Too old for software engineering

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eagle1970 in Rochester, New York

65 months ago

Adam in Painesville, Ohio said: Eagle is way off, at least according to the bureau of labor statistics which lists software engineering as one of the fastest growing fields, with a 30 percent job growth over the next ten years. Software engineers are in high demand, according to the BLS, and salaries are in the 70-80 range.

I don't believe the figures quoted in the BLS report and I don't recommend anybody uses them for career decisions at least not as a primary source.

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dan in Fresno, California

64 months ago

I am 58 and software engineering to me seems like a young man's game. That is because there is so much new material to learn. I would say that 31 is no too old if you really enjoy the work and enjoy learning the new stuff that keeps coming out.

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Cheryl in Midlothian, Illinois

60 months ago

I have a Masters degree in Computer Science. I have not been able to get anywhere jobwise because I do not have any experience in the field. I would love to be doing Software Engineering. I have been working as a Radiology Technologist. Anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do?
Also, Dan, I disagree with you about it being a young man's game. I know some people that are constantly learning new skills in their fields that are older than you and loving it. Doctors do it on a regular basis.

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Jackripp in Grand Prairie, Texas

60 months ago

Cheryl in Midlothian, Illinois said: I have a Masters degree in Computer Science. I have not been able to get anywhere jobwise because I do not have any experience in the field. I would love to be doing Software Engineering. I have been working as a Radiology Technologist. Anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do?
Also, Dan, I disagree with you about it being a young man's game. I know some people that are constantly learning new skills in their fields that are older than you and loving it. Doctors do it on a regular basis.

Try a PACS company. They are always looking for people. You could also try Perot systems, GE, Philips, etc..... Most have entry positions.

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Harold in Huntsville, Alabama

58 months ago

Software engineering and/or programming ain't what it used to be. I am in my 30's and I've been a professional developer now for about 3 years with a defense contractor at an engineering firm.

I realize that the BLS reports demand to be high and salaries to be in the 80's but this is not the case with me or anyone that I know of in the field. If you are just starting out, be prepared to make between 30K and 40K. If you have a lot of experience and you are a natural born programmer, than you may actually make the 80K that BLS talks about.

There are reasons for this. There is a LOT of foreign competition. Have you ever met an Indian computer programmer? They live and breath the stuff. They find nothing better than working 22 hours a day writing C++ code. (of course I may sound like I'm exaggerating, but I've met dozens of Indian programmers and I got the same impression from them all)

Also, you will be competing with people who have Software Engineering degrees, Electrical Engineering degrees, Aerospace engineering degrees, and kids who just graduated high school and are just kick-ass programmers who will work for date money while they live with their parents.

Degrees and Certifications do not matter at all - it only matters how good you are. And there are tons of people that are great.

If you are older, and you don't have a natural aptitude for mathematics, or you are having trouble grasping concepts of OOP - this may not be the field for you.

Of course, anything is possible - but you really have to ask yourself if you are able to do this type of work and compete with all the others who can.

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FreddieJ in Lexington, Massachusetts

56 months ago

Lee in Las Vegas, Nevada said: Do something else. No one wants older programmers. You are considered a joke and a loser if you are still programming at 30+. Note that this has nothing to do with ability. You can be the world's greatest programmer, but you still won't be respected. Moreoever, if you are an American looking for work in the U.S.A., forget it. You will probably be interviewed by an Indian or Chinese person who has no intention of hiring you no matter what your abilities.

Stay away from companies that go IPO and companies that are lucrative (ASIC) related. These are software jobs that typically go overseas. Internet software
develop goes out the same way.

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JeffB in Des Moines, Iowa

54 months ago

Wow, you guys are really overrating the H1B's and I believe that a lot of American companies are beginning to see the same thing. Sure there are a few (very few) standouts that are on par with the best American developers but mostly the work by H1B's is really, really bad. I spend most of my time cleaning up messes made by both H1B's and off shored work. Sure they turn out a gazillion programmers but few are doing it because they have the passion - most don't. Trust me, their work in general is not up to par with the average American developers work.

