Hey guys I've been out of the dev field for about 2 years and work in a more physical engineering role. Due to out of control circumstances I'm looking to leave this job and am considering trying my hand at dev again. The only fears I have are I consider myself to still be entry level and I never finished college due to financial reasons. Would anyone be willing to help me roadmap or offer advice on where to start up again to get ready for interviews? I'm really hoping to reach out to someone that wouldn't mind having a chat with me to help me solidify my short-term goals.
I initially left the field because most of the positions I found were in startup culture, and I frequently found myself to be a bad fit with my development team in said startups. I also really struggled with the lack of guidance that my seniors offered; I don't mind learning something myself, but there were many projects with very open-ended concepts with not-as-open deadlines that would lead to confusion and bad product delivery with no input in between. A lot of my peers claim that what I experienced was just a streak of bad companies, and after working at my current job and experiencing solid leadership and well documented training/procedures, I believe it and want to try and find a good company again.
I know a decent amount of Java and PHP, and I had an internship doing LAMP dev for a year while in college. I also recently helped my friend with his startup in Rails, but I only really got to touch i18n stuff so there wasn't too much "development," but I did do a really deep dive into Rails architecture to get ready for the position and do technically have a recent project to talk about. I've also never been to a meetup for any kind of coding stuff. There are two positions within my area (S.Valley) that really catch my eye: LAMP and LEMP positions, but I've always had this innate fear that I would be looked over for more qualified people with degrees. I had been studying some Angular for my current job with the hopes that I could move from engineering to software later on but that won't pan out and I abandoned the MEAN studies halfway through.
My JS is good enough from Coursera classes, but oddly enough my jQuery was the weakest skill during my LAMP internship. I only also have about a year of solid Linux work tucked under my belt (thanks to that darn college internship) and feel I wouldn't be up to par for an entry level position, but was hoping someone could provide feedback on me working towards a CompTIA Linux+ cert to balance that out? I plan on studying my heart out for a month or so and would like to move onto a new position by the end of the current work quarter at best, hopefully by end of Q1 next year at worst. I also don't have a website yet, but plan on purchasing a domain and working on it during my next days off. It'd be great to hear words of encouragement or guidance from more experienced peers (this would be best!) that would be awesome. Thanks in advance!