What's your advice to someone over the age of 30 considering a career in software development?

Ben Halpern on June 12, 2019

markdown guide
 

Pick a marketable stack to learn

Software Development is an incredible vast discipline and there is literally no limit to what you can learn/do with it, but first and foremost you want to make sure your skills are put to use in the market so you can sustain yourself. Nowadays there are plenty of learning resources which will teach you precisely what you need to know to join the workforce (JavaScript, React, HTML, CSS should be a good start, Git is a must).

Don't get spooked by gatekeepers

There will be people who will tell you "it's too late/you can't do it/too difficult/etc". Don't get spooked by such statements, you may not be able to land a Senior position or cherry pick your salary, but if you can solve problems, communicate well, and demonstrate your ability to learn, there are plenty of businesses that can benefit from your work. Remember that software development is ultimately about implementing solutions that other people can benefit from using code as a medium. If you can help other people, they will help you, even if you are not the best programmer in the world.

Put you prior experience in perspective

The ability to communicate, research, negotiate, particularly if you can lead other people, can be a great leverage to trigger your career. If you are used to solve difficult problems, be accountable, "owning your mission" as they say, this can be a great asset for a potential employer. From an employer's perspective, what matters is how much value can you provide for them, not so much how a good developer you are. I know this will infuriate some people but is a hard fact about the reality of the world which doesn't mean you can't get better over time provided with the right opportunity.

Get used to uncertainty

Tech keeps changing all the time, that's why I don't believe the people who say that you can't do it unless you start young. New stuff is developed all the time and there are no rules on how it can be used. If you embark in this journey you will have to keep learning and updating your skills forever, so don't assume that knowing any given stack is assurance of anything.

Create a nice showcase

The best way to learn to code is by coding, and no code is good enough unless it solves some actual problem in the real world. If you develop a useful piece of software and release it to the world, there is no better presentation card than that, even if there is something similar already there. You can do your own version of some tool with some variation or adjustment according to your personal taste or use. There is enough people in the world to guarantee that somebody will prefer your version of the tool over some other version of the same tool.

Learn from the best

You can save a lot of time and learn very fast by following the right people and investing in the right resources. You just need a Twitter account to find really amazing people from whom you can learn a lot and keep yourself aware of tech trends (I do this!). Many of them will be very happy to answer your questions and give tremendously useful advice for free. If you know someone in the industry willing to guide you or provide some mentoring, that can be of great help. If you start networking with those people you can speed up your learning a lot. Once you find the right people, you'll see most of them can provide high quality education by a fraction of the price that you would pay from traditional sources.

Be humble

Remember that some of the smartest and most intelligent people in the world are working as software developers, and you'll only gain their respect by being humble and knowing you own position in the industry. There is no shame in ignorance as every person in this world is born ignorant, so don't be afraid to ask questions and make your presence be noted in forums which are dedicated precisely to people like you. Rudeness and egotism are not appreciated in this craft, spite some popular characters which may present themselves in that fashion. Avoid the toxic people, the gatekeepers, and anyone who tells you you don't belong here.

Hope it helps!

 

agree with all the points, only need to add this:

  • Don't quit your former job while you're still learning, you might discover that while you're good at writing software you hate to do it 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.

  • Software writing is not a career, it's a vocation. You'll never stop learning, the years of experience won't be a guarantee for finding employment, and after you get to "senior" there will be very little opportunities for formal promotions.

 

Indeed! Thanks, you are right on point, I'll add these points to my original post if that's ok

 

"and after you get to "senior" there will be very little opportunities for formal promotions" . - that

 

I totally agree with you in every way. Sometimes it's very easy for people(gatekeepers) to drop discouraging comments like software development is difficult and only for geniuses. I may be new in software development as well but one thing I have come to understand is that software development is for everyone. Developers constantly learn and improve on their previous knowledge. So don't give up. Besides, age is just a number. As long as you're willing to learn, you can make a great developer. Everyone is learning one new technology or the other. 💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾

 
 

Turn this into a post, it's that good, or better :)

 

Thank you! Yes, I'll most likely turn it into a post and add some edits/suggestions by some people here (I'll make sure to give proper credits)

 
 
 
 

I started in my mid to late 30’s. I was an 8 year employee at a Fortune 250 when I decided to completely change my career direction. They completely supported me. So I understand that a lot of people don't have that luxury. But it wasn't easy, still not easy. Imposter syndrome is amplified and you always feel in catch up mode. Sometimes you feel you aren’t taken seriously. So you need to find a way to overcome those things. It’s hard to give advice there because I struggle with it constantly. The advice I do have is

  • constantly build things
  • Be proud of the wins, big or small
  • Don’t get consumed by the struggles
  • It’s ok to use google
  • Have a mentor, or two
  • Don’t feel you need to know EVERYTHING
  • And you have a family make sure your side projects doesn’t conflict with the time your family needs. Some things are more important than programming.

