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!
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