View Full Version : Am I too old?

08 August 2005, 08:16 PM
Hello everybody,

I have a quick question for the programmers out there. I wish to change career, I have been a Printer for the last 12 years, and before that I worked in a computer mainframe environment using VAX/VMS. For the past few months I have been studying, as a hobby, Max 7, and have gained a beginners knowledge of C++, via books (C++ a Beginners Guide, and Visual C++ a beginners Guide). Now, it has come to my attention there are some great opportunities for C++ programmers in my Country (Ireland). My thoughts are to do some courses online and make a real go of it! I have a real passion for the subject, but, my question is at the age of 34 with a wife and family am I too old for a restart? your thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated?


08 August 2005, 08:55 PM

(silly ten char limit...)

08 August 2005, 09:06 PM
Being the optimistic type person I am. I'll say this, you are never too old to do anything you want.

But if I were a beginner in both c++ and 3d, I wouldn't go quit my day job. I would continue practicing and learning even take classes. Yes it would be a busy schedule for a few years, but would be well worth it in the long run.

Don't take what I would do to heart, for I am 25 and don't have near as many responsibilities as you do in your case. However you decide, good luck.

I am sure there are others here that have can answer better opinions for they have been in the industry.. business.. field.

08 August 2005, 06:04 AM
Hello sir. Ofcourse you can still do that sir. I have read a similar story like yours in the book Breaking through the Game Industry by Mr. Adams. There was this woman about your age or a bit older than you i think. She was already an executive in a company but her heart is in making games so she quit her high paying job and started out again from the bottom. She made her way up again in a couple of years and now she is a very high position in Maxis, she's vice president i think. Anyway you can build up your confidence sir by reading these kinds of books. I think its just in the mind if we can do certain things or not. I am sure you will be up and running in your new career in no time. There are also ways in that book to turn your veteran skills as a plus. I'm sure you can do it. And we believe in you. Let us know how you make it ^_^

08 August 2005, 05:55 PM
If you want to have that career, then do it. In my opinion; you can make it:bounce: .

08 August 2005, 06:15 PM
The great thing about coding and graphic design is that you are never too old for sitting down in front of a computer. I would even go as far as to say that you have a slight advantage with having kids. Since kids are a big market you can use them as market research. The only thing is that coding requires a lot of focus and time, so you will need to create a good office space where you can let yourself think without distractions. A good understanding wife is really needed, not one that requires all of your attention once the kids are asleep. I am not say you will have no time, but try coming up with a schedule that she will be supportive of. Also make sure they can be as consecutive as possible (2 days, then a break), because if you start something and can't finish it is tough, try to make goals that you can reach in those times. Such as tonight i will make the arms work, tomorrow i will start sketching the face. Otherwise you will either go crazy being stuck in the middle and have too wait 2 days to get back at it. Let me also say though that you may want to choose between 3D design and coding since Coding is very very logical (not too say you can't be creative just in a logical way) and 3D design is more creative. C++ is also used for pratically everything, while 3D is very ify and harder to find a job. Otherwise do what your heart wants....
But i totally agree with what the other guy said above, wait till you found a job and then quit your existing job. Also make a portfolio of artwork, animation, and OpenGL/DirectX coding demos since you are starting from scratch.

08 August 2005, 07:37 PM
Thanks for all your replies Guy's. I'm lucky enough that I presently work in a company that works 3 x 12 hour shift system so that gives me plenty of time to study, and I will be starting my first course next week in C++, I am also hoping that (time permitting) I will be able to continue my studies in Max 7, again thanks very much for your replies.


08 August 2005, 12:20 AM
Once you're up to speed on the basics, working toward a kicka$$ demo as you study is something that I HIGHLY recommend. The skills you gain in doing a real project are invaluable, and the results are a great way to show off what you can do.

Also, try to do something original. Back in about '84, I got my first job at an arcade games company because I showed a demo of a 3D modeling, animation, and shaded rendering app that I had written from scratch on an Atari400.

32K and a tape drive, if you can imagine.

08 August 2005, 10:36 AM
Hello everybody,
age of 34 with a wife and family am I too old for a restart?Guy.

in china, there was this man who wanted to become a shaolin kung fu master of the iron thread. He never practiced martial arts cuz he never had the chance. He started his training at the age of 80. At 102 he had become a master.

there's also the story of japan's greatest carthographer, who embarked on his journey to make japan's most complete map at the age of 60, and stll took a lot of him to do it but he did it...dont remember his name tough:shrug:

08 August 2005, 12:44 PM
Well my day job is in GUI design in Dublin (but with a fair bit of programming) and I do arch viz by night on 3dsMax. They are not mutually exclusive at all. In fact once you've learned C++ (or any similar language) Maxscipt will be a breeze. But when I said I do arch viz by night I do mean by night!

Don't be tempted to take on nixers (Irish slang for small casual jobs) too early. If you are tempted hold off until you know you're fast enough and good enough because clients will still expect you to complete in smiliar timeframes to daytime professionals... If you take on too much you could end up like I have on occasions on 4 hours sleep a night!

Other advice would be get a good chair... you're gona spend alot of time on it! :-) And get a good screen for the same reason
That said I'm addicted to both and happy as a pig in ****, so take it step by step and enjoy, it can be tiring but rewarding. And yes there is good demand here for programmers again, don't know about Shannon/Limerick region but in Dublin wages are on the way up again. Not as many kids that entered college 4 years ago chose IT courses (bottom had fallen out of market) so there's a graduate shortfall now.

08 August 2005, 09:29 AM
just look around yourself...
there you will find your answers... not here...

bern 26 years working on 3d for 11 years
hugs and good luck

08 August 2005, 02:38 PM
I'm not a programmer, but I felt I was too old at 24. I'm now in my 30's. Don't wait another 10 years and look back saying 'gee, only if I was ten years younger.' Don't waste another day. Just do it. :)

Cactus Dan
09 September 2005, 05:53 PM

Well, I've been working as a printer for over 20 years, and playing around with teaching myself 3D graphics and programming at home in my spare time, on an Atari and later on a Mac.

Last year I turned 50, and just made my carear change from printer, to freelance 3D animator and plugin programmer. So it really is never too late. :)

Cactus Dan

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