Am I too old to start programming?

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72 Replies - 44286 Views - Last Post: 29 May 2014 - 02:29 AM

#61 nick2price  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 17 March 2012 - 12:18 AM

To me, age has no bearing on the ability to learn. Even the greatest programmer continues to learn. In 20 years time, the school children on here will be like 40, and if they are still programming, do you think they will be programming with what they are learning now? 20 years from now will probably hold completely different langauges or techniques which are implemented today. Thats the great thing about doing this type of work, one thing you can guarentee is that every day will be different. And another thing you can guarentee is that change is imminent, and its about changing with the times. Its all a constant process of learning when you enter the world of programming, which is what makes it so fun.
So, in summary, age does not define the ability to learn, but provides you with the experience in the way you learn (thats such a socrates moment!).
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#62 bean_grinder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 03 October 2012 - 09:04 AM

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Too old...

I just turned 40 and will graduate with my first undergrad in Mechatronics this fall. I'm required to take 2 semesters of C++, and honestly...it's freakin brutal. The math and engineering courses were a breeze compared to programming. When I graduated high school we were still using electronic typewriters (1990). I so don't fit in the State U I attend. Too old...who cares. I've got three kids I need to feed and a wife who is tired of "just getting by". I'm tired of it too. I've got two classes left to graduate with a degree in engineering...and one of them is the second C++ class...not bad considering neither of my parents even finished high school. Too old...nah. Tougher than the children in my class...yeah. Oh well. Get out there and do whatever it takes. If you don't you'll live with a stack of regrets and die unhappy.

Don't let your dreams be dreams.
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#63 NecroWinter  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 03 October 2012 - 06:56 PM

Youll never be too old
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#64 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:15 PM

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Whenever I hear someone talk about being "too old", I think of the person who taught me one of the most important lessons I've ever learned. I hardly knew him, but I owe him a lot.

His name was Les Squier, and he was a professor of pyschology at Reed College - emeritus when I was there. He must have been in his seventies at the time, and he was still actively involved in his research, although he was no longer teaching. I met him in a course I took in my first year there, an introduction to Hispanic literature course. He was one of the students. Over the course of a semester, sitting in a room with a newly-minted Spanish professor, maybe a dozen students my age, and this old guy, I realized that this was a man who was learning more than anyone in the room and adding more than anyone in the room to the conversation. It was partly to keep up with him that I took up translating the stories we were reading - just to try to get a better idea of what I thought of them. Translation is still one of my hobbies, years later.

It was only later on that it struck me that this was a man in the eighth decade of his life, and he was taking an introductory course in literature.
This goes beyond simple optimism - he knew well enough that he was closer to endings than to beginnings - but it reaches a much more important drive to continue to grow as long as we are alive. Several years later, he died, in his office, at his desk, researching human sexuality, still learning new things and bringing them to the world. And as far as I can see, he was alive, and growing, right up to the moment he died.
I don't see how you could ask for more than that.
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#65 WinkyCode  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 14 October 2012 - 02:54 AM

My short answer is that you are never to old to change career. Well with the exception of physical demands like height and such.
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#66 derrellgore  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:35 PM

I just started programming as a job three years ago at the age of 45...after being as your said MCSE/CISCO for over 20 years. So you are not too old. What found in my area is the younger generation is that interested in programming. They grew up where all they had to do was pop a cd in and it worked. Back in the early 80's when I started all you could do was teach yourself programming. I self taught myself three years ago with a couple of books after not programming since pre-windows days. Got a job doing it almost immediately....haven't looked back since.
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#67 Origin  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 10 September 2013 - 01:28 PM

View Postdorknexus, on 20 December 2010 - 02:38 AM, said:

Who cares how old you are? You have to be able to sit in front of a computer all day and write code. You must be that tall to ride the ride.


Man, that is a damn good answer! It needs to be reposted on every board out there for the, "Am I too old questions ...".
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#68 Berret  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 26 October 2013 - 08:23 AM

View PostPhyrepower, on 20 December 2010 - 01:29 AM, said:

So at the ripe old age of 32 could I take up programming as a career?


