A lot of companies and businesses have programmers that do not fall under the 'tech company' category. Insurance companies, colleges, railroad companies, large store chains (eg: Walmart and Target), RV companies, and many other industries all have in-house programmers. All of these businesses and industries are scattered across the country. Unless you absolutely must work in a tech company in silicone valley, you should not limit your options. My first career oriented job was at a relatively small health insurance. A very large part of their software was developed in-house. They had some developers that were only in their twenties, but the majority of them were at least 40, if not in their 50s or early 60s and preparing to retire. Why? These companies see the software as just an in-house solution to a problem and not a product in itself. They do not need someone that can write in whatever the fashionable language of the day is. They need someone that has the skill and efficiency to maintain a system that was probably written some time ago in a language that fit their needs. A 20 year old that only knows C# is not going to be of any use to them when they need someone that can quickly adapt their in-house solution that was written in C or Fortran to fit new health insurance laws.
Some places higher young programmers because they are cheaper.... but some places purposely higher older, experience people. Consider all options, not just tech companies in Silicone Valley.