Sick of being poor, will sell soul for career advice

Delta Air Lines / Supply/Log
realbroke

Delta Air Lines Supply/Log

PRE
Apple
realbrokemore
Sep 16 765 Comments

I'm a dummy with a humanities degree approaching the end of my twenties that is disillusioned after coming across this website. I want to buy a house, start a family, take care of my aging mother and eliminate my crippling student loan debt.

How do I go from poor overworked baggage handler to financially secure overworked 300k software engineer?

I'm willing to put in the work but I can't afford to go to boot camp or school or anything like that. I'm too poor.

TC: 32k

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TOP 765 Comments
  • F5 Networks RRA
    What are you good at? Math? Working with people? Etc. Be as honest as possible.
    Sep 16 22
    • Alto Pharmacy JLA19
      Here’s a possible path to validate whether you’d love tech and at the same time get exposure with eng teams:

      Get a job at a tech company (preferably a startup) as an entry level support agent. Try to get as much face time with the product and engineering team as possible to make sure you really want to pursue your career in that direction. Leverage your customer pain point insights and help them build a better product to improve user experience. Voice to your manager that you’ll one day want to move into product but would like to be an operational expert first (only if you feel your manager is supportive). Be smart with your expenses and save your way to afford a boot camp. I have a coworker who did this, started as entry level support and moved into eng at a diff company.
      Sep 18
    • StockX / Eng GapF22
      Lmao some SF people are so out of touch with reality on cost of living. Somebody said that 32k in the Midwest is more than you think 😂
      Sep 19
    • Salesforce / Design ReleRank
      You can teach yourself to be a Salesforce admin.
      Sep 19
    • Microsoft / Eng
      prac

      Microsoft Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft
      pracmore
      Wow, in Seattle if you work 40 hours a week at McDonalds you can make around $30k
      Sep 20
    • Netflix razorlab
      Have you thought about law enforcement? Couple cities are hiring in the Bay Area and with paid over time puts you well into the Six figs.
      Sep 23
  • Google Krepton
    Get in touch with computer science people and ask them to put a study plan for you. Coding camps can be very useful but you also need to have some background in hardware, operating systems, networking, software design, etc to be an effective software engineer. Many software engineers can’t cross the $60k or $80k because they are low tier

    Also, take a look at the courses offered by stanford CS department and start from there.

    You may need 6 months to 1 year of full time study but its a worthwhile investment
    Sep 16 16
    • Amazon Jefe bejos
      Pretty good cs curriculum made up of free courses put together by a popular cs youtuber
      Sep 18
    • Google
      🐀Race

      Google

      PRE
      Microsoft
      🐀Racemore
      Also community college is cheap and has lot of 101 courses that are great introductory ones to get started on.
      Sep 18
    • DigitalOcean Sharkna-DO
      Get a customer support gig at a tech company. Acquire the funds to go to Boot Camp. Progress from there. It will take years, but stick with it, and you just might find yourself living and working in an expensive city to the point that you wonder why you did this at all
      Sep 18
    • Amazon aassddw
      “take a look at the courses offered by stanford CS department and start from there”

      Really !! OP mentioned that he is broke. Stanford CS courses are expensive and competitive.
      80% would go over your head if you have no engineering background. You’ll waste money gaining nothing.
      Sep 18
    • Google Krepton
      I sent him MIT plan. Courses are freely available, at least the course syllabus
      Sep 18
  • PayPal ppapplepie
    I have an idea. I'll pay you 40k a year TC. ( More than what you are making atm). All you have to do is study to become a software engineer. As long as you work hard (8 hours a day) and I'm making more than 40k a year (my current TC is 190 but I have a few properties giving me good rental income) you will get 40k a year. If you slack off to the point that I no longer want to help you, I'll stop our deal and publicity declare why (so people don't accuse me of being the bad guy because I have a family and I don't want to live with a bad reputation). After you get a job, I'll ask for nothing in return.
    Sep 18 20
    • AnchorFree / Eng 🍪 cookie
      Guys are you kidding? Everyone can find the time for studies no matter what TC. I was living in a studio room with my mom and sister until age 17, on food stamps. Then working all day and studying all evening. Everyone does that, all students, in all countries of the world. What's the problem why someone needs sponsorship lol wtf
      Sep 19
    • AnchorFree / Eng 🍪 cookie
      I bet at least half of us all are from poor families. I don't have a uni degree until now (age 31), just enrolled in an online free one, to get a paper.
      OP, enroll for free in UoPeople uni, it's online, self paced. And free
      Sep 19
    • VMware eIUP54
      mad respect i hope this works out!!
      Nov 19
    • PayPal ppapplepie
      This is happening, op is working hard!
      Nov 19
    • Amazon BigBird420
      Legendary thread omg

