Hello everyone. I've been working on my developer skills for a couple years now and figure I need to broaden my community beyond those around me with no interest in it.
I'm a late starter at 34, and honestly I get a little discouraged reading about teenagers much farther along then I am. Any success stories out there from others getting into software development after leaving another career?
Don't worry about younger people have more knowledge or not, sometimes I feel the same and I've writing software for more than 23 years. Young people have a lot of energy and more free time, but what's important is the own motivation and the desire to learn new things.
Hey there! I'm 33 and just getting started too. I moved from nursing to tech a few years ago and refuse to look back. I've learned that there are a LOT of little niches out there where you can not only utilize your previous experience, you'll be valued for it.
I hope so. It was my experience that lead to my idea for software to do much of my previous job that led to my leaving it.
You can already say that you were a champion of adopting new technology that helped to cut down costs and better automate processes at your previous job!
Hey markamaze, I'm 34 and just graduated last year with an Associates degree after over a decade in Entertainment and Special Effects, and got super lucky landing a job at a Software company. If I can do it, you can as well.
What worked for me was to go to a lot of networking events, especially Meetup events focused on the languages I liked learning about. Then, try and find little free one-day or weekend conferences where you can go learn as well. Don't just focus on learning though! Focus on getting to know the other people who come out and get to know the community you're in. So many opportunities come from the community and your own network. If you're not surrounded by people who have this interest, that's ok, but the more people around you with the interest, the faster you will grow and land that gig.
Best of luck in your endeavors!
I'm a late starter, too. I'm 37 and been working professionally as a software dev for 3 years. I had a 10-year career in biology, but it just wasn't going anywhere. I'd been teaching myself as a hobby and doing a bit of WordPress dev/admin as a side-gig to help save up money. Quit my job and went to a 12-week bootcamp.
A couple months after the bootcamp, I got a full-time job as a junior UI developer. Then about 2 years after that, got promoted at the same company to intermediate software developer.
The bootcamp wasn't everything, but it did give me connections and an ability to learn fast. On top of that, already have progressed through a career has definitely helped me continue to progress and grow in this career. I know how to be in a job, how to be a mentor, how to be effective in a team.
I think part of changing careers is finding a company that's a good fit for giving you a shot - not as a favour but because they recognize that your past experience is a huge asset in addition to your tech skills.
In the bootcamp, I was definitely one of the older students, but that was okay. I didn't end up making super close friends like a lot of the 20-somethings did, but I wasn't there for that. I did find people that I enjoyed working with professionally.
Not to say that a bootcamp is the only way, but for me, I really needed the structure and the guidance on what to learn next. There's always people to compare yourself to, but there's only one you with your breadth of experience and maturity - just have to find the right role where they see that as a value!
I feel like I'm starting late also at 33, but we have to start somewhere right?! Good luck!!
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