I started learning programming at an early age of 12, not out of willingness but out of necessity, my widowed mother was conned by a web developer that she contracted for her business website, out of a large sum of money, so I decided to start learning PHP to try and help. Well I completed that site (business closed years later), and to this date that was still my biggest programming feat. I went through school knowing that I would one day become a programmer until about grade 11 where I started realizing that there’s a whole world out there filled with genius programmers and that I would never be able to do what they are doing.
So in the end I applied for an electronics engineering bursary and got in, so naturally I gave up on many coding opportunities, especially since varsity kept me so busy. I still read up on new programming frameworks, and other languages, but I never got involved. Last year I was busy with my 2nd/3rd year (it was extremely rough with my epilepsy and ADD diagnoses) and at the end of the year I became so depressed with life that I failed all my modules, lost my bursary and I just gave up on life.
Now I’m sitting in this hole, as a 21 year old, nothing… and yet again out of necessity I have to start programming again, and now I’m faced with the fact that I have nothing to show of any of my skills, who would want to hire me for anything programming related… So I read some blogs, and several books, so my knowledge is pretty expansive on the topic, but as I said, I don’t have anything to show for it. I opened up a GitHub account years ago, but there is nothing on it. So I checked out some freelancing sites and topcoder. WORST mistake ever. I was baffled by the level of coding required by some of those tasks and the amount of people that bid on them. and to top it all of I found my way onto a site that preps users for programming job interviews. At that very moment I just cracked. I don’t think I am good enough to even answer a single question that those interviewers ask.
If you were in my position what would you do? I can’t go back to college, I don’t have any funds to do so. I do have the knowledge to be a successful programmer, but I feel like I’m struggling to apply myself sometimes. Just as a note, I finished all my coding modules at varsity level, and enjoyed them immensely, I even got distinctions in modules for C and Assembly programming.
I thought about just taking the leap and start contributing, and posting a bunch of several small useful projects. But is that really helpful in terms of employment?