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Discussion on: Why Older People Struggle In Programming Jobs

ecyrbe profile image

Hi Adam,

As an old developper myself, your whole article made me remember my whole career.

When someone wants to make me do something silly, now i first remind them why ,as the more experienced guy in the room, they are paying me. I remind them i'm here to prevent them doing mistakes when i recognize one. And they listen.

Indeed, like you, i made a step into management for almost 6 years and got back into development.

But now i went back as a freelance. It's a completly different experience, even in Big tech companies. Nobody feels threatened by your talent, your performance, thinking you want to take their job. Everybody values your input more seriously. I'm a senior consultant, tech lead, architect... depends on the mission. But i'm always out of the political nonsense now.

bytebodger profile image
Adam Nathaniel Davis Author

Oh mannn, that's a great idea. Maybe one that I should explore...

I totally see how freelancers could possibly have the "best of both worlds" - being able to concentrate "just" on coding, but not being drawn into the political BS of the "regular" employees.

giorgosk profile image
Giorgos Kontopoulos 👀

I am 18+ years a freelancer and another 3 years before that as a junior developer but I can relate to the politics inside a big company as you describe them. You can get into these kind of situations with clients or other stakeholders. The major difference is that they can more easily abandon the whole project (or just you from the project) if you get into a strong argument about the validity of their ideas or if you seem unwilling to do something. It helps if you have a good reputation and people want you to work for them and have come to you because they value your expertise then they will more easily listen to you.

So just a warning for anyone who is seriously considering to jump. Freelancers don't concentrate just on programming. There is a lot of politics and negotiating going on, perhaps even more than a regular mid/senior developer in a big company. We do get to choose mostly our work hours and sometimes the tech stack but everything else I believe is not as rosy as it seems.

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bytebodger profile image
Adam Nathaniel Davis Author

These are great points, and part of why I've resisted going back to work for myself lately. Freelancing - or having your own business - can be awesome. But they're not a magical fix-all. Freelancers have "bosses" and all of the political headaches that come with them. Business owners have "bosses" as well. But freelancers and entrepreneurs tend to call those bosses clients.