I started when I was 25.. Studied for 3 1/2 years and have now worked for Cisco for 4 years.
Its never too late. Never let anyone push you down like that. Its just them showing their insecurities. Don't let it affect you. If programming is a passion for you you'll get good at it, just give it time
I haven't learend C++ yet, but I first read accelerated C++ about 10 years ago.. After that I've read lots of C++ and programming books, got a computer science degree and have been working with C++ for 4 years now.. I'm also reading lots of articles.. Thats the great thing about it, always something new to learn
I used to be a snowboard bum.. I had a real good balance between computers and real life then. but then I had a back injury so I haven't been able to snowboard for about 3 years now. I had surgery in January a year ago and still have some hope that I might get back to it.. The last years I've been stuck too much in front of the computer, but I broke up with my ex, sold the apartment and bought a cheap sailboat in July so things are getting better. Since that I've been working hard on refurbishing it to a level where I now can move into it. Now I can live cheaply, go sailing, work on the boat, work on my hobby project and get some better balance in life.. One day I'll be cruising the world in my boat and making games. I'm also getting back into yoga now. Its really important for me to have a life away from technology as well. It makes me more productive when I do sit down.