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INTRO The script is purgatory. Being on the script while unable to escape is torture.

Gamefan

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First off, I want to say that MJ’s books are great will continue re-reading them. The material is a red pill and MJ was wise to use the Matrix as analogy. With that in mind, what if you awaken from your pod and there is no Nebuchadnezzar waiting to pull you in? Could knowing the script but still stuck to it be more detrimental than living in ignorance? It seems that way because I’m now having constant anxiety and wake up in the middle of the night with my heart beating fast. I'm assaulted on all sides by people who tell me things like "it could be worse" and "you will always have debt".

I work in the tech industry as a lowly paid QA tester. My life consists of working a year on a project, laid off after said year, and then rehired after the 8 to 12 week “break” passes. Apparently this is required by some large tech companies so they can use the loophole and not have to hire you on full-time.

I feel like I'm in a glass box and I have to work for garbage contracting agencies like Volt, Kelly Services and Robert Half who do nothing but process payroll and take a cut of what is truly owed to me. (You fools didn't even find me the job!) For example, if Google pays $40 an hour for a contract worker, the agency keeps half and disperses the remaining $20 in a paycheck.

For the past couple years I have been gaining skills in web development and other programming languages. I’ve spent over 1700+ hours and have a small portfolio of static responsive webpages I’ve made. I cannot get a full-time developer job because they see me still as a QA guy. (I’ve applied to many companies this year alone). The reason I'm applying is because I need more pay to dig myself out of this hole. My current shovel is tiny. My take home pay is less than 38K a year and barely make enough to survive. I rent a small room and pay $710 a month. I also have a 45K of student loan debt and graduated in 2015 with a worthless “art type” degree. I did this before I even knew about TMF. I was such a fool. This is before I started learning to code and before I read 35+ books.

I’m attempting to get off the script in my “laid off” period but I must be on unemployment because I have very little money. Last week the prior agency called and they want me back for another year. I cannot refuse since I’m on the state assistance or the state unemployment office will charge you with fraud and bad things happen. Again I go in the loop of doing the same thing with a stupid 9 to 5 job. I’ll be laid off at this time next year. 2019 will be a carbon copy of 2018 and prior years. I'm trapped in a system.

I do have some good news (sarcasm). Being the person I am, I did beyond what I was required to on my prior assignment. I was just notified that I got a sub-48 cent raise. (It's too embarrassing to tell you the real value)

This is a purgatory and I cannot wake up from it. Back to listening to co-worker zombies who are stuck on the script and blow their paychecks on videogames and evenings on Netflix.

Is anyone else stuck and feel trapped like me?
 
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Kruiser

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Welcome to the forum! Feeling trapped is not being trapped. Your post is full of stories about why you can't do things. Get some better stories. You are able to see very few of the real possibilities. I've been there before, so I'm not knocking you.

Also, I hate to say this, but a large tech company intentionally skirting the edge of employment laws could be a big payday for someone. I think Microsoft got tagged pretty badly on worker misclassification a number of years ago. At least run a few Google searches on it.
 

Andy Daniels

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You've got some very valuable and marketable skills coming from the tech industry. You could easily spin this into your full-time gig with the right tools.

This is a purgatory and I cannot wake up from it.
The first step is to get your mind right. Mindset truly is everything. Without believing in yourself that it's possible to succeed Fastlane, you'll be stuck.

Keep reading through the Gold and Notable threads on this forum. The amount of value in those threads alone is immeasurable.

Best of luck, get to work!

Andy
 

MJ DeMarco

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This journey isn't easy as it takes one step at a time. How many steps? Depends on your situation. We all start from different situations, but the main point now is you have a purpose and a goal to escape to something better for your life. Maintain that long term vision and your short term daily routine will work its way out.

Welcome to the forum.
 
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Gamefan

Gamefan

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Do you exercise?
I found it really uplifts motivation.
Just do 10 min jog with 20-50 pushups at home as a start, that's if you don't already.
I don't exercise anymore. I thought I could maximize study/coding time from 6pm-9pm after work (at the cost of health). I'll take that advice and rebuild that habit.

This journey isn't easy as it takes one step at a time. How many steps? Depends on your situation. We all start from different situations, but the main point now is you have a purpose and a goal to escape to something better for your life. Maintain that long term vision and your short term daily routine will work its way out.

