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can an oldie start a career in programming

hi i am 34 years of age and just found out (very late i know) that my present career of management is just not for me.

I love algorithms and logic and hence programming. I wanted some opinions on whether a (relatively) elderly person like me can "begin" a serious career in programming. I know a bit of C++, can reasonably well google my way through the problems i face. I am prepared to work hard to learn new concepts/languages.

One practical and really big hurdle that i know would be my present CV. However, if i'm really interested in this career shift how should I go about it?
Nope. Way too old. Once you're past 25 you just can't learn anything again. It's science!

I guess it didn't come across as so :(
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Nope. Way too old. Once you're past 25 you just can't learn anything again. It's science!

It is not a science. It is your personal fantasy.
I think he was joking.
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I don't see a reason why you couldn't start a career in programming at 34. As long as you are willing to work hard and willing to learn it should be no problem. Consider that most people retire at 56 - probably 65? so you have anywhere from 20+ to 30+ years left to work so might as well do something you like ;p
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@Vlad, see my edit.
Well I come from a similar situation. I'm 30 and I started learning programming 2.5 years ago. My resume is management/sales/marketing/etc... I do have friends in the field though that got in with just a portfolio and good references, so I'm planning on doing the same.

My advise to you is to do just that. spend a few years learning a good amount of programing. create a portfolio and voila. In reality you already have good job references. Some of which will show employers that you have other skills. A friend of my wife works as a project manager for an IT firm and she sources out programmers and what not. She's mentioned before that they would sooner hire someone that presents themselves well professionally and that has good communication skills.
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hey thank you people...
so basically it means that although i have a tough road ahead, with patience things can be worked out..

@Oria thanks for your suggestions. but one point is, without actually working in this field how can i create a portfolio? a kind of chicken or the egg problem.
Portfolio of your own projects and of taking part in some open source projects. Basically a website that shows what you've done. Probably not something to worry about for the first couple years though.
So first there's lots of post about "Am I too young for programming?" and now this?
Being 34 you can skip the junior-programmer phase and immediately get a job as a senior programmer. :)
well, i don't know if OP is just trolling.

I had following conversation with my former landlord (a bank manager):

he: what's your job
me: programmer
he: Really? The company where my son works has from time to time some programming jobs nobody wants to do

In other words: Your main issue within a job application would be:

Why do you want to dump your career?

learning is no problem with the right mindset, but what recruiter would care for this?
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I think its going to take a couple of years to get good enough to make mooney, and if you are so old you may drop dead any minuet then theres a chance the answer is no.

EDIT:am i too immature for programming (lol)
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err... what? You are very wrong, people change career all the time at any age, shit, I did that already once... And I've seen many around me do the same. People often go to college into something they don't like and choose to change in their early 30s.

I don't think the OP is trolling, that's a fair question and very common for people from 25 to 45 to wonder about similar things.
People have a bad habit of trying to secure a stable job. It leads to them doing anything they can to keep their job, even if it is detrimental to society.

If at any point your actions to preserve your job become detrimental to society, you do not deserve to earn your salary.
I like that a lot LB
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