Too old for software engineering

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (51 to 78 of 78)
Page:  « Previous   1  2   

red in Australia

49 months ago

I'm 36 and and in 1.5 years have worked my way from assisting a media dev team to study in the evenings in web design and now web development. I am now a media developer but learning programming in the evenings. Being one of 2 girls in the class and maybe considered old, is no issue, if you work hard you can do anything. My background is in digital Photography and retouching and i have always been creative, so it just goes to show it's extremely hard for me but anything is possible and i wished i has learnt this stuff like 10 years ago but at an all girls school it was considered too nerdy, so don't listen to anyone, do what you want to do. Tech is getting bigger and bigger and it aint going away!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (8) / No Reply - Report abuse

red in Australia

49 months ago

I think that is a bit b**s and egoist saying you have to be smart. Anyone can learn it if they work hard enough, loose the ego cause your not saving lives!!
Most jobs these days require you to be smart, i think there is a bit of an attitude in IT that you are all smarter than everyone else. I have doctors and anaethetists in my family that are saving lives and they have no ego at all, so to me they are the smart ones.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

rosalitajumpalittlelighter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

48 months ago

I, too, cringed at the too-old-at-31 mindset, bc I've come here to ask if I'm too old at 54. I want to pursue this bc I love it, but I'd need to really invest a lot of time and money. I just want to be realistic. I've been working as a legal assistant for most of my life, and I'm soooo bored with it. For one thing, I'm sick of the complete lack of ambition of my co-workers, who can't learn even the simplest of software to do their job better but, instead, play on Facebook all day. I know that it's a big leap to go from legal assistant to software engineer, but I love the combination of creativity, math and problem solving - always have. Can I do the work? Yes. I'm a young 54, I like to work, and I hope to work for a long time. The projected salaries are nice, but that's not really what's driving me. I want your opinion on how I will be received. I'd also like your opinion on the type of education to pursue. I don't see Phoenix University type degrees as being well received. Am I wrong?
I've read thru some of the posts above, but not all of them - yet - so forgive me if I'm being repetitive in any way.
TIA

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (10) / No Reply - Report abuse

Ananamous in Flushing, New York

41 months ago

There is a big difference between being a doctor and a software engineer. A doctor only need to do online training for any new medicine out in the market. But they don't need to actually spend 2 years learning the new medicine. As for software engineer, anyone who started their career before JAVA was in the market, they all have to spend 2 years learning JAVA. And if you look at JAVA developer website, everyday there is always something new to learn. So, not unless you don't have kids and no wife, then you can continue this career indefinitely.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (7) Reply - Report abuse

Ananamous in Flushing, New York

41 months ago

wakurth in Minneapolis, Minnesota said: I had never used Moster before, so maybe some calls/emails where because I was a new name, but I did get a total of 10 calls/emails a week for the two weeks I left my resume up as public. I now get at least 2 calls and or emails a week even though I removed it from public view. I went from zero IT experience before my AAIT, making $37,200/year to making $55,0000/year.. In a timespan of one year. I finished my associates in 1 year flat at the University of Phoenix... A school I'm sure doesn't fall within your standards. Is this specific enough for you?

Why are you so bent on degrading me here? I'm not bashing people. I'm trying to tell people that, IF you want to do it, it is possible. *shakes head*

10 years ago, I put my resume on monster only for one day, I got 23 calls and 45 emails. I answered all those calls and emails. Got 2 phone interviews and 1 face to face interview. But at the end no job offer. Guess what???? 10 years later, those SOB recruiters are still calling me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

RubyDude in Kansas City, Missouri

36 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.

Software Engineering is in high demand. Every time I put my resume out, I get bombarded with calls and e-mails. The trick is to get a foot in somewhere and just gain some experience in the industry, and contribute to the open source community. There is a lot of stuff you can do with Software Engineering, including training/teaching people how to do it once you get experienced. I know programmers in their 40's. To move up the ladder technically, in this field, you would want to start as an entry level software engineer, and then work your way up to Architect. To do this, I suggest picking a platform (Java, .NET, Rails, etc.) and then sticking with it till you are an expert - don't any job spread you too thin or you will know only a little about a lot of things and that will keep you entry level too long. If you can't get hired full time down the road (when you are 45 or something), then use E-Lance and similar places to find work. There is really no reason to be a software engineer and unemployed, no matter your age.