Welcome to the forum.
Thank you. I'll keep hammering and won't give up. My FTE has made me too angry to do so.
 

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If you are able to make static responsive websites, you are already more ahead than you think. Are there any local service providers like plumbers, electricians, painters etc where you live? Create a static website for plumbers THEN find out the contact numbers of all plumbers in your area and call them. Show them the site and sell the site with a few variations to as many people as you can. If you spend two hours every day, you can have at least one sale in a month.

Learn, improve, execute, repeat.

There are many threads on this forum on how to sell websites to businesses, start there.
 

Andy Black

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You've read a lot of books and study a lot in the evening. I suspect reading and studying is the wrong shovel to dig you out of your hole?

You’re motivated, now go find people to help, help them, and get paid.

Oh, and make exercise part of your routine. Swap the books and studying for exercise?
 

Andreas Thiel

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That take home pay does not sound so bad. I am a Senior Java Developer with 10+ years work experience. I earn slightly less as well and also pay around $700 for rent each month. You should still be able to set aside $400 each month with ease even if you have to pay $10-$15 each day for food etc.

Is there anything else, like mandatory interest payments that make matters worse? A family? Do the laid off periods cut into your savings ... or do you also struggle with bad money habits?
Or is it just that even after 5 years of saving you might still only be able to "buy" a few months of freedom?

I am not sure I agree with the "do, don't study" advice. Create a vision and come up with a strategy of how to get there. The book "So Good They Can't Ignore You" really brings up some interesting points.
If I could squeeze that in, I would read Manning books (Manning Publications) and create Portfolio projects.

I was pretty much with you and felt the pain until I read that sentence:

I cannot get a full-time developer job because they see me still as a QA guy.

How many companies have you applied to? What skills do you list? Creating a portfolio of projects and then applying for developer jobs (senior or entry Level) can't possibly be that unrealistic. Probably it is a presentation issue. What narrative do you put into your applications?
 

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Gamefan

Gamefan

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That take home pay does not sound so bad. I am a Senior Java Developer with 10+ years work experience. I earn slightly less as well and also pay around $700 for rent each month. You should still be able to set aside $400 each month with ease even if you have to pay $10-$15 each day for food etc.

Is there anything else, like mandatory interest payments that make matters worse? A family? Do the laid off periods cut into your savings ... or do you also struggle with bad money habits?
Or is it just that even after 5 years of saving you might still only be able to "buy" a few months of freedom?

I am not sure I agree with the "do, don't study" advice. Create a vision and come up with a strategy of how to get there. The book "So Good They Can't Ignore You" really brings up some interesting points.
If I could squeeze that in, I would read Manning books (Manning Publications) and create Portfolio projects.

I was pretty much with you and felt the pain until I read that sentence:

I cannot get a full-time developer job because they see me still as a QA guy.

How many companies have you applied to? What skills do you list? Creating a portfolio of projects and then applying for developer jobs (senior or entry Level) can't possibly be that unrealistic. Probably it is a presentation issue. What narrative do you put into your applications?
It's bad when you have a giant 45K student loan and a 13K credit card. Both are my own doing but I've learned from my mistakes. An actual dev in my area makes 80-100K a year average. I'm not even at 50K.

Also I rent a room in a house with 6 other people. Having an apartment is $1400-$1700 for 1 bedroom in the city I live in. My rent for the tiny room I'm currently at has increased for 3 years straight.

EDIT:
Just want to clarify that I'm not complaining but explaining my current situation. I just annoys me when I realize I made a crappy bed I have to sleep in. Also, wishing that Unscripted had been penned in the late 90s and read as a teen won't save me.

Time to dig out of the mess. I need to enter the Fastlane.
 
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ManlyMansNegator

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When starting with Web development focus on initially acquiring traditional skills .You should be proficient in Javascript,Html and css .From there you can begin css frameworks to speed up your web designs such as bulma , materialize etc. I don't like the wide use of wordpress which is often generic and is like cutting an orange with a chain saw.

If you want to master data handling you can learn SQL languages like MySql , SqlLite alchemy etc. I am not a fan of Mongo but plenty of people use this to store data as well.

As for different type of servers i would advise starting with flask (very easy and python based) from there when done with a few builds begin django. You could also dive into Node + Express which is django's contender.

