I probably don’t need to remind anyone reading this while it’s fresh about the current state of affairs in the world, but for the future readers looking back on this time, let me set the stage a bit.
The Situation Today
(By “Today”, I mean early May 2020, when I started writing this series.)
Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, says we’re in the worst economy ever.
In a desperate bid of economic necromancy, many government officials want to put millions more Americans at risk of COVID-19 before we can develop a vaccine and effective treatment. And we still don’t even know the long-term effects of the virus.
I’m not interested in discussing the politics of this pandemic or who to blame; I’ll leave that to everyone else with an opinion. Instead, I want to acknowledge two facts that most people probably already know:
- This was mostly avoidable with competent leadership and responsible preparation
- Most of us have rough times ahead of us
I can’t do anything about the first point (although most people are focused on it), but I want to try to alleviate the second point.
What This Series is About
Whether you lost your job and need an income to survive, or you’re one of the essential workers wanting to avoid being sacrificed by politicians for the sake of economic necromancy, I wrote this guide to help you transition into a technology career with little-to-no tech experience.
This is not a magic bullet! It will require time, focus, and effort.
But if you follow the advice on the subsequent posts in this series, you will at least have another option available to you. The value of choice, especially when you otherwise have none, is difficult to overstate.
I am not selling anything, nor are there ads on these pages.
This entire series is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Why Work in Tech?
Technology careers aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, and they might be far from your first choice, but there are a couple of advantages that you should be aware of especially during this pandemic and lockdown:
- Most technology careers can be performed remotely.
- Most technology careers pay well.
The first point is especially important for folks living in rural areas hit hard by a lack of local employment opportunities.
A lot of the information and suggestions contained in this series may be applicable to other domains. However, my entire career has been in tech, so I cannot in good conscience speak to the requirements to gain employment in those industries.
Why Should We Trust You?
You shouldn’t. I encourage you to take everything I say with a grain of salt and fact-check any claims I make. Seriously.
I’m currently employed as a security engineer for a cryptography team of a larger company, although I don’t even have a Bachelor’s degree. I’ve worked with teams of all sizes on countless technology stacks.
I have been programming, in one form or another, since I was in middle school (about 18 years ago), although I didn’t start my professional career until 2011. I’ve been on both sides of bug bounty programs, including as my fursona. A nontrivial percentage of the websites on the Internet run security code I wrote under my professional name.
Over the past few years, I’ve helped a handful of friends (some of them furries) transition into technology careers. I am writing this series, and distributing it for free because I want to scale up the effort I used to put into mentoring.
I’m writing this series under my furry persona, and drenching the articles with queer and furry art, to make it less palatable to bigots.
- Building Your Support Network and/or Team
- Mapping the Technology Landscape
- Learning the Fundamental Skills
- Choosing Your Path
- Starting and Growing an Open Source Project
- Building Your C.V.
- Getting Your First Tech Job
- Starting a Technology Company
- Career Growth and Paying It Forward
The first three entries are the most important.
The header art for this entire series was created by ScruffKerfluff.