I am 40 years old. Is it too late to start a career in software development?


#21

Cheers Jay,

I'm also running away from the music industry! To answer directly one of your concerns, I think businesses in this industry know very well the advantages of experience and perspective in life, and anyway they know how to search for it regardless of age... perhaps you're pessimistic because you're using other industry's logic? once I was judged not suitable to set up live shows by lack of weight alone :smile: at first glance! I swear!

To serve as an example, I'm not going to tell my age :smile: I could never in my life correlate any other variable to it, in me and in anyone else :wink:

Enjoy!


#22

@jaytsecan

You will find that, yes, there will be some prospective employers will prefer "young blood and hungrier". You'll also find that the VAST majority of that crowd aren't people you'd want to work with even if you were 24. Do you want to work 16 hour days (because the enthusiastic entrepreneur who dreamed up the company wants to surround him/herself with "go getters" willing to sacrifice their own health, relationships, and sanity in pursuit of "the dream")? Do you want to work those 16 hours for about half the pay you'd make working 8 hours someplace more reasonable? Do you want to hear "everything is awesome" clear up till the day everyone you work with is looking for new jobs? That's the type of environment where they give a rats behind how old you are. They use people up - and then just move on to the next "shiny idea" when the last one flops because, of course, the company didn't fail because of poor management, they just needed a better concept.

I just wrote a whole long additional paragraph but am going to summarize it instead: What do you bring? Maturity. Sell that :wink:

Being older isn't really the barrier you fear. I'm older than you and, honestly, it's never been an issue for me. To my mind, the only real demographic annoyance I've ever faced is for being female. (And, that, I've never experienced "in industry", just from smaller shops I freelanced for where the ignorant owner didn't have the sense to edit themselves before "wow, that was fast, I didn't know girls could code like that" came out of his mouth).


#23

Hi Jay,
No you are not. I'm even older than you... And I don't think it's too late for me. My life (and new career) are just beginning, and I still have a long life ahead of me!

Best regards,

Maria


#24

I am 53, loving learning to code, remember that you only fail if you give up but you will be amazed at the skills, knowledge, and ways to look at things differently and the people you come across in your journey, life can be an adventure even at 53, enjoy it !!


#25

Don't give up ALAIN971, Biology + Computer Science is the THING these days. You have an amazing advantage!


#26

Thank you for your support, I won't give up. I am coding every day and looking for work.


#27

I don't think that you are too old to begin such a career. For my experience I noticed how nobody cares about who you are in the IT industry. And this not because they want to be kind to you, but because there is such a shortage of developers, that personal prejudices are left less space with regard to other sectors/jobs.
Coming from a background other as CS or Software Engineering, moreover, it is probable that you developed soft skills like communication and team work. Not because computer scientists or software engineers are bad people, but because they are not encouraged during their studies to develop communication skills. That's obviously a rough generalisation, but it reflects the expectation of the people, not the reality itself.
If you are a creative person, you can find always original solutions and that's always a bonus point.


#28

As a budding coder who is over 40, we have some advantages over younger (read: teenagers and people who are in their 20s and 30s). We have experienced life's ups and downs. Some of us may have witnessed the rise and fall of the dot-com bubble in the early 2000s.


#29

By no means! I'm 38, yes indeed I started coding over 25 years ago, I could go as far as to say 28 years ago, my mom says she saw me coding when I was 8, yet i really cant remember that.

anyhow, there is no "too old" when it comes to programming. just give it your all, starting here is a great way to do just that. finish the whole track here, then move to codeacademy.com they have actual programming courses, that will take you to the next level.

remember something, that most of starters just do not bother learning, LOGIC, algorithmical thinking, and logic!
search for good algorithm tutorials for beginners, programming IS ALL ABOUT LOGIC. get a problem, design a solution (an algorithm that solves the problem step by step, where the progress from the previous step to the next IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE NOR ILLOGICAL, and repeat).

the best tip i can give you is this:

RTFM = Read The Fu...Fabulous... Manual
Practice = at least put 2h/day into coding and learning
Practice = once you finished to Practice, Practice again some more
Practice = ... you get what I mean
SIGWYDK = Search In Google What You Don't Know, don't bother trying to memorize everything, google is your friend, as long as you have the LOGIC down, the language specifics aren't important, there must be documentation somewhere, and google is your friend! if google doesn't know of it, it doesn't exist.

then start playing around with whatever languages you want to use.


