I am 40 years old. Is it too late to start a career in software development?

I am 40 years old. Is it too late to start a career in software development?

I hope not, because I am 40 too. :slight_smile:

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Hello all… not sure if I should make a different topic of this but I’ve read a lot of these posts from the top & got inspired to create a account and ask for advice along my path which is similar however a bit different.
I’m 37 have a 1 year old and another on the way in August or September. My background is in digital printing however, I’m working in Security to pay the bills. The kicker is that I have a petty/stupid misdemeanor on my record that I’m unable to expunge because of va petty laws. However I’m enrolling in a community college to become either a programmer or a software developer more so interested in the software developing field. Would this misdemeanor hinder me or should I just put my head down and go for it and get letters of recommendations along the way? Thanks for the feedback if any!!


I’m 47 developer who wasted 10 years trying to get a SEO career. I got the impossible: develope PHP again even this lost 10 years.

I’m unemployed again and I’m learning as much codin as possible from places like this and also udemy.com and tutellus.com

But i need some projects to practice my new skills. I hope I find it here or in github.


Im 43yrs old in my 20’s i learned foxpro,c++,turbo c etc. for database application, in my 30’s i learned vb also for database app. but i stop coz of fierce competition and web scripting is always the question when your getting a job. and i was pretty lame on that coz i been dedicated into database programming in my entire programming career. luckily , i put up my own business and i was happy that instead of hiring somebody to create a database system for me I was the one doing it at my own design and management. right now I move into .net so i can cope up and I found out how difficult it back then to create database program compare today. :slight_smile: so, its never too late for anybody to start programming.

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I’m 43 and I’ve just finished the second month of my first developer job. No technical background. Previous career in teaching. So yes, it is absolutely possible - just as long as you have the ability and the commitment.

Finish the FCC projects (especially full stack) to a good standard with clean code, and you will be ready.


Best answer, with a very down to earth insight on what you can do.
I’m 47 and feel good!!! Getting ready for this roller coaster ride!

I’m glad to have found this thread. I’ve been in the same mental spot. 44, been teaching music for 12 years after working in sales before that. But things have stagnated. It’s time for a new direction, and coding is something I’ve been interested in (and started working on learning, on and off) for over 20 years. So I’m preparing to make that change, and looking forward to it!

Thanks to the O.P. for raising the topic.

I am turning 40 in a few days and feeling all charged up towards improving my career skills in Programming. To folks who believe whether 20-somethings have an edge over us, in my little experience, your body of work can be your best resume, regardless of your education qualification or age.

By body of work meaning any place where you can demonstrate your programming skills. It could be some trial project you have done, maybe a website for a friend, or an small ERP implementation. In the open source world, for projects like WordPress.org, participation in its core project through make.wordpress.org can be shared with prospective employers, as a great demonstration of what you can contribute.

I work currently as a support engineer for a celebrated Tech company :)., where i use my basic HTML + CSS skills. I am now upgrading it to the next level, and relearning many things with HTML5 and CSS3 additions. I have seen employers paying by the quality of skill rather than age. For a business oriented employer it is all about how much they are paying for a man-hour effort, and the quality of work in those hours.

As a 40 year old, i have had the opportunity to see many types of Businesses up close in my earlier jobs and freelance work. I believe my mind is much more calm and composed as compared to 20s to think and design much better. So I am all set!

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Being that I’m turning 40 years old this month August 2018. I’ve decided that I have to finish a coding language. I’ve gotten stuck within JavaScript’s Objects (and this is before going into Object Oriented Programming).

So I stepped outside of the box(s). Still in JavaScript, but within Code.org Express Course:

with extended version of it; dealing with Apps, Games, and Web

So far, as I’m going through the “express-2018” course, I see the visual courses, using blocks, and a section where you can see the code (how it is written in JavaScript). Going into it again, thanks to introducing it to my 8 year old daughter, we both have an oportunity to “pair program” with it. And with the visuals, I started seeing patterns of code that repeats, based on where the character(s) would move. I’m so looking forward to the hype of MineCraft, with Code.org’s version called “20. Functions with Minecraft”.

Seeing deeper into it, I’ve drawn up the simple images and written the “pseudoCode” version of the steps to turnLeft() moveForward() and enclosing some of the blocks where it would repeat here and there.

Here’s an article from Code.org that helps one to think twice on how “it looks like it’s only for kids” myth:

A course highly recommended, in University level, is Harvard’s Intro to Computer Science, not only where they teach some C language (basics of it), but also some JavaScript, etc. When I took the course, I was deep in JavaScript so what was done in C (or at least within Harvards compiler version of C), I would use JavaScript’s syntax instead (I need to post that in my Github sooner than later for I thought to do that for quite some time). But before Harvard went into C, they introduced a way of learning code using blocks similar to how Code.org uses, but with the use of MIT’s program called Scratch.

