ageism in web development

Am I Too Old To Become A Web Developer?

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According to the latest survey taken by StackOverflow, the average age of a working web developer is around 35. Though these statistics need to be taken with a grain of salt. The diversity in the web development industry is greater than ever before and expanding rapidly. Not only with age, but also for gender, race, and experience.

Stack Overflow Age Survey

Ageism

Ageism in web development is a real thing and while there are some companies that might hold it against you, I wouldn’t want to work for a company with that kind of viewpoint anyway.

The industry is growing at a rapid pace and the opportunities for those wanting to become web developers are huge. As far as age goes, It has little to no effect on the ability to find a job in the web development industry.

There are a plethora of businesses looking for skilled web developers that will hire you, regardless of your age, if you have the skills necessary to do the work required.

Skill-Based Industry

Web development overall is generally a skill-based industry, which was part of the attraction for me in the beginning, while learning about it as a potential career.

I think this attracts many people, of all ages, to start learning the skills necessary so they can switch to a fulfilling and high paying career like those in the web industry. I also believe it is based on skills more so now than ever before.

Besides, the majority of companies looking for entry-level applicants are basing their decisions on your portfolio, which showcase your skills.

Many starting developers worry about the struggles of breaking into the industry as a self-taught developer with no degree. Don’t let your age be another thing to worry about.

Your Advantage

Another thing to consider is that the older crowd has certain attributes that the younger crowd hasn’t developed yet, and that is social skills and wisdom.

The older guy will have more experience and maturity from working in various sectors of the job market, bringing specific skills to the table that a college grad wouldn’t know about. Use your experiences from your past to your advantage, and to give you a competitive edge.


Make It Happen

I am proof that it is possible, as I landed my first position in early 2019 at 35 years old. It only took me a couple of years while teaching myself using online resources, such as Udemy.

People are landing their first web dev jobs every day while being completely self-taught. With that being said, you shouldn’t let your age hold you back from pursuing a career in web development.

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Web Development Is Broad

Another thing to consider, as a web developer you have so many different routes you can take and technologies you can specialize in. Depending on what you are into, there are many paths within each niche you can find opportunities in.

If you did find you were having trouble getting hired in one area, possibly due to your age, for example, you could specialize and find another angle to target a segment of the industry with different requirements.

Front-End Development

Most people start with front-end development, and I think it is the least difficult and quickest route to get your foot in the door as a self-taught developer. But there are also many other areas you can specialize in.

Back-End Development

There are back-end developers, who like working on databases and scripts. They use back-end languages and frameworks like PHP, Python, Java, Laravel, Django, etc.

If you are more of the technical type, you can become skilled in these technologies and specialize. You can then build a portfolio of projects showcasing your skills and find companies that need help with these specific technologies.

WordPress Development

Another great example is WordPress development, as there are tons of opportunities using this content management system. According to TechJury.net30% of websites are built with WordPress.

There are many job opportunities with WordPress that only require you to know the basics. You just need to know how to maneuver within the platform and customize themes within WordPress.

Since these particular jobs have fewer requirements you could possibly start there. There are also more advanced WordPress developers that know how to work with the backend and are offered a very good salary.

More Specializations

A few more examples are Javascript developers, mobile development, Specific front-end frameworks like React and Angular.js, and back-end frameworks like Node.js and Ruby on Rails.

The bottom line is, that if you make yourself undeniable with your skillset, you can get a job in web development regardless of age.

Freelance Work

Another huge opportunity in the web development world is the ability to freelance. You can make a very good income with freelance work if you have the skillset. You can create your own business and control your income as your own boss.

Unlike working for a company within the industry, you have complete control, and your clients are not going to question your age in the process if you can deliver the results they need.

You can use websites like Upwork and Freelancer to get started, and then start marketing and building a client list from there.

Conclusion

While getting started later than most in learning web development, the industry still offers great opportunities based on your skill level, regardless of age.

While we all know ageism is a real thing, and you may encounter this hurdle along the way, you can still thrive in this industry just as anyone else can.

Remember, your skillset is the most important factor in landing a job in this field. So ignore the statistics, level up your skills, and make yourself undeniable and you will find that job opportunity that you deserve.

You are never too old to become a web developer.

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