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

Has anyone Over their mid 30s with NO experience actually gotten a Job?
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#21

Thanks for the reply. I know what you mean by being picky… I’d say in my entire life I’ve never been able to be picky so, the thought that maybe at some point in time I get to chose were to work is certainly motivating.

Did you do only FCC projects or did you get to code projects somewhere else as well? I keep hearing people saying to contribute with open source project via GitHub but I haven’t yet played around with that.


#22

Before I got my dev job, I was working at a company where I had a lot of free time… mostly analytics. So I used that time wisely to build stuff the company might need or use (lead generation forms, contact management system) The company ended up not using these things, but the experience and end products definitely helped me.


#23

I’m very interested in this post as I am 33 and working on getting my first dev job. Most of the applications I’ve put in haven’t yielded any results. I have had one in person interview and a phone interview but they said they were looking for someone with more knowledge. ]

I kind of feel like I’m too old for a junior position and not experience enough for a mid-senior level job. I’ve been teaching myself to code for about 18 months now with resources like fCC, Udemy, Udacity, Wes Bos course, books, articles, etc. but I don’t feel like I’m ready for a job.

However, I keep applying to jobs - even ones I know I’m not qualified for because you never know. I hear stories all the time about how someone applied for a job over their head and got hired because the company was impressed with their hunger for knowledge so I’m hopeful.

Best of luck to both of us in our job searches!


#24

I am not sure about the hours, but at least for the first 6 months I pretty much gave up my social life. I studied full time after I got fired from my previous job on April last year because they cancelled the project my team was working on and I saw that as an opportunity to change my life. I was lucky I didn’t have to worry about bills, so I instead of looking for another shitty job I just decided to go all in with the coding. Some days I would study the whole day, taking few breaks, while others I wouldn’t code at all. I’d say on average I probably spent about 8-9 hours a day.

My first experience with coding was on Codecademy, that’s where I learned the basics about HTML and CSS, after that I moved to Udemy and then I ended up here when I had to re-learn JavaScript and followed the JS curriculum.

The person who hired me saw my portfolio on a post of mine on Facebook and asked me if I wanted a full time job, we had an interview in which I talked about myself, he told me about the company, what they do and where they want to go. That was it, there was no white boarding or technical interview, he didn’t even ask my for my resume.

Of course, take my experience with a grain of salt, I think this is probably a rare case even for startups, but I think in this industry what matters is what you can do, if you can prove that you can get the job done and you have the right attitude then they will hire you regardless of your experience or your background.

The interviewer told me he hired me because he liked my attitude, he noticed I was actually trying to put myself out there, but he never would’ve offered me an interview in the first place had he not liked my portfolio first. Building a strong portfolio should be your number one priority.

This is my portfolio https://gilbertrosario.com, in case you want to take a look at it.


#25

Very nice Portfolio! And good to see that a great attitude can help you get a foot on the door. Thanks for sharing.


#26

Yes. I did. Worked in various types of work, from security to helpdesk. Got to a university and “relearned”, if this is a word?, programming. Start working as a .net developer before i had my degree. After a year, got my degree and started exploring .net core, at home and at work :slight_smile:

It wasn’t simple. Got too many phrases like: “Well, about your age…” and most of my response were: “I have 30 years old…i’m far from old to work or learn new framework or other things so your argument is invalid”.


#27

Wow, even after the degree they were questioning your age… tough crowd!

Glad to see it all worked out in the end.


#28

Yeah, recruiters often question the age, if you are not a 20 year old fresh out of the university and it’s a wrong mentality. In a perfect world, it should be about your work ethic, experience (not just as a software developer) and projects that you built, but we don’t live in that perfect world so…but it’s never enough to say to don’t quit a dream!


#29

Web industry presents themselves as creative and forward thinking. How many companies explicitly state their commitment to diversity? Is diversity just their code word for sexual orientation? Why is age such a factor in comparing candidates? Why can’t people be evaluated for their skill and how they will contribute and compliment the team?

I’m a person and a developer, not a number! If you have an opportunity or influence hiring decisions, speak up – you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.


