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Angry1141214dFirst of all, don't apologize for ranting here. This is devRANT.
Second, I feel you. I, too, am self-taught (at first) and was very hard-pressed in getting a proper coding job. I, too, am in my mid thirties.
I managed by taking odd-jobs for small local businesses, and building thesis projects for college friends and family. But I had a lot of free time back then which may not be the case for you.
I'd say just start small like writing a script that would automate one part of your work. Like generating a template file or something. This will hopefully spark something in you and, many times, sparks lead to something good (unless it's one by a gasoline container or something then my advise is to run).
Good luck, man.
p100sch1077214dJust do what you like. If you stress yourself out you will not get anywhere. There is nothing wrong with just working for the money and use that as evidence for good work moral and just do portfolio projects on GitHub. If you have a project in mind, just go for it.
Most importantly. You do you, nobody should put you under pressure. Just calmly approach the problems and they will ultimately reveal a possible solution.
Imhotep1214dHey, you've already done the most difficult step, which is setting up a goal to achieve. And you're already working on it too! Don't get desperate now, hit the resilience button hard and long, you'll get there eventually. GLHF
kchatzia9213dWell another self-taught here. In fact im a digital marketeer who learned to code because i wanted to get the job done. I also hate wp(cant stretch how much) but i kinda like presta... i had some dev works in various companies but now i have my own company and i work with projects that i like and projects that get food on the table. I believe that you should start develop something of your own. This will give you a motivation to do the other work that will put the food on the table....