55 years old and become a developer, a good idea?

I am 55 years old and I am a French woman.
I am learning as an autodidact on the internet since 2009.
Since that time, I had created two blogs with Wordpress, the only CMS I know that I really liked using.
For two years, I live in the south of France, I try to explain to people responsible for helping job seekers the importance of training in new technologies.
I sometimes had to explain what the job of developer to job counselors.
Twice I applied to integrate training with local organizations.
Twice I have been refused for false reasons.
So, I’m asking myself a question to which I would like you to answer frankly, without language.
In my region, there are many ‘profiles’ of the Mediterranean type, sexist, macho, arrears who think that women are in their place ‘elsewhere’.
My question is therefore :
Would you trust a person of my age who became a developer or would you consider it too old or HS to make your website or application ?
Is the world of new technologies open to those wishing to progress, to succeed, to perform well-honed work or is it only convinced by ‘young’ profiles?
Because why continue to train to change jobs if no one will trust me?
Thank you for your answers. :souriant:


Hello @july_html :slightly_smiling_face: !

You probably won’t get hired at 55 by most companies, but no one says you can’t create your own apps or websites. It won’t be a whole job probably though, but it could a path.

I hope this helps =)


While tech knows no age, indeed some of the tech of the fifties is in use today - mostly code maintenance but the point stands- companies always want/prefer young blood to keep (and supposedly to get fresh/new ideas from recent university graduates and the like), so that will probably be a barrier and the reason why people even in their 20s-30s (my case honestly) feel nervous about making a career
You could probably make it as a freelancer or even get a desk job regardless with a good enough portfolio and some networking, so it’s more of a “is this what i want regardless of the challenges?” kind of deal. I’m rooting for you though!


Thank you for your reply. :+1:
How to know the ropes of this profession if one has not been salaried?
This is the experience. Some things are learned in a group because the problem arises during an exercise or while developing an application. This is so in every job. Before becoming a boss, it is better to have been employed by a company.
I doubt to be able to acquire sufficient mastery to be considered reliable by professionals.
Security management is an important thing that smart guys have already crossed on my ‘little’ personal site, not even hosted somewhere, just locally, at home.
All stolen and haggled in my place.
I have learned many things in my life and still today.
First I was secretary (20 years old). I hate this work uninteresting, repetitive, not creative or fulfilling.
Then to pay my bills, I worked in an industrial cleaning company then I became a housekeeper for another structure at home.
As an autodidact, during his last 15 years, I learned to draw, paint, write stories, scenarios, stories, articles about the politics of my country and the five continents.
And of course I learned to code, since I’m here. :clin d’œil:
I thank you for your candor.


Thank you for your reply.
Some ‘young’ are older than the old ones :rofl:
I assure you that I met many in my life !
Especially in offices, well sheltered and who do not like change.
Sitting on their achievements and caring little about what they could bring to their departments, regions, countries and our planet.
I was not afraid to learn, it’s so interesting. Neither to change.
Dinosaurs are always among us and not the best we can count on.
As I said to Trevorhodges above, I doubt to be able to acquire enough knowledge to be considered reliable by companies.
Thank you for your franchise.

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I think you might find it a challenge to get a full-time role as a dev, but if you’ve got 10 years experience with WordPress you might be able to find something. :slight_smile:

If you’re already running a couple of sites that are powered by WordPress - which remains one of the more popular CMS on the web - then I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t set yourself up with a portfolio site to advertise what you’ve done, and try and get some freelance / contract work doing similar?

Alternatively, you could always take a look through some of the WordPress projects on GitHub and see if there are any outstanding issues which you could contribute to fixing? There’s a GitHub label “good first issue” which projects use to highlight issues that might be a good starting point for new users/devs.

Open source work doesn’t (usually) pay, but it’s additional experience - both in terms of coding, and working as part of a larger team on a project - which can never be a bad thing. :slight_smile:


I had installed two showcase blogs:
1 to sell cars,
1 for my creative hobbies.
They were called: jdd.auto.services.free.fr and domimland.free.fr.
I emptied both databases for a long time.
The vehicle sales business of this person no longer exists.
And for my WP I had to give up, to take care of mine before being able to accomplish what I like.
I have not reinstalled Wordpress since.
This is the only CMS I have used. It was very interesting, allowed me to do what I wanted, so malleable and intuitive.
In learning I had modified the basic themes chosen to adapt them to the needs.
Since then I have learned to use the code with lessons from here and elsewhere and am far from having completed the course.
That was why I wanted to enter a training center locally.
I will reflect on this eventuality.
Thanks for your advices.

I’m a 42 years old male autodidact from the U.S., and those “sexist” profiles won’t even trust me. What you’re experiencing isn’t based on gender, and therefore it’s not about machismo or misogyny or misandry (ahem). It’s also not about race, age or (in my case) disability.

It’s about innate talent, focus, ability, and capability – all of which autodidacts excel at. The experience is simply a natural consequence of how our minds work. We don’t need school-based certification or training courses to develop the skills, although there are some parts of the industry that may require it for regulatory purposes. We don’t need a team to get stuff done, we do our best work solo because we’re usually three steps ahead of the most-certified person in the group. We’re blunt, honest, direct, brutally efficient and we show up to do our jobs… not to gossip about our co-workers, or stab them in the back.

When you start developing the experience that comes from applying that knowledge… people will trust you even less. Both are still considered “too expensive”, compared to ignorance. This isn’t just with computers and technology, it’s across the board.

Autodidacts do not conform, and conformity is what hiring managers want. Autodidacts are independent leaders, and hiring managers want dependent followers who heed employment advice from Hollywood celebrities.

