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!!
Thank you for sharing your story and congrats on getting the apprenticeship. That’s huge!! I am a mid career changer bootcamp grad who just landed a full time offer I’m negotiating after i completed a summer apprenticeship. And for me this ride has definitely not been a smooth one but one that’s been worth the pain and effort. Can you tell me a bit more about what you’ll be doing at this apprenticeship? For me, my apprenticeship is what really helped get confident in my abilities as I too felt that I had gaps in understanding after graduating & had trouble figuring out what to focus on first. Through the apprenticeship I gained the experience, confidence, and interview examples I needed to land my full time gig. Other than that, a lot of companies still focus on CS coding challenges for interviews and while the company where I landed did not do that, I started focusing on that since I started to feel good about my engineering skills due to the apprenticeship. Colt Steele’s course on udemy is a really nice intro to data structures & algorithms for some CS fundamentals and after that it’s leetcode practice. It might not seem like it right now but landing this apprenticeship is a huge signal both to yourself and to recruiters/hiring managers that you are hireable. Make sure you update your LinkedIn, post about it, reach out to your network and let them know. You’d be surprised at how many people offer to help. Congrats again and wish you all the best! Feel free to reach out and DM me if you wanna talk more about this stuff.