Starting out at age 52

I am a 52 year old single mom in San Francisco and I’ve discovered that coding and IT are what I want to do. I have a very high IQ.
Can I get advice on how to be employed ?

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Do you have any background in IT?
For an absolute beginner I would recommend Brad Traversy youtube crash courses for absolute beginners (html, css etc).
The possibly udemy courses as well as freecodecamp certificate challenges(javascripts etc).
I guess it will take like 500-700 hours of study before you will get familiar with technology. I am not writing duration in months because it depends how many hours you can dedicate to study daily.

welcome @Lisagerkteck!

Your age and situation should be irrelevant, look at the posts in #motivation for other examples. Programming is an evolving industry.

The location you are in though is great! Look on the internet job boards in your area and see the skills they want for a “junior”, “intern”, + “programmer”. I only mention “intern” for PAID part time positions :slight_smile:

If you see a lot of “Front-end”, “HTML/CSS”, Javascript, React then I’d suggest :slight_smile:

If you want to be a programmer, then learn to code. If you want to work in the field generally referred to as “IT”, then get the appropriate certificates.


I think it is a pretty big life decision. First of all, to my mind, you should decide exactly what you want to do in IT. Research the market, talk to people whose working area is IT. Maybe you’ll find this article helpful

You should start to build projects to show employers. And also maybe stop to say that you are very intelligent.

Coding is more about being persistent rather than clever I think…

I guess it is cool for companies to have various profile, and to be a woman should be a good advantage.

Your age …

That is hard, but not impossible. I was 47 when I got back into coding (having done a tiny bit back in my 20s) and worked my ass off for a few years and then got a great job offer at age 49. ymmv

Also, being from Oakland, I can tell you that the Bay Area is a tough market. There are a lot of jobs, but there is also a lot of talent. There is also a very youth oriented culture is SV, even more so than the rest of the tech industry. But if you can code, there will be opportunities. I ended up accepting a relocation offer for a job, but I did have a decent offer in the Bay Area as I was leaving.

My advice is always “learn and build things”. Just keep doing that. I have a doc that I wrote up with my general advice.

It’s hard to get that first job in this field. It’s even harder for those of us that are a little older. But it is possible.