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Bill in San Diego, California

53 months ago

Let say you are a great programmer or an Engineer making $100K a year.
Let say I got an H1B programmer/Engineer who can do 90 percent of your work and willing to get paid 60K a year.

Who do you think they will hire?

Why would the H1B take 60K a year? Because it is better than getting paid $768 a month over there.

It is time to rethink a game plan.

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Jeff in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

53 months ago

If you MUST get into I.T. DO NOT BECOME A PROGRAMMER! The H1B's have taken over for the most part. Try networking,learn the Cisco IOS, the market for any I.T. sucks hard right now. If you wanna hear the unvarnished ruth hit the forums on the Dice board.
I think that may be the longest run on sentence ever!

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math rules in Westborough, Massachusetts

53 months ago

if you think that 31 is too old to work as an engineer, you really need to correct your thinking soon. what would anybody or any company use as justification for that statement? Can you name a single thing? well, you are too old to be a babysitter and you are too old to be an olympic gymnast (female). There the list ends. Good luck to you through your 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, etc., if you NOW think that 31 is too old for the incredibly physically demanding field of software engineering.......LOL!!!!!!!!

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bpresgrove in Augusta, Georgia

51 months ago

Hey all ive been reading the posts here and find them very interesting. I am 40 and going back to school to get my bs in computer science and want to know if it is worth it at my age? It will take me about 4 years to complete and by that time i will be 45 or so, do companies look at someone my age and see an old man or is there a shot for me in this field. I have been building computers for years and fixing them for friends but now i want a full time career in the field. Your comments would be very useful in helping me make a choice.

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Dave in NY in Lagrangeville, New York

51 months ago

Been in IT for 20+ years.
Only suggestions I can offer from experience in trenches,and a few scars
- Get to know a particular field really, really well.
In technology, anything related to the web and mobile devices, hot. Networking, applications for mobile (Ipad,iphone) great.
On business side, anything related to health care, like claims processing, PAC systems, a particular healthcare product, like Sieman's technology, etc.
HL7 protocol knowledge is a BIG plus! The IT healthcare market will be very interesting the next few years. Any other business OK, i.e. insurance, retail,definitely finance,but get to know a growing sector in the particular area real well, you'll get known as an 'expert' and make a living if you stay on top by studying, upgrading skills in area, and letting specialized recriuters know who you are and want.
- Age: If you're a more 'senior' fellow (50+ like me), think, act and believe you're young during interview, showing energy, but let the years of wisdom shine through with professionalism and in depth knowledge reflected in answers to questions. The job world I have experienced SO FAR seems to respect that combination.
-Use professional recruiters who also have been in the trenches- Find SPECIFIC (very important for it to work) recruiters who specialize in a particular technology and/or business, stick with them. Especially ones who work on retainer,relize that tends to be 100K and up jobs. Everyone else on contigency, but check them out that they have been in field for awhile. One way of knowing by seeing if they have exclusive clients and can prove it. Ask them how they go about dealing with a client request. A few questions, you can have another great set of eyes,ears for you capturing opportunities EARLY. -Networking:GIVE, GIVE expecting NOTHING in return. Ask me at bellachcoaching at live dot com questions on resumes, cover letters, how to respond to ads, how to focus job search, etc. I'll try to get back ASAP.Paying it forward.

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meshhat in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

51 months ago

Hi bpresgrove, I started this thread 2 years ago - I decided not to go into the field after all, but that's only because I found something I liked more.

The answer is everyone knows everything, but no one knows anything. What I mean is, do what you like to do today and keep an eye on how those skills will work in the future. No matter what you do, there will be people who say "what a great move!" and just as many that say, "what a dumb thing to do!"

Even if you don't end up becoming an engineer, it's not like you can't use your degree for something else. Plenty of jobs need these skills, and they will continue to need these skills.