EDIT - what people are saying about previous experience is spot on. For example, I had tons of Excel and analysis experience before my career switch. The mode of thinking in terms of setting rules and logic transferred nicely.

 

"Don’t feel you need to know EVERYTHING" - wish I knew this back when I started working for clients fresh from university. Sometimes I still need someone to tell me to pull the break and "just make it work". :D

 

Thank you, I needed to read something like this, hehe.

 

This is a good article about not knowing everything from Dan Abramov. overreacted.io/things-i-dont-know-...

 

Don't discount your previous experience. Use it. If you're career changing from insurance to coding, for example, you have the industry context of insurance and if you can find a programming job in that industry you have a huge advantage because you can merge those two worlds super well.

 

Yes this is huge, and I'll venture to say that it's not just what do you know professionally, but what do you also do outside of work?

A keen hobbyist, a mother of four children, a person who loves fitness training ... they will probably all have a very great perspective on what they want out of technology, and what others like them would want.

 

@ali Spittel said exactly what I wanted to say exactly how I would have wanted to say it. 🙌

 

This question makes me feel old!

I'd say the same thing I say to anybody asking about and kind of career switch, "Do it."

You've got only one life. Sure, you'll encounter all sorts of hurdles in your quest. It may turn out not to be the right thing for you -- programming is not for everybody. Stay flexible the entire time. You never know what aspect you'll find enjoyable and where you end up.

 

Transferable skills are a real thing and can give you a view that others may not have. Be creative with your previous experience and explore/demonstrate what you've learned and how it can apply to development.

I did exactly this. Was a dental tech until I was 32, then switched careers. Previous lab management experience helps me see more than just code - business needs, customer needs, training other employees, etc.

 

I've offered similar advice to others.

  1. Learning to code is something anyone can do if they find the activity at all engaging. (Even if you have to get over some humps before it clicks)

Then it becomes finding your place in the market as a hireable coder.

Position yourself as different from other "junior dev" candidates as someone with a decade in the workforce who is going to understand the dynamics of professional collaboration and will provide way more value than a comparably experienced software developer.

 

Your past experience will be your biggest asset. EQ > IQ. Use that and combine it with excellent programming skills and you'll move at lightning speed in a matter of 2 years. Also, join a 10 person start up, not to big and not too small.

Big enough for stability, small enough to leave a massive impact

 

Let me put some realistic advice. Don't think of it as a gatekeeper point of view but more of realistic view on where to put your head. The answer is not intended as shot of ageism but if you want to take your anger and vent at me. So be it. Still I wish to stay realistic.

  1. Degree does matter, when you are developing serious applications. e.g. With arts and humanities degree, if companies start to hire the intern grad for the rover or the drone programming where even small change in float value can destroy a product, that's where the degree comes in for in depth involvement of developer or worker. Don't think of this as a gatekeeper point of view, this sort of products are in realistic world, with realistic expectations. If companies start to compromise on who they hire, that reflects in final product. We can't do kumbaya, lovey dovey in this sort of sector especially when recession kicks in.

  2. Age does matter. You can play around Javascript, CSS and HTML. And you can take yourself upto age of 70 if you have less memory loss issues. However trying to build applications that involve lot of calculations (say finance sector) and testing means your age matters for attention of details and execution towards it. As we age we can delegate better but we are also likely to miss out on small details, which matter a lot, when we learn new stuff and also try to execute it.

  3. Salary does matter. If you are going to be into Web dev position salary is not going to be 120k plus unless adobe or top 100 MNCs hire you. That's where the maintenance projects come in. So let's say you learn to code, try to find maintenance projects where you are fixing someone else's code or product instead of building from scratch. Those jobs do pay and many MNCs are always in search to find a guy in such case.

Lot of people here don't tell you the reality.

