Is it too late for you to learn to code?

February 12th, 2019

Lauren Mabra

Marketing Outreach Coordinator @ Suncoast Developers Guild

Looking for a career shift? Dreaming about working a job you find passion in but are afraid it may be too late in the game? The tech industry is portrayed by Hollywood and the media as being made up of only 20 something-year-olds. As you may know, what we watch in movies and read on the internet is not always true. It’s important to admit that “ageism” does exist in the industry sometimes, but here’s the good news for you… Being a little bit older comes with many advantages that will help you in becoming a developer and the future company you work with.

You have experience

Even if the knowledge and experience you have aren’t tech related, your overall experience translates to logic and problem-solving skills... Both of these skills are essential in being a developer because programming is essentially making a bunch of little decisions and most involve solving problems. Previous experience can also include areas of knowledge around customer service, management, teamwork, and many other skills that can be beneficial to companies that need employees that can think on various levels.

You have a widened perspective

A study found that older people seem to be better and faster at grasping the big picture than 20-year-olds. You have gone through different life experiences, interacted with all different kinds of people, and provide a unique perspective. Think of the problems a former nurse or engineer could solve with their coding skills.

You understand hard work and pushing through

You’ve been in the workforce for a significant amount of time and understand the process of learning a new skill and training. You may have had to start at the very bottom and work your way up within a company. You know that there’s no shortcut to success and it isn’t something that comes overnight. You have practiced patience and endurance and understand that that’s what has gotten you this far.

You have emotional intelligence

Possessing a high level of emotional intelligence is what allows you to get along with your team, look at the bright side of every situation, and adjust quickly to changes. It means that you’re able to control and express emotions effectively. Of course, work experience, qualifications, and likeability are all vital to companies who are looking to hire. However, now more than ever, companies are valuing emotional intelligence and allowing it to be an indicator of a successful employee.

You contribute to diversity in tech

You most likely hear the word “diversity” often, but it’s more than just a word and the importance of having diversity in the tech industry goes well beyond thinking only about gender, race, or how a person identifies themselves. Diversity on a team gives a company the opportunity to implement working solutions for everyone due to the different perspectives, backgrounds, and inputs being provided. Companies made up of employees that have similar backgrounds, beliefs and attributes result in a product or solution that only serves customers that match the team building it.

All in all, there are tons of advantages to being a little bit older and learning development. There is no shortcut to building the intelligence and skills that you possess and gained through direct experience. So to answer your question, no, it is not too late for you to code and you’re not “too old” to become a developer. Only you are getting in your own way, not your age!

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