Too Old To Start Programming?

In the Fall of 2002, I started taking my first computer science class at 29 and then three years later landed my first tech job at 32. It took me a bit to grasp programming since I was traveling when possible and working a full time job in an unrelated field while taking computer science courses at a community college. A year later at 33 I became a freelance web developer, circa 2006. In 2011 at the age of 38 I accepted a job offer with the Walt Disney Company as a Web Developer working in a large team of engineers and QA. Some of my coworkers were younger and some were older. It was not really an issue and I learned a lot in that environment. Our team leader which is the person that is one step higher in the hierarchy of developers was probably in his late 50’s maybe early 60’s and had been a tech manager at Yahoo prior to being at Disney. He had been a Java developer all his career. We never saw him as old. We respected him for his leadership and mastery of his skillset.

I since went into a different field and bought a hotel with the money I made as software developer. However, I still write code and have built software to better run my business operations. At 47, I’m currently evolving my business’s apps (POS reservation management system used by my team) and have recently been updating my skillsets in Java Spring Boot. Technology has become a fundamental part of our daily lives such that you can end up using it for your personal use or for your business. I have even been contemplating placing my business under a management team and go work in the industry to better refine my tech skill. It’s never too late. What really matters is your contribution. I believe most software developers would rather work with a 50-something year-old competent developer than a 25 year-old incompetent developer.

Author: Luis Fernandez

Luis Fernandez is a businessperson in the hotel and software industry. When not glued to a screen, he listens attentively to his 4 years old's imagination.

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