If it makes you feel any better, I'm 33 and basically beginning my programming journey. It's taken me years of piddling around in college and jobs to finally land on what I want to do. I attend the School of Continuing Studies for Tulane University in Biloxi, MS, majoring in Applied Computing. I'm taking two classes, Webpage Design & Development in HTML5/CSS, and Fundamentals of Information Security. Both are very interesting, but I've really taken the programming class to heart and have been very dedicated to it from the beginning. It's never too late to start programming, whether to learn it or to make it a career.
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#69 derrellgore  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 26 October 2013 - 10:31 AM

I agree with the last statement. Programming is something you either have the knack for or don't. Going back to school isn't viable in my opinion. If you can't use the internet or buy a book and learn to program then this is not your field.

I remember when I did go to college every programming class had the same exact criteria.

1. Print Statement
2. If Then Statement
3. For Next statement
4. Arrays
5. Bubble Sort(shows my age)
6. Write & Read to a file

This was pre-internet.

Now days you learn to make a webpage and call yourself a programming...I don't consider HTML a programming language.


Anyone could pass this course but if you did not have the desire to take it to the next level on your own this was all your were ever going to learn. You could easily get a degree learning this six things and still be very un-hirable in my opinion.

I generally don't even consider a candidate if the best they can do is tell me they have a degree. In fact I mark them off the list just because they do most of the time.
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#70 TechCP  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 14 December 2013 - 01:43 PM

This thread may be a little old, but I've gotta say I've learned a little thing about age: it means nothing.

A.) I'm 20 years old. I was born in 1993. Make you feel old yet? I run my own business. Successfully. I'm coming up on my first year, I was making profit within the first 3 months. It's computer repair/services and I built my clientele by running my business out of my home first before purchasing a storefront where I could then move to managing networks for businesses. Once again, I'm 20. (I'm also aware it isn't as hard to make profit from service-based businesses.)

B.) My father was born in 1972. He's 41. He has been a carpenter since he was 15 or so and in the past 10 years has resorted to high-level work only. (Bending wood into spiral staircases, etc.) Last week he told me he thinks he's going back to school to be a computer programmer. He caught onto C# fairly quick.

C.) Technically you're learning a new "language" but this is nothing more than the language you already speak in a different syntax. I say go for it.
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#71 conure  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 13 January 2014 - 02:06 AM

I was in a very similar position to you. I finished my first degree when I was 24 and entered a career in finance. I found it mind numbing tedious work, and so after three years, started to have serious doubts about whether or not I wanted to spend a significant part of my life clock watching and waiting for the weekend.

I had always loved working with machines and started to consider studying for a second degree in software engineering. Those of us in our twenties and thirties will likely all go on to work into our seventies. The way I see it, is you can spend around 40 years doing something you dislike, or 37 years doing something you love. Can you imagine how foolish you'll feel if, upon retirement, you chose the former?

I chose the latter, and at 28 years old with two years of study left, it was the best decision I have ever made. I have had absolutely no problem gaining a place on a well paid internship (here in the UK, these are as competitive as full time employment), they saw my previous experience as a huge positive. Many graduates here lack any kind of life experience or business understanding.

So I say go for it. Age seems to be your only issue, and age is not an issue.

This post has been edited by conure: 13 January 2014 - 02:08 AM

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#72 sprog  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 29 May 2014 - 02:16 AM

I knew a guy who didn't start programming or being even computer literate until he was 81. I became a guru in our city at the time and everyone who was a C-64 programmer knew him and respected him. Unfortunetly he died at 85. It is never too late. There is a worldwide shortage of programmers, get some training and be willing to learn and you are on your way.
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#73 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Am I too old to start programming?

Posted 29 May 2014 - 02:29 AM

I wouldn't say shortage of programmers, maybe shortage of knowledgeable developers. Last time I went to my old college there was a lady who completed her last degree in the 60's. She was going back for another degree, never to late. Just a shorter time till retirement.
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