30 years too old to learn computer programming?

Updated on : January 17, 2022 by Megan Smith



30 years too old to learn computer programming?

Not at all! I started dabbling at 30, got serious at 31 and now I'm 33 years old. I have worked as a software developer for over 1 year in SF / Bay Area.

My educational background is not even in science, I went to UC Berkeley and majored in Political Science. He worked in marketing and sales for 8 years. I had never touched programming before my 30th birthday and knew next to nothing about what it really entailed.

He had always been a fan of computers and logic and logic puzzles and programming turned out to be more of that kind of reasoning than the math he had always heard of.

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Not at all! I started dabbling at 30, got serious at 31 and now I'm 33 years old. I have worked as a software developer for over 1 year in SF / Bay Area.

My educational background is not even in science, I went to UC Berkeley and majored in Political Science. He worked in marketing and sales for 8 years. I had never touched programming before my 30th birthday and knew next to nothing about what it really entailed.

He had always been a fan of computers and logic and logic puzzles and programming turned out to be more of that kind of reasoning than the math that he had always heard associated with. Needless to say, I had the wrong idea about it for much of my life based on how many would describe it.

I made some sacrifices to develop my skills in the following years. I first did an internship, unpaid, after a few introductory community college courses to get a feel for the production experience in a small startup. Second, after 6 months on startup, I decided to invest a decent amount of savings in an extended Bootcamp (6 months) focused on full-stack JavaScript development.

There were times in my learning process when I had to depend on family and walk away from work full time. My goal was to spend as much time as possible writing code. A programmer / mentor / friend gave me some advice early on that I decided to stick with in faith and it turned out to be the truest of all for my success. My friend had refused to offer me a full time job after I had been programming informally for about 6 months. I demanded to know why and what I could do to improve.

My programming mentor then told me:

"You only need your 10,000 hours"

He was referring to the theory that experts are people who have worked 10,000 hours on something. Well, to this day I would say that I am still a long way from 10k, but with a few thousand under my belt, I have to say that I am absolutely in awe of how far I have come. If you had asked me if I could be so capable just a year earlier, I would have told you with confidence. No, there is no way!

I am currently the lead front-end engineer for my startup employer and have created everything from simple websites to a Chrome extension and a mobile app using React-Native technology. My salary is competitive with the Bay Area, six figures. Maybe a little less than someone with a college degree, but this is also my first full role and I'm doing much better than many other BC graduates.

That said, I definitely think I pushed A LOT more than a lot of my peers exactly because I felt like an old fart compared to some of the 24-year-olds on the show. In the end, I was one of the highest-achieving students in my group and did a lot to expand the school's assignments, challenging myself to go further.

When it comes to getting hired, focusing on Javascript was the right decision, as web development is a good bridge between high-end computing and high-demand web programming. There are good opportunities and high demand for web developers of various calibers, and the hands-on experience you receive building on the web is a great way to build your first 1,000 hours or programming and troubleshooting experience.

That said, finding my first job was the last big hurdle. Here in the Bay Area there are many options for various skill levels, but the competition is also high. It may take up to 6 months to find a job, not to mention the stigma that Bootcamp training is a real phenomenon. But if you are committed to making the change and not abandoning gradual progress, the rewards are immense.

I earn more money, I have a better life experience. Have a flexible skill that can sell to the highest bidder through any internet connection if I decide to stay away from full-time office work. Everything that is said about the future of technology is absolutely true once you are in the industry.

Sometimes I work long hours, but I enjoy the process and the final product and they compensate me well enough to know that I won't have to keep working until I'm 75.

So no, 30 years was not too long to start programming, in fact, it was the perfect time. He had matured enough to take on this challenge and pursue it at full speed. Don't let your age stop you from improving your life 10 times.

WOW! If you got a job as a programmer right now, today, you could confidently proclaim “I'm a living dinosaur! Woo-hoo! ”. I think you get the message. But for those less resourceful than you, clearly, a profession like programming can be successful and rewarding only for those who learned to program at a low chronological age. Hundreds of studies have determined that even the lowest-quality programmers who learned their coding skills during the 10-20 age group are much more skilled and earn more money per year than the best programmers who learned coding skills after school. age.

