PeterMollenburg wrote:With my 40s not far off the prospect of age discrimination doesn't sound so fantastic, but of course there are plenty of positives from what you say from your experience as well. Is freelancing from home (wherever one might be) a realistic possibility in the field? I'm thinking if your work is quality and you're not 40 years old+ in plain sight you could potentially work around that issue.
"Programming" is a bit like "medicine" in that there are lots of different types of programmer. Are you planning to work on websites, embedded systems, billing systems? I've worked in networking and embedded systems and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can tell you, however, that at least in the companies I've worked in, you aren't likely to get a foot in the door without some experience. I would say "unless you are a graduate", but having interviewed graduates too, I can say that we look for and get
graduates who have shown some interest. By that I mean that they've written some real code they can show us and talk about. 30 years ago that would have been different but these days everyone has a computer in their pocket. There's really no excuse for not having written an app or two or whatever by the time you've finished uni. So even if you are willing to accept a graduate salary, you still face some stiff competition.
PeterMollenburg wrote:One large reservation is I could be swapping one career I'm not entirely satisfied with for another (if I was passionate I probably would be a programmer already- but you never know)... so if I took to it and enjoyed it, the effort and time would have to show almost definite promise eventually in terms of lifestyle change. Of course I can only be the judge of that for my personal situation, but handy insights from those in the field definitely help in the decision making process.
This is where you fail the interview for me
You've shown no interest so far but the next guy has. Maybe the guy after him doesn't seem as enthusiastic, but he's got 10 years of experience, so there's at least a chance that he can program ...
As for working from home, we do let people do that, but no-one in the office (that I know of) works from home more than 2 days a week on a regular basis. Other places may be much more flexible, but I'd expect that to happen only once you have proven yourself capable in the first place.
I certainly don't mean to put you off programming: give it a go, see if you like it. The (free) tools are out there for you to learn about programming and systems management and networking and so on. I find being able to write brief throwaway scripts incredibly helpful for odd little data conversion jobs that crop up in language learning ("how do I get these 2,000 lines of data from a spreadsheet into Anki but with this tweak"?) and you may do to. Or you may not. But turning it into a new career is going to require time and effort, so far as I can see.
Hi damping wire,
I think you are seeing holes in my potential new career and I don't disagree. It seems I must be passionate about this and I don't actually know if I am yet without trying it but like I said and you said as well, you'd think I would've had some kind of initiative to pursue this avenue already and at least produced something in the field already. But perhaps not, perhaps I'm just an odd ball (can say that again!) and perhaps it will become a passion (hmmm) , but I am doubtful (notice the 'hmmm' that I placed in parenthesis just a little above this sentence). Still I wanted to hear from people first hand whether it was a decent mobile job to aspire to have, what effort is required and so on. And of course I've gathered a good collection of honest
replies here. I don't think I was naive in what answers to expect but I was and still am naive about the workings of the industry, so this insight from others in the know is certainly useful.
I guess what frustrates me at times to the point of being angry about it at times, is the fact that part of the sales pitch that I got sucked into becoming a nurse (don't get me wrong the profession does have it's perks and positives for sure) is that you can travel
with the profession. Bullshit, utter bullshit. Yes, I grant you that I could
work in the United States, Canada, UK and Ireland and potentially a Middle Eastern country or two, but
not without ticking a LOT of boxes (entry exams, visa's, age appropriate, qualification assessments etc).
The thing is the countries that interest me are those in which English is not the mother tongue of the vast majority of the population, thus (and rightly so) you must pass a B2-C1 language exam to have a chance of working in that country- which I have no reservations about and encourage such a process for a country to protect it's culture. Thing is it's not just to protect it's culture it's to protect the health of patients, because many other industries couldn't give two hoots (or care less) about one's language capabilities, and in fact my conclusion is that globalisation and as a result loss of culture is almost encouraged. Still the language requirements (tests) still are not that great of an issue, BUT when you add to that the cumbersome processes of having one's qualifications assessed, doing further exams and potential retraining (trust me in some cases it's much more complicated than this) it's all like - "what the f*** I thought this profession was one in which I could travel and one in which they are crying out for nurses, but it's made incredibly difficult in many of these countries". What makes it trickier is the fact I'm Australian (trained) meaning the EU has stricter laws. I do hold an EU passport though. In my country we welcome nurses from Europe (French- no problem), but if I want to go to France apparently I must be some kind of f****g alien, because the processes are just rediculous (ahem- where's the reciprocal agreement??) and not to mention the working conditions/pay are pretty ordinary and looking at statistics on foreign employed nurses from outside the EU working in France, the stats are very very very low which makes it appear that the French system simply does NOT employ nurses from outside the EU (even inside in many cases), simple as that.
.... so then I think what other career could I take on that my be more mobile. Why not explore that option a little because nursing is beginning to look like I'm on trial for murder if I want to enter France. But I'm thinking IT is not necessarily going to help this late in the game with this little amount of passion...