32 Female - Too late to start?

Read this:https://medium.freecodecamp.org/stories-from-300-developers-who-got-their-first-tech-job-in-their-30s-40s-and-50s-64306eb6bb27 article from Quincy. I wouldn’t prethink it too much, there are a lot of jobs for people who know how to code that aren’t necessarily hard core back end developers.


I’m 32 as well :slight_smile:
I ask myself the same thing all the time.
In the end, I love programming. I would love to work as a developer. so much so that I started my own LLC and gave myself the title of “freelance web developer” lol. I still don’t make any money “yet”.
And I’m almost at the point where my saved money is gone and I’m looking at cashier jobs of the moment.
That being said, I only have myself to look after. Sounds like you’ve got others who need you.
plan accordingly, there is ‘always’ a way to get something done, if you put in the work.
Networking is a good thing in this type of work. Join groups, find meetups, attend conventions if you can, check into college classes.
The examples for things out there can be old and depreciated. We’re picking a good time to start learning though because there is so much documentation out there for these languages. Tip: when searching forums for help, try narrowing the search time to within the last year or less.
I’ve been looking alot at processors like sass and babel. I still have more basic learning to do first I think. but, they’re something to consider.
Good Luck!


As others have said before me, it is never too late! You are certainly not on the scrapheap yet!

I am 28 and have just been accepted onto a University degree for web technologies. I won’t be graduating until I’m almost 32 and I cannot wait to see what opportunities arise after.

I have twisted a couple of times already over my short career. I have worked in IT for about 3 years (I worked in construction for eight years before this) and, although I don’t enjoy doing IT support so much, I know that I love working with computers and I love making things. Sometimes JS makes me feel down about my ability but then it’s all baby steps on the way to achieving something much bigger …

I would suggest that you at least try to pursue this opportunity because what would hurt a whole lot more is wishing that you had given it ago at some point in the future!

Good luck, stick with it and enjoy the ride :smiley:

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No you are not too old. Do not care about that. You can make a portfolio and sell your work. What your gender is, what you look like, doesn’t matter at all.
CSS is a nightmare. You are not alone in this. There’s a lot to learn that’s hard, really there is, but besides node.js (server-side javascript) nothing ever has made me despair like CSS.
The only real question is: do you really enjoy it? There’s a lot to learn and it never stops. You will have to continue learning forever.

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I attended a coding bootcamp at age 53. By the time you reach my age you will have two decades of experiences as a programmer so no it is never too late to start.


No way are you too old! Coding is awesome and inclusive.

Having been doing various tech related things for the past 3-4 years, I will tell you this:

  1. HTML and CSS are great to understand!
  2. You will probably be well off NOT WORRYING about CSS; Twitter Bootstrap (a package for CSS) is the thing now, and it makes CSS wayyy easier.
  3. If you have any dreams for things you want to program, go for it and try to figure it out how to do it! This process makes you 1000 times better at programming. I’m doing this now, and enjoying every second of it.
  4. also, try to attend any local coding groups if there are any in your area. I realize you have kids, which may make it difficult, but it’s worth checking out.
  5. Other AWESOME resources for how to program stuff can be found on UDemy, lynda.com, and coursera. All are cheap, so if you realize halfway through the course you hate your instructor you don’t have to worry. Infact, coursera is free (Admittedly, the format of the courses are harder to learn with but whatever. I’m a huge fan of UDemy)

Finally, YOU GO GIRL! I wish I started programming way earlier than I had, but HECK YEAH am I excited that I’ve started learning it now. Also, getting a job is WAY EASIER now that I know more about coding. Many jobs prefer that you know just the basics of code.

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you are 32? a woman? well, let me think, a 82 years old lady in Japan develops iOS apps. She never touched a computer before her 60’s.

I am 32 years old, father of one and the second one coming soon. I never worked in IT before but I decided that I will break through in this industry as a developer. Set up time each day, maybe half an hour in the morning, during lunch time, before picking up the kids, once they are in bed or bring them with you on this amazing journey. If you like it and you commit time each day, you will make it. I manage to keep aside 3 to 4 hours a day and I have plenty of fun with my family.

I read many times over the internet that the faster way to learn how to program is to build things. Go straight to the coding projects. If you do not know how to and you will not, look at the tutorials, google the tons of questions you will have, read books. Keep things exciting, it’s important. When you are tired of building things, watch tutorials, read books then keep building. Rinse and repeat. You will think it is hard and it really is. You will also thing that you reached a plateau but I promise, it is only in your mind, you really make progress. There is plenty of ressources for free all around. Here, on github (‘You don’t know JS’ is a great serie of book), EdX, Coursera… I had started a book 4 times because at some point, it was way over my head before finally overcome my understanding barrier and I would have started it over 10 times if I had needed too. As Melinda Gates said recently in a talk, it is important to understand that anyone can teach himself any field. Yes, some learn faster than others but in the end, if you are willing to put the efforts, you will get there.

And think about it, in 2 years time, what do you prefer? To be a receptionist or a web developer? A receptionist or being able to help someone to set up their website for their new business? To be a receptionist or being able to show your kids through exemple that you can teach yourself anything and improve yourself over time? Learning is a lifelong journey. :smiley:

Web development is in demand now so we can make it without degree because in the end for a business, it is the difference between having an app (a product) and no app at all.

