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Too Old / Too Late??

Hi I’m 58, and I just started to Code about a year ago. My closest and strongest advocate is telling me I’m wasting my time learning to code; that no one in the Technology field is ever going to hire me, or give me the time of day. But at this point I feel like I have nothing to lose. I make minimum wage, and I love to code! What are your thoughts on this??

6/24/2019 1:54:03 AM

Troy Kelley

32 Answers

New Answer


You will definitely run into problems. However, if the job market in whereever you want a job has more jobs than candidates, you can become hired. Meanwhile, even if it never becomes a job, doing what you love makes life worth living.


Follow your passion. What ever wage you get. It gets you happiness which is costless.


Troy First things first, I think it's awesome that you've stumbled upon this new found passion for programming. Bravo and kudos to you. In order for me to give you any kind of feedback, I'm going to need a bit more information and context about you. Please answer as many questions as you're comfortable responding to. - Besides being your closest and strongest advocate, what other qualifications does this person have specifically in the software development industry? - In the year since you've been learning, what have you learned so far? - What's the experience been like for you learning to code in terms of difficulty, average time spent each week, etc? - How are you learning? - What was your core work experience and what types of roles have you held? I'm trying to get a sense for other skills that could help you with a career change. - What would be the ideal type of development work for you?


In my opinon learning doesn't have an age. We can learn in any age. You are not too old or too late. Learn , practise, and be patient. You can be a good developer. Take small steps and go a head.🌸


If you love to code, keep at it, build a portfolio - employers are looking for motivated coders that bring talent and innovation to the table and IMO these traits aren't exclusive to younger generations


You have nothing to loose. Dont matter your age, you can learn coding, and as the guy above said, even if you dont get hired, doing what you like will make you happy


I’m 42 and i got a bit of a jump on you. doesnt hurt that im also a CPA. I would recommend creating a portfolio of things youve made || problems youve solved || pure creative designs. the more initiative you show towards non-crystalized memory function, the less your age should hold you back. there are plenty of remote jobs you could likely get hired for that they wouldnt know your age until they input you in their HR system!


Just my own opinion, working with someone with enthusiasm can make the difference between good days and bad days for everyone else. Having a good attitude PAYS. Keep up the learning and interacting with other programmers. You will get there! Also, if you are anywhere near the east cost US, there is pretty high demand for programmers, at least I get a lot of emails for coding jobs. Though Im a DevOps Engineer, so take with a grain of salt :D All the best


First of all, you are *not* wasting your time if you enjoy coding and learning, as has already been reiterated... so as long as you are enjoying this new discovery in the world of programming. :-) Beyond that, you are clearly asking whether your time spent learning how to program is a worthwhile investment for the purpose of transitioning into a new career. I would say YES. As long as you are learning, retaining, and can SHOW that you know how to program (at least in those areas you have focused on), I would say you have a chance to find a job, so long as you are tenacious and positive about the process. As you begin your job search, I would recommend exploring QA (Quality Assurance) jobs in addition to development positions. As a QA, you have the opportunity to test applications for a company and ensure that they are stable, robust, and work as designed. It is a chance to engage with a team, troubleshoot, problem solve, and to learn how seasoned developers are addressing their tasks. Working as a tester and a QA pays well too, and it's a fantastic chance to get your feet wet! And in the process you may decide that testing applications is an exciting job that brings fulfillment and value, both to you and the company or organization that hires you. Furthermore, many QA positions require programming skills and experience, so there are many technical QA's that program every day. Once you can get your foot through the door of a company, you are building experience from there, and your new career can begin. :-) Plus we live in a time when people are working later in life than ever before, and when companies are NOT allowed to discriminate based on age (among other things). So, as long as you can show your prowess as a competent engineer or technologist that can add value to a company, you have a solid chance! Good luck, and keep enjoying your coding! If nothing else, studies have shown that keeping the mind fresh and learning staves off the affect and incidence of Alzheimer's and Dementia.


Not only you I know one more person who is samr as your age...and when what keeps you going at this...he replied learning is fun..and thats what important ..ignore what other people say...its what you think to do is my view LIFE IS A CONSTANT PROCESS OF LEARNING..and hence its never too late to start can too adios my friend


As you iterated “I feel like I have nothing to lose” says it all brother


As a semi-retired programmer who is 72 years old, I think I can speak with some authority. Ageism is a problem that you will encounter, but if you love coding, you won't stop no matter what; even if you don't get a job. And it's never too late. I got my last coding job at the age of 63, and even though I am no longer employed, I am now working on my "killer" app. A few things you could do to get the attention of job recruiters are: (1) Create your own portfolio. (2) Create your own blog filled with musings about coding. Don't call it "" :-) (3) Contribute to projects on GitHub. (4) Attend a Coding Boot Camp. (5) Get professional help with your resume' if you need it. (6) Earn certificates. They won't mean that you are a good programmer, but they do demonstrate commitment. Good luck!


I visualize this scenario: If I live beyond my 80s, am I too late to begin now? Even if today shall be my last, I would certainly have no regrets that I have invested my time wisely in learning to code. “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the moment.”


Are you willing to relocate if someone offered you a position at a place where there was not much demand from applicants?


There are way more aspects in software engineering than just coding like organizational complexity, ambiguity complexity, and most of all, how to market a product... Coz at the end of the day it's not how many algorithms u know and can apply but how u bring in revenue in the company by the product is what actually matters.. And hence experience is the requisite everywhere...


Troy Please be sure to mention me by name with the @ symbol where my name is then bold or clickable. Otherwise, I won't know you responded since I'm unfollowing this thread to reduce the notification messages. Same goes for anyone else needing my attention. 😉👌


Well it's never late to begin anything..... if you got passion you can definitely achieve anything...... Learning never had an AGE bar


You rock my friend! Do what you love. You can always seek your own freelance work to gain experience to help you become employed by a company too. Or just keep doing the freelance thing on your own.


Thank you everyone for your advice and support!! I appreciate your time and kindness!! I shall strive on, and be persistent and tenacious!! This is only the beginning for me! NOT the end!! Thank you all!!


Other people told you that programming can help you professionally and personally, and I can tell you something completely different. I am 55, I've learned my first programming language with 16, and since then I've met professionally a lot of people struggling with computers. The majority of those people think that computers can read their minds, especially in the last 10 or so years :-(. People who don't have problems with computers are those who started to think "clean" in their childhood, who learned some types of rules - regardless of area (how cities are planned, how artists make their sculptures, how teaching works, how to organize big events - in the beginning the Christmas Eve for the whole family :-) etc.). My parents had no opportunity to teach me coding in the 60-ies and 70-ies, but various activities which involve planning helped me to accept coding as something natural. People who "cannot program computers" played different games :-( So, even if you think you will not work on big projects, if you want to be a good grandma/grandpa/aunt/uncle/... for "tomorrow's" kids, you can incorporate games with background in programming in playing with kids, even in very young age (3-5 :-)). The art of thinking we use in programming helps later :-)