If you’ve read my About Me page, you know that I started a journey as a software developer at a pretty ‘late age’, some would say.
During the early days of pursing that journey I would often asked myself the question and wondered, am I starting all this too late?
And it’s not wrong to think that. Almost every couple of months you will hear about the latest tech start-up that was bought for or evaluated at millions, if not billions, and find out that these guys running these companies haven’t even reached the age of 25…
So it’s not strange to think that the top developers who are owning silicon valley right now are in their early 20’s, and that if you didn’t start early, then you’ve missed the boat and it’s not worth pursuing at all. (maybe a little dramatic, but the industry is filled with so many young success stories that it’s hard not to feel this way sometimes)
But it’s not like that. Sure, some guys have the opportunity to start early, but being a developer has no age restriction. Some are naturally good at it, while other’s take a bit longer to mature in these roles and show their worth down the line. It’s a far more common and realistic path for many. You’re not alone.
When I started my first job as a software developer in my new company, an acquaintance of mine made the comment that I should be prepared to be in the minority elder demographic in the company. I didn’t like the idea of being considered ‘old’ in a company at the age of 28. Trying to cut my teeth with younger guys fresh out of college. But it wasn’t quite like that. Sure, there are a good number of ‘grad’ developers who have started shortly after college/university who are younger than me, but there is also a good number of senior guys as well who are possibly dealing with the same influx of young blood in this booming industry. It’s becoming the culture of this industry. But it’s not so bad. There is a good balance of young blood freshness and ideas, with the management and control of projects from senior and experienced developers. It’s all pretty exciting to be in the middle of all that. Learning from all angles.
So let’s say you’re over the age of 25, whether by 5, or 10, or even 15-20 years, why would you ever want to start coding? Well besides it being an incredibly fun and challenging skill to learn, in this day and age the opportunity it presents are endless. And while you might not be the youngest coder in your company, or even in your peer group, you have the age and experience those guys don’t have which you can use to your advantage.
Learning to code has become an incredibly beneficial thing to look into, if even to at the very least just understand how and why it all works. More companies these day’s are seeing value in people who can read code, not just write it, whether you’re a recruiter, designer or marketer. Able to converse with your fellow more technical minded peers helps bridge any communication barriers that would normally exist. Having the ability to speak their language helps in many ways.
So it’s never too late. Sure, the new recruits coming through the door these days seem to be getting younger and younger, but don’t let that ever stop you from thinking you can’t cut teeth with them at a later age. I have a friend who is going back to night college to learn to develop code in his 30’s, with no previous experience in the world of development, and I can’t be inspire by him enough.
What’s even better, the amount of online courses out there to get you going are increasing year on year. With some great introduction ones to start with. It really hasn’t been easier to learn to learn this new skill with exciting opportunities, no matter your age.
So go on out there, and ‘say Hello to the World‘!0