Has anyone Over their mid 30s with NO experience actually gotten a Job?

Hey everyone, I keep reading stories of people getting jobs “half way through FCC”, or “within a few months”, but those people seem to be in their 20s. Those that seem to be older, had an Engineering degree of some sorts somewhat related to computer science or “After many years” decided to get back into coding. There are also others who did coding for many years (like PHP) but didn’t know JS so they learned it here on FCC and got a job relatively quickly.

So, I guess I would like to hear (hopefully) stories of people who did NOT have an engineering degree, did NOT have coding experience, and yet were able to get a job.


P.S. Please, describe your experience in getting the job. How did you build your portfolio. Was it exclusively projects from FCC, did you use LinkedIn, gitHUb, etc. How long did you code (in a learning environment) before getting a job, etc, etc.

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Yes, sort of.

I had a little experience in C, 30 years ago, but no experience in web dev. I worked hard and after two years got a job, at age 49.

As you tick off those boxes of negatives, it does get a little tougher. But the number one question is what you can build. Your knowledge and portfolio. Those are the most important.


Copy-pasting from earlier this week:

FCC article: Stories from 300 delelopers who got their first tech job in their 30s, 40s, and 50s

Hashtag: #DevAfter30


Well, I’m not quite mid 30s and I started in my very late 20s, but I have a job, and I don’t have an engineering degree and I have not done coding for many years prior to when I started learning web dev online, so I suppose I partially qualify.

I do have a Biological Science degree, which is not related to computer science in any way. It is probably one of the least math intensive of all the hard sciences. I did try to go back to school for a computer science degree, but I dropped out after 2 years. I tried the old FCC curriculum but I was only able to complete the front-end section before I joined a bootcamp and found a job shortly after.

I will say this, people, no matter their background, that found a job within a few month of learning are either extremely fortunate or tremendously hardworking and most likely both. While impressive, they should not be where you set your expectation.

At least in my experience, FCC curriculum is the minimum of what you need to be qualified as an entry-level developer, and most job ask of you more than just what you learned at FCC. People have to learn more thing on other platforms, practice coding challenges, work all their available connection and networks, work hard on their resume, LinkedIn, portfolio…etc in order to get a job. All that takes time and work.


Thanks for the reply. How did you build your portfolio? i.e. how did you get the experience to get a job as a web developer?

Thanks for the Reply.

You mentioned more than learning from FCC. What other resources did you use to learn more? How did you build a portfolio without getting a job first? Can you describe your experience on where/how you landed your first job as a web dev?


Wow! Good Motivational article. Glad to see so many non-tech background people got a job eventually.


37 here
first dev job feb 2018

but i wont say it was an easy road.


I enrolled in a bootcamp and built my project experience through their curriculum. The curriculum was Java centric which helped expand my available job pool. I also joined a Chingu cohort and completed a project. Took the CS50 course on EDX. I took react tutorials and tried to replicate the same project with Angular. I watched a lot conference videos, specifically related to JavaScript, microservices, design pattern…etc. I also attended local developer meet up, like FCC meet up, Spring user, Angular developers, code brigade…etc

I actually don’t have an official portfolio site. I list and described my projects in my resume and if the hiring manager are interested, I can always show them in an interview. The bootcamp I attended also provided job placement assistance. I interviewed with a few companies and eventually was hired by a tech consulting firm. Prior to my bootcamp I also had a few interviews but looking back I needed a lot more knowledge and practice to truly be considered seriously.

I believe it is all accumulative. I probably would have struggle more finding a job if I just had my bootcamp training and not all the experience I gained prior. In my interviews, I talked about my own learning experience like through hacker rank, FCC, Edx just as much as I did about what I learned from the bootcamp curriculum.


Thanks for the post. Can you describe this hard road?

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I’m 39 years old. I’ve been studying programming on-and-off (but more on than off) for a year and a half or two years. I d not have any degree at all, to say nothing of a Computer Science or Software Engineering degree. I just got my first coding job a few weeks ago. Part-time quality assurance work, with the hope and expectation of becoming full-time in the medium term, and hopefully moving to something more interesting than QA. So it’s not easy, but it is doable. Good luck!


Hi. When I first got into programming, I was in my early 30s. I did end up getting a job without any experience.


I got my first real dev job (where I’m still at today) right around the time I turned 30, so that’s close enough. I have a Bachelors degree but it has nothing to do with computer science so I doubt that counted.

While I didn’t have formal programming “experience”, I feel like I got hired because I had plenty of code to show, working on side projects and what not. I think that’s the biggest advantage anyone can have, no matter your age. Companies hire programmers to code so they want to be sure you can do it. Writing a bunch of code, specifically applications, is how you show your proficiency.


I got my first job as a developer a few days ago, I don’t have a college degree, no prior working experience in the industry and I’m 27 years old. When I started to teach myself how to code 9 months ago using online resources I had no idea what I was getting into, like none, I started from zero.

By the way, keep in mind that people who are able to find a job after 3 or 4 months of learning how to code are unicorns, those are extremely rare cases and as another posted said, they should not be where you set your expectations, because that’s going to hurt you. I went through that. I used to see those same stories that you talk about and I thought I could do the same, I was pretty excited about it, but then I found out the hard way I shouldn’t have those expectations because for most of us it’ll take much longer than a few months.


Thanks for sharing, kevinSmith! This is encouraging!

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35yrs old. Nutrition background. Found freecodecamp at this time a year ago. Worked hard last year through countless tutorials, videos, activities. Felt like I had basic level skills. Applied to about 200 jobs, received rejections everyday. 1 in person interview that I bombed (they were looking for someone with more senior experience). Unemployed most of 2018.

I opened up my search to contract positions and I am currently a contractor front end developer at GAP, inc. It’s 12weeks and ending soon. Apply as many as you can, don’t be picky, consider contractor jobs. I am paying my dues and taking whatever work I can for the first 2-3 years before I get picky.


Thanks for the reply and congratulations on your new Job.

So what skills and projects-experience did you get to land this job?

Thanks for the reply. So, no experience but you had FCC projects under the belt? Maybe contributed to open source projects? What did you show as “proof” that you knew how to code other than a certification from FCC?

Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

You said you had plenty of code to show from side projects and such. Were these personal projects, projects from FCC, contributions from GitHub, etc, etc? How did you find these projects?

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Wow! Congrats on your new job and only 9 months after starting is still amazing in my book! How many hours a week, do you think, in average, you spent learning/coding?

Did you learn exclusively from FCC as the main learning source?

When employers asked for proof that you knew how to code (other than taking a test), what did you show them?

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