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Old 15.02.2020, 23:12
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I need your advice on my career change

Howdy all,

There is a TL/DR at the bottom!

I'm a physiotherapist in the canton of Bern and I've recently came to the realisation that I don't want to continue with a career in healthcare.

I was three years deep into the degree when I started having doubts about being a Physiotherapist. I felt that it just wasn't that interesting so I challenged myself to do an internship in another language that I had no experience in, I taught myself some French in two months and headed out just north of Paris. That was in April. I graduated in June and took some time for a holiday, sat some French exams, and got B2 in the TCF despite not having any lessons.

This January I landed a job in the Canton of Bern where I treat patients in a private clinic exclusively in French. I felt crushed after two weeks working it still didn't feel fulfilling. I handed in my notice to focus on another career and I finish next week.

I had a long think about what I want in a job and wrote down:
  • Working autonomously but within a team
  • Project based (I worked with HSBC UK and was part of the livechat pilot team and loved seeing that work come to fruition)
  • Problem solving (I really enjoy working through complexity)
  • Involving some sort of creativity

I thought being a coder could be a good fit. I spoke to a friend of mine who is a coder who told me where to start. I've started some HTML5 stuff with codingacademy.com although it is only to get me started and I'll move on to Java and other languages soon. I'm spending about an 10 to 12 hours per week on coding whilst working 40 hours as a physio. I'm excited to start my first project in about 3 weeks.

I'm extremely dedicated, when I set my mind on something I normally achieve it but I'm also worried. I'm not sure how long I should code before applying for internships. I'm not sure how long it would take me until I can survive as a coder.

I'd really like to hear your thoughts about my career change and what you would challenge me on and what advice you have.

1)How long do you think I'd need to work on coding until I could get hired?
2)What advice would you give someone like me starting off?
3)Do you know anyone in Geneva who would want a hard working intern?(bit cheeky but still)

Thanks so much.

TL/DR Physiotherapist wants to change career into coding and wants to understand the reality and gravity of such a decision.
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  #2  
Old 19.02.2020, 15:56
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Re: I need your advice on my career change

I don't have any career advice, but welcome to the Forum. Hopefully someone will be along soon to share their own experience.
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  #3  
Old 19.02.2020, 17:12
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Re: I need your advice on my career change

How about teaching!?
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  #4  
Old 19.02.2020, 17:35
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Re: I need your advice on my career change

you want to move from something that actually helps people to the most soul destroying job in the world??

OK here's the life of a programmer

Everything is your fault
bad specs - your fault
bad data - your fault
crap results due to above - your fault
why can't you make it quicker??
why can't you make x, y when I need it to be?? , no i'm not going to tell you when or why I need it to be either
I need a report from the system, no I won't tell you what I need, just give me everything
It's your job to tell me what I need
it's your job to tell me about my data
what do you mean you don't know new fancy app / language XYZ you're an IT person arent you???
no you can't have training

and, on those rare occasions the planets align and everything 'just' works, you'll get NO thanks or recognition, none

And of course your job will be outsourced
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  #5  
Old 19.02.2020, 17:47
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Re: I need your advice on my career change

Be warned that HTML and a general-purpose programming language (like Java) have very little in common. Obviously anything can be learnt given enough time, but the initial learning curve will be very steep
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  #6  
Old 19.02.2020, 18:18
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Re: I need your advice on my career change

Look at the jobs offers, years of experience or even bachelor degrees are needed https://swissdevjobs.ch/menu

If you commit several years, the career change may yield something. I'd expect nothing in the short term.
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  #7  
Old 19.02.2020, 18:45
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Re: I need your advice on my career change

Having seen a physiotherapist's friend's hands after a few years, I say go for it. Doesn't have to be coding, could be project management also. You have a solid base to build on (your current physiotherapy job), give it a try!
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Old 19.02.2020, 20:15
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Re: I need your advice on my career change

Learn Java or similar high level language.
Get a firm grip on polymorphism and why you should largely avoid inheritance.
Learn about design patterns.
Learn how to modularise, encapsulate, decouple.
Learn how to write automated tests (maybe some TDD)
Learn the difference between coding and development.
Learn when to break the rules.

It should only take about 30 years.

I recommend reading "Clean Code" by Robert C Martin.
Also "The Elements of Computing Systems" by Nisan and Schocken is a very good grounding in computer architecture.
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Old 19.02.2020, 20:34
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Re: I need your advice on my career change

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Learn Java or similar high level language.
Get a firm grip on polymorphism and why you should largely avoid inheritance.
Learn about design patterns.
Learn how to modularise, encapsulate, decouple.
Learn how to write automated tests (maybe some TDD)
Learn the difference between coding and development.
Interesting that you can read the language and actually not understand much (my fault, I know)
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  #10  
Old 20.02.2020, 08:04
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Re: I need your advice on my career change

Your young, so that is you favour.

What about trying to combine your interests in both.

