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?
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#216

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.


#217

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

Well, detemrination.


#218

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

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

Keep it up


#219

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.


#220

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.


#221

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.


#222

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


#223

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.


#224

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:

40PlusDevs

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!


#225

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.