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I need some advice especially from people in the software development industry. I have been trying to become a developer for a long time and work in a call center in customer service. Because of COVID-19 outbreaks, we now have the opportunity to work from home.

This means I don't have to drive 22 minutes to work and back home and through 2 toll gates which as you can imagine leaves me very tired and financially burdened. $60AUD per a work week.

At the same time, there is an internal job going up for an IT help desk role which is onsite at all times. It pays a few dollars more than my current role.

The thing is I am finally starting to get developer interviews for ASP.NET Core and React programming language roles. I see myself going through loads and loads of interviews before I get the job.

So my question is should I try and go for this IT help desk role so I can show employers that I've worked in IT or should I continue to WFH and after my shift just grind away at my projects/blogs and put them on Github?

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  • If your ultimate career goal is to work as a software developer, then you should apply for the IT job. Otherwise, you should be fine with your current job at the call center. Jan 14 at 21:57
  • @Joe Strazzere I am applying for software dev jobs and getting interviews. Just wanted to know if having an IT help desk job would help down the track when moving into a development job. You're right, I'll WFH. Jan 15 at 3:14
  • My confidence is fine @Joe Strazzere. I've already gone up on stage in front of entire meetup groups and problem solved. Auth0 just gave me the chance to write on the platform and make more than $650 per a blog. Some they have already seen. I just have to wait until their program opens up. Jan 15 at 13:21
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    Some of us would say that 22 minutes is not a long commute! (Except when WFH, my commutes have all been 80–120 mins…)
    – gidds
    Jan 15 at 18:21
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    @gidds you are correct on that one. 22 minute commute would be a dream for me. Anything under a 70 minutes is good for me. Jan 17 at 17:46
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The short version is: a steady job is always a positive point in your CV compared to not having a steady job. But it does not matter for software development, which non-software-development job it is. IT Helpdesk is as much software development as retail or working the fryer at a fast food chain. All respectable jobs, one has to make money somehow, but they have nothing to do with software development.

If you want to get into software development, there is three things helping: experience in software development, a prior job in software development and a solid education in software development. Anything else on your CV I wont hold against you, but it won't help.

Software Development is not a step on a ladder you climb, with helpdesk below and manager above. It is a ladder on it's own. Anything else than software development, even in the same company, doesn't help you to get onto that ladder.


What would really help you get a job in my area of the world, is an education. Software development is not this new, unknown beast anymore where people employ anybody who can spell computer. That was 20-25 years ago. Yes, there are self-taught people, but they are old. Like my age. Back then there were no options for education in CS in a 100 mile radius and I'm living in the capital of a federal state. And today, those people all have decades of experience to trump any education somebody else might bring. But starting now, there is all kinds of CS programs. Every university or college has one, apprenticeships have different specialisations depending on which part of software development you are most interested in, there is courses and even college degrees to be had remotely after normal working hours.

So if you can get a job in software development now, that is great. Go get it. If you cannot because employers want to see more qualifications, a github reposity is good... but an education is better. Way better. So if you can, take the job that pays the bills for the least amount of effort and see if you can get an education any way possible in your region.

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  • Wow, thanks for your amount of detail. I actually already have a Diploma in Software Development. It was a one-year course but it left me in debt so that's why I'm hesitant to do the CS degree right now. Also, I'm speaking at Javascript meetups where I use my blogs as an actual script to solve problems I am demonstrating. i.e I'm putting myself out there which is likely the reason I'm even getting interviews. I wasn't really sure the help desk job did anything. So glad I got a second opinion, though thanks. Jan 15 at 12:02
  • 20-25 years ago, Software Development was VERY underdeveloped. Everything is new and being created at break-neck speed. Things are STILL being created at break-neck speed but you now need a very solid foundation to have a real career. People that are not fit for software development are no longer in that career path. People that stay are now breaking bank because they're on the forefront of an extremely huge (and still expanding) field.
    – Nelson
    Jan 15 at 13:33
  • Don't kid yourself thinking doing random bootcamps can get you a solid software development career. In can get you IN, yes, but you need a lot to STAY. A degree by itself is also not enough. However, a degree's foundational is suppose to lead to higher learning, and it has a far more flexible learning structure than bootcamps. The degree holder will still need to work HARD to stay, but at least they'll have the foundations. The market is making a heavy shift into big data and ML; you're going to need to be taught how to THINK, not just bang out code.
    – Nelson
    Jan 15 at 13:36

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