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Are you too old to start a programming career?

anja profile image Anja ・2 min read

Hey!
Today I wanted to talk about some fears I had before I started studying Software engineering. I started to learn programming on the weekends when I was 32. A few months later I had programmed a very simple website with HTML and CSS and decided to quit my job and study Software Engineering full-time.

Of course there were some doubts. Was it the right decision? Would I be good enough or fail and then have trouble to find a new job as a lawyer, as the employers obviously would notice that I didnt enjoy law, as I quit my job before? Would I be able to "compete" with students, who already have been programming since ages?

Luckily, none of these fears became real. Up until now, I gained all the necessary credits. Of course at the beginning I had to invest more time than the students who had years of programming experience before they started studying. But in these three years of Software Engineering I learned an enormous amount and finally dont have any doubts, that at the end of the studies I will have become a good programmer.

Also Im not afraid of all the IT things I dont know yet any more. As we have learned and used so many different languages and technologies already, I recognize a lot of similiaries and patterns. In my opinion you can quickly learn anything, when you have an overview of how Computers work and used a few different languages and frameworks in some group projects.

Nothing is too difficult to learn, only some things have a few more logical steps than others. It's never too late to change careers! Did anyone make similar experiences? Have a nice day. :)

Discussion

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stereoplegic profile image
Mike Bybee

Ageism is definitely rampant in tech (I can't count the number of times the twenty-something interviewing me was unable to conceal their assumptions about my knowledge of modern stacks, only to resent that I was more current than they were and shift to sabotage for fear that I would take their job), and definitely something to brace yourself for; however, those guilty of it are doing you a favor. You don't want to work in such toxic environments.

Now, doing things on my own at 41, I'm bracing myself for ageism from investors.

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anja profile image
Anja Author

Hi, yes, age should never be a problem. :)

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loouislow profile image
Loouis Low

Nope, you can start programming anytime you want! You can always choose to learn a certain part of that programming language to do the thing you exactly want. And you don't have to learn all topics of that language. Programming is all about practising to build a muscle memory is very important.

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anja profile image
Anja Author

Hi Loouis, yes the more you practice the easier it gets! πŸ‘

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Matt Curcio

I started 2 yrs ago at 53!

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anja profile image
Anja Author

Hi Matt, that's fab! πŸ˜ŠπŸŽ‰ what was your previous job? :)

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mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio

I worked in Biotechnology for ~15 years then taught middle school and college for ~10 yrs. Thanks for asking.
I saw that you were/are a Lawyer. That is quite an accomplishment too. ;))

It's the journey not the destination...

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anja profile image
Anja Author

Maybe you can merge all your subjects in some way then! :) Thanks. :)

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David Yao

TBH, it is hard out there - my mentor used to say that a lot. But we need to achieve what we really want in our life no matter what. I changed my career as a developer when I was 34 and never regret. Be happy and free.

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anja profile image
Anja Author

Hi David, awesome! πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘ If you put in the work you will be successful. :)What was your previous job?

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David Yao

For sure 😁. I was a product manager in trading industry.

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tompitt94 profile image
Tom Pitt

Hi Anja I am just starting my journey at 33 and loving it so far.

It is so exciting learning something new again each day! Hoping by next year to get over imposter syndrome and begin applying for jobs in programming

Good luck with your courses

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Anja Author

Hi Tom, thats great! :) What did you do before? Yes, I also loved being able into diving a new topic after such a long time! :) Thanks, good luck for you too! Feel free to reach out when you need help.

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Tom Pitt

Currently in logistics and retail but also been in catering.

So learning alongside a full time job with 3 kids as well always makes it challenging. Currently practising by making an app to help my son's with their schoolwork and spellings etc

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anja profile image
Anja Author

Wow, that's a challenge! But you can do it.πŸ‘ sounds like a great app idea. 😊

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Paperpotato

Agreed! I started only last year (29 now) and due to begin formal study next year. I'm in healthcare, and found that there's so much low-hanging fruit waiting to be picked between those two fields. How lucky are we to have two passions πŸ˜€

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Anja Author

Hey that's so awesome, all the best!😊 πŸ€ Merging med and tech is such an important field! πŸ‘Yes we are lucky to be able to get two careers indeed.

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Jen Miller

Congrats on starting your journey and I'm glad you are excited about it.

I don't think you can be too old to start programing. I know a few people who started later on and have gone on to have very happy careers in development.

I think having the right mindset and motivation can go along way. Don't get caught up in social media drama about developments do's, don'ts and whatnot. Software development is different for everyone. You'll find the right kind of work that makes you happy.

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anja profile image
Anja Author

Thank you Jen! 😊 Yes everyones journey is different and where is a will there is a way! πŸ‘πŸ˜Š

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Just Light

I want to learn how to code and I need help. Please!!

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bretgeek

Maybe try Javascript? (since it is everywhere) javascript.info/

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Just Light

Thank you so much. I appreciate.

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anja profile image
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justsolarlights profile image
Just Light

Thank you so much.

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Aleksei Berezkin

I have two friends who started their IT career in their thirties. So whatever is possible if you have an intention πŸ˜‰

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anja profile image
Anja Author

Hi Aleksei, that's great and I agree! Where is a will there is a way πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘

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yuxxeun profile image
Yuxxeun

Hi Anja!

I salute even though you are 32 years old, but you dare to get out of your comfort zone (quit your law job).
And you're right about "Nothing is too difficult to learn, only some things have a few more logical steps than others"

I hope you run happily, happy coding!

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anja profile image
Anja Author

Hey, thanks a lot! 😊 πŸ™Œ Going out of your comfort zone is almost always worth it. 😊 All the best for you too! πŸ€

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Binh Huynh

Can you show me your website?

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anja profile image
Anja Author

Hi Binh, you find my blog here lumarycodes.wordpress.com

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Binh Huynh

Thank you!