I think the problem is two-fold.
One part is the active gate-keeping. People running around telling everyone they or the tools they use aren't good enough.
People shitting on each others' work for all kind of senseless reasons instead of helping each other out. That needs to stop and I have the feeling that more women and minorities in the industry will just lead to that. CoCs are spreading like a wildfire and people become generally kinder. The few old-school uber-nerds I saw here on dev.to didn't stay for long.
On the other hand, we have passive gate-keeping or simply ignorance. I guess that is what you're talking about. This can have many reasons and I can only talk about the ones I encountered.
I often had the impression I'm a bad-to-mediocre developer, so I didn't value most of the stuff I knew and this lead me to think I was one of the last in the industry to learn stuff. Took me a year to understand functions, took me a few months to understand closures, took me another year to understand monads, etc. I was always a slow learner, swimming with 9, biking with 14, so I guess that's where the impression came from that everyone else already knew the stuff I just learned.
I also had to work with many of such old-school uber-nerds who choose tech for projects and generally acted like they had it all figured out. Took me a few years of freelancing and blogging to find out most of them are just talking big and there are a whole bunch of people out there who don't know half as much as I do and would love to work with or learn from me.
I like the terms active and passive gatekeeping really well. Was trying to make the distinction between the two, but failed to find those exact two words on it.
Active gatekeeping is something that is much more vocal, and easier to identify. Something that a great many wonderful people is talking and working on.
Passive gatekeeping is exactly what I am much more worried about, especially with more and more individuals making their mid-career switch.
These days, the starting line from programming is all over the place, with everyone learning at their own pace. So dun feel bad if you feel like your slow, as long as you are constantly learning and improving. The instinctive subconscious notion of using age as a benchmark for development experience is shattered. Keep going 👍
Passive gatekeeping, is also something much more common in Asian society in certain regions (japan / singapore / etc). While you will find it very hard to find loud vocal sexism or racism, the numbers do not lie (pay scale, high-ranking leadership positions, etc). And by its nature, much harder to talk about.
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