General Question

xgamer's avatar

Can someone figure out what I should do with my life?

Asked by xgamer (21points) August 26th, 2014

I am a 27 year old guy who completed his BCA (Bachelor of Computer Applications) 2 years ago with 73% distinction. I really enjoy computers and computer programming but I am in bit of a confused state. Since I completed my BCA I have been working in something other than my field but I am not happy and really want to get into the IT field. My problem is it’s been years since I programmed and I am not really a good coder (but I really want to be one). Let me elaborate on that.
Problem 1:- I am not a confident person as a whole. I am always self-conscious of what people say or think about me which bothers me a lot. I can speak & read English just fine but when it comes to writing (on a paper) I am not very good with spellings & my handwriting is like a 2 year old( or worse). I do a lot of spelling mistakes and I always get scared if someone is looking over my shoulder when I write/type something because I don’t want to embarrass myself.

Problem 2:- I have studied C, C++, C#, PHP, Asp, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, XML, Oracle, MS Access, Sql Server, and Apache Server. But I am not really confident in any of these. I understand all the terms, methods, functions, what they are, how they work. I know how to create functions/methods, call functions, create variables, call functions etc… but I am really scared on how to code i.e. if I look at a basic tutorial on how to make a calculator app on c#, I understand everything they say in the tutorial ( what they did, how the program works etc. etc..) but when I code own my own I get stuck in a dead lock. I go blank on what is required to do next. What function/method do I need to write to make the program work or how to write it? I know only by practicing coding one can get good at it. But when I practice I see myself again and again looking for reference from Google or other sample programs and just implementing the same code in my programs. As another example: – the simple programs that I learnt in BCA like bubble sort, Fibonacci series etc… I can’t write them, I can’t think of the logic but when I read the program I can understand the logic without any issue. i pick up things very fast, for example :- if there is an application like SQL and someone explains me so and so about the application and what is need to be done in that I understand it very quickly and most of the time without any doubt. But I am really worried if I am a good programmer and if I search for a job in IT development, companies will hire me for who I am and my skills. I don’t know what position fits me in IT.

Problem 3:- because of my problems as mentioned in problem 1 & 2, I am afraid of even going in for an interview in IT. I am scared I will embarrass myself while filling in the form for the interview or while writing any kind of written test in an interview or failing to write some simple program asked in an interview. I don’t know what to do. I am really frustrated with myself. I don’t know how to get over this problem. I want to do something with my life. I want to be successful but don’t know how to get over my problems.
Any kind of suggestion is welcome, Thank you.

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11 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther. What a great first question.

We may have various suggestions for strategies to address some of the issues that you’ve raised (and quite well, too – that’s very good writing), but as to the topic question ”... figure out what I should do with my life”, only you can do that. Always and only you.

As to your details, I would not be shy about admitting that to an interviewer in IT. There are lots of things that you can do in IT that don’t involve “writing code”, and in fact whoever interviews you (for a non production code-writing position) may be gratified to hear an honest appraisal of your lack of proficiency in that area. (I would imagine that everyone else that he interviews is “the best coder ever”.)

Finally, when you do start to write code – or do anything else after a long time away from the activity – you’re bound to be rusty and forget certain things. It is a rare person indeed who can pick up a technical skill after a long time away from it and proceed with no kinks, no stops-and-starts and no hiccups.

And since so few people write messages by hand any more, lack of handwriting skill is nothing, really. And that’s another thing that you can improve with practice if you want to.

Yanaba's avatar

Hey xgamer,

Go look at what I just wrote to Jasper…I suspect it might also apply to you?


My advice is find a local hackspace/makerspace/fablab (ideally the first), and start hanging out with them. You’ll get enough programmers and like-minded people around you that career plans and anxiety will start to fix themselves organically, I think. Plus you’ll probably acquire a few unexpected CAD and/or electrical or mechanical skills in the deal, not bad at all.

I hope so, anyway. Please let me know if this happens to work out for you in the long run. :)

Good luck!

gondwanalon's avatar

Why don’t you join the military as a computer expert? It would help you with your lack of experience and self confidence. With your credentials you would likely be offered a commission level rank.

chinchin31's avatar

welcome to the real world.

I am 31 and married and still don’t know what to do with my life.

You just have to try to do your best at everything you do and some pieces of the puzzel will start to make sense.

No one is perfect. You will find that even very successful people have things about themselves that they lack confidence in.

Just pick what you are good at and try to specialize in it.

Richard Branson the billionaire that lives in the Caribbean and owns the Virgin franchise is dyslexic . He also said he didn’t know what gross profit was until he was 40 and by then he was already a multi millionaire. Most accountants know what gross profit is and they are not millionaires.

Just chill and realise no one is perfect. Everyone has insecurities. Even the really good- looking model that you see in the ads on television. I have also come across many good-looking people that are also highly intelligent that are very insecure. Everyone has their insecurities. Some people are just better at hiding it than others. Maybe you need to work on hiding it. Just don’t let people know about them when you meet them. Always hold your head up high.

In this life confidence is everything LOL… even if you don’t feel confident on the inside.

You don’t have to be good at everything you studied to be successful.

Look at what you are good at and try to make a living off of it.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Pick a language and become an expert. I’m exactly the same way, familiar enough with basically every language but not quite professional in any of them except for possibly C which I use for embedded applications (I’m a hardware guy). I’m working on being a pro with LabView.

Start interviewing, be honest about your ambitions. Someone will pick you up and help you get there. You are at the ripe age where employers want you because you are old enough to be serious and mature yet young enough to work a ling time. When I was taking C++ my instructor admitted that it takes 5–10 years of real experience to be a good programmer. Looking back he was correct.

KNOWITALL's avatar

OUr major companys IT guy can barely make a new person admin on their computer, don’t sell yourself short.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“I am scared I will embarrass myself…”

Get past that, and all things are possible.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… Use the skateboarder model. No one learns to ride until they’ve bloodied a few elbows and cracked a few ribs, embarrassing themselves to the entire world.

Try. Learn from mistakes. Try again.

xgamer's avatar

Thank you all for your input,it really helped. I will try and do as you have suggested, I will try to venture and scout for jobs and be honest and see where it takes me

snowberry's avatar

Please come back and tell us how it goes for you, and ask more questions. We also have lots of questions that need your input. :)

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Hang in there. The only thing you have to fear is fear itself. Fear and insecurity are paralyzing you. A year from today you will be settled somewhere doing what you want. Dive right in and make a start somewhere!

LostInParadise's avatar

I think you are better than you give yourself credit for. Try this. First choose one language to concentrate on. It can be confusing going back and forth between languages. After you copy a small program and you understand how it works, try rewriting it without looking at it. Before writing all the details, think through what the program needs to do. Break the program into different operations. Those different operations are likely to become separate methods. If you get stuck, sneak a look at the code that you downloaded. Mostly what you need is self-confidence, which comes with practice. You also need to avoid getting down on yourself if you make a mistake. Think of mistakes as learning opportunities.

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