  1. Try writing React like framework from scratch in 50s, you'd exhaust. Try remembering workflow for making dashboards using your full stack knowledge in 50s. It's even more harder. Being under 40 would be lot more ideal time for this. Sure exceptions exist but they are exceptions for a reason and not the norm.

  2. Try to remember which library is right for the job as you age, that decision making switch is even more harder.

  3. Try making game that involves a lot of complex details, you'd exhaust making games too.

  4. Work life balance is harder upto 40, and after 40, even health comes into equation.

  5. Religious, political and social opinions also have impact considering IT and Dev field is more of left leaning, you will definitely face lot of forced opinions on you in such context.

Note: Remember that programming, gaming, video streaming and vlogging are extremely exhaustive activities, where your age would definitely impact the performance. Will power can get you ahead but there is also limit to how much body can take.

However,

If you want to build your career in say Web Development I think there are less obstacles and nobody should stop you from getting into it. HTML, CSS and Javascript is easy to learn and retain in head for decades. It should not stop you from getting that junior dev job and move upwards from there.

So my suggestion: Go for jobs like say - Web Dev, WordPress support specialist, theme and plugin development for web based app or product, front end web dev, designer etc.

 

Buddy, I'm 50. I apologise in advance for the directness of this reply, but since we're speaking honestly here: I work in a much higher pressure complex technical situation than you ever will. Every day. There's a reason I get flown all over the world (which I hate) to do the jobs that affect millions of people. Why? Because I'm 50. Nobody younger can handle the pressure or has the experience I have, or believe me they wouldn't be paying me what they are - they'd have someone younger for less $. I'm sorry and hope I've not offended you, but you really need to have a good think before saying this stuff. I suppose, I used to have the same view at your age... It's just not an accurate view point. Oh, and I went to University and did 1st year engineering... It's ok. I can add up.

 

No offense taken. I can understand you point of view. My point regarding the 50s wasn't meant to be ageist but more of realistic view of how some people here were not realistic about starting something from scratch in this age bracket. Again this is based on what I have seen from the people who are restarting the career at that age bracket on those specific tasks. Again not meant to say that innovators, entrepreneurs, coders don't exist on 50s, 60s, and onwards. It's just people are not being honest about age bracket and physical limitation.

That's good you're not offended, though you did miss the point. That's ok, it'll click later on down the track.
Just out of interest, you sound like you have experience in high stakes projects. Do you lead a team (sorry, I don't know the correct terminology) or are you part of a team working on a big project?

Yes, working with one team on project for govt.

Ah. Very cool. I have a friend that has a few govt contracts in the local govt management sector. Which area are you developing for?

 

Sorry, I had to sign up after a long time lurking just to reply to this - ageism aside, this is completely incorrect from my experience. The older, more experienced developers I know (I sit somewhere in the middle of the age spectrum myself) are typically the most detail oriented, having already learnt the cost of half-assing it.

I don't want to be negative about any other group, so I won't go down the road of "if anyone's likely to be sloppy and ignore the details, it's XYZ...", but what I've witnessed in my career (even if anecdotally) is completely contradictory to your post.

 

I'm 32 and just now getting into development. However, I have known HTML/CSS for more than a decade and have worked on tech-related projects in other fields, and have leveraged that as much as possible when talking to recruiters. Leverage anything technical you possibly can.

Networking like crazy is super important, because it lets you present yourself and pitch yourself in a way your resume might not. People skills and communication skills are more important than you think. Actively doing things that represent your skills (projects! volunteering! writing!) show that you can still learn and are actively doing that in a self-directed way.

Ultimately, I'd recommend NOT going into software development after 30 unless you REALLY want to be a software developer and are passionate about programming. It's going to be hard. If you're just in it for the money, there are probably easier ways to leverage your experience (or go into sales if you're a people person).

 

"Ultimately, I'd recommend NOT going into software development after 30 unless you REALLY want to be a software developer"

  1. Why not?
  2. Why would someone go into software development and not really want to be a software developer? That seems like a poor move at any age.
 

There are some people that get into it because they hear you can make six figures without a degree/etc. I agree it's definitely a poor move at any age, it just tends to be more associated with those switching industries mid-career.

I like to say being a software dev is like being a professional sportsperson. You need to enjoy it; there has to be a passion there. It would be unusual to be hired if you were only 'in it for money' yet lacking skill and passion. If you somehow manage to get hired despite hating every second of it, you'll burn out fast. Tech by its very nature - a bit boring, lots of sitting, frequent frustrations - will filter out those that hate it or are indifferent to it early on.

