= Switching from construction to software: realistic? =

I'm 27 and I've been in construction for the better part of my working life. I'm actually slowly being pushed to a supervisor role and honestly the more it happens the more I feel guilty for taking on the responsibility, because I've always felt like I don't belong here

Since a teenager I've been super into computers and science. I built my first PC when I was 14 and learned HTML and CSS in early high school and even made a couple of simple websites. As I got into my mid twenties I started getting stressed out thinking about how I'm not doing something I'm passionate about or that is granting me any kind of decent life. I took a 3 month online college course in MSSQL with intents of going forward and doing more software related courses in that path. Instead, since that course was a nightmare, I decided to do the Java MOOC. I did the first half and half of the second part before they revised it and came out with a new version

I really enjoyed it but realized I'm really bad at focusing and really bad at convincing myself it's a reasonable path to go down, thinking that I can switch my career and actually be good at it and enjoy it, and have it not turn into another deluded idea of just getting out of construction for the sake of it

Now that I went back to the MOOC, a couple years later, I'm having extreme trouble putting even an hour a day towards it, and now I'm disillusioned because folks are saying Java isn't good anymore, you may as well switch to Python or Kotlin if you want to do Android. At this point I just want to realize my confidence and realize if this is actually the path I should take, so I can set goals and feel good about it, or if I'm just kidding myself and it's going to be really hard to switch and I should stay stuck in a job where I'll at least be moving up and making a little bit more money Although any money I will make will pale in comparison to what some devs make

How can I approach my situation with more confidence and certainty, and realize what path I need to take and stick with it. This has been abattle of mine for the past 5 years and I just want to make up my mind already

Sorry for the rant and I know it's barely relevant here but I'd love some input, advice, or even just motivation. Thanks friends

I'm a software dev for a civil engineering company and I got pretty lucky and randomly fell into the job. I can honestly say having a construction background would definitely help in this kind of job. Here we use c#. I wouldn't get too hung up on language, there's tons of jobs out there that use various languages you'll just have to find one. People can be picky about language, especially on reddit where they can be Passionate about their preferences

But if I were in your situation, I'd look at some civil engineering/construction companies around you and you can see what kind of technologies they're looking for in a software dev and focus in and start working your way towards that. Mix your two interests/specializations and you can become very valuable having knowledge on both sides of the equation. Like in my situation I can only build software to specs provided to me, I can't really offer much value besides that, whereas someone with a background in construction might be able to offer forth some ideas that the engineers on one side wouldn't understand about how the code could work, and on the software side where they don't necessarily understand how the actual construction process works

Good luck to you, it's never too late. My friend just started working as a dev at a robotics company and she was pretty much completely self-taught, no degree for software dev and she's 30? Ish

On a parting note, paying for some online classes/resources can also help stay motivated, at least for me, as I don't want to waste that money. But if you're one of those people who sign up for a gym membership and then never go, you probably don't want to use that strategy lol

This is solid advice on trying to use your existing experience if you can. You may as well if you have it rather then throw it away

My background is similar, I work doing development in an industry and area I already worked in outside of tech beforehand also

It doesn't always have to be an all or nothing shift. Let's say hypothetically you run a big plumbing supply company and are hiring a new junior to train up in your system as a developer, do you prefer someone who can just belt out some algorithms or do you prefer a plumber? I'd take the plumber, I could teach them the tech easier then I can teach the first plumbing. While they are going through my system they might tell me I can save X dollars if I sell pipe X in sets of 5 not 3, don't bother enhancing my mobile app nobody uses it because they have gloves on, who knows, all sorts of different things that come with industry knowledge

Lot's of people think they need to go straight to working at Google or something without considering there might be tech opportunities in their existing field. It's worth atleast looking

It's always possible to switch careers

One of my old coworkers was a high school English teacher. She gotof education, and decided to switch. She learned frontend programming and landed herself a job as a frontend engineer

