Building My Wings on the Way Down -- Career Switching From Non-Tech to Programmer and Running Out of Time
I've wanted to learn to code since high school and, when the pandemic hit, I decided to leave my job and join a Programming Bootcamp full-time. I'm a single mother. It was reckless, but potentially life-changing for me and my family. I studied for the entrance exam while I was sheltering in place. After 2 months of study, I passed!! I was immediately overwhelmed by the pace of Bootcamp. My mentor and other students told me that the overwhelm would fade after a few weeks. It never did.As the weeks wore on, I realized that I was retaining very little of what was being taught. I also began to attend virtual tech meetups. I began to better understand what skills I would need to get a Junior/Entry level job. I knew that I didn't have those skills and decided to apply to some apprenticeships/internships in the hope that I would gain a few additional months of learning under my belt. I also started to keep a running list of things that my Bootcamp didn't teach and concepts that I didn't grasp when taught (CS fundamentals, version control, dev fundamentals, etc). The good news is that I managed to secure an apprenticeship that lasts 90 days. Also, now that Bootcamp is over, I'm starting to enjoy learning to code again (I absorbed even less material as the stress and anxiety gained a foothold). My question: What now? Are there any career transition/returnship folks that realized their pivot was going to be far from smooth? I have a ton to learn to reach the junior engineer level (By my reconing, 6 additional months of dedicated learning). The more I learn, the further I seem to be from my goal! How do I assess where I stand? Should I work from the beginning of my list and just return to a non-tech job until I think I"m ready? Should I consider studying to pass an interview and hope that I learn enough as an apprentice to be successful? I'll be working full-time. How should I structure my "free-time" to reach my job-readiness goal? Any advice for someone from someone on the other side of "pivot recovery" would be welcomed!!