Running out of time?

Hi there!
I’m very much new to all of this. I’ve tried my hand at python programming and found it really difficult but then I stumbled upon freecodecamp and discovered html and css. I’m enjoying it immensely but…

I’m 48, got a young daughter, have a small business of my own and not enough time. I’d like to retrain and change my professional life because I’m not really that happy with it (I’m an English teacher in Colombia). Have I started this too late?

One of the things that worries me is that if I get to a relatively competent state,and it could be a few years from now (I’m quite a slow learner!), would I be able to get a job at that age? Would the pay be ok? Could I work for a British company (I’m British by the way) while living abroad?

I’d like to give this a go but I suppose the future is worrying me.

If anyone’s got any advice or been in a similar situation, I’d be very grateful to hear about it.

Thanks to anyone who reads/comments on this.

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Hey @RB600,

Without beating the bush, ageism is a thing in most (if not all) industries and quite some companies will cut you out immediately due to age.

That said, there is a huge demand for people who can get the job done, are continuously learning and worry about the sustainability of their work (people who don’t just do the work for completion sake but actually worry about how readable and maintainable it is, how they can scale it and make it better on a next iteration).

I don’t believe there is a “late” if you put in the effort and show it with results that are irrefutable (projects, articles, knowledge of what you know and don’t know) when going to interviews. It just might take 60 interviews instead of 40 to land that first job due to the age stigma.

Just to make sure I properly nail the age part, the oldest person I know to have been hired started at 40 by studying, did some small projects and went ahead to fail miserably in a lot of interviews and eventually landed an internship two years after that lead him to become a junior a less than a year after and is still going strong. The oldest I’ve interviewed was in his 50’s and didn’t get the position only because he knew exactly zero, he was transitioning and hadn’t even tried to code a line (we were asking for bare minimum experience, I mean, you show us a calculator and we would consider for paid internship).

To tackle the landing of a British company position, there are positions for remote work (quite some) that are usually a bit trickier to land for junior but, since for those positions all the world is looking you’re not limited to Britain so it increases your chances. A junior for the UK at current market nets about 25k-50k pounds yearly before taxes so take that into account.

Lastly, don’t forget that you have the experience of previous jobs, take advantage of that and apply it for your advantage, for example, you’re learning and struggling, take notes down and apply your experience has a teacher to help others learn how not to fall on the same pitfalls, if you can learn something, compress it in a way that is digestible for other people and teach that is a valuable asset to have at your disposal either in a company or doing stuff by yourself.

Long reply but I do hope it helps you make a decision, you can always program as a hobby regardless of the choice, is fun to build stuff :smiley:


Hello, @RB600!

The first thing I want to say is that it is never “too late”!
Of course it is easier when you are younger and do not have many responsibilities as you seem to have, but it certainly is not impossible and if that is what you desire I would totally encourage you to go for it. Our industry is already huge, keeps growing and is in need of human resources!

You certainly can work remotely for british companies and not only british but many companies around the globe. It is a little harder starting to work remotely for entry levels but not impossible, I’ve seen many people on similar positions achieve it - even though it sometimes took a while for them!
And also the fact that you are british certainly opens a lot of doors for you not only in Britain but also in Europe which many people wouldn’t have access to!

Here are some websites that help finding remote opportunities:

(and there are many others!)

Also you could try starting small and on your pace and see where it leads you. Go on learning and doing some personal projects to get you going and inspire you. Then when you are feeling confident enough you can try start applying to positions or maybe starting some freelancing projects - people usually find it easier to conciliate and an easier starter on the area.

It is hard getting started in this area and it might seem a lot sometimes, but we have all been there in the beggining so don’t give up!

I really hope I could have been of any help and that you succeed in the future on your goals! :smile:

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FCC article: Stories from 300 delelopers who got their first tech job in their 30s, 40s, and 50s

Hashtag: #DevAfter30


Thanks for all this advice. I do get a bit panicky thinking about my age and if i can actually pull this off especially when i look at the code of other websites and how intricately they seemed to be designed.

Thanks a lot daspinola, leonardogiroto and ArielLeslie.

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