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WOW! If you got a job as a programmer right now, today, you could confidently proclaim “I'm a living dinosaur! Woo-hoo! ”. I think you get the message. But for those less resourceful than you, clearly, a profession like programming can be successful and rewarding only for those who learned to program at a low chronological age. Hundreds of studies have determined that even the lowest-quality programmers who learned their coding skills during the 10-20 age group are far more skilled and earn more money per year than the best programmers who learned coding skills after the 30 years. , there is some factor about chronological age that gives a significant advantage to those who learn to code at an early age that cannot be compensated for by those who learned to code when they were over 30 years old. This is a surprising finding, considering that there are so many programming languages, and there are so many different paradigms that languages ​​can be classified into. However, the study findings cannot be ignored: the probability that you will find a successful and rewarding career in programming in your old age is extremely low. Stick to your day job, if you have one. If you have been bitten by a coding error or have developed some passion for dedicating yourself to programming, then you should not ignore this. Just plan on making it a possibly rewarding hobby at best. The probability that you will find a successful and rewarding career in programming in your old age is extremely low. Stick to your day job, if you have one. If you have been bitten by a coding error or have developed some passion for dedicating yourself to programming, then you should not ignore this. Just plan on making it a possibly rewarding hobby at best. The probability that you will find a successful and rewarding career in programming in your old age is extremely low. Stick to your day job, if you have one. If you have been bitten by a coding error or have developed some passion for dedicating yourself to programming, then you should not ignore this.

In the meantime, consider some other activities in which old age and / or longevity is a fundamental characteristic, and in which your advanced age would not be an impediment to learning and achieving a successful and rewarding career. For example, archeology, paleontology, the physics subbranch of the decay of long-lived isotopes, or even the rare decay events of certain subatomic particles.

In any case, I wish you success in whatever you choose to do, whether it is to continue in your current situation or to embark on a new adventure in learning. Once all that is said, the trip is usually more rewarding than the goal.

No, I did it exactly your age.

I got into a computer development boot camp, those 12-week full-time programs that teach you enough to get hired as a junior developer, when I was a year and a half.

I graduated from McCombs School of Business (one of the top 10 undergraduate business programs) with a degree in finance. He wasn't exactly good at it; I just did it because everyone else did it and they kept talking about money.

Well me, 21, it was all about that green pocket book (money), so I rode that exaggerated train to the wrong point.

And then I continued riding that train through

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No, I did it exactly your age.

I got into a computer development boot camp, those 12-week full-time programs that teach you enough to get hired as a junior developer, when I was a year and a half.

I graduated from McCombs School of Business (one of the top 10 undergraduate business programs) with a degree in finance. He wasn't exactly good at it; I just did it because everyone else did it and they kept talking about money.

Well me, 21, it was all about that green pocket book (money), so I rode that exaggerated train to the wrong point.

And then I continued to ride that train through three jobs, seven years, and a miserable soul-sucking life.

"But the money, Adam !!"

Here's the problem: When you're not excited about what you're doing, and you're not very good at it as a result, money just doesn't show up. You have to work hard and work well for that part to really take off.

Anyway, I had enough.

Therefore, after my career in finance, I switched to programming by taking the coding bootcamp.

Everyone I talk to about my switch is always in awe.

"How did you change so fast? Why? That? That's crazy!

I don't think about it much; the decision was quite simple.

I didn't like my job, I didn't like my career, so I quit and started something else. And I would do it again at my current age.

There is no reason to be absolutely miserable in your life. I don't care what you do. It doesn't have to be a burning passion of yours, but hating Sunday because you know Monday means another week at work, you're doing something wrong.

If you tell yourself that you can't, you can't. If you tell yourself you won't, you won't.

I have been a developer for about three years.

Here's my counter question to start this discussion ... Having kids too late at 30? Is it better to start a family at 20, 30, 40, etc.?

There is a reason why I am drawing this parallel. Many have this dilemma. With all the pros and cons, the answer is never that simple. There are many different opinions and beliefs, but everyone would agree that the process and experience would be different for each age and situation.

Of course, without a doubt, it is easier to learn to code and to enter this career when you are only 20 years old. Technologies are always changing and very competitive. By definition this is easier for you

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Here's my counter question to start this discussion ... Having kids too late at 30? Is it better to start a family at 20, 30, 40, etc.?

