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Discussion on: Why Older People Struggle In Programming Jobs

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kbauman profile image
Kevin Bauman

I think I've written this article, in my mind, about ten times a month, for the last several years.

I was late to get into software. It was probably my fifth or sixth career. It was easy to get work, so I kept doing it.

Now, at almost fifty, I run into these issues often. The only thing that seems to work out for me is self-employment. I had a slowdown during the pandemic, and took a full-time position. This lasted for about 3 months. I was underpaid, and the solutions used to solve simple problems were overly complex, brittle, and poorly documented. Of course, the agency had underbid to get the work, and couldn't afford any learning curve. So, if you didn't already know whatever, obscure, undocumented thing, or weren't willing to do it overnight, without billing for it, you were costing them money.

Additionally, they weren't used to remote work, so when we all had to go remote, a 10 minute response time to a Jira ticket comment, Slack comment, Figma comment, email, text...was just unacceptable.

Needless to say, I didn't last long. I'm back to self-employment, and much happier. My clients appreciate me, and allow me to make pragmatic decisions. Let's face it, the end user doesn't care about Svelte V3 (I think it's cool, but users couldn't care less). My clients want something that solves their problems. That's it.

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bytebodger profile image
Adam Nathaniel Davis Author

Soooooo much "yep" in this reply. For some strange reason, there's this small part of me that still wishes that I could find The Magical Employer. The one that would be a "perfect fit". (You know... like naïve kids who fantasize about their "one true love".) But the more ways I turn it around, the more it keeps smacking me in the face that these "issues" will just continue to haunt me (or even get worse) the longer I delay going back into business for myself...