It’s never too late to learn a programming language. You may initially doubt your ability to learn coding because of a lack of experience or fear of employment bias. But, the reality is that learning a new skill takes time and dedication, no matter your age.
Masako Wakamiya received her first personal computer when she was 58 years old, shortly before retiring from her job at a bank. This marked the beginning of a remarkable journey that would eventually lead her to become the world’s oldest iPhone app developer at the age of 81, catching the attention of Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Inc., too.
“Few households had computers back then, but the PC seemed interesting to me. I taught myself how to use it. At the time, my mother needed nursing care, so I was constantly looking after her. There were days when I could not go out at all. But the PC took me into a wider world“, she recalls. “And then, when Smartphones became popular, there were no apps available for us oldies to enjoy. So, with the help of some young people who are good at developing apps, I somehow created a game app for the elderly called hinadan, which was released in 2016. Even though it’s an app where you just have to correctly arrange the dolls on a hinadan, which is a multi-tiered doll stand, a major overseas media outlet wrote an article about it“.
Now 87, Wakamiya proudly identifies herself as an IT evangelist, actively encouraging other seniors to embrace digital technology and use it to enhance their lives. Alongside writing books, she passionately spreads her message through lectures both in Japan and internationally.
Through her story, she emphasizes it’s never too late to accomplish your goal. “As you age, you lose many things your husband, your job, your hair and eye eyesight. But when you learn something new, it’s so motivating”, she says.
Learning to code not only gives you a chance to improve your career in the second or third chapter of your life but can also be rewarding as it keeps your brain challenged. Check out online courses and coding boot camps and get out of your head you’re too old to start something new.