There is a reason why I am drawing this parallel. Many have this dilemma. With all the pros and cons, the answer is never that simple. There are many different opinions and beliefs, but everyone would agree that the process and experience would be different for each age and situation.

Of course, without a doubt, it is easier to learn to code and to enter this career when you are only 20 years old. Technologies are always changing and very competitive. By definition, this is easier for younger people without testing their work-life, family and health balance.

On the other hand, if you start in your 30s, you can avoid many traps that newbies make in their 20s, depending on your life and professional experience. Sure, it will never be the same kind of experience. But if you're 30, you've already had 10 years of lifelong learning that would put you ahead of 20. This additional learning experience can bring both benefits and challenges. But it certainly adds a different perspective and thus opens up exciting new opportunities.

It also depends on other conditions, such as your family situation. Some 20-year-olds can work at startups without worrying about financial obligations. Some may work long hours, attend meetings and hackathons, take many vacations, while at 30, you may be in a different situation and very limited to normal business hours.

On the other hand, some 30-year-olds have paid off their student loans, have some savings and solved their personal lives and can now spend their time learning new and exciting careers.

I would say that many 50-year-olds who already have children have grown up but are not yet ready to retire. Those people may be excited to (finally) learn another profession they always wanted.

Like my parallel with other life decisions, like starting a family, this must be a personal choice. Ultimately it all comes down to whether you think you will be good at it and enjoy this profession. Sometimes the only way to find out is to try. This is what I recommend to start with.

Think of it this way: do you love coding or are you just looking for more money? If it's just for the money, try to get better at what you're good at and prove yourself to be a star!

But, if you think you can love coding, that means not only is that okay, but you'll also enjoy visiting dozens of free websites (or less than the price of Starbucks coffee per day) for months and months and months, and keep practicing, practicing. , practicing. You must strive to learn and fail and learn. You must be patient and have a lot of perseverance.

I have been doing this for the past 60% of my life. I am

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Think of it this way: do you love coding or are you just looking for more money? If it's just for the money, try to get better at what you're good at and prove yourself to be a star!

But, if you think you can love coding, that means not only is that okay, but you'll also enjoy visiting dozens of free websites (or less than the price of Starbucks coffee per day) for months and months and months, and keep practicing, practicing. , practicing. You must strive to learn and fail and learn. You must be patient and have a lot of perseverance.

I have been doing this for the past 60% of my life. I am 31 years old and have even had some health problems from doing it more than 12 hours a day for the last 18 years of my life. But I love it. I started it when there was not a single person and exactly one paper book within a 200 mile radius of my home in Iran. And there was no internet. I started it by typing the gibberish texts in that book for hours and then pressing a button to see the result on my old Commodore 64, which most of the time would not work due to a typo that I was unable to detect and correct. . I did that for 4 years.

Then I went to a good school, but I was not selected to learn Pascal's programming. I didn't give up, I just got one book and read it for a year everywhere I went, and I wrote and executed almost every code in that 600-page book. Same with C a couple of years after that, except it was 650 pages.

Then I practiced for 3 more years. Day and night coding. Solve problems and learn algorithms from books and practice online. I repeated that for another 10 years and got to some international programming contests. I am now a Senior Principal Engineer and I am actively seeking (up to 8 phone interviews per day) smart people to hire for my team at a successful startup company in San Francisco.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

TL; DR: You have to love him and you must try hard and never give up! These days it is much easier, but you need to practice and have perseverance!

By the way, age is not a problem, at least in Silicon Valley. Just dress well, be positive and passionate about learning, and you are good. :-)

(Side point: your question from a programming point of view is a bit ambiguous.It could be a question about learning your mother tongue or learning your tenth.However, I think it's safe to assume it's your first right ...?)
Therefore, the default The answer to this question will be "It is never too late". That's the optimistic one-size-fits-all answer. However, I would say that it depends on your goal. If you just want to learn a programming language so you can put it on your resume and never touch it again, go ahead, read a tutorial, do the examples, put that statement on your resume. I

