I know this is probably not the place to ask for advice but I have a big decision to make regarding my future and you're the audience I would like to get opinions from rather than /adv/.
Basically, I've finished high school 3 years ago and I've always done fairly well in school, especially in mathematics and general science/logic/problem solving areas. However, I've yet to do anything productive or challenging ever since. I started backpacking and been travelling the globe for years now financing myself with mundane labour and service jobs. I do very much like my lifestyle and I really can't see myself committing to 3 years of university any time in the near future, but I also know that I don't want to keep working shit jobs for years to come.
So recently I've sat down and tried to figure out what I could teach myself in order to be able to make a decent living working from my laptop anywhere around the world. I've done research on several options such as online poker, internet marketing, web design and programming but I'm unsure as to what would be my best bet in order to be able to earn a living from it within 1 year of self study starting now. I'm most interested in programming but I also think that's by far the toughest route to take. Also, I'm a lazy cunt and procrastination is a big issue for me so I'm just stuck here trying to figure out my best plan of action rather than actually getting to it and learning something so I'm hoping this will be the kick in the ass that I need to get rolling in the right direction.
So my question to you would be if you were trying to teach yourself a skill from scratch with the goal of being able to make a living from it within 1 year of self study what do you think your best bet would be? Where would you start? What resources would you recommend?
To give you some numbers, I'd plan to study at least 2 hours a day on average and I'd be more than happy if I made 1000-1200 USD a month.
Appreciate your opinions
>To give you some numbers, I'd plan to study at least 2 hours a day on average and I'd be more than happy if I made 1000-1200 USD a month.
2 hours is fucking nothing, don't be such a lazy cunt. Get some caffeine pills and theanine and prepare to be an adult.
Programming is the no brainer here. If you are actually good, you will be swept up and make far more than what you mentioned.
It's also the most interesting too, even according to you.
Build a programming portfolio and take it seriously.
learn a computer language. Start off slow with something like Codecademy and think of something you really want to create. Lets say you want to make the worlds best calculator (just an example) Program it, put it on a few software market places, and use it as the cornerstone of a portfolio. Then make another program, and another. Within a year or 2 you will not only know the language well, but also have a solid portfolio to show off to prospective employers.
Pick a niche. Java and C/++ developers make good money. Amazing money can be had in archaic dead languages as well. Cobol and R are 2 of the highest paying developer jobs simply because schools stopped teaching them a decade ago and they are now legacy software in large enterprises. AS400 programmers make pretty good money as well for the same reason.
I wont say the name of the company, but they are 1 of 2 long term care pharmacies in America... their entire system is built on a 30 year old AS400 suite. When they looked at transitioning to EPIC (another great system to learn. Certified EPIC integrators start around 150k a year) it was determined that it would take 4 years and nearly 900 million dollars. All plans were scrapped and to this day there is no serious talk about moving to anything other than their 30+ year old AS400 software
As I said, I'm usually alternate between backpacking trips and working full time so it's hard to set aside more time on my laptop. I will do more whenever I can but I'm going to be careful and say at least 2 hours per day for now.
It would take me far longer than 1 year to get good enough at any programming language to make a living doing that, wouldn't it?
My worry about going down this route, apart from the fact that I think it would require a lot more work and take a lot longer than 1 year to be successful, is that I'm not particularly creative. I'd be able to use my skills to build programs according to customers needs but I'm awful at coming up with ideas on my own.
Of course, uni would be the best way to dedicate myself fully to learning programming, however, I really don't want to be stuck in university for 3 years because I like my travelling lifestyle too much.
People keep telling me to make something of myself and set myself up for the future instead of travelling but I don't think those aspects have to be exclusive to each other. I don't necessarily think uni is the only way to go. I want to make this work on my own. While travelling. I'm ready to sit my ass down and put the hours in but I need a solid plan of study to follow through.
Thanks for the input so far, really appreciate it.
>My worry about going down this route, apart from the fact that I think it would require a lot more work and take a lot longer than 1 year to be successful, is that I'm not particularly creative. I'd be able to use my skills to build programs according to customers needs but I'm awful at coming up with ideas on my own.
