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Author Topic: Programming later in life  (Read 3176 times)

smitty

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Programming later in life
« on: September 01, 2021, 12:28:36 am »
I have spent the past 30 years working as a Unix admin for some Fortune 200 companies and US DOD.  The first 15 years was using AIX and Solaris, then I added Linux which is all the company has now since they got rid of AIX and Solaris.

I am 57 and can script my little heart out with Korn or Bash, awk, Rexx, and Perl.  I can read C and Java and even write simple things using them.  I also know a little Pascal and Racket/Scheme.  I don't really grok Smalltalk.

I am taking an early retirement but still want to work, but after 30 years as a Unix admin I want something else.  My college education was not in computer science but vocational education.  Would it be too much and too late to try getting a job as a junior software developer?

I'd prefer it to be backend and not frontend since it seems that changes every 30 days.  If so, what would be a direction for learning?  Object Pascal since it is object oriented, and would that make learning Java easier?  Python (which I really do not like because of the whitespace!) because it has so many areas where it is used? 

It seems most know 7 or 8 languages and then you have the kids out of college who can likely do full stack.  Maybe I should stick to something else instead of the programming route!?

Anyway, thanks for any thoughts and opinions.

VTwin

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Re: Programming later in life
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2021, 01:33:40 am »
Learn Object Pascal to learn Object Pascal. Learn Java to learn Java.

Object Pascal is the best way to create cross-platform desktop applications. It has the most sensible and readable syntax, and can do everything C++ can do, without taking a decade to master. I used to use C and C++, but got tired of juggling razor blades.

Unfortunately, despite its merits, Object Pascal is not high on requested job skills. If you want to get something done targeting cross-platform desktops, quickly with minimal stress, use Object Pascal. If you are looking for a job, you may need to learn what ever language of the day has a high profile.

I am lucky that I write software as a one person team. My users only care if it works. It does.

BTW, I am quite a bit older than you.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2021, 01:35:12 am by VTwin »
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PierceNg

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Re: Programming later in life
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2021, 06:26:54 am »
I have spent the past 30 years working as a Unix admin

Would it be too much and too late to try getting a job as a junior software developer?

Maybe I should stick to something else instead of the programming route!?

I worked as a sysadmin for much of my career and then transitioned to devops. Unless you're totally sick of sysadmin work, you could try getting into the ops side of devops and then cross over to the dev side eventually. The ops in devops are things like building and running containers, setting up CI/CD, doing cloud-native stuff with AWS, Azure, Kubernetes, etc. Such work will be tied to the programming languages used by any given employer.

Object Pascal is a fine language, but its job market is very small.

valdir.marcos

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Re: Programming later in life
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2021, 10:45:07 am »
I have spent the past 30 years working as a Unix admin for some Fortune 200 companies and US DOD.  The first 15 years was using AIX and Solaris, then I added Linux which is all the company has now since they got rid of AIX and Solaris.

I am 57 and can script my little heart out with Korn or Bash, awk, Rexx, and Perl.  I can read C and Java and even write simple things using them.  I also know a little Pascal and Racket/Scheme.  I don't really grok Smalltalk.

I am taking an early retirement but still want to work, but after 30 years as a Unix admin I want something else.  My college education was not in computer science but vocational education.  Would it be too much and too late to try getting a job as a junior software developer?

I'd prefer it to be backend and not frontend since it seems that changes every 30 days.  If so, what would be a direction for learning?  Object Pascal since it is object oriented, and would that make learning Java easier?  Python (which I really do not like because of the whitespace!) because it has so many areas where it is used? 

It seems most know 7 or 8 languages and then you have the kids out of college who can likely do full stack.  Maybe I should stick to something else instead of the programming route!?

Anyway, thanks for any thoughts and opinions.
Just like in any other profession, programming demands some skills to oneself gets a job and a salary.
I don't see age as problem, but basic skills are.
You could achieve those basic skills by getting back to college or reading some books or taking some online training.
What effort do you want to do to transform your professional life?
Choose a programming language and enjoy learning it.
If you realize Pascal is a good option for you, please be welcome onboard.

 

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