Friday Q&A: Is starting to learn to code at age 21 too late to enter the corporate world?

In this week’s installment of Friday Q&A, we’ll address a recent question from Quora, Is starting to learn to code at age 21 too late to enter the corporate world?” 

This is a great question and the answer is simple: Absolutely not. It is never too late to start learning to code.

At The Iron Yard, we have had students ranging from 18 years old to over 65. Many are “career changers,” who are looking to learn to code so that they can begin rewarding careers in tech with huge opportunity for growth. The beauty of the code school model is that it allows students to learn the technical skills they need to be hired as junior level developers in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost of a traditional university. And the model works (check out our post from last week about how immersive code schools help prepare students to start their career as a developer, including thoughts from employers who have hired bootcamp graduates.)

But bootcamp graduates – and particularly those who are career changers or learned to code later in life – have a lot more than just technical skills to bring to employers. Our Indianapolis campus director, Emily Trimble, said it best:

In addition to their technical skill set and practical coding experience, boot camp grads also bring a fresh perspective to the table. In my experience as campus director, I’ve found that most students attending an immersive boot camp are early career changers, and have past professional and academic experiences that can round out a development team and provide different approaches to problem-solving. Take, for example, a former student who worked as a machine operator in a plastics recycling company and is now building an application to move the company’s project tracking from paper to the web.

Boot camp students also tend to be exceptionally hardworking and motivated. Many of my students have put their lives on hold for several months to immerse themselves in programming and follow their passion toward a new career. This combination of technical mastery, soft skills and diverse backgrounds make boot camp graduates strong, well-rounded hires.

For those of you out there who are thinking, “Wow. 21 is still incredibly young. Does all of this still apply for those of us who are over 40? over 50? or over 60?” The answer is still yes. There are no age limits when it comes to learning to code and achieving your goals by learning technical skills – just ask Joni or Ryan.

Another great example is Joan Marie Verba, who graduated from our Front-End Engineering program after an illustrious career as a science fiction and fantasy author and running her own small publishing business. Today, Joan is an Application Development Associate with Accenture.

You can read more stories about people who have changed their lives by learning to code here.

Have a question you want answered next week? Leave us a note in the comments section!

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