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What the heck do y'all do?

Hi Dev Community!

Newbie & first time poster here with a question I've been afraid to ask!

What the heck do y'all do?

Some Background

I recently lost a job I loved due to a falling out with my boss of 5 years. I'm currently working on my capstone for a coding bootcamp my employer paid for so I could build them a DB management system.

I wasn't really considering a job in tech when I started the bootcamp or when I left my job. Further, I hear a lot of negative things about entering the tech world and as many encouraging things that I hear too, my throw caution to the wind 20s are behind me and though I have no choice, I'm weary of starting over.

All that being said, I've never had so much intrinsic motivation as I do when I'm programming (or is it coding? Developing? Help!).

So even though I have my doubts- about the job market, my abilities, my social ineptitude and thus lack of coding community- it feels time to peer into the dark, stormy basin of certificates, jargon, acronyms, etc. that is the field.

Question Specifics

I'll take any answer but here's a breakdown of what I'm curious about:

  • job title
  • type/industry/sector of company/organization/freelance work
  • day to day in layman's terms
  • work environment & work life balance
  • like it? Love it? Hate it? Is this a stepping stone or where you want to be?
  • a lil background (years in tech, education, interests, anything you wanna share)

My Thanks

I know I'm not the first one to ask and there are resources online with these answers, so I want to give thanks to anyone taking their time to respond (or read & smile). I can be a fiercely independent learner, so this is some social skills practice for me too. Moreover, all of this is a big change for me and talking to people with real experience is still very intimidating! Thanks all <3

Top comments (13)

jorensm profile image

Title: Freelancer and aspiring entrepreneur

Industry: Mostly SaaS and e-commerce

Day to day: Implementing features and fixing bugs according to tickets/issues. Communicating with team members, discussing best courses of action. Also in some projects participating in design of the project.

Work environment and work/life balance: Work remotely from home, fairly healthy work/life balance, usually don't work past a certain time.

Love it/hate it? I absolutely love it and coding is my passion. It's both where I want to be and would be content with just it, but it's also a stepping stone for my entrepreneur ventures

Background: Left school during 11th grade, no formal education beyond that. I started coding when I was around 12 but it was mostly an on/off relationship. In total I have around 2 years of hobby-coding experience and around 3 years of professional experience. My interests include exercising, drawing, music production/piano, reading, writing/blogging, and of course coding.

Hope this was of use to you and if you have any additional questions feel free to ask them!

francheese9289 profile image

Thank you! This is helpful.

If you don’t mind- what are your entrepreneurial aspirations & what kind of freelance do you do?

I was hybrid when I was employed & I loved it. I can’t see myself going back to an office full time however I lve found it valuable, especially when starting out.

jorensm profile image

Glad that it's helpful :)

My entrepreneurial aspirations are to eventually be able to build one or several products that will be valuable to people, and one of the big goals is to make it as cheap as possible, ideally completely free.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'what kind of freelance', but I'll try to answer: I work on Upwork and do full-stack web development jobs. My latest job also slightly involves me contributing to the design of the web app.

I've never in my life worked on-site, ever, so I don't really know how fun/unfun it is, but I'm guessing that there are both benefits and drawbacks.

Thread Thread
francheese9289 profile image

Again, really helpful.

Yes, I guess I was wondering if freelance is considered broad and project based, gig work or short term contracting for, idk, UI design or bug fixing. Your answer is insightful. I'll poke around on UpWork to get a feel for it.

Thanks again!

Thread Thread
jorensm profile image

Ah, in that regard, freelancing can entail either of what you mentioned. Some jobs are full projects from scratch, some are small one-off tasks or bug fixes. There are projects both for a solo developer or ones that have an existing team that you work with. On Upwork, you can be paid either per project, per milestone or per hour. I almost exclusively work per hour. And Upwork/freelancing isn't exclusive to web development, there are various areas, pretty much anything that can be done remotely with a computer is a freelancer job, such as writing, graphic design, coding, music/sound production, etc.

Hope this answers your freelancing question!

linkbenjamin profile image
Ben Link

Title: Sr. Cloud Solutions Analyst
Industry: Health Insurance
Background: Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, 20 years in tech, generally nerdy interests

Day to day: Platform Engineering - building the interface between the company and AWS to ensure that our teams can build in the cloud and still meet our regulatory compliance requirements and such.

