For me, the most important thing that helped me pursue coding is that from the moment you write that first “Hello world!” HTML document and it shows up in your browser, you ARE a web developer. So congratulations! Welcome to the club!
Firstly, you’re 37 which means you still have time to learn how to code and as you mentioned, there have been a LOT of older individuals who have made the switch successfully and ultimately it comes down to knuckling down, putting in the hours and getting addicted to that dopamine release as you watch websites come together before your eyes.
My advice? Learn to code alongside a passion project that you come up with! Maybe you like fishing and you want to make a “dating website” that can connect fishers who want a fishing buddy for the weekend OR maybe your significant other always forgets something when they do the grocery shopping so you can make a “to-do list” with groceries that you can both update and access it from their phone while you’re out shopping.
If you’re not very creative like myself… Find a website that you love using like Netflix, YouTube etc and try to recreate that website as you go OR even find a barely functioning website that maybe looks like it was built in the 1990’s and give it a fresh new look. You might even get your first freelance client this way!
Finally, you don’t learn web development as much as you learn how to be a web developer. It’ll be difficult and no doubt you’ll run into roadblocks along the way but you CAN muscle through it using the vast network of resources at your disposal whether it be websites like the Mozilla Developer Network, Google and certainly us folks over here at FCC.
Good luck on your journey and i look forward to seeing you on the web!