      @ppapplepie, sent me a PM if you actually come to an arrangement with that guy! I want to hear how this turns out.
      Dec 4
  • Cisco / Eng
    chiller🐳

    Cisco Eng

    BIO
    Chill bro.
    chiller🐳more
    Money won’t make you happy. I grew up wealthy and my SO is very rich. Some of the most unhappy, miserable people I know. Myself included. Go for being comfortable and helping others.
    Sep 18 4
    • Credit Karma ck1
      When you have money, money won't make you happy. But for someone earning 37k, struggling to buy a house or start a family, this is bullshit advice.
      Sep 18
    • Cisco / Eng
      chiller🐳

      Cisco Eng

      BIO
      Chill bro.
      chiller🐳more
      I agree wholeheartedly. Money solves problems. But, the pursuit of money for the sake of money is one of the emptiest journeys of life and brings misery.

      If I could I’d write a check to this person to help them understand that whilst also helping them out.
      Sep 18
    • Xilinx SrEe”
      ^ why dont you give your money to op. Helped others, you happy, he/she happy.
      Sep 18
    • Cisco / Eng
      chiller🐳

      Cisco Eng

      BIO
      Chill bro.
      chiller🐳more
      Because that’s not how blind trusts work. Wanna know why rich people are miserable? Because their asshole grandfather or great grandfather has clauses to make you do shit you hate in order to get money.

      It’s all about control.
      Sep 18
  • Medallia weR1
    Lmfao at all these posts about tech jobs being the only way to monster TC.

    Look into being any type of tradesman or a general contractor. The work is frowned upon by the general public and ESPECIALLY this community, but check out your local rates for a plumber, roofer, floorer, carpenter, etc and you'd be shocked. Many bill at 3-500/hr.

    I live in silicon valley and have a side gig doing hilariously easy handyman jobs for the tech community and clear 10k a month from those gigs alone. Does it involve manual labor? Sure, but that's not beneath me. The money is great and most people don't know the first thing to do when their home is in need of a minor repair.
    Sep 18 13
    • Facebook / Eng mxmn
      @bueller no it’s not lol. You and this guy can learn how to do it
      Sep 18
    • Facebook FHQU34
      I do wonder, even if these people can bill at a high hourly rate, it's contract based and you can't possibly fill all of your hour slots 40 hours a week right? So you end up around 60-80k, and top out at bottom 6 figures.
      Sep 24
    • Salesforce fullofit
      Not necessarily. Some of these guys work way more than 40 hours a week - they show up at nights and weekends because people always have emergencies. Last time I had to pay my plumber $250/hr to come fix a leak from my 2nd floor on a Saturday. :(
      Sep 24
    • Facebook FHQU34
      At that point fix it yourself. Plumbing is extremely easy to deal with if you have a tool kit.
      Sep 27
    • Gamalon hRAe65
      Can you shed some light on what trades is easy to get into (less certification / regulation b.s if possible) and good money? grew up poor, was almost homeless many times, I never want to be at risk of being homeless experiencing that again, not me, and not for my immediate family. I learned to code myself but I need a side 2nd job to make sure I am not dependent on the man. Will send you a PM.
      Oct 3
  • Facebook 🐱 🐶!
    I went from a non-tech job in 2013 making $58K to TC $550K today as a PM.