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(Side point: your question from a programming point of view is a bit ambiguous. It could be a question about learning your first language or learning your tenth. However, I think it's safe to assume it's your first. Right?)
So the default answer to this question will be "It is never too late." That's the optimistic one-size-fits-all answer. However, I would say that it depends on your goal. If you just want to learn a programming language so you can put it on your resume and never touch it again, go ahead, read a tutorial, do the examples, put that statement on your resume. If you want to change the fields to programming something completely different because you heard that the job market was booming ... then you might want to ask yourself a couple of questions. (I think this applies to anyone. Not just 30-year-olds.)
1. Do I enjoy solving difficult problems?
Programming is about solving one problem after another. It starts with a problem. Program the solution piece by piece making sure not to write any errors in the code. If there is an error, it is another problem to solve. So if you don't get a kind of euphoria after solving a sudoku or math problem, then it will be difficult to work your way through the frustrating parts of programming when you don't have the solution.
2. Am I mentally flexible, but logical?
If something isn't working at all in one way because you've completely exhausted your ideas on how to fix it, then you should be able to have a different idea of ​​how it should work. By "how it should work," I mean the computer is going to do exactly what you tell it to do in a logical way. It should work if what you tell him to do logically leads to the goal you had in mind. Therefore, you must be able to think outside of one box, while staying within the limits of another. Also, the programming is always changing. So you have to evolve with it.
3. Do I like to plan ahead?
If you don't like planning ahead, I definitely hope I never see your code. A messy, messy mess will probably come out, which if it works, it only works by luck. When solving a problem, one must know the end goal and, in general, what it will look like. If no one knows what it will look like, it will program endlessly and never get anywhere.

Finally,
4. Am I going to hold out?
Scheduling can be challenging. There are times when you are going to hit really hard walls and it will feel like you are banging your head against the wall, but you have to solve the problem because your pay depends on it. Success in solving a problem can get you started on the next problem, but anticipating the solution will only make you more frustrated when you get stuck. That's when you just have to keep going and moving on.

If you've answered yes to those questions, I'm not sure if that covers all the requirements, but I think it's a good start. At 30, you've probably determined if you have these qualities, so it should make your decision easier than someone just starting out. If you don't have these qualities, then scheduling can be a frustrating mess and a waste of time. If you have these qualities and start programming, it will be very rewarding for you. Imagine the ability to create worlds out of practically nothing. Being able to organize worlds with lines of code. Being able to keep learning things in a constantly expanding field. It's pretty impressive, and if you're willing to put up with it, we're all going to live at least 150 anyway (quite possibly),

I started when I was 37, a long, long time ago. My past? Journalism, professional photographer, comedy scriptwriter. My university? and unfinished degree in Philosophy and Letters and, without English.

After fleeing my country, I tried cabinetmaking in New York. Unlucky. While working as a photo lab technician, I bought a TI994A home computer from Texas Instrument and promoted it (Know this guy?) By Bill Cosby. I started programming video games in BASIC just by following the manual, but they were too slow. So, I called Texas Instrument and they told me that assembly language would improve the

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I started when I was 37, a long, long time ago. My past? Journalism, professional photographer, comedy scriptwriter. My university? and unfinished degree in Philosophy and Letters and, without English.

After fleeing my country, I tried cabinetmaking in New York. Unlucky. While working as a photo lab technician, I bought a TI994A home computer from Texas Instrument and promoted it (Know this guy?) By Bill Cosby. I started programming video games in BASIC just by following the manual, but they were too slow. So, I called Texas Instrument and they told me that assembly language would dramatically improve the speed of my games. The assembly language kit only had 44.95. So I bought it and for the first time in my life I read a book, the assembly language manual, cover to cover, without understanding a single word. The feeling was devastating, but I continued to work on the computer and eventually began taking courses and reading book after book.

14 years later, I was director of software development at one of the largest insurance companies. I also worked for Dow Jones, BMW, etc. After I retired, I went back to school and got my bachelor's degree in management information systems at 68 and my master of science in software engineering at 72.

Now, let's get back to your question. At 31, you have everything to be successful. Now I am 73 years old, I am retired and I can't wait to start something new. I want to be a carpenter and in about six months I will have my workshop with all the tools that I think I will need. I am also writing a book on democracy and have other projects in mind.