Come back here when you feel down and read this section, it helps to stay motivated.

Keep pushing! It’s hard but rewarding! It’s already too late to give up, anyway! :slight_smile:

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You guys are GREAT! I never expected to receive this so many positive replies. They just made me want to push even more forward and give this my all.

Just be prepared to expect loads of code questions from me :smile:

Thank you

I started at 42, studying online + a bootcamp + a College Diploma, that means next year I will be done at 45.
Skills do not have age…so just focus, improve and apply your new knowledge, that’s it!

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@awyman Very interesting read. Thank you for sharing!

Hey codemom, I’m a 31 y/o stay at home dad with 3 kids under the age of 4 myself. While I have done some basic computer repair, sales, and help desk work in the past, I definitely consider myself a complete beginner at this stuff and we’re definitely in the same boat with having no degree.

I agree with all the positive sentiments here and I’d just like to extend the offer for you to message me if you need help, or ever want to pair program (though I still need to learn how that actually works haha) down the line, etc.

I think it could be helpful to have people in a similar situation to work with and encourage one another.


My email is available under my github account as well.

Good luck,


Hi, I started with coding at 30, with 4 kids, no college degree, no secondary school education, no maths background. If I can do it then anybody can.

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I have a pile of certifications including the Java OCP (which is a really valuable and quite difficult exam). CSS does my head in (it’s the positioning. I’ll get there eventually).

So just because a person find one thing hard, it doesn’t mean they’ll find everything hard.

Nobody should be put off because for them the “easy” stuff is a challenge. Go for it OP! And check out your local Women Who Code group!

@paulcarroty really nice to hear that, I thought I was the only one who’s finding CSS to be hard especially like you said when it comes to positioning elements but yeah we’ll get there eventually.

Do you recommend starting with Javascript as well into the mix or I should wait until I completely master the CSS? I am finding HTML okay it’s just the CSS that I am still struggling with.

hey @codemom if u have any questions just ask me

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I think you are not giving yourself enough credit. Your age, background does not matter in the IT field. What matters are your skills as a developer. Prove to anyone that you can handle these issues then you are good to go. Just make sure you are thorough with the coding language and say that you are a specialist. Prove to them that you can do a great job. As long as you can get the job done nicely, background is not an issue.
I’ve seen countless engineering graduates working in a business field because of their interests.

That depends - I think it’s vital, especially when you’re first starting out with anything, to not get into the situation of banging your head against a wall. If you’re not making progress it becomes that much easier to give up. Absolutely have a go at something else if your progress has stalled with the CSS.

That said, HTML/CSS and Javascript are different types of languages - HTML tells the page what the structure and content is (you have a headline, then you have some bullet points, then you have some text), CSS tells it what the design is (the headline will be purple, the text is displayed in courier), Javascript does the interactive parts (when I click a button, something happens.). You’re not going to be able to come back to the CSS and have a better handle on it because you’re mastered the Javascript but equally you’re not going to find Javascript impossible because you haven’t got the CSS down.

My other advice would be to try other sites as well - I’ve found CodeCademy to be pretty good and the W3Schools website is very clear and very beginner friendly with bits of code demonstrating the different elements which you can play around with. I’m sure others will chime in with their own recommendations.

Go for it. If it doesn’t work out, you’re allowed another go, I promise. :smiley:

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I think it wouldn’t hurt to start learning JS while you’re still learning the rest. The first time they (meaning html/css and js) really start to interact is when you get into DOM manipulation. And that’s basically using JS to change the way elements on a webpage look and function. But there’s still a whole host of other concepts to learn in JS before you get to that point. But when you do get there, I’d say a strong knowledge of CSS will definitely help.

In fact a strong knowledge of HTML and CSS will help you overall, especially if you want to get into front-end web development.

If you’re looking for course recommendations and have a few bucks to spare check out The Web Developer’s Bootcamp on Udemy. There’s a 11.99 sale going on right now.

It’s a beginners course, but it’s well rounded. Covers html, css, js, jquery, then Colt goes into some node.js near the end. I’m taking it for the JS section myself. So far I’m finding it to be laid out really nicely and it gives you a good foundation for further learning. Plus if you have any questions or a problem with an exercise the teaching assistants are super helpful. What’s nice is when you buy any course on Udemy you have it for life and there’s no schedule on how fast you have to complete it. You can work at your own pace.

Combine it with what you’ll learn here at FCC and other places (I’ve done courses over at Codecadamy too) and you’ll be well on your way to being an awesome web developer :+1:

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Yeah. You can learn SQL after perfecting your skills in front end development. Maybe you also might want to learn a server side scripting language like php or python to boost your chances even further. Good luck!

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Hello @codemom, it’s never too late to start, I’m 32 years old, next month I’ll be 33 and I just ended my first week in my first software developer Job, as you I did not have previous experience in programming, I wrote in medium how I do it, to inspire people, I hope it can help you. By the way I have a baby too, so I understand how difficult can be and finally, there are women at Job in fact the person that chose me, it’s a woman, very capable in fact she is the chief of all the department. I thanked her for giving me the opportunity.