    If you want to be an engineer, go study to do that. You can also break into tech leaning into your strengths and competencies already.

    There are a ton of high paying ops and supply chain roles (looks like what you do now). You can transition closer to the product or infra teams over time if it’s what interests you once you’re in.

    Reach out to 2nd and 3rd connections on LinkedIn working in tech. Ask for an informational interview for you to learn about what they do (even if you have a low response rate, I promise you’ll find people willing to talk). Ask them smart questions. End it by saying, “this is really great; what could I do to be a competitive applicant at a place like <wherever they work>?”

    Don’t forget, everyone in tech has referral bonus structures and loves free money. We are rooting for you to not be a doofus, because referring you pays us. 9/10 people I did this with told me to send them my resume and they’ll submit me.

    Start there, stay resilient to failure (I did a lot), get in the door, and then start hustling. That’s what I did in the same situation and had it work for me.
    Sep 18 6
    • Square / Eng Advocate
      What did your path look like to this level of comp and responsibility as a PM? That's the long term direction I would like to go but I fear I've already missed the gravy train as far as TC goes, by the time I'll get there.
      Sep 18
    • New iceob
      Can you please write a little more about your story?, im a junior level PM and this app tends to talk less about PMs . Id love to understand how you went through it.
      Sep 18
    • Paycom Nukr81
      I would love to hear more about your journey. I'm a PM and make about what your 2013 salary was. There isn't much about PM careers on here and it sounds like you're living the PM life we're all striving for.
      Sep 18
    • Samsung samsungMTV
      I am currently interviewing for PM role in facebook.. can you give me idea on what level has 550K.. my current TC is 400K
      Sep 18
    • Facebook 🐱 🐶!
      To clarify, PM at Facebook == Product Manager. I know different companies have various PM roles for Project or Program, so my career journey may be different. Generally, I did three things:

      (1) Found the person a level or two above me I thought was the best and delivered for them. Looked for ways to help them be successful and they carried me up along with them. General truism in big companies = All the best people have a right hand person a layer below them. Make yourself that right hand for the person on the ladder above you, up you go. I’ve done this 4-5 times.

      (2) Find a vacuum and fill it. Being a +1 on something everyone wants to do will waste your time in politics. Talk to your manager and skip and see what they’re worried about that no one is solving yet. Go do that. Growing something out of nothing is always more impressive than just being another body on something else. If you already know it’s something your management thinks is a gap, you’ll be a hero. You have to have grit being ignored or out of the spotlight as you get it bootstrapped though.

      (3) Work hard and be nice to people. Everyone can do this; it takes no expertise. Don’t get taken advantage of (important nuance), but people will notice this. This matters a lot with your peers as you start to climb. You need support from your peers as you move up since some will likely start working for you. You don’t want people revolting when they find out you’re their manager or moved up. If they know you get stuff done and are generally empathetic and kind, they’ll support your growth.
      Sep 18
  • Amazon XIjQ36
    You can do it. When I was in my mid 20s I was couch hopping. Basically homeless with a non science degree. I was so worried I'd be poor forever. Then I sat down and made a 3-5 yr plan and worked backwards. I targeted a specific sector and did what I needed to do to get in. My job offered amazing tuition assistance. First 4 years I averaged 70k. Good but not what I wanted. I took a few years off and got a graduate degree ( funded by my job). When I graduated I was making 125k. I was always interviewing though. Got offered a job making 180 a few years later and got promoted with a 225 salary. Last year I was poached from that company for 330k plus bonus.

