I think I have a natural aptitude for coding and as a prior entrepreneur, I’m very self-motivated but I’m wondering whether a 56 year old, entry level coder, working remotely has any chance of getting decent paying work.
Any constructive advice is greatly appreciate. Thank you in advance.
Remote positions are still much harder to find than on-site ones, and companies are less likely to be willing to let a new, junior developer work remotely because they tend to need the help and support of being colocated with their development team. The jobs exist, but they’re fewer and further between.
I’m not a fan of working remotely right out of the box on in coding jobs. When you are new to coding, mentoring in your first job is invaluable and very hard to find for remote employees, non-existent for contractors.
It can work, but every person I’ve seen from the 20 year old fresh out of book camp to, yes older folks in a career change crash and burn hard if they try to remote right out of the gate.
That said it can be done. You have to be great at using chat and video(if available) as well have a great hand at documentation: what you did, code documentation, comments etc. You also have to be able to make work for yourself that gives results. Meaning you can’t wait for direction, and trust me when I say, your peers will notice if you slack off.
Decent work depends on your savvy. There are ton of jobs that pay crap, and screw you over in coding, and if you can’t hold out for a good gig, things can get pretty dire. While your call sign says Denver, I don’t know if you’re there but the Denver area is really bad with pay scales for devs. There are a lot of bad jobs to wade through.
Having said all that, it’s not impossible, but it will be a lot of work. You’ll have to work harder to prove yourself. While which is true for any age, gets harder with age.
As an older person, I can say, you may want to hone your skills in some Niche markets. My age is a + in email dev because I have experience in 90’s style coding. Also If there are more demands for your skill, you’ll get better considerations.
Lastly, this isn’t something you can learn and be done with. Learning has to happen all the time, you need to be coding and doing projects, all the time. Slack in that and people will not considered your skills current, hurting your change at any job, much less remote.
Thanks for the great advice! I figured I would need to focus on some niche market but even those are few and far between. Maybe the most productive application of these skills (for me) would be to apply them toward my own online business venture. That way, I have complete control over the website and any business applications instead of contracting everything out.
Thanks again for your time and good luck in your contracts.
I think the truth is, it is not a luxury everyone can afford, particularly at entry level where you are closer to the nitty-gritty of everyday coding and delivery.
Until companies are comfortable with your delivery, often remote isn’t an option. Companies hiring for remote positions will emphasis experience even if it is not explicitly advertised.
A lot of companies are not strict with on-site attendance, but that’s not an equivalent for remote, because they do still have expectations for you to show up on site if required.
It seems like if you want to work remote for a company they will usually want to see that you have one or two years of work experience. Still worth trying but it is unlikely to get one with 0 development experience.
If you want to freelance while traveling it can also be challenging, as the main benefit for hiring US freelancers/agencies vs. offshoring is being able to meet in person. It might be easiest if you stay in one area for a few months at a time and target local businesses there.
It also depends on the lifestyle you are trying to achieve while traveling, if you are planning on staying in hotels and eating out all the time it would be pretty tough to earn that much.
On the other hand living in a vehicle while traveling can be pretty cheap. I lived in a van while traveling around the US and Canada for 8 months and my total monthly expenses averaged 1200/month.
Hi Denver! Older gal here too. And my advice is if you truly enjoy it, try to put together something that compares well to other sites.
As the others have touched on, virtual jobs are there, but usually more difficult as there are limitations and constraints…
Also while I understand there is age discrimination in any job, passion is an attribute that overcomes this immensely. I wouldn’t look into a job right off the bat, but if you make it very far into a developer course, like that of colt steele’s consider getting very serious. The median time frame for dedicated coders to get a job seems to be 6 months to a year. They do apply to hundreds of applications so don’t give up.
Hope this helps!