It’s not you and it’s not about you, @july_html . Over the years, I’ve done more than a few things that left smoldering craters; some you won’t hear about in the news, and some that may or may not have played a small part in what you’re hearing about now. I can’t dumb down my resume, or try to behave less capable, because it’s impossible to hide that level of experience. I’m sure you’ve felt a similar frustration in the past, at least once.

So to answer your question, I think it’s a great idea to become a developer. This world is yours for the taking… never settle for less!


Hello or Good evening @cyberluddite
Thank you for your answer and your lighting on situations that you seem to know.
I apologize for answering you late.
I am thinking of finding a solution to keep moving forward in my life.
I am aware of not being ‘compliant’ and less usual than some.
However, I always won long contracts immediately. I adapted to the positions where I worked.
I brought my experience as a person who worked in different professional circles.
I agree with you. Those who recruit want ‘compliance’, more go-anywhere. Which is not pejorative.
Every day, we see the ravages of such a ‘norm’.
In Europe, in my country, unemployment is created by this lack of diversity.
All the same, all in the same wagons of education and diplomas that always lead to the same models, careers, projects, architectures, habits of consumption, pollution …
I think that at all ages, from whatever horizons we come from, we can learn from each other and have everything to gain by diversifying, making exceptions of new proposals, dealing with needs .
Too few people take the time to read, understand, see what is not written in a resume.
Here is a picture of my ‘little’ site developed from A to Z.
Your opinion will be useful to me.
Thank you for your support.
I wish you to fulfill your dreams!
Mine are ‘waiting’ …


You are never to old to learn how to create something new. Being able to transfer your vision on to website is nothing short of amazing!

Forget about working for some cheeky young bloke that doesn’t have half the experience as you. Take your skills and build your own thing! Don’t use your skills to make someone else money. Use it to grow your own online business.

This lady does and she’s 67: https://wpbuildingblocks.com

Carpe Diem!


Good morning @july_html! Hopefully your week has been successful, life has been busy here as well. The “little” website looks interesting so far, keep going with it!

The great thing about the world today is that limits don’t really exist anymore. You can network anywhere in the world, from anywhere in the world, to anywhere in the world, even while you sleep. Everyone has the same basic building blocks and opportunities, it’s just a matter of putting the pieces together and making it work.

@rootbeer7’s got the right idea: be your own boss, you’ll make more money from cutting out the middleman… and you won’t have to put up with other people’s misguided judgments.

10 years ago, I left my full-time intern reference librarian job (good pay, great benefits, stable work schedules) as a consequence of the economic crash. Since then, I’ve run a small publishing and design company, a woodcrafting company, and a few other small gigs… and I currently run an online affiliate adult novelties store.

They’re not the only things I do, or were doing at the time, but the world’s changed. It’s no longer about the strongest, but the smartest who survive… if they’re crazy enough to take the ultimate challenge.

I’ve never regretted being my own boss and calling my own shots, even when I didn’t have a dime to my name or a couch to sleep on. You have the knack, you have the desire, you have the experience, and you’ve got everything you need.

Go for it… you’ve got this.


Hello @cyberluddite
Thank you for your support.
The motivation will come back and then it will go ! All my desire to learn, seen everywhere are useless in front of people who brake four irons!
I am tired of being prevented from going forward and having to wait for employment services that have taken me through unnecessary information meetings to training to prepare for entry into training. :rofl: :-1:
A crazy thing that was useless and where I did not learn anything.
A waste of time, without interest.
I have tried and tested everything that is set up by the administrations because I have no choice to do otherwise.
Concrete for the youngest and wind for those of my age.
Registration, forms, papers … And nothing !
I’m going to fend for myself.
On me, I can count because when I start something, I like to finish it, to master it.
No promises, no postponement, a next assignment …
A few years ago I had a business with someone but the original idea was not good, profitable.

And congratulations for your dreams!

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Good evening @ rootbeer7
I like Wordpress too ! :wink:
The only thing that sinks me is the doubt of being able to acquire a sufficient mastery of the security to be able to concretize my new professional life, what I want to make of it.
and go somewhere else !
I want to work with people from all walks of life and from all walks of life. To discover new perspectives, to learn and to realize projects, ideas, to concretize them.
Thank you for your support.
I’m going to look at this lady’s site.
There is the Wordpress community, very active and very competent to train as well and find answers to questions.

That’s how I started !
One of my sons had told me the link … and after I managed !

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I am 54 years old woman and I still love learning new things - Data Science just now - with Codecademy. It is the best play in my life. I hope we give advice and we will show young people that we can exist in the IT world. Best wishes for You and for older fellows.:-))


I have to say that some of this commentary here is quite ageist, though not surprising at all. Also, it’s illegal for companies to discriminate on the basis of age (check EEOC and ADEA), even though it’s difficult to prove when it happens, but, unfortunately it does still happen.

All I can say is, keep learning! Build a portfolio by creating projects or apps, find your community/people, maybe start a blog about coding and apply to everything. I wish you luck! :slight_smile:


Also you virtually have no shot getting a good job in data science unless you have a masters degree. I have seen devs with 8 years experience ■■■■■ saying they can’t find work in that field. So ya I dont know if you want data science unless your a statistics mutant and love math

Don’t let others define your success. The one great thing about coding is that you can create your own experience. I’m in finance, you can’t get experience in this industry by sitting down at a computer in your home. I have so many things I want to explore through code I get frustrated not being able to do it yet. But I am patient and continue on…you can’t know where your journey will end before you’ve taken the first step. :wink:

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