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bpresgrove in Augusta, Georgia

51 months ago

Hey thanks for the replies. I am going through this whole midlife crisis thing and instead of wanting the sports car and girls (which my wife is very releaved about) i want a change in careers and a new direction. I dont care what i use my Computer Science degree doing just as long as its in the field. I love computers and love learning about them and everything that goes with them. Comming from an industrial, rotating shift, dirty, hot, and hour paid backgroud I am looking forward to getting a career as soon as possible.

Again thanks for the info and any othere thought would be greatly appreciated.

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CrypticSailor in Silver Spring, Maryland

51 months ago

Hi. I'm also studying to become a software engineer. Believe it or not at 23 I used to think "Man I'm so old to be starting". Then again I was in the Navy for a while working with electronics which is completely different. I would say if you want to do it, do it. There's nothing better in life. If you've never programmed as a hobby though, then maybe Software Engineering isnt your niche - there are plenty of others(most of which I've also worked doing during one or another of my military deployments) including Networking, General Technical Support, Repair/Troubleshooting. Based on your description of "I love computers and learning about them" I'd gather you're less interested in high level programming and the structure of applications/designing them and more with Networking and troubleshooting. If that was the case then just get your A+ cert and an associates degree or a BS in IT.

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bpresgrove in Augusta, Georgia

51 months ago

Hey Cryptic thanks for the info, but I want to get a degree that is fairly indepth in the field. An IT degree is ok if you want to just learn how to network or easy stuff like that, I want to get into the hard nuts and bolts and the CS degree will help me get there. Im not putting down those degrees, but I guess im a glutton for punishment and see more value in the CS degree and potential. Besides cant a person with a BS in CS do just about everything there is in the computer field? I am also considering getting my MBA not soon after completing my CS degree. Again thanks for the input, and yall keep them comin im getting encouraged by alot of what im reading in articles and on the net.

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Guest in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

48 months ago

I'm 31 also, and I just got hired a week ago as a software engineer (for the first time). Tons and tons of people start new careers in their 30's and 40's.

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Le in Norcross, Georgia

48 months ago

I love to learn how to code web etc, but may I ask can a software engineer code web base languages more specifically java, php, ajax, etc?
the reason why I ask this question is I'm planning to get a BS in software engineering
thanks for any reply

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CrypticSailor in Brooklyn, New York

48 months ago

Le in Norcross, Georgia said: I love to learn how to code web etc, but may I ask can a software engineer code web base languages more specifically java, php, ajax, etc?
the reason why I ask this question is I'm planning to get a BS in software engineering
thanks for any reply

I'm pretty sure as a software engineer you can work in those languages, although Java is not necessarily a web-based language but can be. I'm just glad you didn't mention HTML and CSS :P lol.

Also yeah if you want to get really in depth then a CS degree is the way to go. Good luck to both of you. Personally, I finally start my first semester as just a student this week : )

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GallyGRRR in Woodbridge, Virginia

46 months ago

CrypticSailor in Brooklyn, New York said: I'm pretty sure as a software engineer you can work in those languages, although Java is not necessarily a web-based language but can be. I'm just glad you didn't mention HTML and CSS :P lol.

Also yeah if you want to get really in depth then a CS degree is the way to go. Good luck to both of you. Personally, I finally start my first semester as just a student this week : )

Hey Cryptic, by your username and location, I'm guessing you are a linguist or a career-field close to it. I was a linguist in the AF from 02-06.

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Old hand in Baltimore, Maryland

46 months ago

One thing that one needs to keep in mind is that the bar gets raised significantly after thirty-five years of age. After forty, it is very difficult for anyone who does not hold an advanced technical degree to remain technical. Much like military service, computer science and computer engineering are "up or out" career fields, and most technical practitioners find that themselves pushed out just when the financial demands of raising a family start to seriously kick in.

One last thing: a computer science degree is a not glorified computer programming certificate. Learning how to write code in any particular language is a side effect of the curriculum. Put in a nutshell, computer science is a specialized branch of mathematics that involves the study of computational automata (the von Neumann architecture is just one of many possible ways to implement a computational device). In my humble opinion, any computer science program that emphasizes general software development at the upper-level should be avoided at all cost. Upper-level coursework should be focused on theory (the more complex the better), as computer science theory is the foundation on which all new computational technology is built. The theory that I learned thirty years ago is still relevant today.

