DEV Community

loading...

Learning to code later in life

holly boyles
Wife, Mom, and programming student trying to find the balance with it all!
・1 min read

Hi! My name is Holly and I am learning to code at 40 years old. I started my coding journey at the young age of 37. It stalled for a year while I was dealing with some life moments, but a year ago I picked back up where I left off.

What does learning to code at my age look like? I am a full time student. I chose a path that included college because I live in a state that offers a tuition-free 2 year degree for any adult that meets the criteria for the program.

Why learn to code? I worked as a dental assistant for over 15 years. It was an amazing career for me for a long time. Once I made the decision to go back to college, I did not immediately look at tech as an option. I really had no clue what I wanted to do. I just knew that I needed to be challenged. I went through the programs offered and narrowed down my options. Once programming was on my radar, I utilized several free coding sites to learn as much as I could to see if this was what I wanted. I loved it!

Do I believe anyone can learn to code? YES! If you are passionate and dedicated to learning, you can learn to code at any age.

Tell me, how old were you when you started your journey?

Discussion (16)

Collapse
joelnwalkley profile image
Joel N. Walkley

Just here to say hi, and that I'm 36 years old and started my first tech job this year!
I have a 15 year-old CompSci degree I never really used (I followed call toward an earlier career in ministry and social work which is greatly disrupted thanks to Covid - long story).
Because my degree is so dated, it does feel like learning stuff all over again. For example, at the time I graduated sooo much didn't exist: browser devtools, jQuery (and definitely not any of the modern frameworks like React or Angular). Git was released the year I graduated for goodness sakes.
So thanks for sharing, glad to be learning with you!

Collapse
shaijut profile image
Shaiju T • Edited

Nice :), Can you share how you got your first Job, what skills did your learn ?

Collapse
hmboyles profile image
holly boyles Author

I am still working on my degree, actually. To date, I have learned HTML, CSS, some Javascript, Python, and C#. I am hoping to pick up an internship in the near future. :)

Thread Thread
shaijut profile image
Shaiju T • Edited

Nice :) , C # and Java has lot of Job openings. And C#.NET Full Stack Developer or Java Full Stack Developer are in demand. C# is more neat than Java. You can check below post on my advice to a folk on becoming C#.NET Full Stack Developer :

dev.to/shaijut/comment/18df4

Just a advice. You can choose what you like after doing research. All the best. :)

Thread Thread
hmboyles profile image
holly boyles Author

Thank you! I am taking a .NET course in the Spring as well! I'll check out your post.

Collapse
hmboyles profile image
holly boyles Author

Hi Joel! How did the job search go for you and what resources did you use to get up to speed and refresh your skills?

Collapse
joelnwalkley profile image
Joel N. Walkley

Thanks for continuing the conversation. I'd have to point back to how I solved a problem at my non-tech prior job by creating an app (short story - I saw our company outsourced data wrangling via excel files, so I learned how to make a demo of doing the same thing using a React App with Firebase backend that had zero ongoing cost). From there I had something to talk about in my screenings and interviews.

I had some luck with an Indeed posting - though it would certainly be better to get a recommendation from someone in the field.

Collapse
papatuck profile image
PapaTuck

I used to live in Middle Tennessee... My coding journey started mid-February about two weeks after my 60th birthday. I don't plan to retire until age 70 and I need something to do later in life when I grow old during retirement -I might hang it all up at 100 if I'm still around then. For years I've written music and find coding to be just as enjoyable! It's been fun so far and I intend to keep it up!

twitter.com/papatuck96

Collapse
alxtrnr profile image
Alex Turner

Started to learn code using Python last December. I shall be 52 next month. I am a mental health nurse with experience in risk management, inspection and regulation. I am not looking to switch careers. I aspire though to use code to solve problems, be more efficient and use data more effectively within health and social care settings. Good luck in your journey. Where are you planning to go with it?

Collapse
hmboyles profile image
holly boyles Author

I am looking to switch careers. I had reached a point in dentistry where I couldn't really make more money and just wasn't challenged anymore.

Collapse
shaijut profile image
Shaiju T

Nice 😄, Inspiring story, I read your comments in the welcome thread that you are planning to learn C# and then Java. So after that what's your plan ? What you are planning to become Backend or Front End developer ?

Collapse
hmboyles profile image
holly boyles Author

That is amazing! I also love hearing about someone else switching from dental to tech! I can't tell you how many strange looks and comments I have had when people learn where I came from and where I am going!

Collapse
rakesh profile image
Rakesh

inspiring..I was thinking I was late at 24

Collapse
dzun_n profile image
Dzun N

Motivated article mom 🤧,
Thanks for those words.