I read some of these comments, and I disagree on some points. Web development is in high demand, as is cloud computing and mobile development, and these are not being outsourced enough to take away your opportunities. These are buzz words, but the industry likes them. If you know how to program on the Desktop for .NET, then you know how to program for the Windows Phone. To convince an employer you know it, build a quick app for show and tell and mention in when trying to get the interview. Just go and learn ONE platform/framework, build something in it, and then start applying. You will get a job.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No Reply - Report abuse

RubyDude in Kansas City, Missouri

36 months ago

I also want to add, beyond Architect, when you get into your 40's, you could always teach/train people how to write software. As a seasoned programmer, you can't get a job as a software engineer because, by that point, it is expected that you would be a Software Architect. The Architects that I have worked with have been in their mid 30's maybe early 40's. In terms of modern software development, you have to keep in mind that, really, OOP didn't become the standard and have well established Architectural design patterns until around the year 2000 (patterns were first written about in 95 in a way that would have made them accessible to the average programmen - the Gang of Four book). It is true that these things had been experimented with in places like SmallTalk-76 early on (which birthed one of the first MVC frameworks), but they really didn't become all that common until around the year 2000, modern web frameworks like Cake PHP, Django, Rails, etc. didn't come about till even later.

My point is, this industry is just now figuring out how to standardize the design of complex software systems, and the older generation seems to be stuck in their procedural C ways in some, but not all cases, so they have limited opportunities. It is not the age that will hold you back, but your willingness to learn new techniques for writing clean reusable code that are becoming the standard. I expect the development of general software architecture strategies to slow down in the future and the trend to be more in the lines of making it easier to implement these patterns (the production of libraries like Prism and Unity, and frameworks like Rails and WPF). In this way, I think you will find that companies will become more willing to hire older, seasoned engineers as the design patterns become more standardized in the industry.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No Reply - Report abuse

muluken sh in Ethiopia

36 months ago

im 21 yearsoid and living in ethiopia.im thinking of becoming asoftware engineer,but iwas wondering if iwouid be un succesful due 2 my country technological resource...pls give me some advice how 2 face zs problem?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

_nonymouse in Tewksbury, Massachusetts

33 months ago

If you can relocate, do it. Your age will not be an issue. Software engineers, esp those with security clearances are among the safest from being unemployed. If you carry your own health insurance it removes a huge barrier to age discrimination. Yes, age discrimination. Check out Colorado, California, Massachusetts and Virginia for companies looking for softies. You may have to start low, but within 2 or 3 years you will out-pace long term earnings of more than 47 % of other science, tech, math grads. You've already proven you can learn more than one computer language. That gets you "in" with most of us real softies already ;-)! The real test will be your problem solving abilities and you ability to work in a team. My personal advice for today: be easy to work with. No matter how damn bright you are, no one will want to work with you if you treat them like crap. Don't be condescending, arrogant, or impatient. Do listen carefully, question politely, and always be open to new or different ways of expressing a similar concept.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No Reply - Report abuse

Donald Besong in Hayes, United Kingdom

32 months ago

dan in Fresno, California said: I am 58 ......

Yeah, although you are a bit right that software engineer is a young man's game, if you had been working in software engineering untill now that you are 58, you would not need to design. You would be the manager and that is more relaxed, unless your employees are troublesome:-)

The down-side of software engineering is that it produces the illusion that they are well paid, but if you add up all the hours working from home and taking their laptops on holiday, then by the hour, all other engineers are better paid. Software engineers simply put in more hours!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

Donald Besong in Hayes, United Kingdom

32 months ago

rose in Los Angeles, California said: I graduated ...

No, I guess it's not too late since you have been exercising your brain with mathematics. You can just buy a CAD programme and revise for three months, then start applying as a CAD deigner while at times reading stuff like dynamics and FEA.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Donald Besong in Hayes, United Kingdom

32 months ago

Cheryl in Midlothian, Illinois said: I have a Masters .

