Mental hesitation

Completely new, wasnt sure if to post here or in general. Apologies if wrong sub.

Little bit of info, I’m a Chef and have been cooking for aslong as I’ve been able to work. I’m 26 now. I’ve always had a fascination with coding, being someone that played videogames forever. It always amazed me seeing how games evolved, how websites and search engines evolved and just how things worked. I never got into it because it seemed overwhelming and I’ve always lacked confidence going into something without knowing anything.

A fellow Chef of mine recently took the plunge into coding a few months ago, he is doing an entry level job and loves it. He’s given me some advice but he’s super new. I dont hate my job but its become mundane, low pay for tons of hours, hours I always feel I could’ve been doing something else. Lately I been having day dreams about new careers while at work, every time I come back to wanting to code. My hesitation again is all in my head… am I too old to start? Is it too late? Am I smart enough? Can I land a job self taught? Where do I start? Who do I turn to? What apps? What computer? What language?

Being a Chef, I’ve been mentored since I was a dishwasher till I became the mentor. Now I show people what to do and how to do it. But early on I always had someone to turn to and someone that gave me a starting point.

Sorry this is super long, feel free to tell me to F off. I just have a million thoughts and no direction or anyone to really turn to… my circle consists of industry people. Im not worried about putting in the time or effort, I’m not scared of failing. Cooking is all about failing and making 100 mistakes till one day its perfect. Cooking is all about being innovative, handling the stress, making tough deadlines, always learning etc.

I just dont know whats my start? I’ve been reading so many different articles which is how i found this site.

Anyways, sorry for the rant. Any advice or direction or step 1s would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and even if you didn’t thats alright too. Cheers.


Can you sit for 10 hours in front of a computer, deal with constant learning and problem solving? Do it. Else, walk away.

My job is currently either spending 10-14 hours staring at a computer doing reports or standing for 10-14 hours in a hot kitchen. Im always constantly learning and problem solving.

Cooking is all about failing and making 100 mistakes till one day its perfect. Cooking is all about being innovative, handling the stress, making tough deadlines, always learning etc.

Good. You have the frustration tolerance you will need.

I just dont know whats my start?
What apps? What computer? What language?

join FCC (not the forum, the course at Javascript is a C-type language. It’s like learning French, and C++, Java, Python, are like different European Romance languages. Learning the first one is the hardest, but it makes learning the rest easier.

Being a Chef, I’ve been mentored since I was a dishwasher till I became the mentor. Now I show people what to do and how to do it. But early on I always had someone to turn to and someone that gave me a starting point.

This is EXACTLY what I was told was the point of the Meetup community in my city for FCC. To get mentoring - not just on the pecularities of Javascript, which the forum here might be more time-critical for, but to meet more experienced devs who can answer larger strategic questions you didn’t know to ask. Our local slack channel offers a place to share articles with peers and those further along, get info on local networking events, and a place to feel connected, which is a part of the spiritual journey of the student.

So, log on, sign up, come back here when you get stuck. Join your local coder community. Find a buddy with whom to pair-program. Get mentorship from other adult learners who started later than you. Anxiety is what stops us, but it is a phantom, signifying nothing and less meaningful.

  1. you’re not too old. 25 is still young!
  2. is it too late? Never too late. I once knew a 70+ year old woman who graduated with a BA degree!
  3. Are you smart enough? I don’t know- can’t answer that one- but you can- sounds to me like you are with the descriptions you’ve mentioned so far in this thread…being a Chef isn’t easy- I’d burn down the kitchen I’m sure.
  4. Yes you can find a job self taught. Don’t necessarily need a degree in CompSci either (I don’t have one). It may be tougher but as you move along in learning, add to your portfolio… lessons, small projects big projects. (build 30 things in 30 days with Wes Bos might be one after you get the basics of JS down).
  5. There are many many paths to get to where you want to be. FCC, some boot camp, classes at local university or community college… find one that fits your needs, budget and comfort level with learning.
  6. Apps… ah…next
  7. I’d say look at the IT market and job postings in your area to see which is more common but for me personally I went more with what language I’m most comfortable with learning.

That said… one of my cohortmates was a chef and found a job about 3 months after graduating. (I’m still looking :/). Wide wide range of people from all sorts of backgrounds and ages move to coding :).

Welcome to the forum!

This community was designed for people exactly like you, so dive right in.

As @vipatron mentioned, the curriculum is at Just start at the start and by the time you get the first few projects under your belt you won’t believe how far you’ve come.

You can ask any question you want here, even if it’s been asked before.

When I was a TA, Id often hear students tell me they werent good at xyz because they dont know it. And my reply to that is…of course…everyone is bad at stuff they dont know, and no one instinctively knows this stuff. You’ve gotta learn how to do it before you can be good at it.

Just putting a lil spin on your perspective for you…everyone started out not knowing anything. From what you say about your experience as a chef, you have a ton of skills that will come in handy for helping you be confident you have the ability to learn.

As for age…I started focusing on my studies to change careers when I was 39. Like you, I wasnt totally happy with what I did for a living, had always had an interest and desire to program, but just never took the leap, until I did. Not that I have any regrets, but if I had to name one, it would be that I didnt do this sooner. Not cause of my age or anything, but cause then I would have been doing something I love all these years instead of so much time talking myself out of trying.

Go for it :smile:

Wont know until you try.

There are countless resources when it comes to programming, so if coding is what you feel like trying, then you’ll really have no problem finding answers. This forum, reddit, stackoverflow, MDN (mozilla developer network) and many more. That is as far as coding-related questions are concerned, you’ll use them a lot if you start coding.
As for learning, there are countless resources too, FCC’s curriculum (you’ve gotten the link in previous post), Udemy courses (I recommend those), bootcamps (pricy) are probably your best picks.

Now, if you’re smart enough is to be seen. Javascript which is the main weapon of a web developer is mostly about writing logic, connecting things together and doing it efficiently. Maybe logic is not your strongest point, if you find yourself being much more artistic then Web Design might be something better for you. You’re definitely “smart enough” to get into it, everyone is, but I advice that you make it work around your strong points.

My suggestion for this moment is to start with FCC’s curriculum, see if you like what it’s about, complete some challenges, build some projects. If you start feeling coding is for you, then I recommend that you get a good Udemy course. I won’t give you any specific one just yet because that’d depend on what you want to learn.

Hey I know exactly how you feel man Take a guess why…

I work in a hot kitchen as well!!!
I’m older by you by 2 years though, but I know alot about the programming landscape since I was trying to major in computer science in college, which I have since dropped out. Trying to get back into again and the turmoil that are restaurant kitchens. Just stick with man and come back to the forums for advice. Check out the MDN for web development stuff also.

Good Luck!