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#1 oldmancoder4406   User is offline

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Starting out- Where do I go from here?

Posted 07 August 2014 - 07:34 AM

First off I'm not your "typical" student. I'm a 46 year old industrial mechanic, you name it I've done it. Built race cars, fast cars, worked in all kind of industries. Got frustrated earlier this year, job tends to be brutal - I work in 120+ degree heat, body just doesn't like these conditions. So I actually Googled what career change would be best for a lifelong mechanic who specialized in problem solving. Oddly enough Web Development came up so I dove in, and boy is that can of worms big. I've done a couple different tutorial sites (currently I'm on Treehouse), I've built two small Javascript and Jquery projects (one is a calculator page that I and the engineering team use almost daily) and now am kinda in that "where do I go from here?" stage. I'm a realist, the chances of me getting hired by anyone-no matter how good I get, at my age is about nil. So my goal is to learn something valuable that I can freelance with, so my age isn't an issue. So do I get into Web Design? I have a basic webpage framework started, I just need to scan about a million pics of all the cars I've had. Learn WordPress and start a blog? Or go in deeper like back end development? I'll tell you one thing, once you get past the tutorial stage it gets tough. Don't get me wrong, I make my bones doing impossible jobs and redesigning stuff people gave up on at my job here. BTW I do have some stuff up on GitHub too. Any good advice? All the "where do I start" posts seem to center around college age kids.

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#2 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Starting out- Where do I go from here?

Posted 07 August 2014 - 07:52 AM

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and now am kinda in that "where do I go from here?" stage.

That's certainly a good question, but one hard to provide a solid answer for across the web, and not knowing you. Exactly what *DO* you want to do? Typically folks come out of college with some idea, abet not a precise one, of what they want to do and tend to gravitate their meandering job decisions that way. Do you want to write web sites? cool. Mobile apps? Desktop apps? Scripts? Random frameworks? Apps for cars? Car code? Work on theory? Network some computers together? Program robot doodads?

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I'm a realist, the chances of me getting hired by anyone-no matter how good I get, at my age is about nil.

I wouldn't put it nil, but I defer to you knowing your local area's job market.

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So my goal is to learn something valuable that I can freelance with, so my age isn't an issue. So do I get into Web Design?

Again this comes back to what sort of freelancing do you want to do? Have you flipped through the 'freelancer.com', 'rent a coder', 'guru.com', or similar sites to figure out what is available and angle yourself that way?

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I have a basic webpage framework started, I just need to scan about a million pics of all the cars I've had.

Framework - you are building your own?

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Learn WordPress and start a blog?

That wouldn't be a bad idea. CMS like wordpress, drupal, or joomla are pretty popular.

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Or go in deeper like back end development?

I would advocate that most web devs should have an understanding on backend operations, and basic CRUD [create, retrieve, update, delete] functionality to *SOME* sort of storage/database option.

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I'll tell you one thing, once you get past the tutorial stage it gets tough.

Sure.. have you looked at curriculum of web dev degrees to provide a signpost of what you may or may not need to know? Looked into a MOOC?

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BTW I do have some stuff up on GitHub too. Any good advice? All the "where do I start" posts seem to center around college age kids.

That advice is still germane to you as to them. I understand the desire to "give me 100% concentrated everything-I-need-to-know" because who has time for anything but that.. but it is a big field with layers of information you would need to know to make sense of the larger patterned view.
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#3 oldmancoder4406   User is offline

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Re: Starting out- Where do I go from here?

Posted 07 August 2014 - 08:05 AM

Thanks. Reading through your reply gave me some decent ideas. The thing is this line of work has so many different avenues to go down its mind boggling. I'm not gonna get frustrated, in fact its one good thing about us old coots. We are darn stubborn.
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#4 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: Starting out- Where do I go from here?

Posted 07 August 2014 - 08:18 AM

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The thing is this line of work has so many different avenues to go down its mind boggling.

As do most things when you only have a surface grasp. Akin to saying "I want to start working with cars!". Is that just cars, trucks, race cars, motorcycles, fabrication, painting, repair, building, maintenance, design, shop manager, restore, engine builds, driver, rally pit crew, writer, tester, dealer, salesman, farm equipment, tool/die, etc... etc.. etc.
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#5 oldmancoder4406   User is offline

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Re: Starting out- Where do I go from here?

Posted 07 August 2014 - 09:37 AM

Ah I see, Good analogy.
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