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#1 Atharron   User is offline

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I don't know how much I need to know

Posted 21 May 2018 - 12:05 PM

I am in dire need of a new job. The one I have is in a cafe. I have been trying for years to change career, but now I am struggling with money. The hours I am being given aren't many, and the wages aren't good. To top it off, due to medical reasons, I cannot work in catering for much longer.

I have been studying PHP for Web development to specialise in manipulating databases.

I do not have money to go to college, so I can't get an official qualification.

The best I can do is write some code and put it on Github. But I'm unsure of how much I need to know.

Is it enough to have made a few things? Do I need to know some more advanced concepts that aren't generally in most tutorials? At the moment, I'm just writing some stuff that can do things, but would they be production quality? I have no idea.

I have applied for every job I can find, and also looked into apprenticeships, but no one seems willing to grant me an interview.

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#2 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: I don't know how much I need to know

Posted 21 May 2018 - 12:31 PM

A good spot is can you take a project idea, design it out, and implement it, or are you stymied with "Where do I start?"?
project lists:

Project Ideas

Martyr2 Mega Project List

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Do I need to know some more advanced concepts that aren't generally in most tutorials?

Have you sat down with a book and gone through a structure option versus cherry picking lord-knows-what tutorials?

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but no one seems willing to grant me an interview.

Have you applied what you learned? Taken side gigs from freelancing sites, friends, local businesses, not-for-profits, etc?
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#3 tlhIn`toq   User is offline

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Re: I don't know how much I need to know

Posted 24 May 2018 - 07:16 AM

I always suggest working backwards.

  • Start with where you want to work and what kind of work you want to do. Its an entirely different skillset for coding firmware that goes into harddrive controllers than it is for coding smartphone games... which is different still than coding home automation... or manufacturing robot PCLs.
  • Once you work out what you want to do when you grow up, look at the job postings for those jobs. What skills do they require?
  • Now learn those skills.
  • Then demonstrate that you can do the job by making mock applications... or finding freelance work making the same type applications


> I have been studying PHP for Web development to specialise in manipulating databases.
> I do not have money to go to college, so I can't get an official qualification.

I'll be blunt-honest with you. So far it sounds like you don't have any marketable skills. Putting "some code on github" isn't going to do anything. Most 16 year olds these days can do that or more if software development is their passion. So many are part of the F.I.R.S.T. robotics program and have already learned to program robots and controllers. Or written Android phone apps in their spare time. Or... Or... Or... I hate to break it to you, but that's who you're competing against for jobs these days.

If you can't show something solid, either by way of credentials or a link to an app you've published on one of the various app stores or put a tablet in front of a recruiter and show them "Here, I made this" - then what do you have at the end of the day? You in front of an interviewer saying "I know I have nothing to show you, but I can do this."

You say you can't go to college. Ok. What else have you looked at? Online colleges? Other certifications? Many on-line learning sources have different revenue models. For example: Xamarin University is paid monthly for as many courses as you can fit into your day. Less than $100/mo. for as much as you can do - and if you're not getting many hours at work then you should be able to do a lot of courses; right? They have courses from Intro to C#, to database development, network topography... all the way up to developing cross-platform applications with Xamarin. https://university.xamarin.com/

If you really want the traditional college route they have this thing called student loans. Look into the grants for first college student in the family, first generation immigrant, 1/16th native american, woman with one blue eye and under 5'... There are grants for thousands of things you would never have thought existed. Go to the college admissions office and have them see what they can do for you. Just realize that traditional college for learning software development will take you about 4 years to learn what two "Learn C# in 60 days" books can teach you.
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#4 Atharron   User is offline

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Re: I don't know how much I need to know

Posted 24 May 2018 - 08:37 AM

Thanks. That's kind of what I'm working on at the moment. As for paying for tuition, I don't even have that much to spare. I'm always wary of getting grants, but it could be something to look into.

However, this isn't really what I was asking. One of the things I'm afraid of is that I get a job and am simply overwhelmed by the complexity of what I'm supposed to do. I worry that my skills are still only in the very basic range.

I plan on getting a book on advanced PHP skills, so I hope that can help me.

I suppose a good analogy to what I'm trying to say is when I first took a catering job. It was more than just knowing how to cook. I needed to be able to make things in a timely manner that were ready at the same time. I needed to know how much stock was required. I needed to prioritise preparation. And a great many other things that I wasn't prepared for or didn't know before I began that career.
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#5 no2pencil   User is online

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Re: I don't know how much I need to know

Posted 24 May 2018 - 09:19 AM

View PostAtharron, on 24 May 2018 - 11:37 AM, said:

One of the things I'm afraid of is that I get a job and am simply overwhelmed by the complexity of what I'm supposed to do.

That's life.

Fill in the blank & that statement holds true with anything. That's working on your car, that's raising a kid, that's visiting a foreign country.

Life is about taking chances, & how you overcome obstacles. Life is learning by making mistakes.
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#6 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: I don't know how much I need to know

Posted 24 May 2018 - 09:28 AM

Insert "imposter syndrome" comment.

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#7 Atharron   User is offline

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Re: I don't know how much I need to know

Posted 25 May 2018 - 12:54 PM

View Postno2pencil, on 24 May 2018 - 09:19 AM, said:

View PostAtharron, on 24 May 2018 - 11:37 AM, said:

One of the things I'm afraid of is that I get a job and am simply overwhelmed by the complexity of what I'm supposed to do.

That's life.

Fill in the blank & that statement holds true with anything. That's working on your car, that's raising a kid, that's visiting a foreign country.

Life is about taking chances, & how you overcome obstacles. Life is learning by making mistakes.


That's true. But there's a difference between working on a car and being a mechanic, a difference between raising kids and being a nanny, a difference between visiting a foreign country and being an ambassador.

I can build a functioning website. I doubt that's enough.

I don't know if I know enough to do this as a career yet. A couple years ago I was fired from a job because I didn't understand it well enough, and that seems to have impacted me somewhat.
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#8 no2pencil   User is online

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Re: I don't know how much I need to know

Posted 25 May 2018 - 02:03 PM

View PostAtharron, on 25 May 2018 - 03:54 PM, said:

A couple years ago I was fired from a job because I didn't understand it well enough, and that seems to have impacted me somewhat.

That's on the interviewer(s) that decided to hire you. They didn't do their job well enough. Unless it was decided you were good enough to be onboarded & learn as you go. Then it's on the department leaders that you worked under.

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But there's a difference between working on a car and being a mechanic, a difference between raising kids and being a nanny, a difference between visiting a foreign country and being an ambassador


You can't become a mechanic until you start wrenching.
You can't become a nanny until you start working with kids.
You can't become an ambassador if you don't live in the country. (* I don't know if this is fact)

View PostAtharron, on 25 May 2018 - 03:54 PM, said:

I can build a functioning website. I doubt that's enough.


The Obama care website didn't work correctly upon it's first release & it cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
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