    It took 13 years but I went from homeless to 330k+ with a non science degree. I love my job and it all started with planning. It wasn't easy and I had to modify the plan along the way but I kept my eyes on the prize and you can too.
    Sep 18 4
    • Daimler mbeqc
      Cool! May I know what kind of work do you do that pays 330k? Just curious.
      Sep 18
    • Amazon XIjQ36
      I'm a non tech PM.
      Sep 18
    • Intel / Other seabay
      Really nice to hear. Wish you all the best.
      Sep 18
    • WeWork sLkb70
      XIjQ36, would you share more of your journey? I'm probably like where you were 13 years ago. What grad school/program did you consider and end up going to, and for how many years? I'm currently in a non-tech role with wework (so the role is going to be non-existent soon I guess). Biz school feels like a waste of money and time, and there is no way I can get into a good CS program without a CS degree.
      Oct 10
  • Oracle ylUg37
    300k is not common. It may be for people in this app but by in large it's uncommon. 100k is more realistic. Come to terms with that first before trying to drastically change careers that you may not be super great at.
    Sep 16 8
    • Oracle ynb4882
      Op-

      It's self selection bias. People who make a fuckton are more than happy to brag.

      Yes, there are a subset of people in the field who swing 300k. And it can be done but they are usually 7+ yoe with expertise in various fields.

      I don't mean to discourage you from the field but if you're just trying to break in to make 300k and do cocaine...those people rarely make it.
      Sep 16
    • Delta Air Lines / Supply/Log
      realbroke

      Delta Air Lines Supply/Log

      PRE
      Apple
      realbrokemore
      OP
      @ynb4882 Totally makes sense. I'll say for the record, I'd be happy with less than 300k lol. I saw in a "new grad" thread on here that kids are making these crazy salary numbers and just used those numbers. I just want to break 6 figures and make my life better. I don't expect that kind of money out of the gate, though it'd be nice.
      Sep 16
    • Bloomberg daily 🍲
      But most college grads from your local community college don't make that much. They start with 50-70/year .
      Sep 16
    • New / Eng R162
      Become a web developer, or QA analyst and quickly climb from there. The entry barrier is just a lot more reasonable starting off.. If you excel then you can easily leetcode your way into a big tech company like most of these Indians on Blind. 😂
      Sep 19
    • @Ynb4882 there is also the silent zone where you stop bragging after you break through the $500k bar.
      There are lot of them too.
      Sep 20
  • Facebook E 7
    College drop out here (though I did go back later, after I had established my career).

    750k TC 20 YoE, completely self taught.

    In my day, 20 years ago it was different, we had to read books, now YouTube will teach you everything you want to know. Regardless of the source, you need the following:
    - Drive / Ambition to follow through
    - A goal
    - reliable source of information
    - time to practice and study.

    Sounds cliche but it's true, anyone can do it. I spent about a year locked up in my bedroom reading every tutorial that would teach me how to hack, and then every CS fundamental book I could get ahold of. After a year I was a shitty software engineer bluffing my way through a job, barely meeting performance goals and receiving a lot of criticism for my shitty code but I kept learning.

    I'd say after about 5 years of that embarrassment I was actually competent, but I was so compelled to be better than shitty that I just kept going.

    When I joined FB as an E6 I had two design interviews and they both said my design skills were among the best they'd seen. Algorithmically I was "fine".

    I'm not special, I took the hard route, I just had so much fucking drive that I shot past good. Now I champion for best practices and philosophize about design patterns and people listen. Who the fuck am I? I just tried really hard and I really give a shit. That's it.