Find your niche. If you arent creative stay away from graphical user interfaces. Think of something more hard science... For example, build a concrete estimating calculator. Build a document storage platform. If you like racing video games, build a car set-up tool for something like iRacing.
You can learn their entire Python course in 5 days if you tried. At the end of those 5 days you can already code basic stuff. In fact you build a calculator of sorts in the first lesson. Combine that with a little more study and the millions of repositories out there and you will be building a portfolio in 6-8 months
I've actually started on the "Learn python the hard way" online course a while back.
So you are suggesting to start out learning python through free online courses, then start building my own little programs and play around a bit more. Then I'd move on to Java or C++ and the do same thing again until I reach a point where I'm comfortable with 1 or 2 languages and have a couple of smaller programs to show for it. At that stage I could probably get some start out jobs or pick up some freelance work online to build a reputation and gain more experience before moving on to another language to expand.
Did I follow your thought process correctly?
I'm still worried that in a years time I might find myself in a boat with thousands of bottom end amateur programmers trying to start out in a saturated market.
Basically yes, but dont even think about other languages until you are autist level in one. You also want to learn languages within your target market. If you want to do more business oriented programing, such as databases, integrations between multiple platforms, etc focus on solid low level languages. Python, C, R, Cobol, etc.
If you want to do web based projects stick with Java, Ruby, PHP, etc
Learning C, Ruby on Rails, and SQL might make for a hell of a resume, but it leaves you with a little bit of knowledge about everything. While a jack of all trades might make 90k a year as a consultant, someone who dreams about mandelbrot sets is pulling in 400k a year before bonuses.
I'm not really aiming to pursue a career at a big company making the big bucks really, I just want a way to finance to my travels while I'm travelling. I think there's a lot of projects offered by private persons or smaller companies on freelance websites that I could pick up to make a decent living without being stuck in an office.
What would give me the best foundation to reach that goal in your opinion?
Thanks for all the help by the way, you're doing me a huge favour.
>I don't think those aspects have to be exclusive to each other
>I don't necessarily think uni is the only way to go
only if you are bill gates tier good, (pro tip, you probably aren't)
>I want to make this work on my own. While travelling.
sounds pretty far out to me. If you have the money to be traveling why pursue a career in programming (which sucks btw, degree would get you out of that rut)
Unis have professors and faculty that are there to TEACH YOU. Sure some may have egos or such but they litterally have years of experience in what YOU ARE TRYING TO DO.
You'd be stupid to pass that up
I'd poll my market. First I'd make a decent LinkedIn profile, just so I look Legit. Then I'd contact middle managers and ask them what kind of skills they'd hire a remote freelancer for.
There are a lot of sites for knowledge workers to connect with people who have jobs, Elance, Freelancer, Odesk, I don't know which are current but those should get you started. If you browse the jobs on offer there, you'll get a sense of what you'd like and what's in demand.
Anyone tell you today that you're a real negative cunt, UDGN? You sound like someone who wanted to travel but didn't.
And Universities outside their research departments are very old economy anyway. If he wants to learn from professors he could just hang around a campus and audit classes for a semester. Same result without the tuition. And if he's taking online classes, that's way cheaper in someplace with a developing economy anyway.
OP, how do you feel about learning to grow mushrooms? It's legal in Indonesia, people pay good money for spores, and I'd potentially let you use my place in Lombok if you wanted to set up a business in that field.
Learn very practical programming or graphic design, like web design, logo design etc, and build up a big portfolio. Make stuff on your own that you can showcase and start advertising on freelancing websites. Start really cheap or for free even until you have some shit to show for yourself and then start charging more.
Also for easy and quick money look into user testing. You can sign up online and make ~100 - 200 bucks a month with minimal effort.
Hey OP, Check out what just landed in my inbox!
thing is again though, I'm not very creative so I don't think graphics/design is my strong suit. What do you consider as "practical programming"?
As for user testing, I'll have a look at that right now. Thanks.
Thanks for the tips. I'll have a look around the freelance market and get an idea of what people are looking for.
Gotta pass on the mushroom business. Not only do I know nothing about it but it would also mean having to settle in one place for work which is the opposite of what I'm trying to achieve. Appreciate the offer though.