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Protocolman in Atlanta, Georgia

46 months ago

Old hand in Baltimore, Maryland said: One thing that one needs to keep in mind is that the bar gets raised significantly after thirty-five years of age. After forty, it is very difficult for anyone who does not hold an advanced technical degree to remain technical. Much like military service, computer science and computer engineering are "up or out" career fields, and most technical practitioners find that themselves pushed out just when the financial demands of raising a family start to seriously kick in.

One last thing: a computer science degree is a not glorified computer programming certificate. Learning how to write code in any particular language is a side effect of the curriculum. Put in a nutshell, computer science is a specialized branch of mathematics that involves the study of computational automata (the von Neumann architecture is just one of many possible ways to implement a computational device). In my humble opinion, any computer science program that emphasizes general software development at the upper-level should be avoided at all cost. Upper-level coursework should be focused on theory (the more complex the better), as computer science theory is the foundation on which all new computational technology is built. The theory that I learned thirty years ago is still relevant today.

In essence, do you mean that it is better to master lower-level programming, such as processor instruction sets, instead of higher-level programming where applications exist?

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Bailey10 in Scottsdale, Arizona

46 months ago

I'm just wondering...are there a lot of women working as Software Engineers? I would like to get a degree in Computer Science, but I'm not sure if I would be the only women doing this. Also, what kind of math does someone use for Software Engineering?

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Old hand in Baltimore, Maryland

46 months ago

Protocolman in Atlanta, Georgia said: In essence, do you mean that it is better to master lower-level programming, such as processor instruction sets, instead of higher-level programming where applications exist?

What I am saying is that writing code is a low-level skill, not a profession. Coding has to be coupled with domain knowledge to be useful. In my case, my knowledge domain is the field of computer science. The primary skill that I bring to the table is the ability to solve large-scale computer and digital communication system-related problems. Most of my solutions require the development of code to some extent. However, at my age, few organizations would hire me for a straight coding job. Most companies consider software development to be entry-level work.

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Protocolman in Atlanta, Georgia

46 months ago

Old hand in Baltimore, Maryland said: What I am saying is that writing code is a low-level skill, not a profession. Coding has to be coupled with domain knowledge to be useful. In my case, my knowledge domain is the field of computer science. The primary skill that I bring to the table is the ability to solve large-scale computer and digital communication system-related problems. Most of my solutions require the development of code to some extent. However, at my age, few organizations would hire me for a straight coding job. Most companies consider software development to be entry-level work.

Thanks for replying!
What you have mentioned does reflect on what I have perceived from the way the university I have attended teaches computer science, as it is split into network/security and application development.
That's why I had opted to get a degree in each field from this same univ because in my thinking, I believe that these 2 computer science fields will become one hybrid-skilled domain, if you will; every step of computer processing regarding and leading up to the TCP/IP stack would be one necessary field of knowledge, I guess.

Could you provide a short example of one or some of the problems which you have solved?

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Another old hand in Ellicott City, Maryland

46 months ago

I am a 47 year old woman working in this field.... tough. All the "kids" coming out of school these days grew up with computers, while when I was in school, we were using punch cards. Which these "kids" have no clue what I am talking about!! So I do agree, it is one of those professions where us "old people" are feeling pretty old!! I can't retire yet (wish I could!) but changing professions would be out the question. So, it's hard all around..

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Bailey10 in Scottsdale, Arizona

46 months ago

Does anyone know anything about Systems Analysts? Is it a good job? Is it really hard? Is it a good job to get into?

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Andy in Hacienda Heights, California

45 months ago

Hello,

I'm hoping to gain some perspective on this. I just finished a university with a B.S degree in computer science, and I'm 26. As I'm looking online for software engineering jobs these days, it seems there are a lot more openings for entry level jobs in the east coast. My ideal environment at the moment is Seattle, but I'm having trouble finding something. It seems the jobs listed around that area wants 3-5 years of experience. In comparison, the jobs I've found listed in some east coast areas are clearly listed as "entry level" with 0-3 years of experience in the field. I know the job market is still recovering.