    Do that and your ship will come in.
    Sep 18 3
    • Microsoft dingo baby
      Inspiring
      Sep 18
    • IBM cb23aD
      How did you pick up your design skills? Any resources you’d like to suggest? I’m currently reading “designing data-intensive applications”. The theory is fascinating but I don’t get many opportunities to practice it on my job. I’m just droning away on legacy software.
      Sep 18
    • Microsoft ViceVersa
      Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing your story.
      Sep 19
  • VMware vmware_123
    With your profile man, I'd say stay away from coding. Try to find an alternate career that pays better and with experience develops skills that sells for more with time. You can't become an expert baggage handler and demand more money in future.
    Sep 16 8
    • VMware vmware_123
      Hey op, I had suggested to stay away from coding because it's a skill acquired usually slowly over a long period of time by working long and consistent hours on it. On the other hand once you move to some career where you do mostly mental tasks instead of physical then you can pick certain more in demand skills to work upon which require less input as compared to coding.
      Sep 16
    • VMware vmware_123
      If you definitely want to enter in CS careers then QE roles might be rather easier to enter with some python training at hand. Try some startups first and then move up the ladder.
      Sep 16
    • Amazon / Biz Dev North4Now
      I couldn't agree more. Instead of coding, and based on the fact that you put yourself out there with this post (albeit on blind which is fairly anonymous), I suggest sales, customer service, account management. Shoot high (company prestige wise). You don't need to go to tech to get a decent job in those fields. Learning mathematics and basic coding will help you agnostic to the company, but actually being educated to the point where that's your job is difficult. They just help disproportionately in tech but mastering the information is not necessary in tech-adjacent positions
      Sep 18
    • Microsoft suany1
      Study computer science. No such thing as a free lunch. You can offer your soul, but this isn’t quite a buyer’s market. You’ve gotta read books, practice, learn theory, even in less technically rigorous contexts like front end web development. Others suggest it as well, because barrier to entry is lower. You don’t need to understand compilers, runtime environments (other than js in the beginning). Your whole dev suite can be a web browser and visual studio code.
      Sep 18
    • VMware HRrO28
      I second what VMware_123 suggests. You can also look at project co-ordinatior roles which can progress to project manager roles. Those are relatively better paying in Tech. BTW what’s your TC?
      Sep 18
  • Indeed indone
    The likelihood of you becoming a Software Engineer is very slim. Partly because recruiters won't even look at your resume given your background, even if you became self-taught.

    I will let you (and everyone else) in on a secret though. Technical Recruiters can make really good money. Staffing Agencies will hire entry-level recruiters with no prior experience at starting base of 40-60k depending on where you live + commission. After grinding that out for a few years, you can make a move to a big tech company doing internal recruiting making ~80-120k base pretty easily. Job is easy as long as you don't mind talking to people. You make less than a Software Engineer but I'm probably happier than most of them as well.

    If you still end up teaching yourself how to code, that will actually make you more marketable as a technical recruiter as well since most recruiters aren't very technical.

    Source: I'm an engineer turned recruiter.
    Sep 18 3
    • Microsoft / IT
      zkYS03

      Microsoft IT

      PRE
      Amazon
      zkYS03more
      This is very good advice.
      Sep 18
    • Facebook / Eng mxmn
      The chance of him becoming a software engineer being slim is false. He can absolutely do it.

      Join something like Lambda School or any other boot camp. They will give you a loan until you get a paying job.

      Source: am dropout, 4 YoE, 280k TC
      Sep 18
    • Google / Eng
      Booooogler

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Apple
      Boooooglermore
      This is bad advice. There are plenty of self-taught software engineers out there. Myself included.
      Sep 18
  • Wells Fargo / IT
    cwGG60

    Wells Fargo IT

    PRE
    Wells Fargo
    BIO
    Let it be anonymous!?
    cwGG60more
    I can be your mentor for UX. Hit me up in the private message. I can buy courses for you too. Only thing I need from you is discipline and self-motivation. If you are OK with that then approach me.
    Sep 18 3
    • Oracle fandantan
      You my friend are well on your path to divinization. You will reap rewards. I love you and I thank you for helping the other.
      Sep 18
    • New Gekyume
      What IT work do you do for Wells Fargo, I’m curious
      Sep 18
    • Wells Fargo / IT
      cwGG60

      Wells Fargo IT

      PRE
      Wells Fargo
      BIO
      Let it be anonymous!?
      cwGG60more
      I am the interaction designer/product designer and also running a small deisgn agency and about to launch a small mvp with my friend.
      Sep 18
  • Salesforce bueller
    Forget boot camps - if you’re serious and willing to invest, study GRE and get a master’s degree from a reputable college. It will be very hard but your investment will be worth it. I know plenty of VP-level folks in their late 30s or early 40s who had degrees in history or polsci, took 2 years to get a math or CS master and completely transformed their careers. Good luck!
    Sep 18 21
    • Yum! Brands / Eng
      theLead

      Yum! Brands Eng

      BIO
      Just wandering through life building apps aimlessly
      theLeadmore
      I disagree college is a waste of time
      Sep 18
    • Tesla / Eng shotgun1
      @bueller, you certainly have a point about age and school. But I feel OP is swayed by so many swe here on Blind. They need to know whether coding is their thing first. I believe if someone finds their calling, they will find a way to put in the time and effort eventually.

