I am trying to get into the IT field and I'M unable to go to school. Everything I learn is from books I get vie Amazon.com or Books-A-Million. I don't really know anyone in the programming or IT field to whom I can get guidance and direction. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can find and meat people in this field? I work in a big enough city (Chattanooga TN), so I know they're here, I just don't know where to find them. I even tried to find local facebook IT group but with no luck. Thanks for any and all replies.

You don't mention why you cannot go to school. Are you immobile? Too busy working? Too far away? Unable to afford the tuition? The answers to these and similar questions will make a difference. However, generally, the best way to meet people is to volunteer your time.

Try meetup.com it has groups of all interests and fields. I used it to find a gaming group in my area but I know they have computer interest groups and general social groups. Also go to your local library sometimes special interest groups meet there and post meetings there as well.

I don't think people want to be thought of as meat and thus eaten! Too many movies on that topic.

If you mean "meet" may I suggest going back to school and continuing your education. You'll meet others wanting to be in the same industry and eventually through internships, those that are!

I can't go back to school because I'M a single parent with a full time job. Thanks for all the replies.

I understand: Parenting is a full time job (actually, it seems like a 1.5 times full, sometimes), working a full time job is a full time job, and going to school is very hard to fit into the cracks, so you are kind of stuck. You might take some of your massive free time ;) to look into the possibility of getting a day-care scholarship (if your child(ren) are of that age), or a similar thing for Boys and Girls club or the like... sufficient to allow you to go to one class. I have seen it done by people with sufficient stamina, luck and intention. One of the people who graduated when I did took 6 or 7 years to finish, while raising her daughter from 3 to 10 years old (she did have help from family). Would your employer help?

"Kind of stuck" isn't "completely hopeless", but it does take energy and stick-to-itiveness.

Best of luck.

Thanks. The answer to that employer question. I think my employer would me more likely to fire me if they even suspected I was attempting to better in hopes of leaving that wonderful no AC no Heat factory.

It's "meet" people. "meat" is something you might eat such as a hamburger.