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Tech Support to Remote Software Development

 
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Hey Everyone,

I've been thinking things over for a while now, and while I think I already know the answer, I would greatly appreciate your input. My two goals right now are: work in software development, and work remotely so I can move/live in different places (within the US).

A brief overview of my current situation is: I have a very secure tech support job with the best company in my area. Almost 29 years old. B.A. in Mathematics, B.S. in IT - Software, and about 4 years of professional experience in technical support. I have an oracle cert in Java SE 6, and I am familiar with Javascript, HTML, CSS, SQL etc.. Most of my time in Java has been spent working with Servlets/JSP/JSTL but the problem is I'm not really practiced in the stuff, I've been having a hard time the last couple of years making real progress after work, and I'm really just trying to get off the ground here, and get out of tech support.

So my two part question:
What is your advice and experience on leaving a job to study software development for 6-12 months to transition into software development?
How realistic is it to land a remote position early in my career or at all?

I've been contemplating that I would be able to make tremendous progress if I were able to focus on this stuff all day, thereby allowing me to land a job doing what I enjoy. At the same time, there's that part that considers the worst-case of leaving a secure job and not having anywhere to go. Do I just sack up and continue trying to build experience in 1-2 hour increments, or is there a better way?
 
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I think pausing to study is an unnecessary risk. It's not that easy to get a new job when you don't have one. And you'll have a 6-12 month gap too. There are remote jobs but many of them aren't entry level. So what you want isn't impossible, but it isn't easy to get.

I think you should continue studying while working. Try to find more time. For example, maybe you can study during lunch. Or block out a weekend day. Or take a week of vacation and study.
 
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I'll echo what Jeanne said and add some more thoughts.

Wayne Woodrow wrote:and work remotely so I can move/live in different places (within the US).


I'd love that too. But as Jeanne said, remote jobs are not commonplace, and they're rarely going to be entry level. Finding an entry level position is already hard enough.

I'd love to be able to do this myself. But the problem is, no job lasts forever. Some people here have held their jobs long term, but it's also very common for a 3-year stint to be considered long-term.

To be honest, in my current position, I work mostly remotely and only go into the office for two meetings a week. But I could, as others do, just dial into the meetings remotely. But even though I have no intention of leaving this position, stuff happens. If I were to move someplace else, I need to make sure that there were plenty of non-remote jobs around in case the bottom falls out.

Contracting might be a better possibility for remote workers, but one needs to have an impressive background to make that work.

I am familiar with Javascript, HTML, CSS, SQL etc.. Most of my time in Java has been spent working with Servlets/JSP/JSTL but the problem is I'm not really practiced in the stuff


While having a full-stack skill set is definitely a plus (I know ), there are also plenty of jobs for front-end developers. Continue to bone up on server-side stuff, but it's possible to find jobs where it's not needed, or not the focus.

What is your advice and experience on leaving a job to study software development for 6-12 months to transition into software development?


Bad idea for all the reasons Jeanne stated.

How realistic is it to land a remote position early in my career or at all?


Difficult at any level, and even more so at the entry level.

Sorry to be a wet blanket, but if it were as easy as all that, I'd be living someplace much cheaper (but with good internet and grocery stores ) and working completely remotely.


 
Wayne Woodrow
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Thanks to both of you for your replies and thoughtful answers. I felt like it was probably more of a fantasy and not something to expect, at least not in the near future, so your realistic advice is much appreciated.
 
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