      @theLead statistically if you pick a person from Asia, which includes India and China and other Asian countries and not just east Asia, at random in the bay area there is a very good chance of them having done master's. But I still didn't want to take that for granted and presented it as a question as I could be wrong, which I clearly was 🙂
      Sep 18
    • Salesforce bueller
      @shotgun OP was asking how to get a soul-sucking SWE job, so I suggested the only way I know. I actually agree with you one needs to find their true calling. But it’s probably easy for us to say when we are making obscene amount of money. Honestly I hate my job as a SWE because I think what I do is bullshit. At least you get to work on something that may be life-changing.
      Sep 18
    • Tesla / Eng shotgun1
      Lol on the soul-sucking swe job. All jobs have a soul-sucking side to them though, it's just the nature of jobs in general. Also, LC and GTFO of where you are.
      Sep 18
    • Salesforce bueller
      480K TC. 20 yoe.
      Sep 18
  • Bleacher Report btpn04
    Like you, I used to be very poor. Degree in Psychology, 8 yrs working in nonprofit, making 45K a year. Went to UX design boot camp, and 3 years later, I'm now making 125K. Take a loan. Go to school. Change your life.
    Sep 18 9
    • Womply / Sales
      manj@ko

      Womply Sales

      BIO
      Sales Development Representative for a SaaS startup, #1 with a bullet, looking for new challenges
      manj@komore
      And yes, generally speaking, debt is unwise
      Sep 18
    • PayPal ppapplepie
      So this is an unwise advice. C'mon.
      Sep 18
    • New / Design EzSJ06
      100% do not go to academy of art though. That’s a for profit college that costs way too much.
      Sep 18
    • Oracle fandantan
      I am sharing this with you from a place of love. Debt is stupid. You made a mistake. Correct it. Not hate me. Direct your own hate inwards. Wake up and climb the ladder slowly. Nothing is free. Or easy. One step at a time. You will pay for it one way or another. But seriously don’t buy what you can’t afford.
      Sep 18
    • AT&T MsdR32
      Debt for a good education that will increase your job prospects can be very good.

      Same thing with debt to buy a house that lowers your monthly housing expenses, etc.
      Sep 18
  • Google WIyl68
    The first thing you need to do is stop using language like “im a dummy” “I’m poor” and “I can’t”. Talking like this will seriously limit your ability to get out of your situation, because you will continue to make excuses for why you shouldn’t try, and then you wont.

    Secondly, you need to understand that your first step into a “real” tech job will almost certainly not pay you 300k dollars. 75-90k is more in the realm of real possibility for someone in your situation. This amount of money will give you a great quality of life in Portland, and you will only move up from there.

    So, what do you do now? It seems like your priority is getting a financially lucrative job. You’re correct in assuming that software engineering is a path to this. It’s still a heavily in demand skill set with a massive hiring shortage, so odds of breaking into it are better than other high paying occupations.

    That being said, it will require HARD WORK. Full stop, no matter what. Doing hard work is generally easier when you have someone lighting a fire under your ass, this is why school and boot camps help. They also give you the networks and (in the case of 4 year colleges) credentials that will help you get a gig.

    You say your “too poor” for these options, I would encourage you to think a bit more creatively. Someone in your situation is likely to be eligible for some grants or at least cheap community college. Most community colleges have transfer programs to 4 year universities, you could do this and study CS. That’s what I did. I graduated at 26, it worked out.

    Boot camps are also a decent option if you work extremely hard. Putting down 15k for a job that will net you 70-75k is not a bad deal!

