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?


Here’s my short story just to contribute to the orginial question. Until i was 40 yo i worked for many years as a copywriter and graphics designer. Then i started with learning simple html. After a while i decided to go deeper (php/mysql/javascript) and created just for fun and practice a realy nice youtube like website. Then i decided to quit my (not much promising) job and become a programmer. Fortunately i didn’t had children at that time, but my wife and family was very concerned about my decision. For the next 6 month i studied java at home and took the online exams by Oracle for a Java certification (the most basic though). With that certificate on my hand i applied for a java programmer position in a big company. They intreviewed me three succesive times! and were very reluctant i must say, before they called me in the end. I was 42 at that time and thought i would become a brilliant software engineer. Being by far the oldest junior programmer in there, the feelings were quite stressfull during the first months. But the most painfull was to realize that i was actually a rather modest developer compared to many young brilliant minds i had to co-work in that company. That was a shocking finding a crash landing. Still up until now (50y with two sons) i keep doing this. For the last years i work as an outsourced php backend developer for a software company. I am always honest to my employers, i.e i’am not too fast, not too smart, not aware of all that cutting edge techs that pop out the corner every month, but i am reliable, willing to learn, i will make it work no matter how hard the task is if it’s not too pushy and they know i’ll be around.
Turns out it worked for me although i started with 40, BUT the true questions one has to consider imho are:
Will i be able do keep doing that when i become 60+ ?
Will i have the mental endurance, focus, speed, interest etc to keep on ?
Will i be able at 60+ to find another job if needed ?
There questions are really tormenting. But on the other hand who knows what god plans with our lives after all ? Maybe FAITH is all we need in the end.


How can teacher be still teachers after 50-55 or 60? How can doctors work after 60?

Well, detemrination.


Hey I think we just started a coders over 40 club.

43, here coding for 34 days now and going strong.

Keep it up


Why not? I had a great-aunt who retired in her 60s… got bored and went back to work. I don’t remember if it was full or part time… she worked up til at least 85 in an office setting if I recall - not IT though. I’d have to ask my cousin (well mom’s cousin…).

Up to the individual person but there’s no reason why you can’t. As long as your mind is active there’s no stopping you…other than severe health issues.

Hard to say but I can say I know one friend who is 60± she was let go from her job (working with MS Access/Excel programming) and about 6 months later landed another job- there she is learning .NET! I have another friend who is in IT in her 60s though the company she was with was not very kind to her during her wife’s illness then death…:(.
It may be easier for 60+ who are established already to find jobs quicker… for the budding web developers it may be a rough road…but it’s possible

I am mid 50s. Last year I went to a coding bootcamp. I was the oldest in my cohort by 13 years to the nearest youngest person - that person was nearing 40! Held my own lol. There’s more to my story as to why I’m still looking but I wouldn’t trade my experiences with both “bootcamps” I’ve done (at least a decade apart and entirely different languages lol) and my jobs as a QA Tester. I started late in IT- at 32-33.


Hi. I am nearly 41 and full of ideas. I must say that I am also concerned about career longevity and work-life-balance. I started learning to code towards the end of 2017 but it has been slow due to other commitments. However, starting today with html, I will be coding everyday for the next 3 months. And hopefully, I would have build a project or ready to look for jobs.


I will be 62 this summer, and have been in the technology field (telecommunications software, IT and currently Sys Admin. in a Linux environment) since Jan 1975.

During that time I have seen a lot of colleagues, mostly younger people wanting to move ahead in their careers become enamored with technologies rather than thinking in terms the real value a developer / admin / whatever role brings to a position.

That value is solving problems, not writing code. Software code is merely the tool to be used to solve the problem.

I had included a link here, but apparently am too new in the forum so it was not allowed. But do a google search on “you are not paid to write code”

If you consider the soft skills mentioned in the above linked article, you will find those more mature in years, as we are, can bring great value to a business.

Sure we still need to learn the tool, but learn it within the context of solving real world issues (there are many to be solved) and adding value, that will keep your mind fresh, creative and alive, and lead to greater success in your endeavours.

If you are just learning coding for the sake of coding, it will be harder, not impossible, but harder.

Also don’t discount creating your own startup, something about a problem you are passionate in solving. Most successful startups are not started by college dropouts (contrary to popular opinion in many youth), they are started by people with experience in business, problem solving, life. Those with maturity in years and life.


Heys @rickstewart does this room still exist? Please share a working link.