If you like the type of work, give it a go. It's
*really* hard to break in if you are self-taught, rather than just taking the easy route and getting a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering, math, etc. Breaking into the field can easily end up about *who* you know. But I know several people who've done it

u/PhasedAndDiffused and others like OP might have an easier time of it breaking into IT. Nowhere near as much of a penchant for degrees over in IT, and some of the more terminal positions, like devops or security, pay roughly the same as SWE does. Still gonna be hard of course, but not quite on the same difficulty setting / buys more time to learn

I'm just throwing that out, as IT should be more commonly considered an
*option* around here for people simply struggling. All kinds of roles exist that people apparently don't even know to consider

I think most beginners worry far too much about learning the right programming language or having the right credentials

Going back to construction for a moment: it's like being worried that you learned to operate a John Deere bulldozer when all of the construction companies in your area use Caterpillar

My apologies if that's not a perfect analogy, but I really think the general idea is right

Companies aren't looking for an expert in one particular programming language as much as they are looking for people who know how to use code to get stuff done - much like a construction company isn't looking for someone who's an expert in one particular piece of heavy machinery as much as they are looking for someone who has experience using machinery to get a job done

Have you considered doing project-directed learning?
What that would mean is: stop doing the MOOC. Stop any tutorials

Pick something YOU want to build. A website, an app, whatever

Just start building it

Don't know how to do it? Look up what you need to know. Learn as you go

Ask questions here! We love that sort of question in r/learnprogramming. We'll point you in the right direction

If you can make a cool app, employers are going to care far more about what you accomplished than whether you used Java or Kotlin

Java is fine but you need to have a goal like writing an app. I wrote a gas mileage app in BASIC at my first job. At first, it just computed the mileage from the input. But then I changed it to save the results and give me longer term numbers. Then I had it graph out the numbers

Once you start on an app that interests you, you become more motivated

I was a professional painter for 20 years - self employed for most of it. I still pick up jobs from time to time. I'm building out a shopping cart prototype right now to show to a client tomorrow I'll also be 49 next week

Sit yourin a chair, learn this stuff. Sell it to someone

There's no secret to success. You show up, consistently, and put in the effort required to reach the goal you want to achieve

Get out of your way, and get cracking. You'll be fine - just don't be. Do what you need to do to succeed

Will the pain of change be difficult? Sure will!
Then again..

So will the pain of remaining the same

Your call..

It doesn't sound optimistic. You seem to need magic motivation, and can easily talk yourself out of this goal. You're not content with saying, even if it's a waste of time, I need to try. You want more assurances you are doing the right thing. So, at this point, unless you are willing to try and fail (yes, fail), then it seems you won't make progress. There are no assurances you will succeed and if that prevents you from putting in the effort, it seems like that's your major problem

People literally quit their job and put it all on the line. Not everyone can do this. And those who quit may find they can't do it so they head back to what they know. Some do succeed, so it does happen. I mean, we could lie and say you will definitely succeed, but I think you would have self-doubts this is true

The other main issue, and I see this a lot from posters who say they love computers and such. If you loved it, why are you in construction? Why didn't you study it in the first place, take courses in college, and such? I am constantly surprised how many people say they love computers, and yet, choose to do something completely different

You have a couple of points and truths but I'm just don't agree with your take on it. My post was already so I was careful about how much I went into. It's not that I need magic motivation, asking why I went into construction to begin with, like really? I was young and needed a job and didn't have the option. Just like you said some people are able to risk it all and take the chance, but if you have bills to pay, that's not a realistic option and you know it. Anyways I'm not really sure what to take from this comment

Absolutely doable. I jumped from construction at around age 30. But this is what I did. I made a simple but tidy demo project and took it to aof local dev shops (no remote back them) and asked for a 3 month internship. With the idea that if I can keep up and they like me, they would hire me or at least give me a great reference. There’s nothing like the real world environment to speed up the learning process. Why would anyone want to do that? Because there’s not enough devs and the demand is always growing. So there’s room for you, just get in there and honestly talk about your plans and aspirations

By the way, the learning curve is long but you can start being useful early on, if you have that responsible, curious, helpful attitude

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