I have been using Codecademy a bit on and off for almost the past year… a lot more over the past few months. I am really enjoying learning how to code and am thinking of a career change at some point… however, I am a “young” 52 and was wondering if a career change at my age in the area of programming is just a pipe dream. I am also considering doing a Computer Programming diploma here in Ontario, Canada… thanks Codecademy for the motivation! Anyway, just wanted to get some thoughts from others who may have experienced this and/or are in the same boat. Thanks in advance.
I don’t think it’s too late at all.
I think if you have a portfolio or a GitHub profile of projects and link that on a resume that would be helpful. It’s a matter of show and not just tell. I would also make your resume age-neutral–omit graduation dates and older technologies, and remove jobs older than 10 years.
Connecting with people in the industry (or who are in your field of interest) on LinkedIn is also somewhat helpful.
While ageism is illegal in hiring/employment, it’s difficult to prove a company practices it. I would avoid applications that require graduation dates. I think that practice should be banned anyway. Just my .02.
There was an article in the NYT about implicit recruiter bias in technology last year. I was reading the comments section and it was pretty depressing—candidates over 45 who were qualified and overlooked b/c of their ages. I mean, if employers want a loyal employee, they should hire Gen X (As of 2020, 30% of the workforce was over 50). They’re less likely to job hop than Millennials or younger. I think it’s a legit issue in employment.
The annual StackOverflow Dev survey is a good reference to see what tools/technologies developers use in the industry and basic demographic profile of devs. (granted, the sample size is only 90K and could be more varied…but that’s a topic for another day.)
If you already have a degree, consider cost-effective programming certifications from accreddited universities as an alternative to a whole programming degree – even if your degree is in an unrelated field, it is the general education requirements in (USA) degrees that don’t need to be repeated. A certification will be 100% focused on applied programming career and a (USA) diploma often has generalized requirements that won’t apply to a programming job.