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Looking For Advice: Converting Dreams Into Physical Realities

Looking for some sage advice on how I should proceed with my dream of wanting work in Japan.

Heres the brief run down:

I am a 21 year old currently 3 years into an environmetnal engineering degree. The thoughts of : “I fucking hate my degree”,“I am going to become an unhappy piece of human cattle” and “each day my chances of suicide are increaseing my a non trivial amount”, are starting to get lounder and louder as I move forward. The point has been reached where I’ve decided to finish my degree, but probably not work in the envionmental eng field. Becoming a zoomer code kid seems like a viable option to perhaps escape the chains that I fear will come and to become a functional modern human.

End goal right now is to become a freelancer in Japan, who is not a 社畜. What is the best way to set myself up for this goal. Programming tutorial hell is a maze of sayings such as: " x language is dead", "learn x stack ", “FULLLLSTACCCCK BABY” and the like. Cutting through all the youtube snakeoilers, what are possible paths that I can start going down that would prepare me for my dream?

I am currently following a pseudo ajatt method to learn Japanese and am trying to learn programming fundamentals by tinkering in python. Departure projection for Japan is around 4 years (2 to finish degree and 2ish to get money/ mabes do JET).

Sorry for making this less brief than the intial brief comment would have lead you to believe :lying_face:

Thank you for the time,

Gink :seedling:

Hi mate,

I do relate to your situation, although my sudden awareness came later than yours (the first few years of my aeronautical engineering career). Nice job for having realised that soon this path doesn’t fit you :+1:

First of all, I think you’re right to finish your degree as it’s a major piece for immigration in Japan. Having at least a Bachelor is a requirement I see in many IT job offers as well.

Then, regarding programming, I can only give you advice related to materials I’ve been through. I decided to go for Web programming but, depending on what you want to do, you’ll have to learn other languages. It involves HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Ruby in my case. So, I found a coherent open-source curriculum called The Odin Project, which promises to take one from absolute beginner to an entry level programmer ready to be hired for his/her first job.

In your case, you’ve to ask yourself first what kind of programming you want to do. Will it be games? Web? Mobile apps? Then, the choice of languages will come naturally because you’ll have a more narrow set to choose from.
Then, it’s very important to stick to the same course, be it a bootcamp or an online class, to prevent going back and forth between two different teaching materials. I’m not saying that you should not look a other sources. I just say that you should find one consistent course that will be the backbone of your teaching experience, and then look at additional materials to deepen your knowledge.

And since you’re a student, I recommend you start to learn now on the side so in two years, you’ll have not only your current degree, but also good knowledge and few experiences in coding.

Nothing more to add as I’m not coding in Japan yet. Perhaps other, more experienced members, could add their views to give you additional insight on what awaits you down the road.

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Thanks for the reply Remi, I appreciate you sharing your story with me.

A few questions:

  • Why did you end up hating engineering?

  • Why choose Ruby?

  • How is The Odin Project?

*Whats your current language learning gameplan? If you are just starting I can hook you up with some minmax language learning tools and links :sunglasses:

As for areas of programming I’d think the one that best traslates to freelanceing would be the area of choice. I have no desire to be some rich yacht owning big boi, but the area would have be able to supply a freeish life. End life goal is to try and make a positive impact on the world, have two kids and live in a small rural house.


Why not try the english teacher path?
Finish your degree and apply for a teacher job.

Being hired as a developer in Japan might presuppose to have experience. Either in a professional job or by contributing to open source projects. It must be justified for an employer to go through the immigration hassle and the investment (companies hire an immigration agency normally afaik).

For myself, I like to visit the country a couple of times before deciding to live there.

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Doing the JET program to get placed there for a year is the plan.

I’ve heard that the English teaching is a dead end pursuit, hence wanting to transition into the tech field after. I don’t want to fall into the trap of working crappy teachings gigs with no option for upward mobility. Also heard that this market is starting to get super saturated.

I answered you by private message :wink:

Well, no particular reason. I was looking to get into Web programming and since I settled with The Odin Project, I naturally went for Ruby, which is their main back-end language. It could have been Python or any other language for that matter.

I find it quite good for beginners and it allows you to study in depth certain topics, if you want to, without being mandatory to complete the main course. Since it’s open-source, everyone can contribute and the curriculum is always improving.

Well, I guess you’d have to make a choice at one point anyway. It seems I’ve a similar mindset to yours; that’s why I picked Web programming because I think it’s quite diverse and broad while being able to work on projects that could have a positive impact on society. But I guess the same could be said of mobile app programming :wink:

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