I'm 36, no career and need advice

callahan9119callahan9119 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
Long story short I've mostly worked in factories. My brother was almost a savant programmer and when I got laid off he nudged me into going to the community college fora programming cert, which I got.

He ended up passing away and I got super bummed about programming and haven't touched it in 3 years.

My question is should I try and get into programming again at this age or some other field in IT? All I read is negative stuff online, I'd be too old etc. My brother was always saying I'd be a good programmer, but all I read is doom and gloom.

I just want to get a decent job, I'm currently selling liquor to alcoholics in retail and gotta get out.

What's a good path for me at my age? Should I refresh my c# asp knowledge or get certs in something else?

I just wanna make a decent rewarding living

Dunno what to do. I'm good with computers and basic programming


  • Hatch1921Hatch1921 Member Posts: 257 ■■■■□□□□□□
    First let me start by saying welcome to the forum. You will find a wealth of information here and a number of great people willing to share their experience/thoughts.

    There is hope for you... hang in there. I went back to school at age 39... and landed a job this past September right after graduation. Do not get hung up on being older. There is a thread on here with late starters... tons of us have gone back to school to make career changes. If you have a good grasp of programming... and enjoy it... pursue it. I would suggest you take some time to research what classes the local community college has to offer which might interest you. Lots of great programs out there. Certifications are very helpful as well. Combine a degree with a cert or two and you shouldn't have much trouble finding a job. Of course... it depends on the area you are in... but... you can break into IT and change the path you are on.

    Do a search for late starters on here ... lots of positive posts.

    Hang in there and best of luck.
  • callahan9119callahan9119 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the positivity, this is about the only place I've found without a negative vibe.

    I just worry software development is too cutthroat. I don't know about the industry, my brother was the only guy I could ask about this stuff.

    Is help desk a good career? Network stuff? I just wanna get a job fast
  • AlexsmithAlexsmith Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'd go ahead and do what you always wanted to do in IT, it's not to lately there are plenty of others like me who started a little later in IT. Here's the thread for others who had a late start..

  • callahan9119callahan9119 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the link
  • chopstickschopsticks Member Posts: 389
    It's never too late to be in IT as it's ever evolving with new technologies even putting old hands in uncharted waters. One thing you have to ask yourself, do you have interest in IT? If you do not, you may not last long in this line when the effort of keeping up-to-date with new technologies burn you out in no time. Nevertheless, a big welcome to the IT World! :)
  • JustFredJustFred Member Posts: 678 ■■■□□□□□□□
    You are never too old and it is never too late my friend. At 36, you still have 40+ years ahead of you before retirement. Dig into the books and lets begin that journey.
    [h=2]"After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true." Spock[/h]
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I read your post but none of the replies.

    With that said jumping into C# doesn't sound like a bad plan, especially if you have had exposure to certain programming languages. I would consider looking at leveraging your manufacturing experience with your programming desire and see if you can get something to fit. I know a lot of the schedulers in manufacturing have some scripting knowledge or at least operating system knowledge in which the specialized manufacturing programs sit on. That could be your in.

    Again it's easy to sucumb to the naysayers but I wouldn't sweat it. Find something you are interested in and go for it. I really think C# is a brilliant move if you can pull it off.
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I agree you're never too old to start and I'll add that 36 isn't old. I'm going to give my two cents, which I've gathered from five years of trial and error in this field. First, definitely stick to the programming route. You completed a cert for it, which means you know something about it and your brother who was a programmer saw something in you that told him you'd be a good programmer. Two, begin getting a degree in Computer Science. You can take your time with this while working, but at some point you're going to need the degree. I know many might not agree with me, but the fact is employers look for it and many (however wrong they might be) will not look at you if that box isn't checked. Three, apply for low level tech support jobs. The soft skills in IT are the place most people generally lack. Learning the tech is actually fairly simple, but people skills are often you either have them or you don't. When you have them you move up and accomplish amazing things...when you don't? Well you'll go job to job or never move up.

