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I have 7 years of experience in investment banking and a degree in Bachelor of Arts.

I'm at the stage in my life were I would like to start a family, move away from the city, and work from home/ free lance, and my current career path would not be able to offer the flexibility.

I would like to change fields to programming. I'm not looking to make a lot of money doing this, I would be the second income in the family and we live a simple life. Work relating to App development or website development see like a good fit.

Without having to go back to university, where can I go to get fast track training that is actually beneficial?

What sites can I go to to check for jobs that meet this description, so that I can check for the requirements they need?

closed as off-topic by gnat, keshlam, HorusKol, Lilienthal, Dawny33 Jan 20 '16 at 2:35

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions asking for advice on what to do are not practical answerable questions (e.g. "what job should I take?", or "what skills should I learn?"). Questions should get answers explaining why and how to make a decision, not advice on what to do. For more information, click here." – gnat, keshlam, HorusKol, Lilienthal, Dawny33
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    You cannot get good paying jobs taking crash course on web app dev. No more than I could take a crash course and be a investment banker. – paparazzo Jan 19 '16 at 21:05
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    Also anyone analytical could do well in investment banking as a junior. It involves a lot of on the job learning and proficiency in excel and powerpoint. The downside is your skills are not that useful outside the corporate world unless you start your own business. – Beestocks Jan 19 '16 at 21:19
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    If you want to give it a try, there's a site called CodingBat that will give you some very simple to very challenging examples to practice with. You can also use this site for some other resources: codecondo.com/learn-java-programming-10-ways – jim_halpert Jan 19 '16 at 21:39
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    @jim_halpert thanks! I will definitely invest some time into this to see if I have the aptitude for it. I have some experience with vba for Excel macros from self learning, hopefully it is similar. – Beestocks Jan 19 '16 at 21:51
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    abstrusegoose.com/249 sums up my feelings on your question. – user42272 Jan 20 '16 at 0:43
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A crash course; probably not. But self-education. Sure.

It worked for me.

Before I started programming professionally I was a waiter. I had some college education in an unrelated field (though there are parallels) and I needed things to change.

So I stayed up after work every night and worked on HTML/CSS/Javascript. I knew nearly nothing about those technologies other than that's what powered websites. I also themed Wordpress sites. I took small jobs on Wordpress for friends and family and started using that as a portfolio. I got enough sites for a small portfolio and started marketing myself as a junior front-end developer. I threw my info up on every careers page (some are much better than others), created an extensive LinkedIn profile and waited a long time. Eventually recruiters started calling me with entry-level positions. It felt like an eternity but it could have been about 6 months (of waiting) before getting any real interest.

Where you're coming from, you probably won't make much considering what you may make now. Be prepared to work on your craft before you start seeing a difference. The real money in development comes from experience, not just the tech stack. Someone who really knows their mainframe technology can still make good money in 2016. Because their time works harder for their company.

Once I got in with development, and proved some sort of worthy existence, I was fine. The hard part was getting in. Once I started I was able to negotiate and move up to a salary position (This field is contract-to-hire, predominantly, especially what you're interested in), move around and learn more.

I didn't stop there. Every time I felt like I was stagnant, I moved again; making my intentions obvious to employers about what I knew, where I was going, and what I wanted to do. This allowed me to get closer to the full-stack developer position I was going for.

But don't do it because it seems easier. It's very easy to get into a place that wants you to work forever, under extremely tight deadlines, and without much remorse. It's not always easier, and things do get under the gun. When Amazon is having issues with a site or app, you can bet your butt the developers behind it (contract or not) are working 24/7 to get it resolved, in extreme conditions and without seeing their families. The trick is finding the sweet-spot. Sounds like work-life balance is important to you, and that's always important to remember when considering potential positions.

Also be prepared to teach yourself until you retire. In Web development (or Mobile Apps, etc.) you must always keep up with the technology. And boy does it change. A lot. Be prepared to use almost nothing from one year to the next. The experience really comes in problem solving; not knowledge of one technology over another.

Most job postings contain little underlying technology required. Those employers assume you know that stuff. The requirement might say "SPA". That means Single Page Application. Which means a more modern way to work through an application. That means Javascript knowledge. Which also means some sort of Javascript framework knowledge. Which means an understanding of REST (Representation State Transfer)... etc.

Instead focus on what you want to do, find the foundation of how that works/how it's built and start building. Without and work experience you're worth nothing, but showing someone how you make something, how you solve problems, and your knowledge of the foundation which you can only learn by doing; is where real employer interest comes from.


For web development there's tons of resources online. It's up to you to harness them. When I was cutting my teeth on it, I used CSS-Tricks, Udemy, Code Academy, Treehouse, and StackOverflow. As well as 100,000+ google searches.

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    Thanks for such a detailed answer. It's really encouraging to see how far you've come. My desire is to learn a hard skill on which I can build on, rather than relying mostly on soft skills (which I'm not very good at). I am analytical and problem solving oriented, which seems like it would translate well. The time pressure in some mission critical jobs would not be a good fit for me, but if I steer away from these and stick to some smaller jobs, I hope I could make it work. – Beestocks Jan 19 '16 at 22:24
  • You can definitely do it. I was never considered "smart" but had a genuine interest in it when I got started. Just take it slow, and build up your skills everything comes from something; start there and get a good idea of it before continuing. – user18462 Jan 19 '16 at 22:28
  • @ShawnStrickland: Interesting memoir. How long did it take before being a developer was your "day job", and not just side gigs for family & friends? – Nolo Problemo Jan 19 '16 at 23:13
  • Probably that estimate of 6 to 8 months. I was a stay at home dad until around 9 months so I did have opportunities to work some during the day. But anyone with kids will know that doesn't really happen easily. I'd say 6 to 8 months of honing a portfolio, talking to recruiters, and getting my first contractor position full-time. – user18462 Jan 20 '16 at 0:08
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    @gazzz0x2z Why would this story be impossible in France? – Brandin Jan 20 '16 at 9:18

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