Ageism's a thing. IBM got caught recently trying to specifically push out older employees to make room for younger replacements, for one, and having a harder time landing an individual contributor role seems to be a common experience among older workers looking for jobs although I don't know of any hard figures on the subject offhand.
The idea that younger people learn faster is an excuse; there's a reason experience commands higher salaries, after all. Companies like younger employees because they're cheaper, more tractable, and tend to have fewer external commitments such as relationships or children.
Good points, I didn't think of the salary and commitment.
I don't think age is important at all. What is important is: do you fit what the company is looking for? I think in general, to be a great programmer, you have to be open to learning and be able to challenge yourself constantly.
That being said, I agree with what @DianFay says... younger people do have less commitment in life, and tend to be slightly cheaper labour, and easier to 'mould' in their eyes.
Yes, I agree, fit is more important.
However, when the position description restricts the age, you can't even appeal to that :(
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