Let me first introduce myself, I'm Alex, a Software Designer (Architect) with background in multiple programming languages, various projects and technological fields. My background can be found on my LinkedIn Profile.
There are plenty of 30+ year old software engineers in this world but I'll stress that you'll have a serious uphill battle to climb and you'll need a strong, correct and consistent programming foundation.
If you're really prepared to have software engineering as a career for the next 5 to 10 years and you're willing and able to put serious time and effort into building your skills, read on.
The output of the campaign will provide you access to the required know-how and foundation of programming principles and best practices.
I'll mention some additional challenges that you'll face at 30 that you wouldn't necessarily have faced if you were just out of college.
- Late Career Switch As you interview you'll get tons of questions on why you decided to switch careers. Be prepared to answer this question in a way that demonstrates that you're not just another person chasing bright shiny objects - after all, there are as or more lucrative jobs than software development. Avoid the media hype and make sure you can answer this to yourself honestly.
- Ageism Without a doubt ageism exists in some form (although I'm not sure which job market you're heading into). That's not to say broad swaths of people are outright dismissive or discriminatory of people older than them (and if they are, why would you want to work with them anyways?), but you'll obviously have varying age distributions with different companies with some interesting skews.
In some cases, the median age of a company might be 4 years your junior and they and you might find it difficult to get along. That being said I don't believe this issue to be widespread, but don't be surprised to encounter it either.
- Playing Catchup Bootcamp will only teach you so much, and real experience and skill development comes from time in the field. Your peer age group will be much further along for obvious reasons, and your peer skill group will likely be much younger than you. Your pride might be at stake if you care that a 23-year old is able to churn out 3x the amount of code you'll be able to, and it'll happen, and it's something you'll have to get over. If you ever want to catch up, be prepared to spend late nights and weekends reading up on the latest software developments or building out a side project.
I don't mean to discourage you from your goals, but I hope that you'll be realistic about the additional challenges you'll face and are prepared to overcome them. If you can truly give an honest answer of why you decided to get into software engineering, willing to put in some serious effort into your own skill development, and willing to go the distance with software engineering as your career, by all means give it your best shot and see what comes of it.
I hope you'll give this a shot and if you liked it then keep me writing next helpful courses.
Best of luck!