Be more focused, look at app development ... look for tutorials and try a few, do they make sense?

Subscribe to get some paid content like https://www.raywenderlich.com/ or equally good, less specific linkedin learning. Sign up for monthly payments initially, take it easy.

Look to sites such as StackOverflow or to a lesser extent Reddit if you get stuck.

Look to signup for a MSc assuming you have a degree, you need some formal training, I don't think you'll get far without it, certainly with the bluechips.

Could you build an app that lets you harness what you learnt with your new interests.

Java is the coding language of choice I am sad to say, it is the language you use to write apps for android phones. Swift is the one I prefer, used for iOS Apple phone apps, but there are few jobs for iOS coders in Europe, far less than Java.

I read python is the number 1 scripting language that been gaining a good deal of ground in recent years, although like iOS you don't find so many jobs in that domain.

HTML is a start, but for my money it isn't really coding in the true sense of the word.

Read this advice from Quincy Larson, who has been in the business for a while.

Here are this week's five links that are worth your time:

1. How to get your first job as a self-taught developer tips from a freeCodeCamp graduate who got her first software engineering job last year (6 minute read): https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/ho...t-job-in-tech/

2. An experienced developer shares his favorite Chrome DevTools tips and tricks (5 minute read): https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/aw...ps-and-tricks/

3. How to build your own piano keyboard using plain vanilla JavaScript (10 minute read): https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/ja...piano-keyboard

4. How to build a Progressive Web App from scratch with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You'll build a simple coffee menu app that uses service workers and continues working even if you disconnect from the internet. (10 minute read): https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/bu...nd-javascript/

5. Here's a no-hype explanation of what Blockchain is and how this distributed database technology works (10 minute read): https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/wh...-does-it-work/


Quote of the Week: We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle


Happy coding.

- Quincy Larson

Teacher at freeCodeCamp.org
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  #11  
Old 20.02.2020, 11:02
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Re: I need your advice on my career change

Quote:
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you want to move from something that actually helps people to the most soul destroying job in the world??

OK here's the life of a programmer

Everything is your fault
bad specs - your fault
bad data - your fault
crap results due to above - your fault
why can't you make it quicker??
why can't you make x, y when I need it to be?? , no i'm not going to tell you when or why I need it to be either
I need a report from the system, no I won't tell you what I need, just give me everything
It's your job to tell me what I need
it's your job to tell me about my data
what do you mean you don't know new fancy app / language XYZ you're an IT person arent you???
no you can't have training

and, on those rare occasions the planets align and everything 'just' works, you'll get NO thanks or recognition, none

And of course your job will be outsourced
never read a perfect description as such as this! all my respect
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  #12  
Old 20.02.2020, 11:09
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Re: I need your advice on my career change

Quote:
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you want to move from something that actually helps people to the most soul destroying job in the world??

OK here's the life of a programmer

Everything is your fault
bad specs - your fault
bad data - your fault
crap results due to above - your fault
why can't you make it quicker??
why can't you make x, y when I need it to be?? , no i'm not going to tell you when or why I need it to be either
I need a report from the system, no I won't tell you what I need, just give me everything
It's your job to tell me what I need
it's your job to tell me about my data
what do you mean you don't know new fancy app / language XYZ you're an IT person arent you???
no you can't have training

and, on those rare occasions the planets align and everything 'just' works, you'll get NO thanks or recognition, none

And of course your job will be outsourced
Sounds like the stories IT guys tells every time we go out for a beer.

I think I code 10% of my working hours. I have to code for my engineering work and support a few colleagues, mostly automatize work.

I enjoy this because it's a break from the daily grind of emails, phone calls, invoicing, and less interesting engineering work. Albeit, I don't see myself doing it 100%, I just remember the stories from IT guys
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  #13  
Old 20.02.2020, 17:33
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Re: I need your advice on my career change

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I don't have any career advice, but welcome to the Forum. Hopefully someone will be along soon to share their own experience.
Howdy! Thank you so much, that is so kind of you.

Quote:
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How about teaching!?
Both my parents are teachers! Great holidays but I don't have the patience! Are you a teacher?

Quote:
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you want to move from something that actually helps people to the most soul destroying job in the world??

OK here's the life of a programmer

Everything is your fault
bad specs - your fault
bad data - your fault
crap results due to above - your fault
why can't you make it quicker??
why can't you make x, y when I need it to be?? , no i'm not going to tell you when or why I need it to be either
I need a report from the system, no I won't tell you what I need, just give me everything
It's your job to tell me what I need
it's your job to tell me about my data
what do you mean you don't know new fancy app / language XYZ you're an IT person arent you???
no you can't have training

and, on those rare occasions the planets align and everything 'just' works, you'll get NO thanks or recognition, none

And of course your job will be outsourced
Those are really fair points. I've worked in a call centre before and I used to get all of that directed at me even when I didn't have anything to do with the site so I know the feeling.

