I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA. At the age of 29, I have been working in the mechanical engineering field for 8 years in the steel and automotive industries. I wish to go about switching my career path to software development. The reason I want to pursue this deals with the flexibility of being able to work alone and also via a virtual office. I am an introvert at heart and wish to have more control over where I live geographically. Presently, I see that to advance in my career path, I will have to take management positions, switch jobs every 3 to 5 years and move around the country to accept new opportunities.

I have worked with many CAD programs over the years, dabbled in HTML, had some programming courses in college, and have a great understanding of computers. I have been the designated go-to-guy in my family and circle of peers for many years to fix and diagnose all types of hardware and software issues. I am fast learner and very resourceful.

I am looking for advice on the best route to take in breaking into the field and getting a job. I don't want to have to get another 4 year degree, most likely some certifications?? An opportunity to get a job and receive training at the same time would be great. All job postings I have seen require a set number of years experience working with various programming languages which is something I dont have at this point. From what I have seen, Java and C++ seem to be most in demand.

Any suggestions or questions would be much appreciated.