Please help me clear my mind

I am learning JS from freecodecamp and udemy courses.
My age is 33 and I am working professional in construction field and now willing to do transition in the most exciting field in the world.
Few days back I called my cousin for guidance on learning Web Development.(cousin is at managerial post in well known IT company.) Instead of giving motivation he demotivated me from learning and said that you cant do this at this age. Youger graduates will learn better than you. I have invested healthy amount of time approx 3 months uptill now for learning. Also, he said why you are learning html, css and JS, we give such technologies to play to kids and stuff like that.
I am consistently learning daily 2 hrs.
(Because I am working professional and also have family with two kids).
His words hit me badly.
What to do now?

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Hello there @kedar.agate my advice is don’t get intimidated by whatever anyone says to you. The tech world is huge and would only get bigger hence there would always be room for anyone hoping to transition.

This is not true!

There are companies who hire HTML developers who are proficient in just HTML and also you can be a JavaScript Developer either for frontend, backend, or full-stack. There is a wide range of opportunities when you’re into tech as a developer. I know of companies that only need a JS developer. HTML, CSS, and JS might be easy for him but these are extremely important as a developer. Even if you want to work at the backend, you are still required to have reasonable knowledge about these tools.

Some of the “younger graduates” have no idea what they’re doing, to be honest. All they could have over you would probably be a BSc degree and every field in tech doesn’t make it mandatory. Some younger graduates don’t bother going outside of the school curriculum so there’s really nothing to show. There are lots of developer certification exams that have landed millions of developers jobs.

Another thing I’d say is, to create a plan. Utilize roadmaps to keep yourself in check. Ask these questions:

  • What do I want to do in tech?
  • What do I need to learn?
  • Are there enough resources to learn remotely?
  • How often can I devote myself to studying?

I know being the breadwinner of your family might cause conflicts in your heart and you might consider just staying where you currently work but the good news is you can learn any technology from the comfort of your room. You can keep your current job and still make time to learn the required stack you need.

Hopefully, other developers will have some better encouraging words but trust me, as long as you have decided to “start” and you set your mind to seeing it to the end, you’ll end up winning.

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HI @kedar.agate !

Unfortunately ageism is a thing in this industry but there have been plenty of people in their 30’s,40’s and 50’s who got jobs.

I started my first job at 30 so I am not that much younger than you.

This also comes up alot in the industry too.
When JavaScript first came out it was positioned to be an easy to learn scripting language compared to Java.
And in the early days of HTML and CSS you were pretty limited of what you could do when it came to building websites.

But a lot has changed over the past couple of decades and HTML, CSS and JavaScript have advanced a lot and are being used in a lot of companies around the world.

So it sounds like your cousin is very rooted in the mindset of what “real” programming should be.
Some of these types of people will say stuff like you shouldn’t mess around with scripting languages like Python or JavaScript but instead learn real languages like Java or C.
My advice would be to just ignore your cousin and live life on your own terms.
He is entitled to his own opinions but you don’t have to listen to the them.

Hope that helps!

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In addition to what others have said, learning any language even JavaScript is going to teach you the concepts, patterns, and help you develop your logical thinking skills. So if in the future you wanted to learn other languages, it would be easier. The syntax might be different, but the concepts and basic ideas are the same in any programming language.

Everyone has to start somewhere. It’s not like your cousin was born knowing what ever he knows, or a golden tablet fell out of the sky and ordained some great knowledge upon him. No, he had to start somewhere and put the time and work in to get where he is.

Don’t be discouraged, it’s your life and you only get one of those, don’t be afraid to pursue what you want to do.

I have a brother who was going to Berkeley in the late 90s, early 2000s to work towards his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics. He had a B.Sc in Math and was top of his class. He could be arrogant and condescending at times because that kind of knowledge came easy to him.

He always tried to push me in a certain direction and away from other directions.

In the end, he dropped out of University 3 classes shy of getting his Ph.D. I think of all the time and opportunity I wasted listening to him rather than following my own goals and aspirations.

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I started learning and switched careers in my late 40s. It can be done. It’s harder than for a 20 year old, but it can be done. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s hard enough for someone in their 20s and will be extra hard for you. But it can be done. There are no guarantees, but there is a demand, and if you work hard, have at least average intelligence and aptitude, there should be something eventually, even if it takes longer than you hope. #ymmv

Also, he said why you are learning html, css and JS, we give such technologies to play to kids and stuff like that.