There is no easy way to learn webdev , i made the mistake of focusing on Wix/ Wordpress a few years back which only slightly helped me with design.

That said generally in webdev you have the server , the model (Database) and the view (Front end).It is up to you what you use!
 
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Gamefan

Gamefan

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When starting with Web development focus on initially acquiring traditional skills .You should be proficient in Javascript,Html and css .From there you can begin css frameworks to speed up your web designs such as bulma , materialize etc. I don't like the wide use of wordpress which is often generic and is like cutting an orange with a chain saw.

If you want to master data handling you can learn SQL languages like MySql , SqlLite alchemy etc. I am not a fan of Mongo but plenty of people use this to store data as well.

As for different type of servers i would advise starting with flask (very easy and python based) from there when done with a few builds begin django. You could also dive into Node + Express which is django's contender.

There is no easy way to learn webdev , i made the mistake of focusing on Wix/ Wordpress a few years back which only slightly helped me with design.

That said generally in webdev you have the server , the model (Database) and the view (Front end).It is up to you what you use!
I understand a few already and know the path. I have down HTML5, CSS3 (and SASS) and a decent chunk of JavaScript. Up next is JavaScript frameworks, Databases (SQL) and then lastly a deeper dive into algorithms. All this crap takes time unfortunately and if you have a full-time job even longer. Hell, I even spent time learning some C++, Java and Python before all that. Learning those helped me learn JavaScript faster.

Still this all this takes time. Learning syntax, learning the uses, and common design patterns etc. No one at my previous job even spent a fraction of time doing what I'm doing. They all watch Netflix and blow money on videogames.

I'm doing what I can and still haven't seen the promise-land yet. That adds to my frustration. I have sacrificed so many hours. Do you know what that feels like?
 
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ManlyMansNegator

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I understand a few already and know the path. I have down HTML5, CSS3 (and SASS) and a decent chunk of JavaScript. Up next is JavaScript frameworks, Databases (SQL) and then lastly a deeper dive into algorithms. All this crap takes time unfortunately and if you have a full-time job even longer. Hell, I even spent time learning some C++, Java and Python before all that. Learning those helped me learn JavaScript faster.
Good.

If it didn't take time you would be doing it wrong.

If you learn the basics and build projects you can immediately begin selling yourself.On the way you can build stronger skills. I would also advise to focus mainly on either front end or back end.Become a master in on of the two while having a strong background in the other.

Personally i believe python will be the norm for most server side web development and will render javascript muted to front end (Even there it is battling with angular , vue etc!)

Try vue + vuitify i have been doing web dev seriously for around 6 months and working on it generically for a year and a half.

good luck
 
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Gamefan

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I'll get to backend hopefully but I want to get absolutely comfortable with frontend first. I have a website idea (a service) that I cannot execute on yet.
 

windchaser

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Hi there, I can relate a lot with your situation of feeling trapped, I was there until 2 years ago. My two cents on what helped me escape:

1) Change your mindset, focus on what you can do, what you know, think of different alternatives to escape, get excited and motivated about it. It will be essential for your own sanity.

2) It is good to study options and to analyze things but don´t get trapped on analysis paralysis, once you have a viable idea start executing, don´t wait for the circumstances to be perfect and focus on the solutions to the problem more than on the problem to the solution. You will end up walking on circles and even more frustrated and trapped; and the most important, a lesson I learnt the hard way:

3) Don´t procrastinate on taking action, the best moment to start is now, otherwise it will end up being never. Don´t overthink it, there will never be a perfect moment.

You mention you have an idea for a service but you cannot execute on it yet. Why? If there is a bottleneck, go solve it (that is already executing by the way) but do not rely on the falacy that you will get ready just by the mere lapse of time or by studying a little bit more (even if you can make up reasons for it, they are all excuses), believe me, I have been there and it only extended my agony.

I know it is difficult and that everything looks black from your perspective, start by making up your mind, engaging in positive and motivating mindset and by executing your idea, even if it is just baby steps.
 

FierceRacoon

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Here is a business idea then:
start your own contracting agency for QA testers that
- eliminates the 8-12 week wait (research the issue and see what you can come up with), and
- offers additional training and career counseling for those willing to become professional developers.

Connect your trainees with business owners needing a free website. Your trainees can create static pages for those business owners, thus creating a portfolio of real, not fake, websites. The free website offering should really help with advertising.
 