    It is very easy to get into IT with a Comp Sci degree. You'll learn the fundamentals of computing, which in turn makes learning a technology vastly easier. My biggest regret was not getting a CS degree. I was leery of the math and honestly I should have just bucked up. Programmers can work for just about anyone and work from just about anywhere. There are lots of certs in IT which means you can pick up a technology and learn it if that is something that interests you more. Good luck!
    Intro to Discrete Math
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  • TinuvielTinuviel Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    You are definitely NOT too old to get into programming! I'm sorry to hear about your brother, and don't give up on yourself! :D

    In general, there are two very broad "career paths" in IT one can go down: Operations or Development. You can go the Operations/Systems Administration route-working on servers, infrastructure, networking, etc. or you can go the Software Development/Programming route-writing software, fixing bugs, etc. Both pay well and both have relatively good job security. Neither one requires you to be some IT whiz kid that's been doing this since they were in diapers. ;) It completely depends upon you and your interests which track you want to take-if you like systems and analysis and seeing how all the "parts" of an infrastructure work together, might look into the SysAdmin/Operations route. If you enjoy programmming (and it sounds like you do), then go down the Development route: do some software projects, post them in GitHub, then use that as your portfolio to show hiring managers that you know your stuff. Also might want to read up on Agile, Scrum, things like that to get an idea of current industry best practices on how software is getting released and tested nowadays.

    I agree with the_Grinch-if you are going to go into Software Development, the CS degree is pretty important. You can take your time getting it, do some classes after work (and hey, CLEP exams!) but at some point in your career, it's gonna hurt you if you don't have it.

    To answer your questions: should you refresh your C# and asp knowledge? In my opinion, absolutely. The last job I did SysAdmin work at was an ASP.net shop and boy oh boy did we need a good ASP.net programmer. It's an older language, yes, but I still see job postings for asp programmers. Is software development "too cutthroat"? I'm more of a Operations girl, so I'm not sure, but JoelOnSoftware.com is a great resource on the programming field-he may have something to say on that. (Also try the ArsTechnica.com's forums-they have a great "Programmer Symposium" and "Boardroom" forums where you can get a ton of great advice on programming and career questions.) Is help desk or networking a good job? Help desk is tough, but it's kinda the first step into IT, so unless you luck out and find some mom-and-pop type place willing to hire you, everyone kinda has to buck up and take a "Hell Desk" job to get their foot in the door. Networking is good-but if you want to go that route, get a CCNA. I may get burned at the stake for saying this, but I've heard from plenty of IT professionals who are way more experienced than me say that except for getting you that first help desk job, the Comptia certs (Network+, Security+, etc.) are not worth pursuing and don't really pay off as far as getting you interviews, jobs and good pay.

    tldr; No you are NOT too old to do programming! Dive into some good online resources, put some projects up on GitHub and go kick butt in IT!!! It's a great field! :D
  • callahan9119callahan9119 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks everyone for the advice and positivity. Seriously, every other place I looked was just a soul crusher.

    Spent a few days Googling and all I seemed to read was that of you're a programmer after 35, the end is nigh.

    I ordered my c#, Web design and mysql books, stuff was expensive. I'm gonna order Agile principles, Mvc 5 and code complete when I am up to speed again.

    Think I wanna focus on Web Development
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I think I want you to focus on web dev. :)

    Good luck, I've been the industry as a Analyst for years, most recently as a BA and always loved building tools for others in the team. It's great when you see financial analyst creating invoice summaries and detailed statements by hand taking hours upon hours. And then after 100 hours or so of development you have a tool that can peel the data back from the database but also crank out invoices with the first tab showing the summary and the detail (second tab) showing the detailed financials.

    It wasn't pretty but wow it was fun. The best part is I worked as team to get to this. I was literally stuck on the messagebox variable piece and had someone come over show me and now I will never forget. Now it's on to another financial reporting problem and it will be back to square one thinking through the solution and the development.

    Awesome stuff man, nothing better in IT than building solutions other can use. I MEAN NOTHING.

    My next step is to learn RAZR C#, something dumbed down but with a more flexible interface than Office Applications. I think the next stage in knowledge workers is people who can not only gather requirements but who can develop the solution was well.

    Sorry to go on a rant I was excited.

    Good luck
  • callahan9119callahan9119 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
  • ninjaturtleninjaturtle Member Posts: 245 ■■■□□□□□□□
    @ callahan9119

    You definitely came to the right place! This forum has a wealth of information, plenty of knowledge backed my motivated minds, and answers galore!

    Cheers to your studies!!
    Current Study Discipline: CCIE Data Center
    Cisco SEAL, Cisco SWAT, Cisco DeltaForce, Cisco FBI, Cisco DoD, Cisco Army Rangers, Cisco SOCOM .ιlι..ιlι.
  • CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Dammit! I wanted to post something inspirational and positive but it looks like I would just be repeating what everyone else wrote. (Sorry for the negativity)

    If you are serious about wanting to succeed in IT, you will. Stop reading forums and start reading IT books.
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