Making a huge career switch

good morning everyone.

small intro: had been very interested in PCs since childhood. Put my own desktop together, organize LAN parties, explore programs, etc … but not followed ICT at school because I thought I was “too stupid”. Now I’m in my early 30’s and I really regret it, so …

In belgium we have the luxury, when your unemployed, you can follow free lessons for “bottleneck profession” (don’t know if that’s the right translation) and there are several in the ICT sector

My first lesson will start soon: basic ICT development course that will take 10 weeks.
meanwhile already learned a lot @ home, via different website (which this one is the best of course;))
first I wanted to do something with graphics but it is not a “bottleneck profession” so I learned to code at home and am completely crazy about it, but after those 10 weeks I have to choose between:

so the choices are quite limited, as I see it now I would like to grow into a software developer which choice do I make the best? all tips are welcome of course.


Hello @taillieyourservice! I’m not a professional at all, but I can give a few insights into those languages-having learnt on CC two, and read about Java.

This is a heavily object oriented language (meaning it uses classes-or objects-as the heart of it; how it runs, etc), C# is statically typed (meaning you must declare the type of variable, function return type, etc explicitly), and is mostly used by Microsoft. But this is not new. When I learnt it, I found quite interesting-it certainly helped me learn some features of OOP, but it was a little verbose (but coming from Python, it would!) I mostly enjoyed learning it, though.

I haven’t done much Java, but from what I’ve read it seems similar-ish to C#, although there are of course differences. This article explains nicely the difference between C# and Java.

I think this is used more for backend website development that app dev. When I learnt it-although I’m only a beginner with it-I enjoyed it, and found it less verbose and easier to pick up than C#. It is dynamically typed-you don’t have to explicitly state the type of variable-and is also an OOP language. Here is an article giving pros/cons to PHP.

If you had a little while before you have to decide, you could take a small bit of the CodeCademy course on each language, and see which one you prefer.
@SuperUsers, do you have any more input?

Happy coding!


Look for dev jobs in Flanders, see what language comes up the most.

I think you can’t really go wrong with either three, although Java is probably still the most popular out there (for the big, corporate type companies, that is). Then again it might depend what your end goal is, as software development encompasses quite a few different areas of expertise.

If your primary goal right now is employment, then that’s what I’d do.

The great thing is that after learning either one of these languages, the next one will be much easier to pick up, should you decide to pivot toward something slightly different.

Like others have written, I’d look up at local listings as well to get an idea of things they ask for.

Sometimes the language you like coding in the most is not going to have the type of job you like the most, and sometimes some jobs that interest you will ask for skills that you’re less interested now.

It depends on you personality studying. I actually find that if I like the language, I don’t mind if the job market it aims for is a little tedious.

Plan That being said having a plan is important (short, middle, long term). If you like graphics you can/should start studying for that now (even if only half an hour a day). Not only will it give you an idea if you like it or not, but it’ll also help you be better positioned to transition once you’re more settled in your job. I know there’s tons of great tutorials out there for blender and things like that so it’s definitely there for the taking. You can get a surprising amount done by this incremental approach over a period of time.

In terms of C#/Java/PHP my personal preference would go to Java, but only because I’m not a huge fan of windows. C# itself I really like as well (but they’re similar languages on a technical level). PHP is interesting if you’re into web stuff. Knowing PHP won’t really help you know C# or Java (but C#/Java have a lot of interchangeable concepts between themselves).

The internet has a ton of great learning material so take advantage: IRC, discord, youtube, reddit, scribd, podcasts, newsletters, and real books are all legitimate ways to learn and have your ears to the ground in the field. Don’t forget networking, people you already know fit into the picture too (they might not work directly in computers, but many will probably have potential needs for applications and web services relevant to what they do).

Hope this helps a bit.

Thanks for the feedback @codeneutrino @ghostlovescore & @toastedpitabread.

I just looked at job offers in my area. I already know more about that, but what I see now is that there are many companies looking for bachelor’s or master’s degree and experience … there’s a lot of IT support , isn’t that mostly a “pigeon loft?” (lol we call it that way if i translate it letterly,) don’t want to disrespect anybody. what i want to say is, how i see it, that they easily switch employez for this job…
=true or =false? :stuck_out_tongue:

gonna make a list with everythinks that interest me as job because there are many differents


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Degrees in that particular field are often useful but not always necessary if you qualify yourself properly (but it depends on the job). Usually when they put a list of qualifications they want a good amount of those, but it’s a general wish list.

Once you find the ones that interest you, I’d try to find written accounts of people that successfully get entry level without a degree and ask them or take notes on how they pulled it off. (reddit has a few of those)

Hi @taillieyourservice,
Have you read through the StackOverflow 2020 Developer Survey results? They had 65,000 software developers for 186 countries answer their annual survey. It might be helpful to see what’s relevant out there as far as developer profiles, types of work, technologies used.
it’s here:

thnx allot @lisalisaj

Looks very interesting! First thing i see Rust is #1 loved language???
Yesterday i looked ad maybe 100 jobs and the languages they needed for the job and i can’t remember is saw Rust…i know what to do the evening :stuck_out_tongue:

Again thnx!!!