I'm using job search engines and finding lists of companies and seeing if they have an opening using their website as a reference. Is there a better way to go about this?

It's getting discouraging, so I opened up my search to other locations, and it seems some places are more open to entry level jobs. I guess the big criteria that I'm looking for is a nice environment with a good public transportation system. I figured if I really did want to end up in Seattle, I can just work wherever I can find a job for 2-5 years then try job searching again. I'm currently thinking about the D.C area and its vicinity cities/states. Is the culture and job expectations different in the east coast than the west coast, or is that all company based?

I honestly would rather have a job in my ideal environment or at least test the waters living there, but instead of looking for a long time without leads, I'm thinking about being flexible with location. The economy might pick up at that time as well. I also wonder what some of you would do in this position. Thanks!

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Epoe in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

45 months ago

When I graduated college, I had to move 500 miles away. Then, when I wanted to change careers, I had to move 1000 miles away for the job I wanted. My point is, you need to decide what is more important - Seattle or your career. No one can choose for you (you may have relatives in Seattle or something may be keeping you there). If I was graduating college right now, I would go anywhere to get the job I want. I would work for 2-3 years to gain experience then start looking for jobs in areas I would rather live. After 3 years, you'll only be 29, so you would have the rest of your life to live in Seattle.

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Sqedison in Delray Beach, Florida

45 months ago

I am working for a Company that wants 2 hire 2 Senior Software Engineers
send me your info at sqedison@aol.com

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andyp in Poole, United Kingdom

42 months ago

ha! you guys are pretty lame!
I am 60 next year and until recently was a fully employed software engineer with over 39 years experience in all kinds of apps from PDP8 assembler right up to LINUX and UNIX device drivers. I agree all that seems safely left nowdays is defence work - and that is decreasing at a frightening rate - but there is still plenty of work out there - its just shifted from permamnet to contract (short-term) work.
I am alas now finally unemployed - but heck I paid my mortage and have enough savings to not really care.
The reason I scoff a little at you is that just like Michael Chorost I am deaf with a Cochlear Implant - so if I can do it - you should be able to!.
I can honestly say that I (not for a long time anyway) never ever worked a 22 hour day etc, I suppose I do indeed enjoy computers - but if you don't you shouldn't get into the field.
But really - too old at 31!! Pah - how utterly dumb!

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andru in Lexington, Kentucky

41 months ago

meshhat in Media, Pennsylvania said: Hello, I have two questions:

I'm 31 years old (ugh) and living in the USA. I am thinking of becoming a software engineer, but I was wondering if I would be perceived as too old by companies. Do companies really hire new engineers in their 30's?

I currently work in a technical field as Director of Instructional Technology (Masters degree) so technology isn't new to me, it's just I would like to become more "technical." Let's assume a company WOULD hire a 30+ year old, what's the best way to get my foot in the door to become an SE?

Thanks

A simple job search on Simplyhired.com for "Software Engineer" turns up more than 500,000 results. There is a difference between Software Engineers and Programmers. Programming does not equal software engineering. It amazes me how experienced professionals don't understand this distinction.

People need to stop whining about outsourcing and instead upgrade thier skills. Simple, repetitive jobs are the ones that are outsourced. Highly skilled positioned are much more difficult to send away.

Tech fields require people who are willing to be constantly updating and improving to keep up. If you're still trying to do 90's level programming, don't be surprised if your job gets sent to India. And please everyone, stop moaning about "greedy" corporate America. It's not Microsoft's job to keep you employed. Innovation moves fast. Keep up or get out.

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Ha in Gaithersburg, Maryland

40 months ago

> the market for any I.T. sucks hard right now. you wanna hear the unvarnished truth hit the forums on the Dice board.

The dice.com forums are ridiculous. Everyone there is obviously bitter that they can't find a job. Things may not be great, but there ARE jobs out there. I suspect those people posting on dice.com are incompetent workers.

