tldr: make stuff and put it on the web so hiring managers and interviewers can see it.
I just had the pleasure of interviewing an older applicant for a job. In this case he was a whip-smart C programmer. I would guess mid 50's of age, with a resume saying he'd been in the industry for nearly 30 years.
The job he was applying for was a web developer position for my shop, a Ruby/JS outfit.
While he hadn't coded JS or Ruby professionally, he mentioned he had done many little side projects with those tools. I asked to see them, and he said they may be on his computer at home, but he wasn't sure: that hurt his prospects. A lot.
The ideal thing would be putting his web apps up on Heroku (free), and any other code on Github (also free). These things speak to me almost more than anything.