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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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Do you have family and friends interested in a job in software?

With technology only becoming more popular, and hopefully accessible to more people — you might have people in your life curious about getting in to it.

What do you tell them when they express interest? How often do people follow through and get into the industry?

Top comments (16)

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Personally, my older brother wanted me to help him build a web app. I told him I'd help build it, but he had to maintain it. He's always been technical enough, knew his way around HTML, but this nudged him in to fully learning to code. He's now doing freelance Rails development full time.

I know of folks in my life who career-switched into software, but most people I know who have expressed some interest in learning to code never fully followed through on it — which is fine. 🙂

ben profile image
Ben Halpern
codewander profile image

I am hopeful for tools like webflow and airtable for people who want to dabble, but not learn fully.

j_mplourde profile image
Jean-Michel Plourde

My girlfriend wants to transition into frontend development. She has a background in accounting and want to use that for her career change. It's a fine balance between guiding to learn new things and trying to find her first job that would give her an opportunity.

I also have a friend who's a construction engineering that want to switch career to become a developer or a cybersecurity professional. He's learning Python and I try to help him a bit by guding him in some direction (I am myself a computer engineer and I work with Python on a daily basis).

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Ben Halpern

Is there an inflection point that helps them get to "no stopping them" that can be articulated?

brunoj profile image

I try to be encouraging, but also tease out whether they really want to. It's a lot of work to take the plunge and make it as a career developer, and the hard work doesn't ever stop.

Anyone who really wants to be a dev can, and if you're only in it for the secure career that usually pays pretty well, you also can — but it's worth figuring out if they'd enjoy the journey.

just5moreminutes profile image
Just5MoreMinutes • Edited

I wish I had...
I have one friend at school that recently got into coding, but I'd love to have a relative/friend with actual job experience or just somebody somewhat advanced.

So basically nobody in my family is at all interested in software development (or tech and PCs), and all I ever hear when I'm coding in my free-time is "Stop sitting in-front of your screen all day doing nothing useful".
Besides that, I also often hear something along the lines of "sitting at your PC all day will make you stupid". I absolutely despise this saying, because it is just not at all true in so many aspects, but thats another topic.

To quickly answer the two questions:
1) My family doesn't really show interest, so I can't tell them anything. My friend on the other hand often asks me about my personal experiences with smaller jobs I have had or my general experience with coding till now. In that case I tell him what motivated me to start in the first place, or how to even stay motivated. And of course I also answer his questions :)
2) My friend seems to be quite engaged, and I really hope he will go through with it, but I'm not exactly sure if he will since he often tends to ditch the things he started

lukeshiru profile image
Luke Shiru • Edited

What do you tell them when they express interest?

I give them my full support, but I make clear the software industry is one that requires us the be "students for life". The folks that think they know "everything" and have "nothing else to learn" are the ones that lose, so the main "requirement" is that you'll have to keep learning. If you want to study once and use that same knowledge your entire life, there are other industries for that.

How often do people follow through and get into the industry?

Very rarely (one every ten or maybe even twenty for me). Some folks first think is just "being in the computer" and they are only thinking in how "well paid" it is, and once they realize what this is really about, they either stop pursuing their interest in the software industry, or they look for close alternatives, like HR for software companies or something like that.

I would love to see more of my friends that are currently in really bad jobs to be working on software, but the thing is that not everyone enjoys it or finds it attractive in the first place 😢

arlopezg profile image
Alejandro López

This has been my experience so far.

People from other industries (usually bad jobs as you say) will display curiosity and ask stuff about my day-to-day tasks, pay and work hours. We'll chat a bit about it for a day or two and then they just never bring it up again.

dumboprogrammer profile image

Taught my sister about databases and data management.

kirtimish profile image
Kirti Mishra

I think, one should take out time to explore this industry, get in conversations with people more often how to get started!

ciola_juliana profile image
Juliana Ciola Beltrami


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