Don't people need above average intelligence to work in IT? If so, it would not be a realistic choice for everyone.
I know my husband is very smart and have had the impression that this was necessary for his job.
I was just about to write another post, and guess what it was about? The downside of IT (specifically, software development) being that you need to have an above-average IQ.
The fact is, it's a very difficult field unless you're talented AND dedicated to it. If you try to go part-time for a while, or spend time doing other things, forget it. You have to specialize, but on the other hand you need to keep up with the latest trends, and be willing to completely start over every 5 years or so. Things change so quickly in this field. Stuff you did 10 years ago is useless. Oh, and raw youth is the thing most valued by companies. They want young men* who are dedicated to the company, with a stereotypical Asian work-life balance, being willing to work long hours, weekends, etc. and not be hampered by having a family or a life outside work.
(* they'd love to have women, but they just aren't available in this field. Women are more interested in people than things, but I digress.)
I have a natural talent for programming that I discovered with I was 7 (when I decided this would be my career), and I started writing games and programs for fun when I was 15, while other teenagers were out doing normal teenager stuff. I've worked as a professional programmer since 1998.
Nevertheless, for a host of reasons, I am currently unemployed
* For 10 years I worked remotely for a very small company. Fortunately, I studied and did side projects on my own, but still.
* 3 1/2 years off to try out a vocation
* for about 5 years I practically worked part-time, distracted with things like my family, programming a couple side projects, the Resistance, starting up a chapel, and CathInfo
* For a total of 8 years I worked for series of clients or "gigs". Being forced to wear many hats meant that I formed a broad experience in many technologies and languages, but never went "deep" into any of them. Most companies want to hire an expert/specialist, not a jack-of-all-trades.
* In the world of software development, you have to add 10 to your age to get your "perceived age". It's like dog years. If most people start having trouble getting hired in their 50's, then in software development that trouble starts in your 40's.
* My career was never a high priority, as long as we were doing OK financially. Work-life balance was a big issue for me.
But being able to pay the bills comfortably and having enough extra money to make large capital improvements (buy larger vehicles, expand living space) are two different things. Our family was/is still in the growth phase.
So recently my wife and I made the big decision that I would try to switch gears and start working full time jobs "for the man", for a company, usually in San Antonio. Despite the fact that I gave up on working on-site/full time around 2006. I had decided it would be best for me to always work for myself, going from client to client and gig to gig. So my resume wasn't exactly stellar for this new purpose ("working for a company full time"). It worked out for about a year -- I got 2 contract positions back-to-back. Then it dried up, and I haven't been able to get anyone to hire me since. Apparently those 2 positions were the exception.
I never in a million years would have thought this could happen to me. I consider myself a natural born (talented) programmer, but also an experienced and capable one. When given the chance, I am extremely proficient at designing, coding, testing, implementing software of all kinds. I just finished a "gig" that involved 2 separate programs: encrypting video into a stream onto a USB drive, and then playing back that encrypted video in an Android TV app. Each video is encrypted to work on just one Android TV box. It involved a lot of moving parts, but I did it all by myself in a couple months part-time. I designed the whole solution, did the research, worked with the client, and everything.
It's been very humbling and frustrating, to be honest. At the first full time job (a very liberal company), most of the programmers were millennials, very liberal, and many of the older ones in their 30's had only been programming for a few years. But because of bad luck, timing, etc. they got hired in the nick of time, with the company changing drastically after that (the owner retiring, for one) so I didn't get hired after my contract ended. I was probably the 3rd or 4th best programmer there out of 11, but I was the first to be "let go". It might have had to do with my worldview; who knows. My immediate manager was a hipster pro-Hillary SJW and openly homosexual. The man who decided about hiring/not hiring me got most of his information about me through this homosexual manager. I could imagine that manager wanting me gone, since he knew I was "religious" and therefore against everything he stands for.
I guess it's just a question of finding the right fit. Unfortunately, that fit is taking many months to find. This is not only discouraging for me, but if I were a young man looking at this from the outside and considering a career in software development, I would be terrified and run the other way.
I honestly don't know what I should have/could have done differently. Again, I'm a Traditional Catholic raising a family as well as a man with a software dev career. The things have to stay in balance.