re: What's your advice to someone over the age of 30 considering a career in software development? VIEW POST

FULL DISCUSSION
 

Pick a marketable stack to learn

Software Development is an incredible vast discipline and there is literally no limit to what you can learn/do with it, but first and foremost you want to make sure your skills are put to use in the market so you can sustain yourself. Nowadays there are plenty of learning resources which will teach you precisely what you need to know to join the workforce (JavaScript, React, HTML, CSS should be a good start, Git is a must).

Don't get spooked by gatekeepers

There will be people who will tell you "it's too late/you can't do it/too difficult/etc". Don't get spooked by such statements, you may not be able to land a Senior position or cherry pick your salary, but if you can solve problems, communicate well, and demonstrate your ability to learn, there are plenty of businesses that can benefit from your work. Remember that software development is ultimately about implementing solutions that other people can benefit from using code as a medium. If you can help other people, they will help you, even if you are not the best programmer in the world.

Put you prior experience in perspective

The ability to communicate, research, negotiate, particularly if you can lead other people, can be a great leverage to trigger your career. If you are used to solve difficult problems, be accountable, "owning your mission" as they say, this can be a great asset for a potential employer. From an employer's perspective, what matters is how much value can you provide for them, not so much how a good developer you are. I know this will infuriate some people but is a hard fact about the reality of the world which doesn't mean you can't get better over time provided with the right opportunity.

Get used to uncertainty

Tech keeps changing all the time, that's why I don't believe the people who say that you can't do it unless you start young. New stuff is developed all the time and there are no rules on how it can be used. If you embark in this journey you will have to keep learning and updating your skills forever, so don't assume that knowing any given stack is assurance of anything.

Create a nice showcase

The best way to learn to code is by coding, and no code is good enough unless it solves some actual problem in the real world. If you develop a useful piece of software and release it to the world, there is no better presentation card than that, even if there is something similar already there. You can do your own version of some tool with some variation or adjustment according to your personal taste or use. There is enough people in the world to guarantee that somebody will prefer your version of the tool over some other version of the same tool.

Learn from the best

You can save a lot of time and learn very fast by following the right people and investing in the right resources. You just need a Twitter account to find really amazing people from whom you can learn a lot and keep yourself aware of tech trends (I do this!). Many of them will be very happy to answer your questions and give tremendously useful advice for free. If you know someone in the industry willing to guide you or provide some mentoring, that can be of great help. If you start networking with those people you can speed up your learning a lot. Once you find the right people, you'll see most of them can provide high quality education by a fraction of the price that you would pay from traditional sources.

Be humble

Remember that some of the smartest and most intelligent people in the world are working as software developers, and you'll only gain their respect by being humble and knowing you own position in the industry. There is no shame in ignorance as every person in this world is born ignorant, so don't be afraid to ask questions and make your presence be noted in forums which are dedicated precisely to people like you. Rudeness and egotism are not appreciated in this craft, spite some popular characters which may present themselves in that fashion. Avoid the toxic people, the gatekeepers, and anyone who tells you you don't belong here.

Hope it helps!

 
 

I totally agree with you in every way. Sometimes it's very easy for people(gatekeepers) to drop discouraging comments like software development is difficult and only for geniuses. I may be new in software development as well but one thing I have come to understand is that software development is for everyone. Developers constantly learn and improve on their previous knowledge. So don't give up. Besides, age is just a number. As long as you're willing to learn, you can make a great developer. Everyone is learning one new technology or the other. πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾πŸ’ͺ🏾

 

agree with all the points, only need to add this:

  • Don't quit your former job while you're still learning, you might discover that while you're good at writing software you hate to do it 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

  • Software writing is not a career, it's a vocation. You'll never stop learning, the years of experience won't be a guarantee for finding employment, and after you get to "senior" there will be very little opportunities for formal promotions.

 

Indeed! Thanks, you are right on point, I'll add these points to my original post if that's ok

 

"and after you get to "senior" there will be very little opportunities for formal promotions" . - that

 

Turn this into a post, it's that good, or better :)

 

Thank you! Yes, I'll most likely turn it into a post and add some edits/suggestions by some people here (I'll make sure to give proper credits)

 
 
 
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