re: How can we stop age discrimination in tech? VIEW POST

FULL DISCUSSION
 

I don't know...

I met many people who just don't want to work with old devs anymore, because they have the "we always did it that way" attitude.

"I implemented polling services my whole life, they are tested and work! Why should I use Webhooks?"

"I send them their private keys, because they're using my servers so I decide which keys they gonna use!"

"Who would build a UI with JavaScript? Qt is much faster!"

Personally, I worked with really good older devs who had mad skills and much to teach about how to handle business etc. but I can understand that people have enough after working for years with someone who basically has tenure at a company and doesn't bother to do anything new anymore.

 

I agree. Older devs need to be willing to try new approaches. But I also see companies swap out for junior developers who are more of a blank slate and cheaper, but make the same mistakes as their older peers had to starting out, and this costs companies real money. Most healthy orgs have a good balance of tenure.

 

Totally with you here.

This is just what I happend to hear in the industry :)

 

I want to be the raddest older dev when I get older. 😄

Mostly listening to the young kids even if I wish they didn't use JavaScript for everything; gently guide them away from shiny things without being too condescending; pay attention to them for cues that maybe this new thing is more than just shiny; tell stories about back before computer chips (with OS's written in JavaScript) were inserted into the brain.

I'm with you Ben, that's what i'm trying to do now.

I'll be 45 this year. I'm the sole 'IT Guy' for a company of 50+ people. The younger folks who have skills using computers come to me all the time for assistance for various things and i enjoy it.

I try to provide information not opinion and sounds examples of why, with a small dose of wit (so they don't get too bored with me).

I've worked with older IT Pro's who were set in their ways and watched them struggle. From this I learned the value of constant learning. Skills can be developed, You can learn any language you want - no one's stopping you.

The one thing you need in my opinion is passion. When you're passionate about something, it's meaningful, you get good at it, you're competitive / compelling. When you're passionate people notice the passion not your age...

 

Agreed, it's very tempting or even natural for some (or even most) older people to expect respect and quiet obedience only because of being older, which comes effectively from general day-to-day life norm, but should and can not equally affect professional relations, and that, quite understandably though, could be a hard truth to take, for some, especially if younger guys outperform.

I myself turn 40 in a couple of months and started my professional web dev career only 2 years ago and of course almost all my coworkers are in their middle/late twenties, few in early thirties, but I definitely am the oldest one, even the founder and owner of the company is younger, but it's ok. A few things that do help me not to stand out:

  • I look younger, but it's the least significant thing, thought it certainly helps.

  • I never display in any way any expectations or intentions to be treated or looked upon at differently.

  • I feel that whatever respect or some special attitude I want should come naturally and well deserved, and therefore I must always be a bit better and do a bit more to avoid any auckward situations of being not only the oldest, but also least (or even just like anybody else) useful.

So, plan is to move as fast as I can to grow as fast as I can and get promoted as far as I can to naturally deserve respect and become valuable asset in terms of knowledge and experience.

Frankly, it seems that everything is working out in exactly that way, and I have already obtained a reputation of the one who can reliably solve the most complex tasks be it frontend or backend, and my opinion is always needed, but of course I have to work hard for that, but, luckily, I love my job and do hope to eventually become at least an architect or something like that.

 

Well, I'm sorry, in the end I haven't said much about the actual topic of the post, just boasted about myself, but the bottom line is that I can easily see how older people themselves can cause some attitudes that make managers make such decisions.

I started working as a dev with 21 and everyone was older than me. The devs around me were 27-50.

And while my boss valued me, I always felt like a boy.

It was until I was in the end of my 20s, with over 5 years of experience, when I worked with people at my age and felt like some "regular" developer in the crowd.

This was when I finally understood what I'm capable of and started to go my own way.

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