Older Campers at FCC

Coming up on 45, I was just curious about whether or not there were many other… mature students here at FCC, and let those of you with a few gray hairs know that you’re not alone!:smiley:

I worked supporting scientists and engineers as a fairly specialized technician for a number of years, but I often felt that I wasn’t working to my true potential and finally recently decided that I needed to reinvent myself. FCC seemed to be the perfect way to get started, and I’m hoping that learning to code leads to career opportunities that are more interesting and challenging than the work I’ve been doing.

I look forward to hearing from any of you who are also here to learn new skills at the midpoint of their careers, as well as offer my encouragement. :smile_cat:


Hello Red-Tyger! Nice to hear from you. I am a 48 year old chemistry professor. My PhD is in computational organic chemistry, but I currently teach organic, nursing, and gen-chem. I am doing freeCodeCamp while on my breaks for personal reasons. I did some c-scripting and linux administration in my grad program, but not enough to get a job in a programming field (I tried). I have been programming since I was 14, but things have changed so much in the last few years. Even though I have a job that I enjoy, I hope to use what I learn at FCC in my current position. I do maintain a moodle server for my students. I want to be able to customize it and integrate some computational chemistry packages. In addition to this, hopefully, I will never be unemployed again! Never stop learning!

Hey, 48 here.

My masters degree is in music, but I started out as an engineering major and did a little programming (mostly in C) back then while working in hightech. I too am trying to reinvent myself. I still want to play jazz guitar at night, but I’d like a better day job.

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I"m 48, a physician adn a triathlon coach! I have been programming since I was about 11 or 12


I’m right up there with you all. I spent time as a software engineer working for the nations space program. Then they unceremoniously announced a 30% staff reduction (and I think it ended up being even more than that). To compound things, I worked with a very old, UN-marketable software skill. Luckily I landed on my feet, but I am looking for any and every way to keep updated. That’s what brought me here.


I’m a 47-year-old lawyer/writer with no tech background at all (though more math than most humanities majors) and no programming experience before FCC. I’ve always been interested in tech/programming, but was too intimidated to try it for various reasons: “I haven’t been doing this since I was a kid, it’s too late,” “I don’t have a CS degree, forget it,” “I didn’t do 18 years of post-calculus math, forget it,” “It’s all geniuses who hack into the Pentagon in their spare time, I’m not smart enough,” “I’m too old, everyone will laugh at me,” “Even IF I can learn it, nobody would ever hire me, I’m too old.” I finally decided that when there are learning resources that are (mostly) free and self-directed, I might as well try it, even if I only learn enough to design a simple website. I started Codeacademy, FCC and some Udemy courses in conjunction with each other; I still don’t know what I’m doing, but even when I’m completely frustrated I love what I’m learning, and eventually I want to get full-stack proficiency with the goal of doing freelance web development. That’s a long way away, but I’m glad I finally started.


Hey all, 49 here, with Electronics Engineering education background. I don’t have any formal CS education. And yet, I’ve already re-invented myself with my 1st job after college – software engineer for banking mainframe/ATM systems. Not much math - just credits and debits, LOL!

Since then, I’ve re-invented myself every 6/7 years, sometimes because I got bored, or sometimes because of necessity.

Almost 2 decades now, I’ve been doing web development work. It all started as a hobby which became little side-jobs, which eventually led me to quitting my daytime engineering job and working full time doing web development work.

So what the heck am I doing in FCC? I stumbled upon FCC blog and browsed the course Map and the biggest symptom of Imposter Syndrome hit me. I don’t know a lot of these modern stuff (React, Node, Test-driven, D3, Mongo, etc…)

I need to stay relevant and “learn” these new stuff, just for the sake of learning and self-improvement. Usually, I only try to learn new stuff after I’ve said to a new client “Yep, I know that and can deliver your project in X months.” – then I go into a crash course learning it.

So me going through all the FCC course Map and exercises is to force myself to review old stuff, learn new stuff (without the pressure of a waiting client’s project), and primarily self-validation.


More inspiration:


I am 50 relearning the proper way to code. I have a BS in MSIS and had worked as a PL/SQL programmer, a little javascript & HTML (mainly report writing for the navy), QA, and technical support. I got laid off in Seattle in May 2008, transferred to Florida in 2009, got divorced in 2011. It’s been real peachy! My ex sued me last year and won, so now I have no alimony, no job, no career, and almost no skills (at least none that anyone wants to pay for), along with a 6-figure student loan debt that’s impossible to pay.

Last summer I finally decided that I’ll “try” programming again. It was very difficult for me before because my education was quite underwhelming. The memories of being slow (I wasn’t fully understanding java beans…) and the punk 18-year-old kids who told everyone how stupid anyone was who wasn’t as fast as them have taken a toll. But, I found codecademy somehow and went through some of their program (I really liked their projects) when via a LinkedIn group I heard about FCC. FCC being free was my ticket.

