Coding, Programming, Python, Web Development

Learning to Code at 50

There exists a paralyzing fear in imagining yourself being forced into starting over due to down-sizing while entering mid-life. How much greater so is that fear when you willingly embark on that journey…

Technically, it started when I was 49. There was a soft voice that kept whispering in my ear telling me to reinvent myself. Having always had a knack for the tech stuff, I decided to try coding. What is coding? Coding is basically the computer language used to develop apps, websites and software. This seemed a reasonable and logical choice.

Growing up my brother and I had a Commodore 64 that was just the most awesome cutting edge cool tech device ever – haha! I liked to take things apart and see how they worked. Growing up in the late 70’s and early 80’s there was plenty of solid state technology. Devices driven by resistors and capacitors and transistors and 555 timers.

Long history short, coding just seemed to be a good fit to stay current and on the leading edge but could I catch up that much evolution at this age? That was the big question kicking around inside my head. I needed encouragement so I turned to Reddit and boy, did I receive it! 120 comments and 235 upvotes….the community believed I could do it so why the self doubt? Because it is scary, that is why.

I found a self-paced online course on that was very popular and had high reviews. I signed up and got started. About two months in, things got slow. My real job picked up and I lost a few weeks but realized that I needed some front-end knowledge – web development knowledge.

First Notes

Phase II – The Complete 2019 Fullstack Web Developer course! It was incredibly easy to learn the basics of HTML, CSS and JS through this course. Also, you should check out Free Code Camp and yes, it is truly free. This part of coding clicks with me and has been the biggest reason I started this blog. I have even customized a small bit of CSS to add my Patreon link under the “about me” section.

Recommended Books

I highly recommend The Python Crash Course and Web Coding and Development For Dummies as they have been outstanding resources. A few short weeks later and viola! I have a certificate of completion but more so, I have confidence that I can do this. It has not been easy. I wake at 4:30AM each weekday morning and work on coding for an hour then I have my Bible study and prayer time. Repetition is key – to both personal growth and spiritual health.

Now that the front-end basics are relatively safe in my head, back to the Python course. Python is powerful, at least what I know about it so far. Within three weeks of starting the Python course my boss asked me how long it would take to convert measurement data from inch to metric on 150 Excel files. Two days later, I had written Python code that automated that process and changed the files in less than a minute thanks to Automate the Boring Stuff!

If you are thinking about changing careers or even developing a new hobby, absolutely do not let your age or your position or even your best friend stop you from learning and being the best you that you can be. I encourage you to branch out and explore the world around you and in those journeys, don’t forget to recognize that point that is, Halfway Home.

-DM Dave

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