Coding is often thought of as a career path for young people. Some may think older adults would have difficulty learning this skill. However, it is becoming more common for older adults to take coding lessons and become successful in using this skill to develop websites, apps, or other programs. Even adults well into their 80s have begun to pursue this interest. Motivations for developing this skill vary, but many are looking to become more competitive in their current job or to start a new career. Others are seeking a new hobby or learning opportunity.
Anyone interested in learning how to code can select from a variety of courses available online, take classes at a university, or attend a coding “boot camp.” All of these options teach students how to use various programming languages and generally do not require students to hold advanced degrees. Even for people who are not interested in web design, understanding the basics can be useful for understanding technology in general. While it can be complicated, the ability to solve problems and understand the structure of writing can be very useful in programming. Learning to code can be difficult at any age, but with some persistence it can be accomplished.
Older adults who take lessons in person have the added benefit of interacting with younger generations. There is a growing interest in providing intergenerational opportunities for older adults, so there may be an added benefit for older adults attending courses that are primarily filled with people under the age of 30. For those who are not ready to commit to an entire course, there are plenty of resources and beginner’s guides freely available online. Coding may not be the right fit for everyone, but it is a useful, in-demand skill that is available for anyone of any age to pursue.
Marino V. Some people learn to code in their 60s, 70s or 80s. The New York Times. (September, 22, 2017. ). Accessed September 29, 2017.