Wow, radiology Technologist! I think that is an opening for you to develop a career. You do not need software engineering, actually. I am saying this because I learnt the hard way. I wish I had just gotten a ytrainee CAD job anywhere 20 years ago, then by know I would be a professional with 20 years experience. I kept on and off getting masters and PhD's. What a waste of intelligence!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Donald Besong in Hayes, United Kingdom

32 months ago

muluken sh in Ethiopia said: im 21 yearsoid and living in ethiopia.im thinking of becoming asoftware engineer ,but iwas wondering if iwouid be un succesful due 2 my country technological resource...pls give me some advice how 2 face zs problem?

Follow your dreams. Complete your BSc and get a job as soon as possible. Do not linger ion the university. You can go back later.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

love_thy_neighbour2 in Hayes, United Kingdom

32 months ago

wakurth in Minneapolis, Minnesota said: To all saying that 30 is too late to learn programming, you have no idea what you are talking about. I'm 30. I ...

I guess USA is more dynamic career-wise than UK. Lucky you.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

xuka78 in Torrance, California

24 months ago

I am a woman, 36yrs old. I want go back to school in computer science. But i don't know if it is a good decision or not. It is too late for woman to study computer science? Thank for any help.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Ruby Slippers in Las Vegas, Nevada

24 months ago

Xuka78 in Torrance, California said: I am a woman, 36yrs old. I want go back to school in computer science. But i don't know if it is a good decision or not. It is too late for woman to study computer science? Thank for any help.

I'd advise against it. In addition to being heavily outsourced, its a young person's game and without actual experience, it would be difficult to get your foot in the door.

I would tell you that this is a difficult field to get into, even if you were 18. Just my opinion.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (7) Reply - Report abuse

xuka78 in Torrance, California

24 months ago

Thank you for your advice Ruby Slippers!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

James O. in Kansas City, Missouri

21 months ago

Xuka78 in Torrance, California said: Thank you for your advice Ruby Slippers!

Hey Xuka78 please do not listen to these people, it is never too late to pursue any career of your choice and I think it is wrong to offer a statement as blank as "I would tell you that this is a difficult field to get into, even if you were 18". Any field is difficult to get into, what matters are first if you have the proper credentials, second if you are genuinely interested in the field, third if you are willing to do what it takes to excel in that field.

I got my first Software Engineering job 2 years before I graduated university as a Software Engineer, prior to that I was a Software Quality Engineer for a whole year making $38,000 and I was 21/22years old. I was definitely the youngest by far in that firm and subsequent firms so this is not necessarily by any means entirely a "young man's game". Like other's have said, the field of Software Engineering is constantly evolving because we are at the cusp of technological innovations. I believe if you meet the following requirements, this field should not be a problem for you.

1) You are hard working
2) Willing to learn and apply new technology
3) Have time to invest in practicing and I reiterate, working hard
4) Humble (Because those who know or are sometimes arrogant and humility is the only way you learn - this is common in any field willed with intellectuals). This part isn't necessary, it depends on how much you know.
5) A LinkedIn profile. On average I get scouted 2-3 times a day for openings. My first SE position was at a rather lower paying company and yet it was over 45k and I was still a student. You are not old, as with any career the sooner you start the better, with 4 years experience and hard work you can easily be earning 80k - 120k, especially if you have a flexible schedule and can wok as a consultant.

Weigh the options for yourself and decide, do not allow anyone flat out tell you no.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (7) / No Reply - Report abuse

xuka78 in Torrance, California

20 months ago

Thanks a lot for your advice, James. But just let you know that I am a 36 year old woman. I just live in the US 3 years, and my english is not good. I am thinking that I will be around 41-42 years old when I finish school. So can I able to find a job with no experience at that age? Thank you!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Nick Bailey in Chicago, Illinois

20 months ago

Just wanted to throw my two cents in.

The only people who think that Software Engineering is a field where a qualified applicant finds trouble getting a job are people who've never worked in another fields. Try getting a job as a history teacher, or a lawyer, or an art conservator. Seriously, it's not that hard to get a gig as a developer if you know what you're doing.

Now, the gotchas.

If you know what you're doing is a big if. Software engineering is not easy work. It wouldn't pay well if it were.

