People often ask if they are too old to code. It’s a very strange question with a very simple answer. You’re never too old to code. Why’s it a strange question? Well, to us, it implies that there should be an age point where once you reach it, you must stop coding. Thankfully, no such point exists. Coding is achievable for all ages. It can be learned by anyone from a very young age to the day you decide to stop working with computers.
To be honest, the thought that there’s an age limit on coding is slightly depressing. Many of our students are career changers. They have decided that they’ve had enough of their current career path and they have opted to jump into one of the fastest and most innovative industries in existence. To think that there could be a cut-off point as to what age you can jump into this career is just wrong.
Perhaps, some people ask this question because the stereotype of a coder is a young guy (yep, the stereotype is usually male), with glasses and a lust for getting into some kind of international danger. The truth is, a coder could be male, female, tall, small, young or old. It takes all sorts.
While there is no age limit regarding whether or not you can code, a few things are important. Generally, you don’t just wake up one morning and say, “hey, I’m gonna pack it all in and become a software developer”. That would be silly. Essential skills or tastes to possess include; an interest in software development, a lust for problem-solving, and patience… plenty of patience.
Never too old to Code
Possessing these interests are important because, firstly, having enthusiasm for any subject is important if you’re pursuing a career in that topic. If there is no passion for what you do, then the fear is you’ll get bored before becoming successful.
Secondly, knowing your way around a keyboard helps too. We wouldn’t advise embarking on a coding career if you’re unable to type a sentence together. Therefore, if you do possess these two interests, you’re doing well.
Finally, there’s patience, the virtue that it is, is hugely important. Because, working on code requires perseverance, persistence, tolerance and more. You need to accept that you will make mistakes and patience can be handy when you are trying to find out where you went wrong.
Employers aren’t there to judge you on your age, apart from it being illegal, it’s your skills that they are more interested in.
Often it’s ourselves that hone in on negative thoughts. This is because it’s easier to focus on reasons why you can’t get the job than it is to give yourself credit for your hard work and skills.
Your experience can only add value; your critical thinking, strong leadership, communication skills and confidence. These are just a few reasons why employers look favourably on hiring older coders.
We’ve witnessed first-hand software developers who changed careers and learned to code from their late 30’s through to their 60’s, not to mention some of tech’s leading titans hit their stride later in life like Reid Hoffman who set up Linkedin in his late 30’s.
If you do have these skills or are looking to develop them, then no matter what age you are, you are prime to learn how to code. Whether you are 8 or 80, there are no barriers to starting. The only person who can stop you is you.