Career Advice

Why You Want A New Career In Software

What did one construction worker say to the other construction worker? “Do you want fries with that?”

It’s a confusing time. While some of us are sidelined and praying for a relevant job, others are in demand. There is talk of significant skills shortages even while the unemployment rate sits at troubling high levels. Some areas of the country are desolate, others are booming.

The joke in Silicon Valley is that all of the unemployed construction folks have found new careers as social media consultants.

It’s not far from the truth.

Given the backlog of residential properties (5 years’ worth) and the glut of office space (people who work at home don’t need offices), it doesn’t look like construction is coming back anytime soon. In a different era, this would be a good reason to start agitating for a national training program.

In this era of impoverished government, you are going to have to train yourself. It sounds scary at first. But, there is relatively little choice (unless you really like having the kids sell lemonade to help with the mortgage).

But, that’s why we have the Internet.

If you are out of work (or stagnating in the current gig), it’s time to go into the computer business. You can train yourself online. Get started.

  1. Visit the O’Reilly Website. O’Reilly is the largest publisher of books used by the geeks who now run everything. The stuff is technical and dry. Get some, read some, figure out how to do some. They also offer online courses and certificates in technical areas.
  2. Start reading the Radar. Even if the articles don’t make sense at first, plow through them. This is a key source of information about the evolution of technology. You need to know about the technology news.
  3. Decide which language you want to learn. This article gives a good overview of the decision. Java people are in demand and Ruby On Rails pros are really scarce.
  4. Go to CodeAcademy and start learning to code. This free school is a great way to learn the basics of coding. Whether or not you ever actually code software, you need to know how to do it in the 21st Century.
  5. Google is a gateway for resources that help you test your coding skills and sharpen them.
  6. Get to know Github. It’s a community of developers and coders who help each other solve problems.
  7. Plan to learn enough about coding to hack into the local bank. Big aspirations like that can accelerate your learning curve. (JK)

If it sounds impossible, you’re probably depressed from being out of work. If it sounds pretty hard, it is.

Do it anyway.