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My Precarious Life

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Arodax, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. Arodax

    Arodax Newbie

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    When I first got into making Internet Marketing software, I was making a lot of easy money and I had no responsibilities; I'd receive a project, I'd work on it until it was testable, and then I'd debug and finish it with whoever gave me the project in the first place. Simple enough, but time went on; while methods died and employers changed, my proficiency in developing software snowballed. After a certain point, and to this day, my limiting factor was simply not having enough work. I tried working for a few different people, some of them being a pleasure to work with and some of them not, but I still couldn't manage to make more than a payday every few weeks as many of the projects I was being put on had little to no hope of producing any actual money without some dedication and resource investment on the part of whoever used the software (I was not, and am still not, interested in being BOTH the full-time software developer AND the full-time software user). At this point, I was frustrated with my lack of steady progress towards independence and decided to explore other avenues.

    One of these avenues was getting a real Software Development job - so I looked into college for that handy piece of paper that lets me get into job interviews. I ended up taking a few online classes at a well-known, regionally accredited college here in Florida; that started out fine, but ended in my second round of classes when I realized the program was a crock of shit. Why did I realize then, and not before? In my second round of classes, I took the "advanced" introductory programming course where I was 1 of 3-4 people out of the entire class that passed. Makes me sound smart, huh? The only problem was, the reason everybody else failed was because the course was a colossal shit-storm of poorly planned out assignments and misinformation. The only way to pass the class was to already know the information it was trying to convey beforehand (which luckily, I and a handful of others did). Even though I did well in the class, I was not interested in continuing to purchase the right to teach myself stuff for absurd prices (I was then in debt for over $6000 for 4 classes; the $150 book I had to purchase for the programming course wasn't even used, there were no reading or work assignments drawing from it, and it ended up going straight from the package it arrived in to a storage box).

    Another avenue I considered taking was going into business for myself and selling the software tools and utilities I was already comfortable with making to a larger audience; I had hoped to launch a website, but due to the potential legal issues I foresaw I put the project on hold (legal issues I have yet to figure out). Instead of launching my own website, I decided to sign up on a few freelancing sites and see what work I could get there; turns out, not much. Most of the jobs I found that I was qualified for either paid too little for what they asked, or had too many proposals to make it worth applying for without an undercutting offer (and just try to undercut 50 foreign rent-a-coders, I dare you). I'm still making use of these websites as I've been able to get one small project from them, but by no means will I be able to put food on the table with my "freelancing".

    Now my daily routine consists of waking up and gluing myself to my computer chair trying to find work so that I can buy food for the day and take care of those that I love; because that hasn't been working out too well, I'm now considering putting my development career on hold and getting a job at a store like Publix. What's stopping me? For one, it's a huge dose of reality for me (I was pretty spoiled growing up living in a middle to upper-middle class family) that there are now days where my stomach hurts from being hungry and all I can afford to feed myself is shitty dollar menu food, and because of this I keep trying to convince myself that I'm just going through a rough patch that will end soon (something I've been telling myself and my loved ones for months now). I'm also worried that if I were to get a comfortable above-minimum-wage job somewhere that I'd end up drifting too far away from the "work" I love - programming - and end up being miserable later on in life when I have too many responsibilities to try to change careers again. Further, people far more experienced in the work-force than I have trouble getting minimum wage jobs, so how could I expect to be able to get a job where I'd be capable of supporting both myself and others?

    I'd really appreciate some input from those more experienced in life than me; I'm really at a loss for what to do.
     
  2. bertbaby

    bertbaby Elite Member

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    Well, your choice is simple: compromise or starve! Suggest that you don't forgo your dreams and find a decent college program to get a programming degree. Hell, a two year degree will do it if you are any good. And what's stop you from writing code now? Keep freelancing, you won't make much with the competition from India but you will get your feet wet.
     
  3. sn0rt

    sn0rt Elite Member

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    "Most obstacles melt away when we make up our mind
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    "Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is
    Do you not qualify for financial aid?

    If you enjoy programming, then the objective would be to get a high-end position in which you can program.

    There's a couple of beaten paths to this position:
    a) You know someone that can help you network with a company (least effort)
    b) You go to school, grab the degree, get an internship/get hired with the company (medium effort)
    c) Create your own company (most effort)

    Don't be discouraged over a shitty class. At the end of the day, if you don't have the friend on the inside, the degree is good to have to fall back on.

    Once you graduate, your window of opportunity will open up a little wider. That's how you have to go around life; thinking about how you can open your window of opportunity a little wider.

    Look at it as an investment in yourself.

    Not only will you be opening your window a little wider and investing in yourself, once you get into the upper division classes, you'll be networking amongst your peers.
     
  4. Arodax

    Arodax Newbie

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    Thank you both for your replies.