#30

Well, to start, im 37 now. im not old, but i know damn well i was learning a LOT faster when i was 20. next, i have 2 kids, i like to see and play with them once in a while. also, they need food, so i need to work. in the end, there isnt that much time left to study. Every minute needs to be used. and i did. but it still took me 2 years. and like gilbert1391 also says, not much of a social life.

i was lucky to have someone on the chat who knew a lot, and got me unstuck a lot. Now, im doing the same for a few others. Cause, i just hated those moments when i was really really stuck and i couldnt find it.

now im passing it forward.
Balancing my karma…


#31

Hi there, I did got a front end job in January 2019 at age of 31. I did studied international business/economics , I had no technical education what so ever, All I learned was from FCC and Udemy courses (Colt Steel - web dev bootcamp and Reece Kenney - PHP social site). Still I was learning to code for last 2 years, in mast year i did some freelancing work - building company website, doing membership sites in PHP.
I appliled in December for 4 posiiton, mostly front end junior position. One company already find a candidate and for other 3 i went for interviews, just oral interview. There no technical interviews, for one position they asked me to learn REACT and try to code a demo app according to requiremens and for another position I did 2 hour tutorial on LESS and did a small demosite, to show them I know LESS. The only screening from employers was just the oral intrviews itself and I also showed and dicussed with them my portfolio projects on my website.
From these 3 positions I got all 3 of them. It was all abouth showing motivation and enthusiasm (watch some TONY ROBBINS motivation clips on Youtube for that, I REALLY HELPS).
I managed to learn a lot for last 2 years, but i think i was ready already a year ago. But I felt I needed even more skills and went for some freelance work to get more items into my portfolio.
You can get a job after 3 monts of learning at FCC or any bootcamp almost anywhere, if you live in a city with over 200 000 inhabitans, but I would be a junior position for a decent pay. Getting job is TOTALLY doable. There are succesful governmental programmes, which manage to take unemployed miners and get them web developer jobs after 3 months. You might need to swith jobs after a year in order to get same pay as a CS graduate with 1 years of experience. Fingers crossed :wink:


#32

Hi, I’m past my mid-30s and got my first developer role just under a year ago :slight_smile:. I had gotten frustrated with my scientific career and its lack of direction, so started learning how to write code. I loved it so much that when my last research role came to an end in March 2017, I took on learning how to write code full-time for about 10 months. I started off with the front end stuff in FCC, but then moved on to learning React (via various courses on Udemy), refactoring one of my FCC projects into a React/Redux web app so that I could showcase my React knowledge. I also shared the code for other FCC projects on Github. I extended the FCC portfolio project and deployed a simple page that showcased some of the projects I’d done.

In January 2018 I started looking for a junior developer role. I updated my profile on LinkedIn and joined a number of different job sites. I applied for roles and also got calls from a lot of recruitment consultants. I was invited to do a phone interview and subsequent code test for a company, which I bombed out on (but which was ultimately a good learning experience, which I posted about here: Code Test Expectations for Junior Developer Roles ).

Shortly after that, I got a phone call from a lovely recruiter named Steven. He said he knew of a company in my area that I might be well-suited for. Their tech stack included React and Node.js, which was of immediate appeal. He said that while they weren’t looking for junior developers, he’d put me forward anyway and see if there was any chance they’d talk to me. I was in luck - one of the CEOs agreed to meet with me.

The interview was great, and also very informal, which suited me very well. I also spoke to one of their senior developers, who’d had a look at my code on Github and was pretty happy with what he’d seen. At the end of the interview, I was told that they would love to have me, but that they were hoping to recruit a few more senior devs first, so that I might have more support, which at the time they couldn’t guarantee.

In the meantime, I had a face-to-face with another company, whom were keen to have me back for a second interview. However, I really wanted to work for the other company, so contacted Steven to see what he could do. The short answer is that they offered me a role, and I’m loving it. I started off doing very basic stuff, like writing documentation on how to set up all the required software a new user would need when joining the company, learning how to write snapshot tests in Jest, learning how to use Postman, etc. I then moved onto a commercial project, starting off on bug fixes and then moving onto adding new features as the client requested them. I recently had an appraisal and am being promoted up a level. I’m still a junior, but am making progress, which is the main thing.

I’ve found from my experience so far that enthusiasm, self-motivation and a desire to learn is key. It also helps to have good ‘soft skills’ and to be open to having your code critiqued by someone more experienced than you.

Hope all goes well for you, and if you have any specific questions, I’m happy to try and answer them :slight_smile:


#33

Wow! What an amazing experience. I also read your post about the technical interview. That’s probably one of the things that scare me the most. I can only imagine the pressure and the stress; what an emotional roller coaster that most have been. I’m not a “quick” thinker so I’m always afraid of stuff that tests me to think on the spot.

But congrats on getting the job and getting so many people interested. You mentioned linkedIn, how did you show your coding knowledge on that platform, so much so, to get recruiters to look at you? You had a job at the same time you were coding? Also, Did the potential employers not say anything about your past work experience that had nothing to do with coding?

