Are You Too Old To Learn Coding?

Are You Too Old To Learn Coding?

Photo: Liubomir /

Programming is associated with young people. When the first tech boom started, startups craved for programmers. Since everyone had already a job, the only way to fill programming positions was to appeal to young people, and show that programming is fascinating. In fact it is, but it was the reason why in popular culture programmers were always young. But the reality is different and changes.

Research show that in many ways people reach their peak productivity around their 40s. Other researches, for example between chess players show mental capabilities peak around the age of 45. 

White the growth to this age is rapid, the decline after isn't so fast, actually, it's slow, and for many decades people can maintain their productivity and mental capabilities at a high level and even improve it.

Not to mention that with age we grow our know-how, experience, problem-solving abilities - things that are crucial for programming.

Programming isn't an Olympic sport. You don't have to top at physical strength and agility to be a programmer. Compared to a lot of physical demanding jobs, where older people succeed as well, programming isn't so demanding. Mental capabilities last for a long, even when physically people become weaker.

For example Grace Hopper, the inventor of COBOL started coding journey at 38. It didn't stop her not only from programming, she designed one of the most iconic programming languages that dominated the industry for years. It clearly contradicts your first words on this world have to be "hello world" in JavaScript.

People in their 40s, 60s and even 90s start to learn to code. The industry however has sometimes trouble to recognize it. The programming industry carries a stigma of age discrimination. 

It discourages talented people to getting into the field what is bad because diversity, also in terms of age improve team work, and brings to the table perspectives that are inaccessible to younger people.

Fortunately there are companies that don't want to be associated with age discrimination with subconscious phrases like "young, dynamic team" and being at risk of not including a growing population of older people that should be reflected in all aspects, including design of user interfaces.

Age diversity is great for companies, because it includes experiences, problem-solving skills and vast amounts of problem-solving skills programmers accumulate over the course of life saving companies time and money.

While being a programmer or consultant for a tech company, there are many other ways programming can be used by older people. In fact some of these are even better. Some people learn programming to build online stores and successfully run e-commerce sites, other are funding startups around ideas and problems they noticed during their life. The knowledge is here the key. It's something harder to obtain than programming skills.

If you think about learning programming don't hesitate. It doesn't matter how old you are. You'll have access to all the same material as anyone else, including video tutorials, books, bootcamps, studies and fantasy programming flashcards and actually, compared to many other life challenges, learning programming is quite easy. I'd even say it may turn out to be relaxing!


In conclusion, programming is not an exclusive club for young people. Programming is all about agility, experience and continuous learning.

Astronauts are better with time, so do programmers! Happy coding!

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Hey Pratap. I’d propose to go with an introductory tutorial either as a video course or a book on machine learning and fill gaps in programming aspects while learning machine code. Here’s a nice tutorial on machine learning in Python:

Tom from STJ

I am doing research work and i have to use the machine learning to conduct, unfortunately i have to done any kind of coding till date but now i think i have to do it as i don’t have any other option , can you please help me, thank you in advance

Pratap Shrestha

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