@Sorryforlaughing I have literally said all of those things to myself too. I figured why bother? Every job I’ve applied for in the past 9 years either said to me, “You are over-qualified. You’ll get bored. You’ll leave.” or “You have been out of work too long. Get reeducated. Reinvent yourself.” How, I would ask, with no answers.

I took a break from FCC and codecademy to pursue something I was positive would create a little income - teaching English in Italy (I sold and gave away everything I owned to go to Italy, except what fit in 2 suitcases and my dog). Nope. $5,000 down the tubes and no dough. So, I’m back on here (while I sit in Italy waiting for my flight in September) following one of the guides, and working through the certification. I’m finishing the Wikipedia Viewer. I’m learning a lot! I’m making goals (buy a house, buy a car, buy furniture) that all require a job. A good job, like the good ole days.

I think quite literally that FCC will save my life.


I am 53. My first computer had windows 3.1 on it. By the time windows95 came along I was the guy you called. I am a Mac user these days. It was always a side interest back then. Have got a few apps out there but am really loving web develepment.

Kym–I’m sorry you’ve had such a rough time, but all the luck in the world to you–it’s scary to try to reinvent yourself, especially when the entire world seems to be right there going, “HA HA, TOO LATE FOR YOU.” Fortunately, I like this enough to know I can be stubborn at it even when, as noted, I still don’t know what I’m doing half the time. @P1xt’s study guides have turned out to be a godsend for telling me where to start, and what to avoid.

“…and the punk 18-year-old kids who told everyone how stupid anyone was who wasn’t as fast as them have taken a toll.”

I’ve seen plenty of those posts too: “You’re having TROUBLE mastering algorithms? I can’t believe it, I did it all start to finish in 40 MINUTES!” Whatever. I want to actually learn what I’m doing here, so if someone else wants to think this is all a race, I’ll settle for being the tortoise and not the hare.


I just joined but had to admit that. . .I’m 60. . .and trying to do a career change from Network Admin to Web Developer, after being laid off 2 months ago. The rest of you in your 40’s sound like kids. But good luck to all of us.


Hi. I’m 40. I’ve been a hobbyist programmer for years and am ready to make it a career. I can’t afford to go back to school right now. Hoping this works out for me :slight_smile:

Hello old ladies and gentlemen, I’m 48 and glad to know I’m not alone on here! I’ve spent most of my life as a truck driver, but always known I could do more. I’ll be unemployed come July 29th, as the division of the company I work for is shutting down. Time to do what I should have been doing all along…programming! Going to get as far as I can in FCC until the layoff hits and then likely enroll in a coding boot camp here in Salt Lake City. Cheers!

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Hi everyone! 45 yrs old. My degree is in Physician Assistant Studies. Ive worked in doctors offices and countless operating rooms for the last 22 years. My body cannot handle another 20+ yrs before I have to retire. No way! I stumbled upon some coding Youtube vids and was intrigued. Signed up on FCC in Feb’ 2017 and Im really enjoying it! My issue is, I won’t finish, that I won’t get there. My career right now takes up so much time and so much physical energy that I ran out of hours in the day to continue my journey here. I am also very new to all the technical terminology. VERY NEW lol. And that worries me that I’ll become even more insecure. I want to attend one of those Meet ups here in Houston Texas. But will I fit in? Will I meet others in the same newbie boat as me? We’ll see. Thx for reading lol .

Hi! Did you teach yourself any coding skills while you were working as truck driver? Or are you very new to the field like me, lol?

I had a class on Java about 15 years ago, LOL, so for all intents and purposes I’m a total NOOB!

I see. Okay. Well good luck to you! Maybe one day we’ll run across each other on here and help one another out on a project.

Which one are you following? I’m doing the Computer Science and Web Development Guide. I’m finishing the third book today, and I’m finishing the Wikipedia Viewer today. I have all the functionality, but I need to make it pretty. I’m currently on 8th-grade math on the Khan Academy. It takes a surprisingly long time to get through the grades there, but it’s super fun![quote=“Sorryforlaughing, post:12, topic:102476”]
I want to actually learn what I’m doing here, so if someone else wants to think this is all a race, I’ll settle for being the tortoise and not the hare.

Bravo! That’s my philosophy too. This is the precise reason why I didn’t want to put https://crossorigin.me in front of my API calls. To me, that’s a hack and wouldn’t be done in a professional environment. So I learned how to do it the right way - which took forever and was highly frustrating. But the next project had a similar way of doing it, and so learning occurred! The better part occurred too: remembering how to do it! :grinning:

Good Luck!