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neha in Hyderabad, India

38 months ago

hi i completed my engineering 8 yrs ago.i got married soon after completing my studies and could not start my career. Now i want to get into job field. can anyone suggest me how can i enter in job field as i have nil experience

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Eric in Trenton, New Jersey

38 months ago

You can't measure your ability to get into a field based solely on age. That's a ridiculous measure. You need to think: do I want to cram my brain full of concepts? Am I open enough to learn programming? For those answers: books. 'Code Complete' is a good one because it is rich in bibliography references. If you get bored with the book, forget a career in software engineering.
But, if you are certain you want in: do it.

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Jane McDyes in Los Angeles, California

37 months ago

Eric in Trenton, New Jersey said: You can't measure your ability to get into a field based solely on age. That's a ridiculous measure.

I totally agree with this. As for someone who has been working with software developers and generally working on the world of developers, you just can't measure your ability based on your age even with where you were educated.

According to <a href="www.timedoctor.com/biz3.0/why-100k-developers-are-dead/">this article</a>, which is actually a good read about software developers, it says "The reality is that if you have a computer and an Internet connection, education is truly open source."

Having that said, don't make it a hindrance to your career. Just show your skill and prove to them what you can do. If you have this attitude, it will get you far.

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Rob H in Wallingford, Pennsylvania

34 months ago

Great comments - very encouraging. After 4 years as a P/A and 4 years as a software engineer (no CS degree, mind you), the company I was with went bust at the height of the dot com-bubble debacle. So I went back to teaching - at first, just math, now math & CS. Looking to get back into the field at 54(!). Loved designing/programming education-related apps. Now want to focus on web programming (Javascript, PHP, Java). Strong OOP/C++ skills. Any advice?

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ami wald in Polska, Poland

34 months ago

Jesus,
I am 65 old Professional Electrical Enginer and I am looking for a job worldwide. When I read the 31 old baby about of finding job and his frustration. What I can say. I am Licensed Professional ~Engineer made many projectr in Oil, Gas, power, hydro, high rise buildings an muh more. Do I find one person who will want to use my professional knowledge and givr mr something to do and spend time on work instead to be bored whole days. I do not care which country, which continent or city. It can be on desert, ot in jungle or somewhere.

Ami Wald

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Yikes in Watertown, Massachusetts

34 months ago

Another old hand in Ellicott City, Maryland said: I am a 47 year old woman working in this field.... tough. All the "kids" coming out of school these days grew up with computers, while when I was in school, we were using punch cards. Which these "kids" have no clue what I am talking about!! So I do agree, it is one of those professions where us "old people" are feeling pretty old!! I can't retire yet (wish I could!) but changing professions would be out the question. So, it's hard all around..

Hi there, I have a computer degree which I got many years ago. I worked
as a programmer for 10 years (c, cshell, sql etc.) I took time off to stay home with my kids and am looking to get back into the work force....(picked a great time to do it :| Anyway, I'm 46 and I really wonder some new languages and trying to get back into it is going to work...?? As you said there are so many young people who live and breathe this stuff.... I would love to know your thoughts?
thanks,
Yikes.

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Token American in Santa Cruz, California

33 months ago

Go for it. If you can find a job. There are so many H1s and they mostly hire their own. For example, Cisco engineering is about 80% Indian and Chinese immigrants.
Also, have you tried to bid on Elance for a SW project? Expect to get about US$10/hr.

Also, a young kid of 23 will make just as much $ as a 20-year seasoned veteran, as long as they both know the latest whiz-bang technology. It's disheartening when your Indian manager and your manager's manager who is also fresh from India tells you that you need to carry the same workload as your H1 co-workers who work 60 hours/week because they are afraid of losing their jobs and hence their visa. And then there are the cultural differences such as more vertical social hierarchies and saving face like you wouldn't believe.

I would stick to a profession that cannot easily be affected by out-sourcing or H1 in-sourcing. Like a patent analyst, doctor, tax attorney, government job w/clearance or something like that. This is only going to get worse.
BTW, I am 40 and have 18 years of SW Engineering experience.