    Around the same time I was supposed to start getting serious about high school is when I started making a ton of money making software. I was - as they say - young and dumb. I'm still young, and hopefully still dumb, but now too much time has passed for any scholarships I qualified for to still be available. As for your question regarding financial aid, yes I qualify for it but it does not cover anything near what I need for what these supposedly "good" colleges charge. I'd be able to afford to go to my community college, but I'd just get stuck working for my Associate's degree for the next 2 years and then I'd be in the same boat I'm in now - broke and in need of direction. That might be fine if as you say I could get a job with just that (provided I'm skilled enough), but from what I've seen having an Associate's degree is the same as not having a degree at all - if an employer cares about educational qualifications, they want a Bachelor's in Computer Science or they won't even consider the application (which I understand saves them the time of having to weed out those that aren't actually qualified). Past that, I'm also in a position where people depend on me for their well-being, so I can't just up and go off to college somewhere else. I don't mean to brush off the suggestion to pursue a degree, as I'm still considering everything, but I just don't see how I could manage to find a school that's interested in more than just taking money from me that's also close-by and affordable.
     
  5. sn0rt

    sn0rt Elite Member

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    Where in FL?

    You know you could apply for grants?
     
  6. Arodax

    Arodax Newbie

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    Not too far from Tampa; I received the Pell grant when I took my online courses and that is the only financial aid I qualified for aside from loans, and like I said I've already racked up tons of those for 4 little classes.
     
  7. sn0rt

    sn0rt Elite Member

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    and you're saying the grants weren't enough to cover 4 classes?

    Also, was this at a time in which you were claiming a high income?
     
  8. Arodax

    Arodax Newbie

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    The grant (singular) didn't even come close to covering 4 classes. Each class was, if I remember correctly, more than a thousand dollars (complete rip-off for what I walked away with, which was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING but what I taught myself from the books it made me purchase). The instructors weren't involved in the classes whatsoever save for posting a message once a week with our assignments and logging on every once in a while to answer questions. All of the course content was obviously recycled and very poor to boot; passing a class was only as hard as responding to another class mate's forum post once a week and memorizing facts for the test. I'm honestly surprised by how much of a joke it was; when I started out I was burying my nose in my books studying for hours, and I was learning, but then I slowly realized I was paying a shit-ton of money for someone to tell me what book to teach myself from.

    In case anyone is wondering, I took the classes through Bisk Education (terrible company) as part of the Florida Institute of Technology's (FIT) online program.
     
  9. sn0rt

    sn0rt Elite Member

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    Heh. If you claim FL residency, you're classes will come out to about $300-$400 each. You're looking at about $1200 for 4 classes.
    (at an actual college)

    I'd suggest going to an actual college campus instead of any of these technical schools.
     
  10. Arodax

    Arodax Newbie

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    FIT is not a technical school, it's an actual college in Melbourne, FL right next to NASA. I was lured into a false sense of security when I applied for their online program thinking that the school wouldn't risk harming its good reputation by outsourcing to scumbag companies like Bisk that just want to collect their paycheck and show you YouTube videos in the name of education.

    I would love to go to an actual college campus but I cannot relocate due to my current predicament, thus why I made this thread looking for ideas.
     
  11. sn0rt

    sn0rt Elite Member

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    I travel up to the orlando area quite often..I was under the impression that there were a few campuses up by your area or at least within a 30min drive.

    I'm in south florida. Plenty of college and university campuses down here.
     
  12. Arodax

    Arodax Newbie

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    There are several campuses within driving distance of me (I use "within driving distance" loosely as driving 2 hours a day back and forth from college is not desirable in the least bit to me), but not just any college will do. I refuse to join the sheeple of the world in settling for sub-par education; if I'm going to give away years of my life, I'm not going to give them to a high school dressed up like a college. I realize someone in my situation can't exactly be picky, but honestly I'd much rather not be a part of the world at all than sink to that level.
     
  13. starstrafe

    starstrafe Registered Member

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    Get ( [GET] ) some Anthony Robbins books, read and digest them. I had a time where my life was a real shitstorm (financial and personal issues, the usual stuff) and i went through hell, and believe me, with some effort you'll get over it and feel like reborn.

    I know it's easy to say that when it's over (like when somebody is lovesick, you can tell him whatever you want and he will still be unhappy), but the truth is that you have to take FULL responsibility for your life and start acting.

    You seem to be extremely technical, and people like you (despite they are intelligent and skilled) often suffer financially because they dont know how to put their skills to use. They get degree after degree, waiting for some big company to give them a job and pay them well because they are so skilled. That is a dream in my opinion. There are a lot of good technicians (as you can see on those freelancer sites) and therefore the price for these services drops.

    Technicians also have a tendency to work for others (like youre doing it) instead of working for themselves.

    If I were you I would stark to work ONLY for myself and only in my own pocket, thats the best advice for all skilled people! Awaken the Entrepreneur.

    Me for example, I'm the exact opposite of you. I'm a real caveman when it comes to technical stuff and half of my budget each month goes to some indian that does the coding part for me. I'm always wondering why these people are working for others, while they have the skills to build a real online-empire.

    When youre able to code etc. it should be easy for you to grab a poor-mans-software like GSA SER, ScrapeJet or sth and rank the shit out of 3-4 amazon sites. These programs suffer because they are too technical for coding idiots like me (took me month to set it up), but for a programer it should be piece of cake.

    With only 3-4 amazonsites in the 1000-3000 exact league you should make 1000 a month. More than with all that annoying freelancer work. And finally you have some time to breath deeply and maybe decide to go to college etc. Or maybe this wakes up the Entrepreneur in you and you start building a 10k/month empire.

    Everything's better than working for others. That's what I've learned.

    Regards
     
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