#30

My opinion is, learning how to code has nothing to do with your age, it's all about what you want to do, if you know how to learn, why would age matter.

Now, if you want to do it for a career, age would matter, but that's only if you are going to be retiring in a 5 years. Then, it would be a factor.

Bottom Line: 40 years old is not to old to learn how to code. You still have a long ways to go before you retire.


#31

Logically if there are companies that prefer younger people, there will be others that prefer more mature people. Young people come with different baggage, it's still baggage though. My advice is to not let any amount of anxiety over your age get in the way. That time spent considering if you're too old could have been spent doing just about anything else.


#32

I once saw a reality tv show that had a 50yr old doctor that started studying medicine when he was 40.
Keep coding!


#33

If not now, then when? You are only going to get older :).

Pretty much my justification for quitting my job and smashing out FCC full time.


#34

Hi,

I am a newbie here, with qualification to join (40YC - 40 years old club). I just want to throw few ideas here, hopefully it will make us more motivate to learn and implement our knowledge gained from FCC.

  1. What if we change the vision from looking for jobs to create jobs?

  2. We can start by converting popular business application which already open source to stacks we learn from FCC. For example, we can convert an ERP called Oodo to use NodeJS instead of Python and keep open source it so community can take advantage. We can make a profit by customising package to organisation/business owner who need it.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odoo and https://www.odoo.com

If you have several ideas, inline with point number 1, go ahead, spill it up and keep this topic float.

  1. Why NodeJS ? I think @QuincyLarson, can give more explanation about this. I read in Medium or Quora that FCC and popular corporation like PayPal use NodeJS, there are also other area which maybe NodeJS may not fit into situation like point no.2 above.

Btw, how many of you already pass Front End Development ?

Keep the spirit up!


#35

Hey, i think that would be a great idea.


#36

Your never to old to try something new. And you can teach an old dog new tricks. I am in my mid forties and having to start a new career.
So here i am going for it.


#37

38 here! I do hope it's not too late.


#38

Hello all, I turned 41 a few days ago and I have started to train myself in coding about 8 months ago. I think being over 40 has some pros and cons for a potential employer.
The cons:

  • Le'ts be honest, we don't have as much energy we were 20.
  • Some of us have a family life and want to go home to take care of their partner/kids, so our dedication to a project will be more moderated.
  • We have lived a little so we're not as gullible when it comes to salary and terms negotiations

The pros:

  • We're realistic, so we have a better idea of how long it takes to do things
  • We trade raw energy for thoughts. Where a young developer may just jump head first into a project, we'll sit back and think more carefully about the best and most efficient way to solve the problem
  • Our life experience means that we have extra knowledge and skills that younger developers don't. Maybe a better ability to connect with others or an existing network.

As it has been said, a middle-aged developer won't fit everywhere, but we can offer a more rounded profile which can contribute greatly to the growth of a company. I hope this helps and good luck to all with the coding.


#39

Hope so, I'm 39 and starting on the same path as you. Even though I sure it's not too late to learn to code, I share the same apprehension toward actually landing employment as a developer at this age. There seems to be a sea of sharp half year-olds (people half my age) out there.

At least I am enjoying the process.

James


#40

Hey everyone! I am also 40 years old single mom just now learning how to code and also have similar thoughts about being too old! It is nice to see I am not the only one 40+ and will inspire me to keep on coding! I have no formal degree and have always worked retail and currently have been caring for an elderly couple,but the heavy lifting of them is starting to take its toll on my back. I am hopeful this is something I can do eventually as a career since we do have until age 70 to retire now...gasp!!
Any hip, cool, ultra newbies want code or chat about coding etc are welcome to do so : )