Definitely agree! My advice would be more for those on the fence because they heard it's good money but don't really like it, before they pay for a boot camp or other courses.

 

This is such a great question.

  1. Do it.
  2. Pick a few different things that you are interested in and try them all to find the one that feels like home, then commit to it.
  3. Do not listen to the naysayers, listen to the folks here on dev.to to stay motivated and driven.
  4. Find a community locally if you can and attend regularly, I wish I had done that when I was starting out more.
  5. In the words of Mr. Churchill, Never Give Up.
  6. Accept that somethings will come easy and others will be a hard-fought battle with great rewards when you solve the problem.
  7. Accept that whatever you decide to focus down on will probably change or even get replaced, do not let that distract you. Every technology has a place out there for someone. There are those with fantastic careers supporting old technologies because they will always be needed.
  8. Do not compare yourself to others, compare your progression to last week, last month, last year.

Just a few thoughts.

 

30 is not old. If you spend your 20s in academia, bachelor's, master's, maybe PHD, you're almost 30 when you start working.

We hired folks who transferred from other occupations to development. It's not unlike other areas; you have to learn the basics on your own.

It may take a year, depending on your available time, to educate yourself to a level where you can get an internship or junior-position.

Once you have a foot in the door, it gets simpler. You can learn and get experience on the job from now on.

 

This is horrible advice why?

It won't win me the popular award for saying what I did.
Most people 30+ want to get into software development for the money, they need to know that money is unlikely to meet their expectations if they're chasing 100K+. So their motivations for entering the industry need to be different or their expectations for career progression need to be realistic.

I keep iterating that I'm talking about a specific persona where people are switching careers into software development for the money.

Discouraging vs telling people the truth are two different things.
People can certainly become developers but let's not romanticize it.

What does very successful mean?
What does enjoyable career mean?

 

I personally know 3 persons that did exactly this, coming from non-tech backgrounds, all in the last 4 yrs, and I'm helping a few others to do this.

Only advice is to find a way to live(support) for 1y and still have 6h/day free to learn.
It's a lot of work and you need passion to get trough it.

 

Thirty+, shmirty+.

Having not been a developer your entire career may bring something good to the party.

But breaking in may be tough.

I was lucky. When 32, I was hoovered up (like thousands of others) by DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation). They relocated me from Florida to Marlboro MA, to get a rookie documentor. (Can you imagine?) It was easy, over time, to show that I should be a developer.

Maybe best to try an oblique path, through, say, documentation, testing, or customer service.

 

There's a lot of different paths you can go down besides just pure engineering. For example if you find sitting around coding all day to be terrible for you and miss talking to people there's always things like sales engineering and customer success. Being technically literate down to the code level makes you more marketable to so many other jobs and career paths.

I think one thing I worried about is "what if I hate this and just wasted a bunch more time?" Now that I'm further along in my career I've seen peers move into customer success, product development, design, sales, entrepreneurship, the list goes on. The time (and potentially money) spent learning this field will not go to waste that is for sure. It will open more doors than just a pathway into development.

 

One of the biggest things I caution folks with when considering software dev is this:

This field moves very fast, so you need to be constantly learning. You need to be okay with that and willing to bucket time for learning. This is probably easiest if you're super passionate about programming, but development can also just be a really solid job even if you aren't passionate... but go into it with eyes open that you'll have to invest significant time each year keeping up with your learning.

I also agree 100% with @aspittel , your former work and experience can be a huge boon. The further you go in software development the more important your ability to communicate & work with folks who are not themselves developers.

 

"Go for it. Put your heart on it"

Yes, sounds cliche but I'm a believer there's no age for doing something about learning or professional. So moving into this path will be painful probably because it requires some skills that young people have more easy, but still is possible and you should try it!

 

Try out anything that looks interesting to you. Some people might get weird or judgy about the things you enjoy, but fully embrace them! You'll find that the people who matter will recognize and tolerate your talents.

 

Heck, I went back to University at 50, for my Third Degree. Phew! That was a pain but worth it too. I think we have all heard the talk/warnings/speculation that we will change careers, companies, titles, homes a Myriad times over the course of our life. It is more common now. People don't just die off at the age of 64, as they did in the 1900's. Some of us may live to 80 or 90 and maybe beyond.