I got bored with Scratch after playing around with it, using code. Going back into Code.org, it would seem like a more ‘how these blocks are used’ by example, level by level. Like how programming classes are introducing the languages like JavaScript and Python.

And finally, and speaking of Python, I’m looking to finish up the first part of book (as I got back to it to finish off knowing Python before getting into intro to Pygame), called:
Python Crash Course

That book goes into detail like no other (to me), for I’m almost in verbatum with writing out the code samples, creating comments (almost verbatum from the steps about the code written in a different format from the books paragraph way), and doing the “Try it Yourself” given a few times within the chapters to make sure it sticks.

Sorry for the long writing, but I was so exited and had to share.

it’s never late as long as you can breath


One year after starting studies I am startin a new career at 39. Not inside of development but as elearning conceptor. Here my first elearning education program for people interested by animals Nothing is impossible. Courage.

Well, I suppose the perks of starting pretty young a software dev career(or any other profitable career) is that It’s possible, albeit hard, to enjoy a lavish retirement at a record time age.
For me, the question should be how you could convey all those years of experience and current skillsets into a software development career?.

40 and never too old. Go grab the bull by the horns and develop. And make the most of your first degree wherever you can.

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It is never too late to start something, and moreover software work has only a few factors that are affected by age. You may face a bit of health issues lately due to continuous work on the computer and if you can bear that then you are good to go.

HI, I am 41 and just started my first programming fulltime job 3 months ago making $60k! i was like you and wondered if possible. I started off in healthcare, worked for 13 years. I needed change and always loved Computers so I jumped in and started learning front end web development through freecodecamp. I never followed any particular track nor completed any certificates. I just learned and worked on multiple projects as I learned. Everytime I got stuck I researched till I found answers. I found I was learning more and retaining more this way (HTML, css, JavaScript,jQuery, Bootstrap). I wasn’t very confident with my skills so I didn’t look for a job just yet. I researched and realized that most Companies seemed to want someone with some backend language or knowledge even when they asked for frontend developer I learned Python so I can add a backend language. I also started learning Xamarin development so I can do Mobile development ( Xamarin uses C# for code behind so I taught myself C#, just enough to be able to to create a few apps and to be proficient enough. I started applying and got a technical interview for a C# job. I did well and was called for a second one but this time they asked me SQL Server questions an I wasn’t familiar with the that so I missed the opportunity. A week later this Company calls saying they need a Xamarin developer to create their app. I went for the interview and got the job! I have been doing the Xamarin app the last six Months and it’s coming along fine. I decided to take this course and all the other C# courses available so I can build on the skills I already have and make my C# knowledge more robust. I’m also learning SQL server and creating Web Apis. On the job I also started learning React because we use it. So in a span of three Months I have learned quite a bit of skills on the job. I learned a new skill at 40, did several projects to learn new skills and got a full-time position as a Mobile developer…you are never too old to learn new skills and get a job in that field. One thing I realized, no one asks how old you are in this field, they ask what you know.:blush: Learn all you can and the other accompanying technologies then just startt applying (I decided to learn C# because most Companies in my area seemed to use C#), you will be amazed how many people need your skills…treat every interview as a learning opportunity and build on it. I didn’t even know I needed SQL server till that interview…plus a few algorithms I needed to brush on…but that interview made me go out there and brush on some skills that I used in the next interview. Goodluck


Sorry, Meant to say I have been working the last 6 Months

I’m in a good mood so I’m not going to read everyone else’s responses right now (in case they say something I don’t want to hear) – but for what it’s worth – heck NO! I am 38, going on 39, and I am doing the exact same thing! Screw anyone who tells you it’s ‘too late’ (if they have). You have a lot of experience, and you WANT this more than a lot of guys and gals 20 years our junior. Go for it.


Oh my!!! All of you guys is a great encouragement for me!!! I am 30 years old. I just tested FCC to see if i like it. I am struggling at times but I really loved it, but was afraid that I am too old to start. Thanks for sharing!!!

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yeah I’m very interested in user experience jobs! What are the most important coding langauges to know? Python, JavaScript, and HTML, right? I have a master’s in russian and area studies so a coding background would really help I think. thank you:)

what an amazing, inspiring answer! I LOVE it! how did you manage to score that interview? did you already have some projects you’ve created? thanks