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Token American in Santa Cruz, California

33 months ago

Go for it. If you can find a job. There are so many H1s and they mostly hire their own. For example, Cisco engineering is about 80% Indian and Chinese H1s or green-card holders.
Also, have you tried to bid on Elance for a SW project? Expect to get about US$10/hr.

Also, a young kid of 23 will make just as much $ as a 20-year seasoned veteran, as long as they both know the latest whiz-bang technology. It's disheartening when your Indian manager and your manager's manager who is also fresh from India tells you that you need to carry the same workload as your H1 co-workers who work 60 hours/week because they are afraid of losing their jobs and hence their visa. And then there are the cultural differences such as more vertical social hierarchies and saving face like you wouldn't believe.

I would stick to a profession that cannot easily be affected by out-sourcing or H1 in-sourcing. Like a patent analyst, doctor, tax attorney, government job w/clearance or something like that. This is only going to get worse.
BTW, I am 40 and have 18 years of SW Engineering experience.

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c14 in Bronx, New York

33 months ago

Personally I don't think you are ever too old to do what you want to do. There is a saying "a man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams" and it's very true. For everyone who thinks younger people or a foreigner or anyone for that matter can do better work than they can need to build their self confidence up. There will always be people better than you in something and worst than you as well. For those that are better, learn from them or learn what they know. I can say first hand that I have seen the sloppy outsource work from India. For that reason the company I work for will only hire Americans, and local at that, no telecommuting. I'm 29 and going back to school to be a software engineer and I commend anyone who won't accept what the world wants to give them and are going for what they want. It's inevitable that we age, so you will be 4 years older, 4 years from now anyway. You want to reach that 4 year mark and still not have the career of your choice? Imagine Kevin Garnet stop playing basketball when Lebron came into the league because Lebron was younger and could play better, he would have never reached "HIS" goal of obtaining a ring. Bottom line you can't worry about what someone else is doing or saying you have to do your thing.

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bigballer23 in Clarksville, Tennessee

33 months ago

get r done

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Alp in Columbus, Ohio

33 months ago

"Big difference between software engineering and programming"... meh, this is the age old debate. A "software engineer" is just someone who has programmed long enough to learn foresight and planning. It's nothing magical. My dad still calls himself a programmer and makes 90k after 20 years in the field. I think since entry into software is so easy (it's not like engineering where you can't even work certain places without a certificate), some group of snooty good programmers got annoyed with the legions of bad ones, and thus the term "software engineer" was invented.

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jay ratner in Cleveland, Ohio

32 months ago

This is really encouraging. I am 35 and looking to get into information systems. I am currently working for a <a href="www.mathmadeeasy.com/">Math Software</a> company, but I am looking to move on.

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charlie's dad in Loveland, Ohio

32 months ago

First off, the #1 tip I can give for searching for jobs online is- post your resumes on sites like Dice, etc., don't just search for jobs. I graduated in 2008 with a BS in CS and spent a great deal of time searching job boards and submitting resumes with little luck and never got past the first interview or two. Then I posted my resume and I was flooded with offers for jobs that weren't even posted on the site, and I scored multiple interviews and got hired about 3 months after posting my resume.

Second, I work for an Indian software outsourcing company with 200k+ employees, and let me share my 2 cents on writing code all day and on offshore developers.

At my company, writing code all day is for entry-level American employees, or outsourced employees. If you are getting into the software development field now, don't aim to just code all day for the rest of your life. The more experience you get, the more of a leader you should become. Of course you will still write code and be expected to produce comparatively higher quality code and assist others and solve the harder coding problems, but you will be more valuable if you can also spend a good deal of your time advising and leading others. Plus there's a ton of boring projects in the business world, and you will burn out if you only code all day.

As for offshore developers, yeah they're cheaper and sometimes good or sometimes bad, but onshore jobs will never go away- you need people onshore that work during American business hours, to travel to American offices, to speak to American clients, be the communication liaison between onshore and offshore resources, etc.

