There is nothing to prevent you from learning to write code and any point in life. If you want to do it for a living, even better.
Web apps are an entrenched part of every day life. They are used at work, at home, on desktop, phones, and are now appearing as interfaces on industrial machines. No surprise web developers are among the most sought after candidates in the jobs sector. This is a good reason to think about it as a possible option for a career change.
Why Life Experience Matters
If you do not have time or money to obtain a degree in software or web development, it will not prevent you from becoming a top coder. Many of the best coders are self-taught and learned to write code simply to solve problems. Understanding a problem and how to solve it more important than just writing code.
It is good to know math and be a logical thinker, but if this isn’t your strong point, it may not matter. A good coder must first be a good innovator. Insight into solving problems starts at looking at the problem on a human level. The code you write follows the analysis of what needs to be done to solve it using code. There are many coders who write high quality code that still does effectively solve problems because the overall approach is bad.
As the demand for web developers grows, the technology is rapidly evolving and schools cannot keep up with demand or the technology. It takes a lot of time and money for schools to update curriculum, which is why most simply teach the base skills like C++, Java, Python. These are good skills, but they do not fully address current industry requirements. That is why self-learning and the passion to innovate is often more valuable to an organization that accreditation. Taking courses is definitely beneficial, but not necessarily something that will set you apart from someone who was self taught.
There is no reason why you can’t change your career at any point in life, and learning web development is no exception. The technology changes so quickly that you do not need vast amounts of experience to be an effective problem solver. Many developers do list anything on their resume that goes part 10 years as it is largely irrelevant in the current technology landscape. To become an effective developer, you just need passion and the will to learn.
When you are ready to learn coding, avoid diving into expensive courses. Just do some online tutorials like those on tutsplus or lynda.com. Those tutorials come with source code to get you started and are generally designed to be fun.
Once you have the basics down, think of something that might be useful for yourself. If you like gardening, maybe a catalogue for your seeds. Fact is many successful companies actually start out this way.
Getting Involved with the Community
There are many ways to explore your options in a career move to web development. There are meetup groups and many online communities where people are happy to help you find your way. Sites like Stack Overflow are filled with people who want to help others, and meetup.com is also a great way to find people with similar interests in your own local community.
You are Never too Old
Remember that you are never too old to learn. I’ve met developers in their late 60 and 70 who learned to write apps using the latest greatest tech. I know a business investor in his 60s who wrote an iPhone app for his flying club. It made enough for him to buy a plane. My own father who turns 80 next year takes MIT courses and writes AI apps using Python.