Am I too old to start programming?

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72 Replies - 44330 Views - Last Post: 29 May 2014 - 02:29 AM

#31 Scottm  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 21 December 2010 - 04:13 PM

Short and to the point::
You are never too old to do anything you WANT to do.

Goodluck in your journey!

This post has been edited by Scottm: 21 December 2010 - 04:14 PM

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#32 Starling  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 21 December 2010 - 11:47 PM

Do not worry about your age. I would be considered over-the-hill, but instead I am camping out at the top, watching some people claw themselves up one side and roll down the other.You have background you can start up businesses or as others have mentioned do support work. I am just getting into programming so I can use it when I retire (which is not very far off). Any type of learning experience is good.
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#33 AlbuquerqueApache  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 22 December 2010 - 06:54 AM

View PostPhyrepower, on 20 December 2010 - 06:38 PM, said:

View PostAlbuquerqueApache, on 20 December 2010 - 05:00 PM, said:

since when is 32 old???!??!?!?! :helpsmilie:


I know people in their 50s and 60s getting into I.T. at my organization. Granted their not programmers, but its happening.

Anyway, I don't think your age has anything to do with it and a true interest is fuel for the fire.

Plus, if you have 50k in education funds, heck yeah, I'd say go find yourself a decent school or program and start taking courses (if you want to). I think the advantage of college is that they have a game plan which builds a foundation for you, its up to you ultimately to build upon that. It's not the end all be all unless your planning a trip to MIT/Caltech.

I always get discouraged when I hear older people putting themselves down because they think they CANT learn something or do something. I'm also annoyed by people who use it as an excuse for entitlement.

Anyway, some of the best programmers (as I think baavgai mentioned) become programmers by happenstance. A lot of the good old C hackers I know of are in this group and these dudes are bright.


Thanks for the response. I've heard a few people mention that you can seek employment as a programmer after even a year and a half of learning, if you are diligent. That is good to know. I don't think I am off my mark where a lot of people consider programming and IT a young man's game. It's good to know they were wrong.

What are the worst things about this field? Are there a lot of unrealistic demands, long hours, or stupid managers (in abundance)? I guess I'm just wondering what the norm is.

Have you seen many of your jobs disappear overseas? I haven't heard much talk about outsourcing since the dot-com bust.

This years Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has good things to say about growth and pay for Computer Software Engineers and Computer Programmers : http://www.bls.gov/o...303.htm#outlook


The worst things about this field? (I work in healthcare IT)

the worst things are 1. understaffed in relation to other departments 2. clinical staff are a pain (that one only applies to healthcare) 3. managers, this is in IT in general, are not very knowledgeable. They know more about balance sheets and projected sales, etc. typically than about computer systems (that might be a slight generalization, but for the most part, it holds true.

Jobs? Programming jobs are probably never going anywhere. Period. Unless they discover artificial intelligence sometime soon. Will there be a tendency to hire less paid Asian or eastern European programmers? absolutely.

I see network admins and system admins becoming the target of replacement in the next few years with cloud computing becoming more prevalent.
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#34 moopet  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 24 December 2010 - 09:01 AM

I didn't get a software job until I was 35. On the other hand, I've been programming as a hobby since I was a kid.
I think age is unlikely to be a barrier to landing a job, but the same things will apply as if you started earlier in life: if you can program, enjoy programming and enjoy continuing to challenge yourself with programming then you'll be fine.

There are plenty of kids who think they'll be coders who turn out to just not have the right mindset (see the "double hump") and it'll be the same for you. You either feel like you'll be comfortable as a programmer or you don't. And you'll know fairly early on in your learning process.

If you hate 80% of it and 20% makes you feel inspired or say "wow, I didn't think I could do that" then you're fine :)
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#35 g-weebens  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 28 December 2010 - 11:10 PM

OP: Why are you limiting yourself?
Have you thought of using your current source of income to fuel your dream/desire?
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#36 LazerKittenz  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 31 December 2010 - 05:46 PM

I am 13 years old and know 6 programming languages.

