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Discussion on: Do you recommend quitting a 9-5 to learn web development full time?

jcolag profile image
John Colagioia

Unless you're very young, and you're sufficiently well-connected that you know precisely who is going to give you a job when you're done with your self-education (for example, if you have a friend who has committed to hiring you)--not to mention your not needing the money--your job is a resource that you shouldn't give up unless you need to.

For example, if you mostly have a white-collar job, a lot of your work can probably be automated, giving you a good opportunity to put what you're learning into real practice that most students don't get. That's actual experience that you get to talk about on your eventual job interviews, plus (if you do a good job) you get a former employer who will vouch for your improving their business in a demonstrable way.

Similarly, if you're at a company of a significant size, you probably have colleagues who program as a part of their job. This gives you a chance to get help from people you already have a reason to talk to and, potentially, puts you in a position where you can transfer to that department when a position opens up, where your lack of programming experience might be outweighed by your knowledge of the business. And even if you don't take a job inside the same company, the fact that you can program and know your existing job is going to be a benefit to some employer.

Granted, you might be too busy after work to practice, because everybody's life is different. But don't dismiss the value of a job just because it isn't what you want to do permanently.

nocnica profile image
Nočnica Fee Author

I'd really highlight the third paragraph here. Finding developers where you work is a key step if you're working a white collar job.