    Good luck man, work hard. Very hard. Nothing will happen if you don’t.
    Sep 18 3
    • Rakuten JzRq32
      Agreed
      Sep 18
    • Microsoft
      DvRC04

      Microsoft

      PRE
      TripAdvisor, FactSet
      DvRC04more
      Very well written answer.
      Sep 18
    • Google zeiQ28
      This
      Sep 19
  • Okta / Product
    vo2k

    Okta Product

    PRE
    LinkedIn, Twitter
    vo2kmore
    Try for a customer success role at the right smallish tech company (less than 500 employees) that has a great culture and is known for role flexiblity -> work your ass off and use your "abstract" thinking skills to *identify* problems, go even more above and beyond and establish yourself as the go-to no BS support guy that R&D people talk to in order to get the scoop on the users. Then watch and study how product managers and designers interpret and solve these abstract problems.

    One day someone's going to ask what you think about a solution. Convince someone in product to let you switch to a low level associate PM role (or design but it's really difficult to break into the role). Bust your ass even more and once you have a few solid things shipped under your belt, eventually join another company as a mid level PM.

    No joke I've seen this path play out beautifully over a dozen times in my career so far. Every one of those support people were the cream of the crop in their departments though and some of the hardest working fuckers I knew. Every person who is brilliant in a customer facing role has the same dna as a future PM, if they can develop the right problem solving and project management skills.
    Sep 16 2
    • Delta Air Lines / Supply/Log
      realbroke

      Delta Air Lines Supply/Log

      PRE
      Apple
      realbrokemore
      OP
      Sounds like an interesting path worth looking into. Thank you. Do you have any suggestions on "smallish tech companies" I could look into?
      Sep 17
    • Amazon x31dH
      This. I was a poly sci major. In my mid 20s I got a job in Customer Support at a startup (TC: 30k). I hated the tedious parts of my job, and started writing scripts to automate shit (python, bash). Within a couple years I was a customer support manager there (TC: 60k). I started doing some wireframes and requirements to improve our products to meet our customers needs,as well as making changes to increase transparency and communication across ogs. The CTO offered me a position in the tech org to help improve their processes at a project manager (TC: 80k. I took the courses I was missing to get a Comp Sci degree. by 30 I was able to move to another company (TC: 100k). Durning my 30s I also got an MBA, and managed product and project management orgs at various SMBs, and eventually ended up managing a small engineering org at a startup (TC: 200k). At 40 ended up at Amazon as a software manager (TC: 300k) and have been here for the past few years.

      I didn't have some plan to go from 30k to 300k over about 15 years, more that I just kept working hard, learning, and saying yes to various opportunities and challenges. Critical to this was being in companies where they were stretched thin, so they were happy to have people expand their roles (and be underpaid for them since they were learning at the same time). It was also critical that I got in via a job that required mental work (even if menial) rather than physical labor (I quit a physical job and took a pay cut to go to the customer support job at the startup).

      I can't say that someone else could follow that exact path, but if you are good at abstract thinking and can get out of physical labor and into a job that uses your brain and where there is the potential to take on a bigger role (even if in the same title/pay for a while), it would give you a much better shot at finding something you enjoy and are good at that has better long term earning potential than your current job.
      Sep 18
  • Wells Fargo / IT
    cwGG60

    Wells Fargo IT

    PRE
    Wells Fargo
    BIO
    Let it be anonymous!?
    cwGG60more
    I don’t know what happened to my comments anyways posting it again.

    If you need UX mentoring, DM me and I am happy to get you few courses from Udemy and/or Coursera. If you want me to be your mentor then I need a self-motivation and discipline person.

