Hi, I've been reading this forum for the past hour. I feel jealous of programmers. After sending out my first 50 or so resumes, I am getting next to no response. A couple of staffing agencies, young associates. I'm 29, have been battling a disability for ten years. Beginning to recover in recent years, I've started going back to school. Now I owe a lot of money for federal student loans, and only my small disability income to pay it. I want to get off that, and become a programmer. I have no B.S. degree or relevant work experience, but I've been coding in Java for over a year, and make excellent grades in school when I can function properly. I am terribly afraid to answer on an application that I am "disabled," fearing that it will hinder my chances for gainful employment to zero percent. I do fine with a job. I am punctual and courteous. But, I am trying to find a roundabout way into getting a programming job. It seems there are positions in quality assurance and "software engineering technician" jobs that might lead to programming, given I maintain my effort and persistence towards this goal, from within a company where I could meet and talk to the programmers. My best friend was a programmer for five years, walked away from it, saying he "hates computers," and now works for half the pay doing labor. I made a 3.75 in community college over 17 credit hours last term, but this term I have had to withdraw. I am going back next month, hoping for another good term. However due to mounting debt I am seeking immediate work, stating on my resume that I will work unpaid for 90 days. Given a task, I can work diligently towards completing the work, and I don't feel that pursuing my junior college studies another year will be a real benefit past the work experience that I may gain through employment over the next year starting now, or very soon. I sense that should I be hired immediately, I would gain two or three times the knowledge and experience that school can provide.
I've gone on long enough. This is a friendly place. I know there are individuals like me on the forums, maybe not legally disabled, but smart people having trouble finding meaningful, interesting work. Just the other day I was able to help for the first time in the beginner forum, and it felt really good.
My small vignette. I've never had my own resume before this month. There are positions in data entry available, but do you think that I should hold out for the types of semi-programming jobs mentioned above, or can any type of computer job lead to programming, given the right motivation and persistence?
Thanks for reading.