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Gamefan

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Thanks for the idea and already thought about the contracting agency and I don't want to do it.
1. I personally got screwed by an agency on Monday (7/1) and also no one likes them.
2. Not willing to battle multi-million dollar agencies with zero money in the bank and zero contacts.
3. Offering additional training and career counseling from someone who has NOT reached a professional developer. That's shady. (Unscripted: "If you want to be a champion swimmer, shouldn't your coach know how to swim?")
4. Fake websites, real websites, it doesn't matter as long as their is quality work. That advice came from a real working developer.
5. I'm looking to work for a real development company and then leave out once I understand their process and more of professional development in general. That is advice from a real developer I know who went from sidewalk to fastlane.
 

Mr.B

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I'm seeing lots of excuses here and lots of negative self-talk.

This is a purgatory and I cannot wake up from it.
Not if you think like that... no.

Back to listening to co-worker zombies who are stuck on the script and blow their paychecks on videogames and evenings on Netflix.
No one at my previous job even spent a fraction of time doing what I'm doing. They all watch Netflix and blow money on videogames.
Why are you so worried about what your coworkers are doing?

I love that you are putting energy into improving your skills, but don't stop improving your mindset. It'll help more than you can imagine.

I'm also going to question if moving from QA to Dev is really what this is all about? Because when I read Fastlane and Unscripted I didn't think to myself... guess I better get a better job!

So what if no-one will hire you as a developer... you don't need their permission.

I know that it may seem like getting that dev job will make everything better.

But it won't.

They are just shinier handcuffs.

Dig deeper my friend.
 

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Gamefan

Gamefan

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I'm seeing lots of excuses here and lots of negative self-talk.



Not if you think like that... no.





Why are you so worried about what your coworkers are doing?

I love that you are putting energy into improving your skills, but don't stop improving your mindset. It'll help more than you can imagine.

I'm also going to question if moving from QA to Dev is really what this is all about? Because when I read Fastlane and Unscripted I didn't think to myself... guess I better get a better job!

So what if no-one will hire you as a developer... you don't need their permission.

I know that it may seem like getting that dev job will make everything better.

But it won't.

They are just shinier handcuffs.

Dig deeper my friend.
I'm not worried about what my coworkers are doing. I'm actually trying to help them which adds to my frustration when I hear them yack about the latest Netflix show or game. I'm not selfish and having that mindset allows me to share things like Unscripted and Fastlane.

Now for the dev job. If you don't have the finances to push you forward (like pay down huge debt) you need something better. It's okay to have a 9 to 5 that supplies the cushion you need to break out. When I read Unscripted I even see that sometimes you have to deal with crappy job temporarily to fund things you need to do. Nowhere in Unscripted does it say stay in debt.

I'll take the temporary shiny handcuffs over the temporary rusty ones. Just like I'll take rich man problems over poor man problems.
 

Mr.B

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I'm not worried about what my coworkers are doing. I'm actually trying to help them which adds to my frustration when I hear them yack about the latest Netflix show or game. I'm not selfish and having that mindset allows me to share things like Unscripted and Fastlane.
Gotcha. I once tried the same thing... with little success!

I appreciate that a day job can help fund your business during the start-up phase. Nothing wrong with that at all.

Just be careful that you don't get stuck when you do get a better job.

I did. After pushing to grow and diversify my business in various ways, I took on a whale client. They paid well for my services and had ongoing work for years.

So I got comfortable. Got lazy. Lost focus. Stopped growing my business. Stopped researching other business opportunities. Stopped finding new clients. And well... you can probably guess how that played out!

Good luck mate.
 
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Gamefan

Gamefan

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Gotcha. I once tried the same thing... with little success!

I appreciate that a day job can help fund your business during the start-up phase. Nothing wrong with that at all.

Just be careful that you don't get stuck when you do get a better job.

I did. After pushing to grow and diversify my business in various ways, I took on a whale client. They paid well for my services and had ongoing work for years.

So I got comfortable. Got lazy. Lost focus. Stopped growing my business. Stopped researching other business opportunities. Stopped finding new clients. And well... you can probably guess how that played out!

Good luck mate.

I wrote that original thread while unemployed and literally fuel with quite a bit of anger and fustration. The former has been solved, but I still got my anger and FTE going. ;)
 

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