Thanks for sharing!

P.S. Was the Udemy course on React pretty good in comparison to FCC’s? I’m doing React/Redux on FCC and I feel pretty lost.


#34

I started at age 34 and I had no experience in coding and after 6 months I was able to develop websites for startup companies at a pay


#35

Congrats on the first job. QA is a great beachhead, and will give you a lot of exposure to a lot of topics as you progress. Have fun, and keep us posted on how things go. I’d love to read a longer writeup about your coding journey when you hit your next milestone :+1:


#36

Awesome! Congrats on successfully launching your consulting career.

This is something a ton of people ask about. When you have time, consider writing a post with the tips, resources, lessons learned - all that related to freelancing. I think a ton of people would find it helpful.


#37

Thanks for the congrats and absolutely no problem sharing. I remember wondering if I would ever get a job and if my gamble to switch career would pay off. I wanted to share my experience because if I can do it, then so can others.

Oh the technical interview was definitely scary, and I felt like I’d been dropped right in it! I can totally understand your comment about not being a “quick” thinker. From what I’ve heard though, technical tests vary widely, and not everyone expects you to finish off a code task over a weekend. Interestingly, some people, like my current employer, aren’t even interested in technical tests as they find them a bit forced and don’t think people will necessarily perform their best.

To address your questions:

  1. LinkedIn - I added FCC to my LinkedIn profile and described the projects I’d worked on. I also included a summary of my code skills, a link to my portfolio page, a link to my github account and a link to the project that I’d re-built in React. The React knowledge and demonstration of that was a huge factor in getting the attention of recruiters. I also mentioned ‘other’, transferable skills that I’d picked up from my previous work experience, and was open about the fact that I was coming from a scientific background, which leads to the next point…

  2. Past work experience - I was a bit nervous about how a prospective employer would feel about my past work experience, but it turned out to be fine. I think they appreciated the fact that I’d had previous professional experience, and could take a mature approach. I did also sell any skills that I’d picked up from my previous experience that I thought would be relevant (eg problem solving, a logical approach and being able to work in a team). They did ask why I was switching career, and again, I was open about that. I wondered how people would take that, but I was pleasantly surprised by how interested and enthusiastic people were. Looking back, I think the honesty about where I was coming from and where I wanted to go was very much appreciated and an important factor in getting put forward for roles.

  3. Learning React - I came across a couple of great React instructors on Udemy (React wasn’t available on FCC when I was learning, so I can’t say how they compare). One guy in particular, Maximilian Schwarzmüller, is brilliant. I did his course on React 16 (which he’s since updated to 16.6), and it really helped me to understand React and Redux, as the explanations of the concepts were really thorough. I was able to take that knowledge and refactor/build my own projects with greater confidence. Stephen Grider also does some good stuff, and might also be worth looking at for consolidating React/Redux skills.

Just to clarify, I did have a job when I started learning to code, but when that came to an end, I dedicated time to just learning code for 10 months. I started looking for work in January of last year (I think I put Jan 2017 in my original post :roll_eyes: - forgot it’s now 2019, lol).

Anyway, I hope that’s a help. All the best :slight_smile:


#38

Thanks again for the detailed explanation. It’s definitely motivating to hear these practical steps you took and how you were able to overcome the obstacles. I’ll add them on my to-do list (definitely I’m going to have to improve me github/LinkedIn, I wasn’t sure how to go about it before this post… and then I’ll have figure out a good “excuse” on why I want to change careers).

Thanks a lot and hope you’re enjoying your work so far.


#39

I concur with the “not an easy road” notion.

My hunch is our internal insecurities hamper us more than the external obstacles.


#40

Yes, I got my first job age 43. No technical background. It took about 18 months hard work.

The industry is crying out for good coders, but you need to be able to demonstrate that you can do it to a good standard. Creating a great portfolio should be your first concern. Do as many of the FCC projects as you can, but especially the full stack projects. If you can complete and deploy at least 3 full stack projects with clean code, plus another half dozen front end projects, then you will be ready.

Lots of people will give you advice about LinkedIn and going to meetups and contributing to open source. All of these are nice-to-haves, but they shouldn’t get in the way of learning to code.

The FCC map is a great start, but don’t feel bound to it. Try Angular as well as React. Learn some SQL. Learn some Typescript. And definitely learn Git. But above all, make sure your Javascript is really sharp (up to date with ES6, but dont worry about ES7+). Do algorithm problems until your eyes bleed. They will 'give you a coder’s brain. And make sure your CSS is strong enough that you can produce a commercially marketable responsive website.