Need honesty about my chances at my age

Hey guys,

So just a bit about my situation. I’ve been building up my skills for my first developer role for about 3 years now. Being part of this amazing community here in FCC has been a big part in my journey. Long story short, I’ve yet to land my first dev job and it’s been really discouraging. I’ve been out of work since I started this path. Recently I decided to take a job at a call center for a bank to at least get some kind of income. I thought maybe my long unemployment gap may be partly hurting my chances at getting developer position. I found out that my job does have an engineering department and do encourage all employees to grow professionally. I do intend to work my way up in hopes I can make myself appear on the developer team’s radar. But my current job asks for at least a 1 year commitment before I am eligible to be promoted to another department. That’s also assuming there will be any positions open in their engineering team. If there are no openings by then, I will have to apply elsewhere. My point in saying all this is that I’m currently 34 and I’ll be 35 by the earliest if all things align my way and I get chosen for an opening. Do you think my age will count against me in favor of younger candidates? We all know age discrimination is real. I just want to know how bad it is in this industry relative to other types of profession. Please, I don’t want feel-good cliches like “age is just a number.” I just want the truth regardless of how harsh it may be. Am i just too old to have a viable chance at a dev role?

Also, here’s my github and portfolio for your references:



If i were to guess I’d say age doesnt matter since most juniors change companies after 2 years of being hired at their first job.

Getting the first foot in the door is pretty brutal for a lot of people and ends up being more about networking and who you know rather than age or pure merit. I could be wrong though.

Sick website btw


I’ve been learning for about the same or longer than you and I’ve yet to really get a web development position anywhere. I moved into hosting for an opportunity to learn more in a related field, but development has been hard to get into. I get discouraged often but in the end I just keep trying. Like you, I’m in my 30’s and often become concerned over the potential of success, but ultimately our goal is achievable. Keep at it, keep networking in your area, I’m sure a position will come around.


How are you currently trying to find a job?


I think the best way to get your foot in the door is to get into developing at the place you already work. This is how I got my current role. You have essentially found a way around the HR wall, and have access to the people that you would actually work with. Talk with them and show them what you can do.

The 1 year rule is probably flexible.

I am 37 and my title is application developer.


I received my first developer job offer in my mid-forties. Just keep working on stuff you’re interested in until you get to the point where the things other people are building with the same tech generally look pretty straightforward. Then go and smash interviews.

Good luck!


I am in my late 20s at the moment and it gets kinda weird when I think about trying to get a job a few years down the line. However, I believe that in current time and age, it is very important to market yourself right. Keep talking to others about the projects you are currently working on, sharing on social media if that is your thing or write a blog sharing your journey. Try and learn some SEO and see if you can get traffic to your blog.

I mean, these things might not help you get a job directly but can help a lot in an indirect way. Fact of the matter is, every major company(barring a few really good one that actually innovate and create) that wants to give out jobs are totally into whatever is trending on the internet at the moment. So maybe try and tap into that scene? Like think of yourself as a brand/ a business; rather than an employee who will take instructions and do the work.

You portfolio site looks good. I would say do some more projects, try and find a problem with a marketable solution and solve it using code, then take it open source. This is just off top of my head and I am just a beginner, so I am sure you would be able to come up with a lot better ideas.

I would also suggest that you read up on some UI guidelines and try and implement those into your front end.
You can check out for web, and for iOS, macOS etc.

I would say, having a job (even though you dislike it) can give a lot of peace of mind because of the income coming in, so you can utilize a few hours a week working on some good projects and building up your brand.


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Just want to confirm what others have already said: you are NOT TO OLD, you have at least 30 years of a developer career before you. Yes it might be difficult to get the first dev job but it’s not impossible if you stay in there long enough.

Best of luck!


The fact that you are using GitHub is a plus. I’m over 60 and completely unemployed. I spent my time writing books, so I can “fudge” the time a little bit to cover gaps. But I get where you are coming from.
My suggestion is to do what I’m doing - keep learning. Keep applying yourself to new stuff and polish what you already know. Take stuff on GitHub and add to it. Work on some totally new concept for data science with SQL on Kaggle or use Python and go deeper on a big data repository. Just keep at it. Build a site of your own. Consult with friends and family in your network and create sites for them. All these things will build a portfolio and show your chops. The more you show by your sample work, understanding, and skills, the better your chances at a job when one comes open. You might even be courted away from this call center job before your year is up! I know because that happened to me one time. Just keep at it. Age does count, but so does experience. And right now, for women in tech, it’s a good time to step in. As for an older worker, highlight your dedication and resilience, your corporate understanding and business sense, and your life experience when interviewing. That might help. Show your character, not just your skills.