    I have a friend who is a recruiter and once you are ready I can hook you up with him for your a junior position in valley.
    Sep 18 1
    • New / IT
      g3niushkg

      New IT

      BIO
      hathyoga student
      g3niushkgmore
      👌👏👏👏👏👏 your really generous
      Sep 18
  • Bloomberg
    offByOme

    Bloomberg

    PRE
    Bloomberg
    offByOmemore
    It’s going to take many years to build these skills without college or bootcamp. If you have the maths background you can look at the online MIT course material for CS, search for MIT opencourseware on YouTube ...
    Sep 16 7
    • Delta Air Lines / Supply/Log
      realbroke

      Delta Air Lines Supply/Log

      PRE
      Apple
      realbrokemore
      OP
      Before even learning to code? Ok. Makes sense. Have a strong foundation so you're not reviewing the basics once you encounter higher level concepts..

      Can you suggest a particular math course or curriculum? I think I've seen "linear algebra" associated with programming?
      Sep 16
    • Bloomberg
      offByOme

      Bloomberg

      PRE
      Bloomberg
      offByOmemore
      Just watch the MIT videos and go find other videos if you don’t really understand something ...
      Sep 16
    • Amazon / Biz Dev North4Now
      This is really really good advice. There are thousands, if not millions of hours, of online video tutorials to help. I suggest starting with algebra (11-12th grade level) and really learning the "why" behind the answer. Once you get 75-80% of algebra mathematics (basics of course) graduate to calculus. Doing algebra first helps a lot when your get into intermediate calc.

      Teaching yourself to think mathematically is hugely valuable in tech (imo business in general) because a lot of the non-business side operates in a mathematical environment, especially coding. I have a degree in economics and rarely use it for work but absolutely use it to understand complex issues presented by partner tech teams.

      I don't have any specific channels or content to recommend as I usually search by concept. Instead of finding a curriculum since you're clearly time strapped, Google/research/buy an intermediate algebra book to start. Follow what clicks mentally and go down the rabbit holes you'll inevitably find yourself in.

      I'm in business development and program management, hire/interview a lot of folks annually. Ones that stand out are not the ones with fancy degrees, but the ones that think critically, problem solve, and have the willingness (and proof) to apply and learn new things. People who come in thinking they know the job before they start are typically in for a shock, and not a pleasant one at month 2-4.
      Sep 18
    • Amazon / Biz Dev North4Now
      Oh, TC apparently matters on blind and as that was my first post:

      TC 235k (PM/BD hybrid)
      Sep 18
    • Amazon / Biz Dev North4Now
      Sorry for the Spam messaging but one last point is that Amazon actually pays for education in our FCs. Not the equivalent of going full time for 4 years necessarily but if you can handle working at a FC for 1-3 years, there are a lot of compensated education opportunities that people fail to take advantage of. I work with 2 people that started with a GED after dropping out of highschool at an FC and took advantage of the educational opportunities later in life. They're are absolute rockstars, partially because they know where they came from (difficult place) which increases the value of where they're at.

      Tech/high paying jobs aren't all about the background. It's a factor, no denying that it opens more doors than someone less fortunate but it's certainly a component, not the entire story. It's more about the drive/fire behind the candidate when they're in interview mode. Make sure your passion bleeds through.
      Sep 18
  • Concur / Eng Dr. Monkey
    Everyone who thinks Blind culture is toxic needs to read this post and its replies.
    Sep 18 1
    • Yum! Brands / Eng
      theLead

      Yum! Brands Eng

      BIO
      Just wandering through life building apps aimlessly
      theLeadmore
      TC?
      Sep 18
  • IBM cb23aD
    Dude it’s possible. I was 28 making 30K working for social services in 2014. I quit and rushed through school in two years and graduated in 2016 (not easy, but it was worth it, put myself in 100k of debt including debt from my prior degree)

    Got a job at ibm making 80k
    Worked at ibm from 2016-2019
    Just left for Microsoft and now I make 210k
    I’m planning to pay off my debt this year. 33 years old now.
    Sep 18 2
    • New / Sales frisak2020
      That’s amazing! If you don’t mind to tell us, what degrees do you have?
      Sep 19
    • IBM cb23aD
      I originally got a degree in business administration. Though I managed to knock out most of my math pre-reqs doing it. That also meant that most of my non cs pre-reqs were done.

      That helped me finish the C.S degree in 2 years.
      Sep 19

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