Am I crazy trying to learn this at 50?

Am I crazy trying to learn this at 50?
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#1

I found FCC about two weeks ago and all I want to do when I get home is knock out the curriculum. Now I’m getting crazy ideas about switching careers. I work in the trades and my body can’t take this much more. I need to do something and I just wonder if anybody would consider hiring a 52 yr/old (2yrs from now after diving into learning)?


Has anyone Over their mid 30s with NO experience actually gotten a Job?
#2

Absolutely not

See this long discussion for example

https://www.freecodecamp.org/forum/t/i-am-40-years-old-is-it-too-late-to-start-a-career-in-software-development/7271/220


#3

I’m with you! I’m 52 and looking to switch careers, too. I just know there’s a place for us. Hang in there and I will, too. Best of luck!


#4

I just turned 40 and have pretty much the same question, looking for a career change. Interested in any feedback, as well? Ive been following the html/css course for the last 3 or 4 weeks. I’m burnt out working in healthcare, and I am in need of a change.

NW Browncoat, years ago when I was in the Navy I worked with a neurosurgeon who prior to becoming a neurosurgeon did 3 tours in Vietnam as a SEAL, then got out to go to school, then came back in as a B-52 pilot for the Airforce. One of his best freind’s died in the Challenger disaster. He then got out again and went to medical school. He was 52 when he finished his residency to become a neurosurgeon. He spent 32 years Active Duty then retired to South Florida where he still practices today. He taught me a few lessons that I still try to live by today. Age is just a number, and attitude is everything. Motivation will come and go but only discipline will prevail. I say that if your interested in pursuing this then by all means do it.

I’m also interested in any feedback or recommendations from anyone kind enough to share…


#5

The odds go down, but it’s not impossible. I started at 47 and got hired at 49. I think there is some resistance against older people, but it isn’t complete. I think one thing that helped me was that I had a youthful attitude in interviews. Part of the resistance (imho) is old-fashioned ageism. But I think part of it is that they don’t want to spend 40 hours a week with an old fogey that’s going to be a pain in the butt. I always try to seem light and fun in interviews.

It’s possible. Even though there are a lot of jobs out there, it’s actually kind of hard to find a job - at least it’s a long process. And if you are older like us, it’s a little more difficult. But it’s not impossible.


#6

No pb, I started 2 y ago at 47, I’ll turn 50 in June and plan to work as a dev from this year on. + It’s pretty fun to learn such a specific subject at this age, you’ll see you don’t learn the same as you used to. Some things go slower but others go way faster. And FCC is the best place ! Good luck :smiley:


#7

I’m 47. Starting to get the hang of html & css. But I struggle with javascript. :persevere:


#8

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

Hashtag: #DevAfter30


#9

Omg - loving all the encouragement here! YASSS! I think the fact that you are so eager to get home and code should tell you everything you need to know.

Enthusiasm + mental agility + growth mindset = Key to opening doors :grin: :sunny:


#10

I’m 46 and I began a career transition to webdev about a year ago. I’m still training and haven’t put myself on the job market yet, so I can’t tell you much about the ageism issue. But I can share some thoughts about the worries that I had when getting into this. I was worried that at 46, I’d be at a disadvantage when competing with younger people. My energy level, my memory, and my sharpness aren’t what they were when I was 25. However, what I’ve found is that the differences between me and some of the young people I encounter aren’t as great as I had feared. Yeah, they soak up lessons like a sponge, and they’re sharp, etc., but it’s just less of an issue that I was worried it might be.

The qualities that really matter the most are patience, persistence, and humility, which, as far as I can tell, only increase with age.

One of the trickiest things to remember is that everyone has a different learning style and pace, but that almost anyone can become a competent programmer. Unless you have a particular talent for logic and math, you may never be a great programmer, but from what I’ve seen, you don’t need to be great to make a good living.


#11

congrats! keep at it!


#12

Hello,

I am 54. Married with two kids and a mortgage. I live in Greece. I used to run a successful Apple dealership. Due to permanently problematic Greek economy I closed the business on June 2018. I am looking to change career and country!
Am I crazy?


#13

I’m 54 my last child just started college. I know there will be ageism and I stayed at home to raise my kids along time so that is a double hit. But, determined to learn all I can and make it work.


#14

42, started my career shift at 40…and if you’ve seen any of my posts esp in the Getting A Job forum, you know I have had the most incredible and amazing journey. @kevinSmith mentioned something that I forget about, but know does help…having a youthful attitude. Has less to do with how you look or trying to fit in “How do you do fellow kids?” :joy: and more to do with having the curiosity, excitement over the material, willingness to learn, able to accept you dont know it all, able to take constructive criticism and determination.

