I have not worked in 7 years, now I'm homeless


#1

I am ADHD and have generalized anxiety disorder, again, depressed.

Homeless legally, but for now, have a roof over my head, not my roof and not going to last long.

I have owned several businesses in my life, all code related, starting in the 90s onward. I did pretty well for myself. About 7 years ago three of my family members started to get sick, unrelated but all terminal diseases. I decided to be available to them. “Available to them” became a full time job for four years. That process and what followed could easily be made into a book. I cared for them to the extent of changing diapers, changing their bed sheets, and feeding them, one at a time, until each passed from one terminal illness to another.

In that four years I lost everything, not just my family members, but all of my possessions, sold most, so I had savings to move forward with. Understand that for this four years, I would have normally built another company.

When It was over I contemplated suicide, in fact, I had planned on it while caring for them, to pass with the last (my grandmother).

Obviously, I did not take this route.

That was my fall over four years. Now my odd and failed rise, the past three years.

When I left coding I was a C# developer, when I came back I looked at the state of tech, looking at things with fresh eyes and having come from Unix roots, I chose to go the route of JavaScript by way of TypeScript, Nodejs seemed very interesting.

For three years I have done nothing but learn.

My skills: TypeScript, Node.js, REST, Angular, RxJS, NgRx, HTML5, CSS, Sass, Git, - I know these things in great depth, it is incrinsingly difficult for me to find things on these topics that I can learn from. In fact, I am more skilled today than I have ever been in my life.

I am also a Certified AWS Solutions Architect and AWS Certified Developer

(For the non technical reader that is modern and pretty high demand stuff)

I have run out of saving and am now homeless. I intended to get a job two years ago, but just kept learning. I am scared of nothing, but I am petrified of getting a job as a developer.

Today, an opportunity came up for me to work in tech support at near minimum wage, and I plan on taking it, not scared of that. I am scared to get a job as a developer and I do not know why!

I have read books like Cracking the Coding Interview. I could probably pass a Silicon Valley interview, I am not in Silicon Valley.

I have built a wall of fear so high. I got my AWS Certified Developer just for the validation so I could go look for a job, but after I passed within hours it felt like the same nothing, so I went for AWS Solutions Architect, same thing happened, that was a year ago.

I have been a business owner my entire life. I do not have a CS degree, I am skilled and modern but I am old. I have taken over a dozen products to market but I have never worked in a proper software company.

Am I too old ― almost 50 now. If I am, WHY!?
What will be expected of me, would they not expect me to be master of all. I am not.

I just want to write code, I just want to go to work and do my job, to contribute and be creative and be productive, to solve problems, point me at it.

I think I have the same fear as a young entry level developer with the baggage of age and pain. Not having a business is a source of shame, not having a job is a source of same. Being afraid is a source of shame.

I have just been alone in a damn room for three years learning, the learning is diving me insane, now I can see I MUST do something.

What the hell is going on here?


#2

I am in the same place as you. I love learning. It gives me so e structure and it’s fun. Why is it driving you crazy? Maybe along with learning you can interview at the same time?


#3

Well, interview, get a job, that is all I want to do, I’m just so damn scared of it.

I guess I was looking for a magic answer or magic solution, that someone would say the right thing that got me over that fear. I think I have weird world view right now, like if I fail at an interview or fail at getting the job that every company in the city is going to know and I will be on some list of failures. I really do not know what my issue is. I know it is fear, of what, I do not know.


#4

For what it’s worth Blah, I understand the fear. Sometimes you have to just push through it, one step in front of the other. I think it’s our minds building up walls like you say that aren’t really there.

Also, I think you’re an amazing individual for doing what you did for your family.


#5

been in this same situation.

it reminds me of a persistent state of being frozen.

the skill/ability is there, the motivation can peak and trough, but ultimately it can be overwhelming.

i am not in the same situation but have been.

you’re far from too old. there’s no such thing. the ageism we see in the industry is starting to dwindle. put yourself out there as you feel comfortable, learn, network, and grow as you can. many of us are open to feedback if you need it.

you’re not alone