I bet since you are noticing this trend in others, means it could well happen to us all. Having been a biochemist, a sales person, a high school and college teacher I realize that I could never eat ONLY meat and potatoes all me life.

We are all in this together ;))

 

There's an assumption that you're going to learn to code to quit your job and start a different career. Instead, I learned to code to write software to improve our workplace at the job I already had (and still have). I started at the age of 34.

There are tons of avenues for learning, and tons of contexts in which to do this work. Academic study isn't necessarily the best learning method for most adults. Don't get me wrong, if your specific goal is a career change, academic study will get you a credential that can open doors. But most adults learn better when they apply their knowledge as they go to something they care about working on. If you enter a formal training program, pick one that keeps this fact in mind. If you already have a project at hand, consider self-directed study instead.

 

I think this is a great question! There is a lot of helpful advice in this post. First, let me just say I turned 38 so I feel like this question really is aimed at someone in my age group, but is also relevant for older individuals.

The challenge for me that exists is that it's harder to jump into IT at this age because you are up against people in the age of 20 and older that will be more attractive to a company. I also think that learning how to get past imposter syndrome will hold you back. There is also the advice that you just "DO IT" like Nike. I don't think it is that simple to just write some code, create an application, talk about it, and then get hired. You have to meet a certain profile or have the skills that a company is looking for. In some cases, you might not ever be the kind of profile the company wants.

I have been trying to break into a tech job since I was 26 with an Associate's degree in Computer Information Technology and started applying for everything that I could. Now, this was also around 2008 when the economy tanked and everyone felt the effects in the tech industry. I was interested in being a Java developer. Unfortunately, I could not pass the technical interviews or whiteboarding challenges that were expected back then and so I decided to make a switch from a job as Java developer to a job in Web Development. But it may just be my own experience, however, I think it is definitely harder for someone to break into software development over 30.

 

The nice thing about being 30+ is you’ve probably got the funds for a web development or data engineering bootcamp. A bootcamp will help you learn fast and build a portfolio. But it is like a part-time job while you’re doing it, so there is a big time commitment. They also help you find a job when you’re done.

If I were starting today that’s how I’d do it. Disclaimer: I mentor for a bootcamp

As for other advice besides how to go about doing it, I think everyone else in the thread has covered it.

Oh, but you might want to learn a little on your own first to make sure it’s what you really want to do before you spend money learning it.

 

Oh man your in my wheel house today, being that i am this person you speak of I would like to add.

  • imposter syndrome: embrace it
  • emotional intelligence: use it
  • fundamentals: immersive yourself in it
  • opinions: ignore them form your own
  • existing paradigms: question everything
  • your ideas: none of them are bad just different
  • projects: always make small side projects
  • code: keep it simple, readable and helpful for your future self.
  • team: be around the smartest
  • company: make sure they support you
  • journey: document it, no matter how personal

I could go on, but the best one is be your self, your work is going to change someone's life. 😊

 

Found this podcast episode this morning out of pure luck. Share with the over 30's that need some inspiration.

Listen to Ep. 118 - Truck Driver (George Moore) from CodeNewbie in Podcasts.

 

You very likely don't need to go (back) to school to get a job as in development if the role you are looking for produces product - developers, writers, UX/UI people. If you can build a portfolio, you can get your foot in the door.

 

There's already been a lot of good comments.

  • "Test the waters" in your existing project/organization. More senior people (like myself) are often thrilled when others take an interest in adding python scripts or other tools, Office macros for co-workers, etc. It's a low-risk way to potentially obtain an internal transfer without jeopardizing your livelihood- and you might find out you don't really like doing it full-time.

  • Ask software people in your industry and tangential companies/industries. More often than not it's really specific, specialized, and has to be taught in-house. Prior experience/skill should negate the missing diploma.

  • Consider veering off the beaten path. Most the recent grads are focused on the language/framework dujour, while something less "sexy" might better leverage your experience and hiring can be more... sane.

  • Doing for yourself in your free time (i.e. "hobby") is rarely the same as doing professionally (i.e. "work"). Also, don't assume enjoying using something means you will enjoy creating it (NB: I work in video games and this is a rude awakening for... many).

 

I humbly believe that it would not be substantially different from starting a career in software development before the age of 30.

My advice would be that working as a developer is lucrative even at junior levels, and that they should do it if they enjoy it.

 

If you are considering a career change, you are not throwing away everything you have done so far and starting again. Nor are you competing with 20-somethings who have been coding since they were toddlers. You bring a unique point of view and experience that makes you stand out. Not hold you back.