So I'm almost positive that you being 32, can do the same, if not better. ^_^
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#37 sas1ni69  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 05 January 2011 - 11:29 PM

If pay isn't an issue for you then I don't see what is stopping you. My mom(LOL I don't live in her basement) only got the job of her dreams at 48. She's never been happier. She's better than she ever thought she would be.

Follow your dreams (in code)! Sorry lame pun.
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#38 Guest_pkz*


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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 06 January 2011 - 05:27 PM

my suggestion:
Take a few classes at a community college. Read lots of books. Get certified my Microsoft, start job hunting and while you are looking, take more classes working towards a CS degree.
Good luck.
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#39 Phyrepower  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 06 January 2011 - 08:19 PM

Thanks for all the encouragement. There have been some updates. I found a new job and just started. Long story short I'm selling very high end IT equipment, and the company I work for programs asset management software in house, and they are going to let me work on that a couple hours a week. I'm also going to be starting school soon for software engineering. So hopefully as my skills grow I can evolve my work into more software and little to no hardcore sales. If anything I can program some web based stuff to help market for a company passively.
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#40 Jack Eagles1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 07 January 2011 - 10:04 AM

@@Offtopic, you're doing pretty well on DIC! More rep than posts! That's a first time sight for me. :P
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#41 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 20 August 2011 - 07:24 PM

Take advantage of the resources you have at your disposal to learn programming on your own. The internet is amazing - I started learning to program last year and if I didn't have the internet I'd probably still be polishing up my Hello World program.
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#42 Phyrepower  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 21 August 2011 - 07:05 PM

View PostAVReidy, on 20 August 2011 - 07:24 PM, said:

Take advantage of the resources you have at your disposal to learn programming on your own. The internet is amazing - I started learning to program last year and if I didn't have the internet I'd probably still be polishing up my Hello World program.


Thanks for the info, and a little update if anyone is interested.. I have been doing much more reading on the site than I have posting in the last few months, but that is because I managed to land a job that allows me to spend about 50 percent of my time doing web design, and web development. I have been coding HTML, XHTML, CSS and Javascript by hand, (I used to used Dreamweaver) and will be learning PHP here soon so I can build the companies first e-commerce website. I'm thoroughly enjoying it, and I feel a lot more confident about my job prospects now that I am building more hard-skills, versus sales and business, which was my focus up until this point. Another thing I like is that since I started doing even just basic web design, and telling my friends and acquaintances about it, they have been hitting me up for paid freelance work.

Besides the work being engaging it makes me feel a lot better about life knowing that I can make money if I were to be laid off or lose a job for some reason.

Phyre.

PS Is "coding" the right word if you are doing HTML/Javascript stuff, which frankly is very entry-level stuff for most programmers?
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#43 alias120  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 21 August 2011 - 07:11 PM

Congrats, it sounds as if everything is going well. Sounds as if you landed a nice gig.
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#44 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 21 August 2011 - 07:17 PM

View PostPhyrepower, on 21 August 2011 - 10:05 PM, said:

PS Is "coding" the right word if you are doing HTML/Javascript stuff, which frankly is very entry-level stuff for most programmers?

I say if you are writing code, then it's coding.

Some say that html isn't programming, but javascript is. *shrug* I guess it's really up to who you are talking to.

But really, yeah, it is. Depending on how technical one considers it :P
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#45 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 22 August 2011 - 09:52 AM

I make a distinction between writing code and programming. Code is stuff that's written for a computer to process. HTML is processed by a browser, XML is processed by some whosit that takes XML, Java is processed by a compiler, lisp is processed by an interpreter. Whatever, it's all code that a machine interprets.
Programming is a subset: programming is dynamic. Programs spell out a series of instructions, where layout code or structured data simply spell out a series of facts.

The simple rule of thumb is, if it has loops and branches, I'll probably call it programming.

Are there edge cases? There are.
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