much bigger thing to do at 40. Anyone else go through it? Any advice?  

If it is Code Up I can tell you a recent friend of mine did this thing and while he likes it because he didn't want to interact with the public but he feels 90% of the job they found him after graduating he is not prepared for. He works for a mortgage company doing code for online mortgage applications and other stuff. So he's always paranoid he's going to be let go because he has to get help from the older coder guy to figure out what it is they want him to do.



#18
Brando

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In general, I've heard that new hires typically get a year (at an established company - YMMV if you're going to a tiny company) to pick up what they're doing.  After that, if you don't get it, you're probably getting fired if you don't quit first.  

 

I'm using Udemy, which has some great teachers (and some bad ones), and the particular program/instructor is reportedly very good.  I'm  not expecting to do this and be ready, and I'm definitely not expecting to work for Google or Facebook, or even Boeing.  I'm expecting to do this, do at least four additional courses, see what I can do in the meantime in terms of gaining creating a portfolio, and hopefully making a switch before I turn 41.  I don't turn 40 until September, so I'm giving myself over a year and a half, and that's just a goal.  I'm not going to kill myself if I spend 5 years working my current job before I can get a job somewhere else. Heck, at that point I'll probably be in a management position, if things continue to go the way they have been.

 

I've already done some dev work professionally, but I didn't keep up with the skills so things have passed me by. I can do HTML and CSS. but my JavaScript is bad, I was working primarily in PHP, and I don't know the new hot stuff at all.  React and Ruby on Rails are completely foreign to me, and you pretty much have to know them.

 

From everything I've read, you have to be very special and very lucky to get a job soon after completing a boot camp, and a sizable amount of people are going 6+ months or giving up. I'm not spending $20k on it, so I'm not as afraid of failure, but I'm also aware that my skillset is already more advanced than a lot of people, I'm just caught in the middle.  I know too much to be a beginner, but not enough to be a professional.  I can speak knowledgeably to my friends who are web/software developers, and I can read and make sense of a lot of code, but I can't write it, and I'm not dedicated enough to do it on myself without a formal program of some type.  And I've been taking college courses, but sitting through 2 semesters of Microsoft Office, two semesters of HTML, a semester of CSS, and a bunch of other stuff I already know before I get to take a single class where I'll learn something is frustrating.  It's easy, but it also feels wasteful to spend money to learn skills that I already have. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad in person, where I could help classmates, but doing it online is painful.


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#19
Tank

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Yeah, but will you be able to make nightly's search engine finally be helpful?


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#20
Darth Krawlie

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That requires more skill than anyone has
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#21
Brando

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I'm pretty sure Invision has improved the search, but we just haven't upgraded in a long time.



#22
Cerina

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#1 - I really thought Seth posted this again, and I wasn't having it. Again. 

 

#2 - Dude. Go for it. I kinda really want this job at our local BSA council (where I already work part-time), but they're INSANELY strict about needing a degree. Nothing like being penalized for not being able to afford to buy a degree. :rolleyes: 

#3 - Why in God's name would anyone want to search for **** on Nightly? Do you have any idea of the level of depravity that can be found in the archives?? Just...don't...



#23
Darth Ender

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Nightly has a search feature?


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#24
Brando

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It’s called going to Google and adding site:nightly.net


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#25
Tank

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Its called going to Google and adding site:nightly.net


I tried using this to find the thread Cerina is talking about to feel accomplished, but no luck. I did find the thread where she and I were low key fighting about grade school education.



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