I think with the exception of my first interview, and maybe one other (not sure if he was older than me or not…def around the same age,but hes a senior dev) everyone else Ive interviewed and worked with was younger…much younger than me and it doesnt bother me one bit. I think that I dont give off the vibe that Im worried about my age helps.

Something my sister advised me, was to take anything off my resume that might age me…she said even just subconsciously, seeing that I was already working when they were born might have them take pause…that I just need to get past that and on the phone or on site to interview for them to be charmed by my bubbly personality, enthusiasm and infection smile. Okay, I’ll admit, shes my awesome big sister so she might be a bit biased lol but she does make a good point, that if someone has a good vibe about you and feel you are someone they’d like to work with, they are left mostly with how you made them feel and their impression of your skills than how old you are.

Anyway! Lots of links for resources and words of encouragement already said that I wholeheartedly agree with. Just, tossing my hat in as another to let you know you are not alone…we’re infiltrating the tech industry :smiley:

Oh, and to answer your questions…yes, you are crazy…Im crazy too…as well as anyone else who is learning this on their own, making a complete change in career knowing how tough both the learning curve and getting your foot in the door is (at ANY age) and still be passionate and excited to do it. You have to be crazy to do this!!! So you’re right on track :nerd_face::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#15

You are not learning this on your own, any more than any of us are. It might be crazy to sit in your living room in your jammies and deely-bopper hat and try to learn all this by book, or without a community like this – but I think you people keep me sane more often than not!

I was in the field for a long time, then life happened and I had to take a ten-plus year break. Getting back into it now, and yeah, it’s a challenge. I turned 49 on New Years Eve, and when I walk into an interview and they’re all mid-to-late twenty-somethings, I feel a certain kind of way.

But here’s the neat bit: when we get talking code, and they realize that, not only do I keep up with them, but I have some understandings that they just haven’t got to yet, we have POWERFUL conversations. I have been excited by the changes in the language, and there are a LOT of changes. It is a far more robust, mature language. It is not an easy road we’re on, @NW_Browncoat, I think we really have something more to offer.

For the last few years, I’ve worked in cabinet shops and landscaping businesses. They really don’t seem to have much in common with coding, but here’s a thing: cabinetry is built modularly. All the bits are cut en masse, and assembled to a pattern. The process is a very functional one. Honestly, while I was working in there, I felt my brain trying to code the process.

We bring our experience, real world experience, to every line of code. When we build HTML/CSS or craft some javascript widget, we are flavoring that with our past experiences and understandings. It’s a different kind of validity, but it’s just as valid.

Honestly, @NW_Browncoat, I think you’d be crazy NOT to follow this up. If you are feeling passionate and excited about something that can be positive, constructive and rewarding, and you choose to ignore it, does THAT seem sane?!


#16

I do agree…you are not alone in this journey, this community is freaking amazing in so many ways. Just wanted to clarify, by learning on your own, I meant self-driven and self-taught. I had a conversation with someone who was told, by someone with a CS degree, how they dont get how people think they can have it easy and get into this industry without putting in the work it takes to get a degree. My jaw dropped!

The amount of time, focus, dedication to do this on your own and level up your skills to be able to compete with CS grads, to the point someone would be angry you are the competition and say something so uncalled for…I think thats pretty awesome. Getting into this industry from a non-traditional path is tough…and I’ll be honest, Ive had many moments of self doubt, wondering if Im doing the right thing, doing this the right way, if I should do it at all! Definitely felt crazy many a time over the past two years! But…it has all been worth it, and I know that taking risks and going after what I want, even if it seems crazy at the time, will pay off. I suck at playing it safe and doing the rational/responsible thing, so it better :rofl:


#17

I think, if I’d continued and got my degree back in the day, I’d be hating life right now. I dropped out of an early CS program to go to clown college. I’ve had such a weird journey getting here, and if I’d stuck with that “go to college, get a job” then I would NEVER have had this much fun.

There have been a lot of down-slides in this roller coaster, but they make the up-slides so much more worth it.


#18

Personally, I do believe ageism does exist but I feel the tech community is better at acceptance than most. I am 45 and going to be 46 in June.
I have also started to learning how to code and I am a firm believer in rebirth and restarts.
The jobs are everywhere if you can learn one or two languages.
Also always remember there are more development jobs outside of traditional technology firms than we all realize, the demand for people with technical skills sets is only growing and at a shortage.
I believe you can do it, you could wind up freelancing at first just for experience, contract work, remote work.
I believe you can do it…


#19

We all did, we all struggled with JS. Just keep pushing, reading/watching different resources and practice, it will click eventually.


#20

Yeah, that is what I was trying to get at.