That is the building block of all front end web development. I would agree that you can’t end there, but three months in, it makes complete sense that you would start there. And it’s nearly impossible to do web dev without them. You might use something that builds off them - you might use Pug in place of HTML or Sass in place of CSS or TypeScript in place of JavaScript, but you still have to learn those basic techs. It would be like wanting to be a fighter pilot and expecting to fly an F-22 on the first day. No, you start learning the basics of flight, probably in small prop plane. If you want to be a SCUBA diver, first they make sure you know how to swim.

If he’s telling you that HTML, CSS, and JS are a waste of time for learning web dev, then he’s an idiot. I’d be curious to hear what he thinks you should be learning.

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Kedar. Please don’t believe the naysayers, for their views limit them.

I am also starting web development, and I am close to hitting 40.

I’m a first-generation immigrant, and I rose through the ranks to have a stable corporate job, but something about web development and coding intrigues me.
I also realized that we limit ourselves, “You become what you think about.” To be successful in any field, you have to believe you can do it.
If the road to success and coding is easy, everyone will do it!

As Jim Rohn once said, “If you have enough reasons, you can do impossible things.”

So, what are your reasons for doing this?

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Exactly, and if you have the aptitude and intelligence, that isn’t the real issue. Rather because the OP has a family and other life responsibilities. The balancing of time between your current profession, the time you need to invest to make the career change a reality, and time spent with your family is what makes it harder. It probably will put a strain on your family relationships, so be prepared to deal with that.

And as far as the age thing, 33 isn’t that old. You’re only going to get older, not younger. So if it’s really what you want to do, go for it. Otherwise you’ll be 43 wishing you’d tried it, then 53, then 63…etc.

Like Kevin said, there’s no guarantees. But there’s definitely a guarantee that it won’t happen if you don’t try and give up easily.

Inevitably, you might not even end up doing what you initially set out to do as your goals change, but gaining the skills now could lead to some doors opening up down the road.

Ageism is a real issue unfortunately, which I think is foolish, narrow minded, nonsense. It is a lie that continues to plague many industries. Either you can do the job or you can’t, unless a company just wants to hire recent grads because they know they will work for less pay at that stage in their career. Which, honestly, I think is one of the main driving factors of ageism… college grads tend to be younger and have less experience and therefore often warrant less pay than someone with more experience seeking a more senior role.

Your cousin’s words reveal a lot about his attitudes. I personally would not want to work for someone like that, I don’t care if he is top dog at the big four tech companies or not. His attitude stinks.

It’s one thing trying to be an NFL linebacker at 75, most people’s body just physically can’t do it at that age, so that would be an unrealistic goal at that age.

But tech is for the most part a “knowledge worker” industry. As long as your brain and fingers work (and even then, assistive tech exists and is always getting better, to accommodate workers with special needs), you have the desire, determination, and put in the necessary time… age for the most part really shouldn’t have anything to do with it. It’s more about overcoming your current circumstances.

Forget about the naysayers (they have their reasons, but more often than not it has to do with their own insecurities and personal issues, not yours). Lot’s of people have gone back to school or changed careers in their 30’s and 40’s. It’s not necessarily a unique situation. You’re trying to do some thing that is difficult, but not impossible.

Tech can be a very competitive field. That there is only one traditional path, HS → College → Job is also not true. It’s just that this is the mindset of most people in tech or a lot of hiring managers, because that’s the path they took. College degree vs no college degree is another issue that I won’t get into here as the latter presents its own difficulties.

Like we’ve said, everyone has to start somewhere.

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Thanks to everyone for encouraging me, I am progressing slowly but consistently and definitely I will prove my cousin wrong. Another thing to mention here he told that everyday there is new technology coming and how can you catch up with this. But I think now If three foundations of Front end i.e. HTML, CSS and javaScript are done better. Then I may catch up with new technology with faster speeds.

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@a_aramini @teamie @jwilkins.oboe @Bry26 @kevinSmith
Thank you all for encouraging me to learn. I am not that good at english so, I may not be able to express much about how good you are helping community to drive with you. You check no body is left behind.

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Yes, and not all new technologies are relevant to your chosen branch of technology. Things are a lot different now than they were when I was first learning them 30yrs ago. Some things have even become easier to learn and use. But the founding concepts of programming
or networking or whatever haven’t changed. Technology tends to build on itself. Focus on the concepts at first.

A network administrator doesn’t need to know all the new features in Javascript version X.0. Nor does a Javascript programmer care about the latest capabilities of Cisco’s new Fibre Channel Switch for the datacenter.

There’s technology realms that overlap and then there’s technology only relevant to the person in that particular discipline. Nobody can know it all and trying would be never ending, futile, and exhausting.

