Late career change possible?

This is a serious question but I assume I’ll get laughed at anyway. I’m looking for a mid-life career change and this interests me. I’m a middle age guy and know a lot about computers but the thing is I know absolutely zero about coding. Quite frankly I do not even know the basics of how it works. So the question is can I take courses on here and get some job, preferably working from home? I know at this late stage I won’t be an all star but maybe I can at least earn a living. But I seriously doubt anyone would hire a 50 year old just starting out. Any suggestions or courses to take would be helpful. Thanks.

Hi @GG2001 !

Welcome to the forum!

No one is going to laugh at you here. We are a nice community :grinning:

Well, there are plenty of people that switched to development at a later stage.
Like these people

And this guy @kevinSmith.

So it is totally possible.

Sure, there can be companies that want to be ageist and not hire you.
But there are other jobs out there to choose from.

Lots of people get jobs from FCC.
The curriculum will give a good foundation in web development to build from.

Then you will need to build more projects outside of a class.
It would also be good to get involved in the developer community.

There are plenty of developer communities online (like this one) and meetups, hackathons, etc.

Make sure you learn the fundamentals have a good foundation.
Constantly build projects along the way.

As for working at home, it might be tough for your first job because you are not proven yet in the marketplace and employers might be unsure of how you work by yourself at home. But it is possible.

I would just get started and take it day by day.
If you need help or advice then come ask the forum :grinning:


Hi! @GG2001

If you want to learn code I recommend



Love your response, I am almost 40, from a Cisco Networking background of over 10 years, so I obviously know more about computers in comparison to the gentleman that asked the question, but nevertheless we are in the same boat as far as programming is concerned.
Thanks for your answer, I feel confident now
Thanks again

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Hi @instant_noodles !

Welcome to the forum!

It is never to late to get started with a new career :grinning:

Some great answers here, but I’ll add my 2 cents.

I got my first coding job at 49. I’d taken a few programming courses decades ago and had worked in high tech and had done a little coding there, but I’d never done web dev, which is very different and is built on different languages.

I taught myself web dev mainly through FCC. I did little side practice here and there with youtube videos when needed, but FCC was the core. After finishing the FCC material, I spent a year just building things and learning new things. I did a lot of meetups and did a little open source. I did a few freelance jobs.

During that last year I was applying to jobs. It took that full year until I figured out how to interview and present myself and get a decent portfolio, etc. It was a brutal year, but I landed a great job. #ymmv Seriously, every situation is different.

If the question is can someone get a job? As a self-taught late bloomer? Yes.

If the question is of you are guaranteed to get a job. No.

If the question is what are the odds? I’d say good. If you work hard, have any kind of an aptitude for this, and don’t give up trying to get that insanely difficult first job, then yeah, I think it will probably pay off eventually. Age makes it a little more difficult, but not impossible.

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But what are the fundamentals? All I see are different courses with titles I have no idea what they are. I wish this site had something like how to start off from nothing and learn code. Thanks for your reply.

You can start from the beginning and it will walk you through all of the fundamentals you need to know.

You can signin and start with the responsive design course.

Then you can click on the first lesson titled Say hello to html elements.

This is what the first lesson looks like

You will read the instructions, complete the task and run the tests.
Once you pass the challenge then you can go to the next lesson

You will go through all of the lessons one after the other.
At the end of each course there will be five projects to complete.

The projects are meant to test you on what you have learned in the lessons.

If you start from the top like I showed you, you will move through all of the lessons and projects in order.

Hope that makes sense.

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No single course will teach you everything you need to know, where you suddenly become a professional level coder ready to be hired as you know everything. Its impossible to know everything, let alone teach it in a single course.

There are however ways to learn what you need as you go. A key part of this is being able to use all the knowledge on the internet to find and learn what you need. There are plenty of courses that can give you a framework to at least learn some things, and then if you want more details, all the details you could want are just a google search away. This way you learn some core concepts, and then branch out to learn more details over time.

Again, you can’t learn 100% of everything, but you can learn how to learn what you need. That is more what programming/coding is rather than some abstract bar knowledge where you suddenly are a developer.

FreeCodeCamp provides a curriculum for web development, which again will guide you through core concepts and technologies. But you will have to branch out and learn more in some cases. Its a great start, but it isn’t a one stop shop. For even more content, you can checkout the news and youtube channel for articles and videos on even more topics. This way you can branch out and find more of whats out there.

Good luck, keep learning, keep growing!

I also had this mind set a few months ago… I quit working at a corporate retailer after 14 years there to pursue a career change to coding. I have zero coding experience, but I have worked as a brick and mortar retail manager for 22 years and I’m done.

I started FCC at the beginning and went through the HTML and CSS portion with projects in 3 months, while also working through those 2 languages on w3schools as well (for more practice and to see if I retained what I was learning.)

I used what I learned there to update and do some custom coding on my wife’s website ( and learned more doing so. Now, I have a few javascript courses on Udemy that I’m watching. I just logged into FCC to do the Javascript course here and blew through it in just a couple days (haven’t done projects yet though.) I also plan on doing the same with w3schools for JS as well (again as more practice and nailing down the basics.)

It took me just a few days of research to figure out git and github enough to effectively use them (so I can work in a team and for a company in the future.)

All of this, all while researching/figuring out how I can actually code and get everything I need to setup my environment to code ON A CHROMEBOOK (had to use a Linux debian virtual machine.) I didn’t have any experience with networking, computer systems, operating systems, etc…

You can definitely do it! Every developer I talked to or questioned, all agree its still a great choice to make the jump. All that I actually know, have steadily increased their income within a few years of starting. The research in my area shows that I will most likely be able to land a job for the same amount I was making after my career in retail management, and far surpass it down the line.

My opinion is you should go for it!!

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As far as “fundamentals”, just to reiterate, FCC assumes that you know nothing about coding. It assumes that you have a computer and know the basics of how a web browser works. Most 10-year olds have enough basic knowledge to get started with FCC.

Just work thought he FCC material and if you get stuck on some concept, do a little research (an important skill for a developer). If that doesn’t help, ask the forum - that’s why we’re here.

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That makes total sense. I already started the HTML and HTML 5. We’ll see how it goes. Thanks for the advice!!

Thanks Kevin. I started the HTML and HTML 5 and I’m getting the hang of it so far so we’ll see what happens.

Thanks a lot for the advice. I’m going to give it a shot.

Cool. That’s a good place to start. Just keep in mind that it will get more difficult, especially once you get to JavaScript, but it sounds like you’re starting off right.

I think nowadays its all about passion and skills… I think it is important to do that would make you happy!

THIS… I breezed through HTML and CSS, but got to javascript and struggled. I found I needed to slow down and really understand why I’m putting each word of syntax in. I’m almost through it now, but giving me a lot more mental trouble than HTML and CSS.

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