Buuut I think that you can help people with Code. I might start off in an office maybe with a big company but I might migrate to small exciting opportunities. Plus learning a language of coding means you can be put into all sorts of environments. That being said I also don't want to destroy my soul.


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Be warned that HTML and a general-purpose programming language (like Java) have very little in common. Obviously anything can be learnt given enough time, but the initial learning curve will be very steep
I agree. The learning curve will be very steep but I get excited when people tell me how difficult x or y is.
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  #14  
Old 20.02.2020, 18:42
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Re: I need your advice on my career change

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Look at the jobs offers, years of experience or even bachelor degrees are needed https://swissdevjobs.ch/menu

If you commit several years, the career change may yield something. I'd expect nothing in the short term.
Yes you are right. A lot are asking for a BSc or and MSc and then years of experience. But I've applied and been accepted to positions that I didn't tick boxes for. Often (but certainly not always) it's a wish list. However I wont be expect a huge starting salary. I hope it will yield something.

Quote:
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Having seen a physiotherapist's friend's hands after a few years, I say go for it. Doesn't have to be coding, could be project management also. You have a solid base to build on (your current physiotherapy job), give it a try!
There is a uuuuuuuuggeeeee physical toll of being a physiotherapist and also a surprisingly large emotional toll when having to try and heal people who have life threatening conditions, progressive neurological conditions, and a whole bunch of other circumstances where you bring your work home for you.

Quote:
View Post
Learn Java or similar high level language.
Get a firm grip on polymorphism and why you should largely avoid inheritance.
Learn about design patterns.
Learn how to modularise, encapsulate, decouple.
Learn how to write automated tests (maybe some TDD)
Learn the difference between coding and development.
Learn when to break the rules.

It should only take about 30 years.

I recommend reading "Clean Code" by Robert C Martin.
Also "The Elements of Computing Systems" by Nisan and Schocken is a very good grounding in computer architecture.
30 years - easy days!
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  #15  
Old 20.02.2020, 18:52
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Re: I need your advice on my career change

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Your young, so that is you favour.

What about trying to combine your interests in both.

Be more focused, look at app development ... look for tutorials and try a few, do they make sense?

Subscribe to get some paid content like https://www.raywenderlich.com/ or equally good, less specific linkedin learning. Sign up for monthly payments initially, take it easy.

Look to sites such as StackOverflow or to a lesser extent Reddit if you get stuck.

Look to signup for a MSc assuming you have a degree, you need some formal training, I don't think you'll get far without it, certainly with the bluechips.

Could you build an app that lets you harness what you learnt with your new interests.

Java is the coding language of choice I am sad to say, it is the language you use to write apps for android phones. Swift is the one I prefer, used for iOS Apple phone apps, but there are few jobs for iOS coders in Europe, far less than Java.

I read python is the number 1 scripting language that been gaining a good deal of ground in recent years, although like iOS you don't find so many jobs in that domain.

HTML is a start, but for my money it isn't really coding in the true sense of the word.

Read this advice from Quincy Larson, who has been in the business for a while.

Here are this week's five links that are worth your time:

1. How to get your first job as a self-taught developer tips from a freeCodeCamp graduate who got her first software engineering job last year (6 minute read): https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/ho...t-job-in-tech/

2. An experienced developer shares his favorite Chrome DevTools tips and tricks (5 minute read): https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/aw...ps-and-tricks/

3. How to build your own piano keyboard using plain vanilla JavaScript (10 minute read): https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/ja...piano-keyboard

4. How to build a Progressive Web App from scratch with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You'll build a simple coffee menu app that uses service workers and continues working even if you disconnect from the internet. (10 minute read): https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/bu...nd-javascript/

5. Here's a no-hype explanation of what Blockchain is and how this distributed database technology works (10 minute read): https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/wh...-does-it-work/


Quote of the Week: We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle


Happy coding.

- Quincy Larson

Teacher at freeCodeCamp.org
I'd love to try and mix the best of both worlds. I've actually started a project to try and code "clinical reasoning" (the process of diagnosing).

I've started the code academy pro stuff. It's good. Looking to do a coding bootcamp in 3 to 6 months for 2 months and then I'll be on the hunt for jobs and jump into the deep end. I don't think an MSc is for me - I think the opportunity cost is just too high and I quite enjoy having less debt but I'm really interested to see what everyone else thinks of an MSc.

Is it naive to think that I could do 6 months coding of which 2 months is intensive learning to walk into a job for about 4200chf net per month? As a physio I'm earning 6300chf net 100%.
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  #16  
Old 21.02.2020, 17:28
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Re: I need your advice on my career change

https://www.reddit.com/r/jobs/commen...experience_to/


https://www.reddit.com/r/cscareerque...er_in_2_years/


https://www.reddit.com/r/learnprogra...engineer_in_9/


https://www.reddit.com/r/learnprogra...o_share_their/
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