Generally, you learn what you need to know as the need to know it becomes important to your job role.

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  1. This is typical Indian culture ( I’m Indian as well ) , here we’ve lots of unwritten social rules; you can’t do this because of this etc etc ( age, sex, caste list goes on and on argh )
  2. As per Mr. Narayan Murthy 80 - 85% of graduating engineers in India are not employable because of their poor knowledge.
  3. I’ve learnt web / mobile development at age of 40
  4. It’s all about your motivation / grit to achieve your dream
  5. Check out https://remoteok.com/, if HTML, CSS & JS is for kids then why are they not making 6 figure USD. These are difficult things to master.

You’re on right path, don’t loose hope and STOP talking with your cousin ( he’s just jealous or lazy fellow himself )

Check out this awesome article from @QuincyLarson

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I am 45 and I am starting now! Just finished the responsive html lessons, finished the 1st and making the second project.

When I was in your age, at that time, I thought about learning to code. But I didn’t.
Now I decided to learn it. It is something I really would like to know, and I regret not having done it 10 years ago. But is never too late.

About where to start, in which language, etc, it is always our question. I searched about that, and since I found FCC I decided to go thru the curriculum. From my researches about this, I realized that HTML and CSS will always be necessary. Than, about programming language, it isnimportant to learn well 1 of them. Then it would be easier to learn others. So, JavaScript it will be. Looking forward to start it.

Languages apart, don’t give up. If this is really what you want, do it.

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My gosh! Your transition and motivation at that age is amazing! GO YOU!

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Your cousin’s comments are extremely foolish and ignorant, I’m assuming his job isn’t really related to web development at all. I can’t imagine any developer having those attitudes…

Personally I would avoid asking his advice in future as he just sounds like he’s trolling you,

Plenty of people including myself transitioned into the field around your age with zero experience or technical background, and many people on this forum transitioned far later and succeeded.

HTML, CSS and JS are the basis of frontend development so the comment about them being ‘for kids’ is idiotic.

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Hi @kedar.agate ,

It sounds like you are sticking to your coding schedule and overall system. I know how difficult that can be working full time, in addition to spending time with your family.

Keep doing what you’re doing and continue learning as much as you can.

I’ll be 33 this year, and I’ve wasted too much time researching ageism. Is it real or not? In the end it doesn’t matter. You have a goal and are working towards improving your life and you won’t know the result until you begin applying.

To ignore those negative thoughts and doubts is easier said than done, especially when they are reinforced by individuals in your life. Here is a list of things that have helped me stick to my coding schedule and continue working towards becoming a full-stack developer.

  • Remembering why you want to change career fields
  • Reminding yourself of past accomplishments
  • Be proud of current accomplishments (e.g paying bills, providing for your family)
  • Be proud of yourself that you are investing time to learn a new skill
  • Knowing you will be worse off if you didn’t apply and just quit.
  • Hating the thought of being six months down the road, at your current job, saying, “I should have just continued coding, and at least applied. I probably would have been a developer by now.”

Don’t be discouraged, you’re already doing what many will not do. Enjoy this process. When you become a developer, you will look back and think it was ridiculous to even have any doubts.

Keep coding!

Don’t worry. I am 52 years old.
Just do it. :smiley:

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hi there!
I started learning web development in May 2021. I was 33 last year and this year, I manage to get a job as a junior full stack developer, and within 2 months of work, I have another company calling me to check my availability.
the thing is, it is not late to start learning, do it at your own pace, i spent at least 5 hours a day either actively coding or reading. Just start building random things, it will help you.
Good luck and all the best in your transition.

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You all are amazing people. Thank you for the inspiration.

Keep going, only you know what you are capable of and you’ve already gotten that far so keep going and don’t give up on your dreams man. Congrats on putting in the work and learning html and css as well as starting JS. I am on the same journey as you bro and I am 35. I don’t care if Jesus tells me I can’t do it. I’m going to be a Front End Developer within the next year. You will get there as well bro.

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Hi,

Just put those negative words, negative vibes from your relative or anyone else to the garbage bin. Our hardwork, our perseverance and whether we are being kind on the way is all what matters. Anyone can be successful at any age doing anything he/she is passionate about provided it’s a good thing to the world.
Also, the beauty of this field is we don’t have to be an employee to be successful. You can make an app/ website to solve an existing problem and become the next success story in the IT field. You can be an entrepreneur yourself and employ other people, may be your relative himself/herself. We don’t need to look far for a success story, just look at the founder of freecodecamp; Quincy Larson!

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