Hi, Vincent!
Just wanna wish you good luck and congratulate you by you perseverance.
Hey, loving your web portfolio. Just want to point two things out.
1)Your name and ‘frnt end dev’ have a black shadow, and I think it would look better with a brighter color, something like #888.
2) The shadows on the projects are too big when we hover over them…maybe make than a smaller?
Congrats, thou, it looks awesome!

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One piece of advice I’ve been given or read somewhere, which seems to hold water in IME:

Put the actual tools/technologies/languages you work with in your LinkedIn strapline. The reality is that recruiters do searches for the required skills/tools/technologies for the roles they’re trying to fill, and if you omit this information from your strapline, then you won’t show up on their searches, ergo no results.

Simply by putting e.g. “HTML, CSS, Javascript, React, Node.js, Express.js, MongoDB, Sass, JQuery, Bootstrap”, say, in your strapline should help people to find you with possible opportunities. Differently put and to emphasize this point, no-one searches for “has an insatiable drive to learn best practices in latest web technologies” when they want a front-end developer, to put it that way. :slight_smile:

Also as others have said, keep building an online presence. Try to answer questions on Stack Overflow and fill out your profile there, including again your skills ans what you’d like to work in etc. And if you get to that point, maybe get a Pluralsight subscription, do some of their “Skills IQ” tests to obtain further independant demonstration of competency. Maybe add blog postings to your site about some of the stuff you’ve learnt or used.

A “keyword” to help you find stuff to write about: “Document”. Any time you’ve solved some problem and had to do some research or learning to work out how to do it: Document it. Found some piece of software or library or framework online that you’ve used with sparse documentation? Document it (on your blog). Used a new library in one of your projects that is the greatest thing since sliced bread? Document it and the experience. Document, document, document.

Finally ensure all these online presences reference each other as much as possible, and ensure they start painting a picture of someone competent who’s got substance and are going places and are going to get snapped up any minute now. :slight_smile:

By the way I think for what that’s worth, your portfolio page is rather nice.

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Let me give you something to think about.let us say that you are old compared to other developers as the average age of them is 20ish (or 30ish)but think about this if you have the required skills or you are great at what you do atleast one of the recruiter will take a chance on you as they care about your work not your age(ppl are different not all are same ) and that’s all you need! To start your dev life! Have some hope on yourself that’s all you need…BTW this is not feel good cliche -be so good they can’t ignore you


Yeah, it most definitely is discouraging. There is just so much competition out there. Good luck to you too!

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For now, I’m not looking at all. I just started this bank job and I want to at least work there for 6 months before I start looking again. I don’t want future employers to think I have a habit of job hopping.

Right, that’s a good point. I’m definitely going to take advantage of the fact I’m already on the inside and most companies are more likely to hire internally. My work place even has a mentorship program where I can learn under someone from the dev department. It’s a great way to network. I just have to ride out this 1 year commitment first.

Did you land your first dev job at 37 or have you been doing it for a while?

Thanks for your feedback! I don’t have social media but I do like the idea of blogging. I also intend to keep working on building bigger and better projects. That’s never going to stop. I do also try to keep up to date about where the industry is headed and be on top of that.

Thanks for your thoughts. I have a couple friends who might need a website for their side businesses soon. So I will most definitely provide my services to them and it will also grow my portfolio. It’s funny you mentioned Python because that is the next technology that I’m interested in learning :slight_smile:

Thank you! I also appreciate your feedback on my portfolio. I was feeling a bit iffy about the design of the shadows. I will play around with it more and find a better fit.

Oh okay, thanks for the tip on LinkedIn. To be honest, I still have no idea how LinkedIn works. I knew recruiters do word searches but I never figured out how to maximize its effectiveness. But that is great advice and I will add my skills on the strapline.

You know, I just realized I hardly ever go on Stack Overflow. Which sounds strange as a developer. lol. But yeah, it’s a good idea to build my knowledge by answering problems when others are stuck on there.

I’m seeing a pattern here. Others have suggested I document my journey in a blog. I’m beginning to see just how much of an asset that can be.

Also thanks for liking my portfolio!

lol I will definitely agree with you there. I do intend to be so good they can’t ignore me. Also welcome to the forums!