 

Learn to set boundaries, don’t chase recognition or compare yourself to others, and hold your friends and family above your work.

Source: 20 years of learning how hard things can get when you don’t do these things 🤣

 

I am not in the position of giving but taking advice. Thanks a lot for this thread.

 
  1. Do some coding before you go into software development to see if it is a right fit for you. Lots of coding places offer free curriculum (i.e. Free Code Camp, Codeacademy) or free trials of their bootcamps. Take advantage of this and see how you feel. You won't know if you will like it until you try it and see.

  2. Focus on one thing at a time. Don't do what I did which is try to learn every programming language at once at the same time. It is a terrible idea and you'll just get confused, setting you back even further than you planned. If you don't know where to focus, google or better yet reach out to people on social media for advice.

  3. Join and participate in the software development community. It isn't great for networking or getting advice. Communities often serve as one of your support systems throughout the career change process. I am often under lots of pressure to quit software development from people in my life but the support coding communities I participate in help me tune out the negative people and encourage me to keep going.

 

I think the most important thing I learned on the job (30+ years experience) is this:

  • If you learn one programming language really well; learning a new one does not take that much time as the first. (just like algorithms)
  • Software development is about READING software. Focus on making your software readable by others (don't focus on fast or one-liners)
  • Software development is for social people. If you can't talk easy to other developers you will have a hard time in a software developer team.
 

I'm right of the middle of this, having spent a decade as a graphic designer. If I had started this then, I would have gone head first, moved home and went to full time school or something similar. But the reality of having a family with two kids under three means I have to be more thoughtful in my approach.

That said, I have the advantage of knowing what I want and having the drive to focus to get it. Back then, I would have been to shy to even post something like this, let alone seeking direct help to hit my goals.
My limited advice breaks down to a few things:

  • Reach out for guidance, help and mentorship.
  • Your experience is relevant, so don't be afraid to go after something before you think you might be ready.
  • Always be learning (something that will never stop) and coding. The more you do it, the more confident you'll be.
  • Set a path stick to it. With so many languages, frameworks, methodologies, etc, it's easy to get distracted by development as a thing rather than learning it as skill (I'm still guilty of this, you can do this later).
  • Don't neglect your family, friends and self . If you're anything like me, so much of the reason is for my family so I don't want to lose sight of that.

Now, I'm not even fully in development yet, but these are some of the things I've kept in mind that have helped me. It's easy to lose focus when you're trying to learn anything new, let along something as big as a career!

 

My first advice would be to make sure they are passionate enough about development. This is a field that advances at an astounding rate. One has to be constantly learning new things. If they don't have enough passion to put the effort, to suffer through the process, then they will end hating it.

It doesn't have to be the passion of your life. It is not for me either. But it ranks high enough in my priority list that I am willing to put the effort.

 

I'm 32 next week and recently changed careers recently worked in construction, building swimming pools and worked abroad in hot climates and language barriers this has shaped my mind into a problem solver, I love my new career choice

 

I fit this profile: started learning in my late 30's, never really cared about professional development before, but it soon became clear that development was IT for me. Adding to what others here have said:

-Do some exploration and be sure that this is what you want to do, because it takes some work. I like to play a game with Medium articles with headlines like "I got fired from my job, learned to code, and got a job in 9 months." where I look for the extenuating circumstance (family supported them financially, segueing from other high-paying career, etc) because most of us have to support ourselves and/or our family. The process can be draining and difficult to the point where I'm sure I would have quit if I could imagine myself doing anything else, ever, so be ready for that.

-

 

Leverage any and all life/work experiences. You will have an advantage over people that have only been working in one industry since college. A broader experience enables better decision making. One might be older but putting forth extra effort and expertise in software architecture and better decision making sets one apart from the pack.

 

Don't let anyone tell you that you shouldn't. I started in my mid 30s and never regret the decision.
Don't let age discourage you. Realize that your mentor at your first job may be younger than you. And that it's ok. Be humble.

 

Go into management because this industry openly discriminates against older people and being a manager is the only way to survive "cultural shifts in the company" apparently smh

 

Do it.

If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you'll find an excuse. ~ Tyrese Gibson

 

You're too late.

If you want to hobby around, if you're looking to move from to low to middle class salaries, if your reason for learning is to have the technical knowledge to operate your own company then go for it.