So I’ll be 46 this summer and I’ve been on and off learning to code for about two years. I’m working on a degree in software engineering in formal college (all online) and I’m nearly halfway through the free code camp curriculum. I’m not a working developer yet but that’s in part to my living in a rural area and the fact that I’m still learning and am after more of a full stack situation. I want to say that it’s never to late to follow your passions, dream of success or take steps to better your situation. We’re all here because of the same handful of reasons. We need more money, we’re unhappy with our jobs or we’re ready for serious changes. It’s possible for anyone who is willing to take the steps, make the moves and sacrifices it will take in order to reach the success were dreaming of. Remote positions are becoming more widely available and there is a huge boom in demand for capable developers that’s not being filled. If we wait the opportunity will fade as more young people recognize the need for developers and begin to fill roles that for now are readily available.


Hello @Dw-Develops,

That room was closed by FCC a long while ago, they wanted to consolidate FCC chat rooms. I was NOT happy about that because it provided a class of developers a real benefit, but it was obviously not my call.

I don’t remember who, but someone started a new, non-FCC room for developers like us, and you can check it out here:


I cannot tell you how active it is though. Perhaps you will check it out and report back here for the communities’ benefit?

Go Graybeards!


There is also a slack group/channel called “Ageism in Tech”. It’s still there but very very very quiet right now.
I’m sure there are other channels as well relating to to older developers/students.


I am 47. I am a student IT in Russia . I am thinking about the same problem: ageism. I like this state: constant improvement of my skills. 4 yers ago I was a lawyer . I hated my profession and I decided change my life. I’m not disappointed.
What have I studied for 4 years of study at the institute? The institute provides superficial knowledge. Everything had to be studied independently. If I were 20, I would go to work immediately in the web studio for any work. But after trying to independently study the web for 2 years as a lawyer - I decided to prepare a base and change my thinking from a humanitarian to a technical one. I lacked full immersion in development, I could not concentrate, because I continued to work as a lawyer at that time. In the end, I decided to go to the institute and devote all my time to study. My first project was on Wordpress. Then I began to study Yii2 with the lessons in youtube. Now I am integrating Yii2 with 1C. This is my diploma.


Maybe I’m being naive but i think it’s quiet because people don’t care if you’re an old developer. They want someone who can code AND are experienced at it. I think being an “old coder” is more about personal hangups.

Now old graphic designers, that is DEFINITELY a thing.


It’s more quiet because there’s only 148 users there… most don’t post really… it’s just not active in terms of chatter lately.

Plus ageism (along with ableism/disability discrimination) is a bear to prove- I experienced something similar at one of my jobs some years ago…we had a 12 person test team… half were let go…some of us noticed an interesting pattern on who stayed and who got let go… we couldn’t prove that was their intent even though one of us had been there the longest (about 1.5 years) and a few who stayed were newer than I was.


Yes! that’s the spirit! :muscle:


In institute I was not take to view work places at the enterprise due to ageism. Some teaches ask me haw i will work as a developer due to ageism. One potencial employer ask me haw I has not been working since learning in institute. For him it was unormal for person of my age. But i have no problem with my co-students nethertheless they are 20. They got used to me for 4 years of study.


I am still a little less than 40 but I know it’s not too late for you. I have three kids which I want to offer them good life and I decide to change career. But what I am doing personally to help myself is I look at my environment to fine a solution to one of real life problem which I am passionate about so as I am learning to code I am building that web application to solve the problem. So even if I don’t get a job that would reduced the level of frustration of not getting a job on time. My advice is that you look at a project you are passionate about along what you are learning build that startup as you are learning you will see that at the end you may not necessarily need to look for employment.


Hi, Actually all my projects were in Python and some mobile apps. But I wrote on my resume that I know C#. Most of the Companies just search your resume for key words then call. They called me and we did a phone screen, I guess they figured I knew what I was talking about so they called me in for a technical. I think once you are in for the technical they just want to see how good you do on it. I dont think it matters as much to them how many projects you have in C# or whatever…they will be impressed if you nswer the questions right. Getting your foot in the door matters more than the projects. Most Companies will call you if you have listed what they need on your resume then on the phone screen they will judge if your really know what you are talking about before they set up a technical. I can bet you if you impress them on the technical they wont care about your projects


I totally agree with the problem solving premise, as well as creating your own startup. I am 50 years old and just getting into the coding/software development game. My main reason Is that I found a great solution to a pervasive problem and decided to build an app to address it. I don’t have the “coding skills” but having been a college professor and a successful small business owner, I believe my “soft skills” skillset would be an asset to most any company. I am using them everyday in my own startup and I will be looking for them in any folks we bring onboard.


Never. I’m 48 and I am learning Sass right now. It is never too late to start a new career. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Through resume after resume after resume, I never gave up looking for the development job I was seeking and at the age of 45, I found it. So do not give up your search!


study IT in Russia how is it cost in 8 semesters (4 years ) >> can you answer me ?