Work Environment: Hybrid

Work-life balance: Not a function of the company in my experience. It's about personal discipline and what I choose to prioritize. So for me - Healthier for the past few years than at any other time in my career after learning some hard lessons about myself!

Like it / Love it / Stepping stone: I try not to think about that with respect to roles & companies. Work with people that you love and do the type of work that you enjoy/are great at, but don't catch feelings for the company because even if you are a founder of the company, at some point the relationship with the business is going to become... just business.

francheese9289 profile image

Love the last part! I had an issue setting boundaries at my previous job, I assumed my boss knew how hard I worked but she thought it was my baseline. Live and learn!

bfulcher profile image
Brendan Fulcher

Title: Sr. Solutions Engineer
Industry: Cloud Provider/Startup

Day to day: I'm a technical resource on the pre-sales side of the house. I meet with customers and answer technical questions. Write blog posts, speak at conferences, spend time testing new tech

WLB: Usually right around 40 hours of work a week, from home.
like it? Right now I love it, I was an engineer in production environments for a long time, so getting to leverage that experience while not being on the hook when something breaks is awesome.

Background: 12 years in tech, 11 of which were in various systems engineering roles, 7 years in FAANG. I've never been a full "SW Engineer" but have spent a lot of time writing tools/scripts/YAML.

francheese9289 profile image

I hear you about not being on the hook. I really didn't like managing people when I did it, I think I'd still prefer not to.

epigene profile image
Augusts Bautra

Hey, @francheese9289

10 years of Ruby on Rails dev here. Styling myself a "Software Engineer" these days. I've no CS degree and frankly it's never come up. I seem to find myself on the more advanced edge of Rails trends - focusing on code structure, long-term maintainability, DDD.

I've worked exclusively as an in-house developer in small agile-ish teams of 5-10 people for many different industries - health and fitness, fintech, construction.

Day-to-day is straightforward and can consist of a mix-and-match of these software-development-related activities:

  • Discussing and analyzing feature requirements
  • Coding, reviewing code
  • Monitoring the existing system for bugs, performance
  • Planning/executing technical improvements unrelated to features per-se (dependency version updates, pattern updates, tooling, structure etc.)

The work environment has always been very accomodating. I prefer working 10am-6pm without breaks, at least 90% remotely, especially after C**VID and home office setup. Outside of my first couple of years, I've basically never had an outside-work-hours issue come up.

I'm lovin it. The money is good, the work is not back-breaking and I'm not particularly seeking to step anywhere, definitely not in management. I would like to extend my reach in terms of teaching, I feel there's real rot setting in at the core of design practices where I'm at.

Here's my 2 cents:
You sound like someone who could bring a positive impact to tech and would enjoy it. Make sure you have that professional LinkedIn profile going, find a position in a company with less than 50 people in an industry you'd like to work in, and get to learning the ropes. I'm sure bigger opportunities will follow in 3-5 years.

francheese9289 profile image

Thank you! This is really helpful. I've always been a small town girl so the idea of "working in tech" always felt so looming.

Curious about your ideas for teaching. Really I'm like a new runner, every mile is a victory, but I like deep dives over surface level understanding when it comes to programming. It's slower but feels satisfying to 'get it'.

alexanderlamdan profile image

Title: Freelancer, Beginner entrepreneur, trance music production(as hobby in free time), Sales manager, Developer and system administrator.
Industry: B2B at most of time, working on my own project for B2G, B2C, B2B.

Day to day: I don't get what you mean.

Work Enviroment: Working home, sales and calls from home, meetings in client office

Work-life balance: nope, I don't have it, that why I having some burnouts from development, but after when I moving to music production, or starting to selling, my burnout is ending.

Love it/Love it/Stepping stone: I love what do I do, but I having some struggle with how to create good and big commercial projects for me that I can grow to startup, I dont have any credit money, or any loans, I do by myself all alone. I love trance music production, I love selling stuff, I love to talk and meet people, I love coding and development some stupid stuff.

Background: 12 years in Israel high school that all. All my earnings in life is only self-education, self-improvement, reading a lot of books, training and practice, getting mistakes, and do it again but better

francheese9289 profile image

Woo! I love it! Sounds like you're a natural born hustler. I've been listening to code newbie podcast and I always admire the people who could lean into their charisma to network and learn.