The Bible says that Noah was about 600 years old when God asked him to build an ark for a curious project. He was a preacher, not a construction worker and he did.

In comparison, at 73 years old, I am still a baby.

The question needs a refinement. If you start programming, you will need to start thinking in more precise terms and definitions. Vagueness is the antithesis of good programming.

If I had to guess, I think you are not asking so much if it is 'too late', but if your age affects your employment opportunities (assuming you do not intend to code as a hobby).

To that question, my answer is that you will always face some form of discrimination in the IT business. It's a competitive place, and companies (primarily HR) will always find ways to subtly try to push aside anything other than their own.

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The question needs a refinement. If you start programming, you will need to start thinking in more precise terms and definitions. Vagueness is the antithesis of good programming.

If I had to guess, I think you are not asking so much if it is 'too late', but if your age affects your employment opportunities (assuming you do not intend to code as a hobby).

To that question, my answer is that you will always face some form of discrimination in the IT business. It's a competitive place and companies (primarily HR) will always find ways to subtly try to sidestep anything other than their own vision (made by themselves or delivered by management) of the perfect employee.

Some believe that the perfect programmer has a lot of experience ... at brand name companies (ie Google, Facebook). If the big brands are not on your resume, the ranking algorithm that analyzes resumes will place yours in an electronic trash can.

Some believe that the perfect programmer went to a brand school (there are only two: Stanford and MIT, in case you haven't heard). Didn't you go there? The algorithm moves on and seeks a master's degree.

Some believe that the perfect programmer is a recent college graduate. Easy to verify, or heck, maybe they just hire college campus recruits.

Some employers only transfer interns to entry-level positions.

Some dismiss candidates based on "cultural fit." Of course, the culture could be all male, all Indian, all Caucasian, all single, all from a locally renowned school, all "nerds", and so on. This is one where they just blatantly ignore all employment laws because they know that it is more difficult to prove discrimination when you were never considered for the job.

The information technology industry is the Wild West, and blatantly.

The best thing you can do is just be good (i.e. Have outstanding programming skill), network with other programmers, and get your work out there where people can SEE you're good (i.e Github repositories, CodePen , etc.).

Still, there are no guarantees, but that's the way it is and will likely remain for the next twenty years.

As one guy downstairs said (and I'm paraphrasing), 'you'll never be as good as someone who starts out young.'

It doesn't matter if they suck as a programmer, have no heart or programming aptitude at all - you'll never be better because you're old.

If you believe him, give it up. If you don't believe it, try the programming and prove it wrong. There will always be skeptics and doers. I put my money on the doers.

You are 35 years old. You can plan to retire at 75 (more or less), that is, 40 years left in the market, and if you are good at math, you have 5 more years of work left than you have lived. So far, that includes learning to walk, training to urinate, and all of that.

Should I learn something new where the workforce doubles every 5 years or so? With no end in sight? Where programmers really rule the world. Do you think Elon Musk is making cars drive themselves? Do you think Elon Musk is doing all the work on Space X and Tesla? Think again. You have hundreds of developers doing tech things that you don't

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You are 35 years old. You can plan to retire at 75 (more or less), that is, 40 years left in the market, and if you are good at math, you have 5 more years of work left than you have lived. So far, that includes learning to walk, training to urinate, and all of that.

Should I learn something new where the workforce doubles every 5 years or so? With no end in sight? Where programmers really rule the world. Do you think Elon Musk is making cars drive themselves? Do you think Elon Musk is doing all the work on Space X and Tesla? Think again. It has hundreds of developers doing tech stuff that didn't exist a few years ago.

Do you think Tim Cook is making machine learning happen at Apple? The new artificial gaming platform? No. He has tens of thousands of programmers working for him making iPhone great, macOS happen, and create all the necessary tools.

Do you think Sergey is doing all of Google alone? Doing Android, making sure a fried chicken in a photo isn't mistaken for a Labrador doodle dog? No, he has over 100,000 programmers working for him.

Most, if not all, of the examples I point out above are just technology that was invented 5 years ago.

Then we have all the stores, have you ever seen a store that doesn't use a digital cash register? Websites to order things? The construction of houses is all designed on a computer. An architect who uses a pencil and paper would be thrown off the sidewalk to which he belongs.

