I have some questions about switching to a development profile.
I’ve been staying in New Delhi, India, for the past several years. I did not finish my CS degree from college, mainly because I had started freelancing then, building medical software for local clinics, and it seemed a better idea at the time than rote-learning a lot of the topics I had to sit through in class. Its a bit more complicated than that, but I’m not condoning my actions. Going back, I would do things differently.
In spite of that shortcoming, I was hired in 2010 as a PHP developer, which basically involved building everything from scratch. Working with CodeIgniter and learning about good design patterns and OWASP security was really fun, as was HTML and CSS, which is what I did for some time. Eventually I switched to freelancing in the middle, unsuccessfully, then returned to the same company after a year. I eventually became disillusioned, switched to my current company where I have been for over a year and a half, and I have become disillusioned again.
Over the past year, I’ve been working with the AWS cloud, but mostly in an operations capacity. I tried to become more devopsy by doing more development by trying to handle the end-to-end pipeline, which is what I enjoyed doing as a freelancer, but the roles here are very siloed, and I am now in an only development profile. I’m currently working in Java, which I haven’t worked on since high school, and I’m having difficulty getting up to speed in a new language and Netty, etc., especially given that I’ve gravitated towards scripting languages like PHP and Python in the past.
I did start the Coursera Python course, but left it near the end. I also started FreeCodeCamp, but I’ve left it in the middle. Primarily because I’m not able to see a very clear path forward.
In the hopes of switching jobs to a dev profile, I started applying, but I’m only getting calls for operations profiles under the guise of DevOps. The job profile says DevOps, but all they want to know is if I’ve used Terraform or Packer or Cloudformation. No one cares if I’ve read the Phoenix Project or care about design patterns.
I know that all of this is sounding a little whiny, and maybe the answer is that I just need to move forward with something. But I would like to see some goalposts down the road.
I feel that right now I have a little bit of a hand dipped in everything, but not enough to be hired for any one position. The job offers I’m getting right now sound very distressing, and in explaining my profile, they seem to focus very heavy on the fancy hammers and screwdrivers that I’ll be using, but not on what I’ll actually be building in the end. I feel that staying in an operations role over the last year may be screwed up my chances to actually build something.
I’ve been reading this forum and I’m really happy that a lot of people have found good and sustaining jobs through FreeCodeCamp, but switching to a purely dev profile would be a huge career and salary hit. But I’m willing to do it if it’ll get me back to dev.
I’m sorry for a rant here, and I’m not looking for a carefully laid out career strategy, but it would really help to know how I can best course-correct.