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c707961 in Calexico, California

32 months ago

Hello, I'm currently in the military and I'm getting out soon, but to get down to the specific question that i have. I currently love computers as i have always have but I'm curious I would like to get a degree as a computer software engineer and i was curious if their are any tips that anyone who might have any tips for me on this topic. Also i really enjoy programming in general if there are any specific degrees that might be a better choice that anyone can offer advise about i would greatly appraicate it (sorry for the grammer mistakes) and thank you again for the comments/help on this topic

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Jon C. in San Gwann, Malta

32 months ago

I am also looking for opportunities.

Jonathan
mt.linkedin.com/in/jonathancamilleri

Professional experience of 4 years in customer facing roles, and, 5 years technical support and software development roles, working for the Financial Services industry.

Specialties
SQL, .NET, Java, Accounting, Management, Leadership, Negotiation, Soft skills, C++, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Usability

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wakurth in Minneapolis, Minnesota

31 months ago

To all saying that 30 is too late to learn programming, you have no idea what you are talking about. I'm 30. I finished my AAIT in programming over a year ago, and will be finishing my BSIT in Software Engineering with the next 12 months. I work as a programmer, and have been since the day I finished my associates. I work with brilliant programmers that not only respect my skills, but are blown away at how fast I pick up everything. I went from no programming knowledge to writing complex encryption programs, and SAAS based document management & Social Media applications in a matter of months. Your career, and you life are what YOU make of it. I also increased my salary by 50% inside of a year in this field. Some in this thread have said if you're still learning programming at 30, your not respected... A completely ignorant remark. Programmers learn new concepts every day, and if you don't, you become obsolete. Also, if a co-worker doesn't respect you skills, don't pout about it, but instead prove them wrong in every way possible... Maybe even show them up at their won game.

Regarding SE not being a booming career... LOL! I put my resume on Monster to see what kind of traffic I got, and I had 10 calls a week with offers. I removed my resume from public view, and I still get calls every day. Don't let pessimistic people tell you what you can't do. Programming, and math come so easy to me, I may get a Masters in Physics after I graduate with my BSIT SE from a from one of the local colleges. Watch, I'm sure a bunch of pessimistic old way of thinking people will have an issue with that too. To the originator of this thread, don't listen to any negative comment in this thread... They are probably just mad about something else. If I listened to people telling me I could start programming at 28, while being a single dad... Well, I wouldn't be a programmer like I am today.

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wakurth in Minneapolis, Minnesota

31 months ago

If the you think I'm lying, then you can think what you want.

I DO work as a programmer writing document management software, social media anaylticss, and file encryption programs. I use C#, VB.Net, along with many client side web languages. No, I'm not writing WORM storage compilers, or some other Nobel prize winning projects, but I am a programmer writing software for many users.

Brilliant programmers are not defined by the language they use. I would say the impact of their software or projects are far more important. No, I don't work with famous programmers, but they have accomplished great things in there own respect.

I am well aware the ten calls a week are from recruiters. Each of them offering various .NET programming positions. I DO understand they are not job offers, but instead opportunities to gain employment though an interview.

"If you are over 25 then you are severly handicapped in getting a software engineering job." <--- my point is this statement is purely opinion. In my opinion, You sir are wrong.

You may be right, in order to work for Google or Yahoo, you may need a Comp sci degree from a top 10 school... Something I don't, and won't have. I guess it's a good thing moguls like these aren't the only software companies in existence that are good to work for.

Thank you for your opinion though sir. Without people like you telling me it can't be done, I may not be where I am today. BELIEVE that not even one word in my posts is a lie. I would like to ask why you believe I'm severely handicapt for starting my SE career at 29... I enjoy my work... I get to develop new products... And my work is utilized my people every day... Whether you want to believe it or not. Maybe it took me a little longer to figure out what I wanted to do, but it doesn't mean I'm handicapt. Quite the opposite sir. You don't know me from a hole in the wall, so try not to be so bold as to tell people what is fact or fiction in their lives.

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