You should at least learn some programming. Almost all jobs today use some programming, some computers and this will just increase.

I am 42 years old and I decided on a career change. I had no prior programming experience and joined a programming bootcamp. I'm learning alongside people who are young enough to be my kids, and I'm holding on. Sometimes they are faster than me, but not fast enough to make me feel like I'm not capable of learning. I'm probably the oldest in the class, but there are definitely other people in their thirties and thirties and they are all fine.

I'm not sure what your experience is, but that also makes a difference. He was good at calculus, logic, physics, and chemistry when he was in college, so I imagine

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I am 42 years old and I decided on a career change. I had no prior programming experience and joined a programming bootcamp. I'm learning alongside people who are young enough to be my kids, and I'm holding on. Sometimes they are faster than me, but not fast enough to make me feel like I'm not capable of learning. I'm probably the oldest in the class, but there are definitely other people in their thirties and thirties and they are all fine.

I'm not sure what your experience is, but that also makes a difference. He was good at calculus, logic, physics, and chemistry when he was in college, so I thought he would have some programming skills. I took some online courses that made me feel like I understood. I quit my job and now my wife supports me during these six months.

The hardest thing about this is my pride. I was used to being the smartest guy in the room at my old jobs, but now I accept that I don't know anything and every now and then I have to let a 23-year-old know-it-all talk to me. While frustrating, my experience in the real world has taught me that such people are everywhere in the real world and in all professions. I need to remind myself that if I stayed where I felt smart and comfortable, I would not grow, both in knowledge and income, and I have decided that stagnation is worse than feeling silly for a few minutes while someone almost half my age. can code faster than me.

I'm still in bootcamp for a few more months, so I can't tell you that you'll be fine to get a new job at your age. We all know that depends on many other factors, such as your personal / professional skills and your geographical location, that is, whether or not you live near one of the main technology centers in the country. I can say that I feel confident in being among other budding software engineers by comparing my understanding and ideas with theirs. While many jobs seem to prefer someone in their twenties because they are willing to work 14 hours a day, my friends in the tech industry tell me that there are other jobs that will prefer my mature perspective and real-world experience. One more time,

So I would say that if you already have some propensity for logic / math functions, and you live in or near a job market where the demand for programmers is not being met, then you should absolutely dedicate yourself to programming, it is a growing industry while the most others are shrinking.

"They are very far from me"

It's true, there are others out there with more coding experience than you. And that? All programmers were inexperienced and at some point they took their first steps towards becoming professionals, and they did so despite the fact that there were already experienced professionals in the field.

Let's look at it from a different perspective. Each year, high school graduates take their first steps toward earning a bachelor's degree in specialties like Business, Architecture, and Engineering. These students are not waiting for today's professionals in their chosen fields: professional

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"They are very far from me"

It's true, there are others out there with more coding experience than you. And that? All programmers were inexperienced and at some point they took their first steps towards becoming professionals, and they did so despite the fact that there were already experienced professionals in the field.

Let's look at it from a different perspective. Each year, high school graduates take their first steps toward earning a bachelor's degree in specialties like Business, Architecture, and Engineering. These students are not waiting for current professionals in their chosen fields - professionals who "outperform" them in experience - to get out of the way; they are starting careers now, so they will be able to take their place among these professionals later. It is exactly the same with encoding. You can never take your place among professional coders if you don't get in the way.

However, I will tell you a secret about the experience: if you start programming now, within a year you will have one more year of experience than someone who is just starting. A year later you will be two years ahead of someone who is just starting out, and so on. You will be who they think they cannot compete with.

"I can't reach them"

That is not the point at all. You are not in a race against anyone other than yourself. You are the only person you must beat. You can only win this race if you go out of your way and start.

How do you do that? You focus on the first step, then you focus on the next, and the next, and so on. Keep taking steps and one day you will be amazed at how far you've come. You will look back and you will not even be able to see where your journey began.

Now go. Follow your road. It is never too late to learn to code.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" and coding is one of those journeys. If you're interested, which I think you are, since you've stayed with me so far, it's time to start.

Right here, right now, you are at your starting point. Take the first step on your way and don't look back. A thousand lines of code from now on you'll be glad you did.

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