The skills that lead to long term career success in development are the same skills that lead to long term career success quite generally - Ambition, drive, empathy, communications skills, personability. Unless you're working in something insanely esoteric like high-level artificial intelligence, there are plenty of other developers out there who are just as good as you are, no matter how good you are. The thing that gets you a job, a promotion, a career and respect is who you are as a human being.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (7) / No Reply - Report abuse

Nancy in Ridgecrest, California

20 months ago

JeffB in Des Moines, Iowa said: 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.

Amen, been there, did that.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

love_thy_neighbour2 in Hayes, United Kingdom

19 months ago

How did my name appear on my reply different from my indeed account name?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

stanley in Paramaribo, Suriname

18 months ago

This is interesting post, wondering if I should switch to computer system engineering

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

OldFart in Durham, North Carolina

6 months ago

Don't waste time getting "education". Create a nice mobile app and show it at the job interview, you'll be hired much faster than flashing diplomas and certificates. Everything you need is available free online. As you start creating the app, you will quickly see whether it's your thing, whether you like it and are capable to do it. Without wasting lots of time and money on degrees.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

OldFart in Durham, North Carolina

6 months ago

Nancy in Ridgecrest, California said: Amen, been there, did that.

I'm an H1B. My job is to clean the mess created by lazy and incompetent native programmers. They think that native accent and the fact that they spent gazillion $$ on the college, entitles them to something. I've met a native with a Masters degree in CS, she asked me what an "IP address" is!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

OldFart in Durham, North Carolina

6 months ago

RubyDude in Kansas City, Missouri said:

My point is, this industry is just now figuring out how to standardize the design of complex software systems, and the older generation seems to be stuck in their procedural C ways in some, but not all cases, so they have limited opportunities. It is not the age that will hold you back, but your willingness to learn new techniques for writing clean reusable code that are becoming the standard. I expect the development of general software architecture strategies to slow down in the future and the trend to be more in the lines of making it easier to implement these patterns (the production of libraries like Prism and Unity, and frameworks like Rails and WPF). In this way, I think you will find that companies will become more willing to hire older, seasoned engineers as the design patterns become more standardized in the industry.

I haven't noticed clean and reusable code becoming a standard. On the contrary, I noticed a move from typed structured programming toward ad hoc systems written in javascript (both client and server side), which until recently have been considered a domain of "script kiddies". Programmers are not stupid, and know that writing reusable clear code is not in their best interest, from the job security point of view, and act accordingly.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Engineer in Aptos, California

6 months ago

OldFart in Durham, North Carolina said: I'm an H1B. My job is to clean the mess created by lazy and incompetent native programmers. They think that native accent and the fact that they spent gazillion $$ on the college, entitles them to something. I've met a native with a Masters degree in CS, she asked me what an "IP address" is!

Those are outliers, so you need to look at the big picture. I have been a SW Engineer for 22 years working in companies mostly in Silicon Valley and found that H1-Bs have already taken over. Racial nepotism is rampant, and hiring an H1B for their low salary and not their skills is also very widespread. Once an Indian or Chinese H1 becomes manager, the entire place fills up with them because many of the people they know are in their home country. It is not a level playing field in most cases.
Coincidently, today I received an email from an American company stating that a company is hiring (exclusively) H1 holders who wish to be trained for Hadoop and then hired. I called and they said that they are only accepting H1s, and I could not believe that this has become so widespread, that cheating the system has become accepted and out in the open. I would like to tell you who it is but don't want to be associated if trouble starts.

The solution to this problem is for the Fed to make companies pay all H1Bs the same as everyone else. That way, it will be an equal playing field and maybe companies will hire fairly. However, this will not prevent racial nepotism, but I suppose that can never be resolved.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

old Texas Programmer in Liberty Hill, Texas

1 month ago

I've been a developer since 1978 12 years in Basic, then 14 years in COBOL, 12 years in .NET, After a Layoff in 2007, I have been a Contractor. The last year and half have been slim to nothing. I am finally thinking about transitioning from my passion to something else, maybe IT recruiting, They seem to need some one who actually knows what the technologies are that are needed for a new job req.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Page:  « Previous   1  2   

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.