Older engineer - looking for software / programming direction

I’m an older engineer, 60’s, who used to program decades ago (VB, basic, etc) for business applications. I enjoyed it and want to get back into it. I want to figure out where to start and do some remote programming at home as a side job until I get some experience. which area is in the most demand? web? business intelligence? is there a demand for remote programmers that are relatively new to this? Any suggestions?


AI and ML are the two big demands of today. The web, probably not so much, though the demand is still high. It’s a different kettle of fish than what you might be used to.

The fact that you are an engineer plays right into the more academic side of things. Data Science, Information Science, Computer Science, etc. Put what skills you have on the table and take inventory. What’s a good fit for you so that you can build upon your knowledge and experience?

What niches could you insert yourself into? From a science perspective, Python is not a hard language to learn and is very well suited to data science and robotics.


thanks - I’ll look into Python. Is it hard to find part time work for Python


The last person who could answer that would be me. I’ve never looked for part-time or any-time work in the field. I’m sure if I was forty years younger I’d make a great intern, though. (blush, giggle)

It would seem that you have some leverage as an engineer, and once you got over the rudiments of the language would be right at home in the Data Science path. In no time you will be envisioning ways to leverage the two as a marketable commodity.


I just joined Code Academy Pro today and just found this forum. My story is very similar to yours. I am in my early 50s and I’m a Test Engineer working in the semiconductor industry. I know Perl very well and am an amateur in C# and C++. I can see the writing is on the wall in my career. I know that I could be replaced by a younger engineer at much less salary.

Looking back at my career, what I enjoy most is looking writing code and looking at data to find bugs and other problems. I spoke to a person who started a software business and he recommended that I become a website tester. Last weekend I played around with Katalon which is an automated website development tool and I realized I need to learn HTML, CSS and Javascript first.

I’m trying to keep a low profile because I don’t want people in my current job to find out that I’m trying to change careers. Hopefully, we can talk to each other and keep getting ideas.

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I had a big typo. Katalon is an automated website testing tool not development tool

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I would agree with @mtf that for anyone with a maths background ML/data-science are the most in demand subjects, and with a relatively light grasp of Python lots of very cool things can be accomplished.