So I have never been great at making short sweet postings ever…
To start off and give a view of my situation.
I am almost 30, I have a reasonably upper IQ…not super genius or anything.
However, I spent many of my early 20’s years…well slacking.
I had issues completing HS due to my home life, personal mental health etc. Rough childhood and all that fun stuff made it hard for me to find interest in school. While when I did apply myself, I did exceedingly well…but life happens. And after moving over 4 times I ended up dropping out then achieving a G.E.D (Yaay)
Now fast forward about almost 10 years, I kept working crappy retail jobs and bottom of the barrel deals…cause they were easy to get into (Hindsight, 0/10 would not recommend gas stations.) I was going nowhere, and technically until I find a solution to my current debacle still going nowhere. However, I just enrolled in a choice University for computer programs development and security (Lol what is security) My passion for computers has been there since I was a kid, when my uncle built me my first computer a win 95 (Yikes thinking about it makes me feel like an ancient one)
I loved taking it apart playing with everything…(Bluescreen every other 20 minutes) Nowadays, I build my own custom computers and have been advent about learning everything about VR and in general programming. Now I can play around and learn some things…but unfortunately going nowhere doesn’t pay and I like expensive things apparently. So my journey to school…(In grand egoist fashion if I graduate, I will be the first person on my mothers side with a college degree) I guess the best question I can ask before I yeet myself a rabbit hole, albeit I am passionate about computers…I am left with a question, is there a place among this path for someone like me? Someone who started out later, and with a not so pretty and flowery resume and gaps in history…(I have done a lot of things in barter manner between jobs to stay afloat)
Sorry for the long book
Am I too old and inexperienced to learn and have time to become part of this industry?
Short answer no.
There have been plenty of people who started their career in tech later in life.
They come from all different backgrounds.
I would suggest reading through some of the posts in the #career and #motivation sections of the forum.
You can also read through this link for 300 developers who got programming jobs later in life.
I would also suggest learning about Danny Thompson.
He worked for 10 years as a fry cook in gas stations before becoming a developer.
In this video, he talks about how he got started learning how to code and the journey to break into the industry.
Strangely, this was more motivating than I expected…
To be honest, I get nervous when I think of my age, I have been passed by a few times on promotions for younger contenders. They would say things as, they are more relevant to the trends and growths etc. They could never argue experience though, I am a thorough person when motivated I prefer to learn everything possible, and then some. I guess it’s a bit of self traumatizing on my end due to complicated views.
If your passionate enough you will find your own path in the industry.
Its true there is some ageism, as there is in many industries, but that doesn’t mean its a deal breaker. If you have a passion, and know your stuff thats much more important than something like how old you are.
Its life experiences and passion like this that you can use to “pave” your path to your future.
It also sounds like you already are on a set path via the university you have enrolled in for a topic you sound excited about.
I highly suggest sticking with that program, and leveraging other optional resources from your university as much as possible. Stuff like job/career fairs, research opportunities, networking and getting to know your professors (who usually have a background in the industry). All of these things are optional, you could do none of it and get your degree at the end of the day, but all of these opportunities can help drastically.
Just as a reference I graduated with a number of 30+ year old people, most of them did other stuff before coming back to school. Almost all of them went on to do awesome stuff in the industry, in big tech and the defense industry. So it is very possible.
I can tell you from personal experience that I procastinated my bachelors degree for 8 years before I finished (before you drop of your chair, universtity is free where I come from).
I was always passionate about programming and worked in a lot of low wage side jobs during studies. Which may or may not have contributed to the situation.
Fast-forward a couple of years, I still got a satisfying career as a developer.
I know exactly how it feels when you apply for a job and feel like a failure because you didn’t do something meaningful for the past years or took forever to finish studies.
But honestly, it really didn’t matter to the companies I applied for. I could convince them that I am indeed very passionate about programming.
So don’t worry that you won’t have a career in IT. Forget what happened in the last 10 years and focus on what you want to have in the next year to happen in your live.
If you find an interesting job advertisement, apply for it. It doesn’t matter if you have all skills required for the job. Most of the jobs that I successfully applied for listed one or another skill that I did not have at the time. Convince people that you have the right mindset and that you are willing to work on yourself.
Starting programming at 15 you may be good at coding, but you life experience may be none to minor. Which means that it is harder to put your code into a context. Coding should sooner or later reach the real world.
Have time? How would we know that when we haven’t seen your daily schedule? And also what exactly is the goal here? Do you want to be in a certain role within this industry? Or do you want to have your own business in the industry?