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Retraining in software development?

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527040minutes Wed 15-Apr-20 18:35:14

Apologies for the length of this, I'm trying not to drop feed!

I'm a 28 year old mother of 2, been at home with the children for the last 2 years (1 of those maternity leave) due to the children both having medical needs and their appointments not being practical alongside working. Combined with the cost of childcare it wasn't practical for me to return to work initially, but theyre beginning to have less appointments and we've recently had one of my DP's parents retire who've offered to help with childcare.

I've got a degree in English, which was done with the idea that I'd go into secondary English teaching. This wasn't for me, at all, and I ended up in admin as it was all I could find by way of full time employment that was 9-5 to fit around what was then my situation as a single parent. This isn't such an issue now as I've got my DP for support and we can share the load, though I do need a career with some degree of flexibility still.

I've always been interested in coding, starting as a teenager building basic websites and playing with designing forum layouts. I still volunteer in theatres on a technical basis. I'm thinking I'd like to pursue software development as a career, but I'm struggling to work out where to start given I've already got a degree in an unrelated subject. I don't qualify for things like apprenticeships due to having the degree on the most part.

I've found plenty of free online courses, but nothing that gives certification without paying an arm and a leg for a course that tends to have poor reviews on the most part. I'd have no issue paying for a course if it was well reviewed, but most don't seem to be and I'm put off by the number I've queried who when I've then googled them appear to make their pricing up as they go along!

I'm wondering if I'd be considered with a portfolio? Or if qualifications are required to get a look in? I'm aware that I'll need to spend time honing my skills regardless of how, but I'm struggling on which languages are currently most sought after/up and coming? And how I prove my ability in order to look for entry level jobs to get a foot in the door once I've done this? Is it better to ask around for work experience positions for experience to go on my CV, or to spend this time on a portfolio?

Hoping some here might work in the field and be able to advise, I've done so much googling recently that I'm tying myself in knots and no longer sure what to trust! Thank you for any advice that can be given, I feel like I'm spending so long trying to get going that I'm actually just delaying myself now!

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