Welcome, and good question. I can only speak to my own experiences, but I’ve found that the first big hurdle was getting a job where I could use those skills. Once I had it on my resume, new jobs in the field weren’t as hard. You should be able to beef up your resume to show where you’ve done development work in the past. Perhaps the software skills weren’t a formal part of your job, but it sounds like they are worth emphasizing if you’re looking to get back into that line of work.
You can contribute to sites like GitHub to build your profile and show your work to make up for not having formal experience. I don’t know if there are any nonprofits that could use your skills, but volunteering with them to provide an opportunity to get some real world experience that you can highlight to prospective employers.
Hopefully someone else will have some ideas too.