If you have domain knowledge in an industry where developers are a rarity that could be high salaries in front of you.

 

I am just curious why you think this? I am in this boat so although a little disheartening to hear someone say it, I truly would love to hear your reasons for this opinion. Either way I am pushing full steam ahead but I am curious. Thanks!

EDIT: I see that your opinion is if people are looking at just the money portion of it. I appreciate the view point.

 

You're fine mate! I'm happy to put you in touch with incredible engineers who started to learn how to code at a very late age. Some for passion, some for stimulation, some for money, and in the end if you have the grit to push through, you'll do really well.

Thanks Vaibhav! I do have the grit and will make something of it.

 

Hey Mike,

I commend you on your attitude:

I am pushing full steam ahead

I have helped a few of my friends gain remote jobs where they earn 55K CAD working in their small town and are very happy because they earn more than most in their area.

You can enter the market, but I'm trying to have people think what ten years may bring. You need to have a long-term plan so you could put yourself in the best position.

The New Blue Collar

The industry is changing, and we are moving towards the commoditization of developers. What do I mean by the commoditization of developers? Through continuing advancement of tooling and processes, companies can create a paint by numbers workforce, which then will eventually be partially replaced through AI automation or assisted by AI.

This change is socially beneficial in the short run because more middle-class wages are going to become available.

This new type of developer is highly disposable. There will be little career progression. You can progress one step up to managing ten developers and see your career stop. (Think of a cashier who runs a self-checkout)

The New White Collar

Join a pre-seed startup in a leadership role, specialize in a cross-domain skill, specialize in frontier technology. These are roles which are not easily automated, are high paying and will have a good career progression.

Go Counter Culture

We are also seeing more life-style companies popping up.
The reason for this could be a reaction to where the industry is going.
A life-style company's purpose is to provide a fulfilling job.
I don't say career because I think progression within life-style companies are limited because company growth is intended to stay small.

How Fast Can You Go From Zero to Senior?

Just as P90X promises that you can transform your body in 90 days you can do the same in web-development industry. I strongly believe it's possible to go from Zero to Senior Developer in 90 days with the right mentor and plan in front of you.

This is all the time I have to write today. I wish I could provide more detailed information but thought this was a good starting point for me to expand on later.

Can I suggest things what 30+ people can do to best position themselves and optimize their chance of success? I certainly can and produce a post as such.

Thanks for the explanation Andrew. I really appreciate this view point. I would love to have further conversation on this when time allows. Good stuff. Thanks man.

 

Mike - It's discouragement like this that should only motivate you more. I am now 42. If I took this advice when I was 35 I wouldn't have the career I have today. Just know that NOTHING about the road to where you want to go is easy riding...there are many forks in the road too.

Thanks Barry I appreciate it. I am going to do this regardless and have already overcome so much to learn what I have so far. Late nights and early mornings, when I'm tired and just want to sleep in on a Saturday morning I have pushed through it. So here is to success...however we measure it.

 
 

because you're not. Age has and will never be a deciding factor in someone's success. And like i said in my comment above, people at 30 come with something just as important as tech skills which is EQ.

My entire team is 30 > and they're great. One of them started coding 3 years ago at 33 and is incredible in client meetings and product, handles stressful situations really well!

Thats one example, if you look at the landscape of most bootcamp grads, who're smashing it in their careers, you'll see a large % have had careers in other fields, sometimes completely unrelated to tech, but they bring that experience to software and change the game.

I understand your framing, yes - there needs to be goal alignment, for sure, but I wouldn't brush it as too late. Pull the right strings and you can be up and going with money/impact/position etc fairly quicky in dev :) - atleast imo

I believe we are on the same point and are talking about the same qualifiers which make 30+ developers valuable.

incredible in client meetings and product, handles stressful situations really well!

This is leadership skills

who're smashing it in their careers, you'll see a large % have had careers in other fields,

This is cross-domain skills

So when I'm talking about it being too late, I am saying the industry is going to change in the next 10 years and if you can't keep pace with it you may be unhappy 5-10 years from now or not have a salary which will allow you to pay for what you want in life.

Here in Toronto, you need a collective income of 160K in hopes to own a house.

If remote jobs became more acceptable a 60K job could be a dream true. I've helped a few friends and I would really hope we can foster more remote culture.

In Canada is much tougher than the US where high salaries, cheap houses and remote salaries are more plentiful.

code of conduct - report abuse