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Discussion on: Where are the old developers?

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lietux profile image
Janne "Lietu" Enberg

Quite a few people in the programming world are not passionate about it, and end up doing whatever requires the least effort and they can still earn a salary.

This leads me to believe that it was the case also earlier and many of the older people in the industry never bothered to learn new languages and some are still stuck in some basement maintaining their COBOL applications and such, while others just switched professions when their FORTRAN skills weren't needed anymore.

Then there are entire companies full of these people providing high priced consulting for the business sectors still stuck using the old technologies.

I can see this happening to young people too, people who learn exactly one language, not even that do they care to learn well, and then they complain if anyone even suggests that a new language be tried out. In 30 years there's a big pile old timers maintaining all the awful PHP applications being built today.

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kuuminshs profile image
Bugs Devy

COBOL now is a hole of gold, if you work in banking.

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lietux profile image
Janne "Lietu" Enberg

Yea, if you happen to be one of the people capable of and interested in still working on it, and have the connections to get work for it.

If there were tons of people available for it, it wouldn't be one.

What really financial institutions should do, is invest in upgrades for their systems, and set up a continuous development plan, which they can easily afford.

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jfrankcarr profile image
Frank Carr

Getting approval for upgrade plans go something like this...

"The upgrade project committee meets for 2 hours every other Tuesday like they have for the past 3 years. Once they settle on a design then it will go to the planning board for approval. After that it will go to the executive budget for review. If they sign off on it, then we can move it to the information systems architecture committee."

Basically, it's a 10+ year process, or used to be.

There are some new federal banking regulations driving a lot of new development at financial institutions that have been slow upgrading. You'll find a lot of ancient COBOL, VB6, PowerBuilder and Gupta code that's needing to be upgraded or replaced ASAP. I passed on that when I was looking for work earlier this year since the pay was low and the projects stank of desperation and micromanagement.

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rhymes profile image
rhymes

This is a very interesting article on the subject: It’s COBOL all the way down

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vevmesteren profile image
Valentin Backofen

Wow... Generalize much Janne? Sounds much like the general judgement that millennials get about entitlement and impatience. Having been in hiring positions in both startups and corporate I always try to keep my teams as balanced as possible. When it comes to the gender, race and age. I find it the best way to have a well functioning team... But that's just me I guess... Being a developer over 40 and all...

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lietux profile image
Janne "Lietu" Enberg

I have no idea what you're on about.

  1. "many" != "all"

  2. I've said exactly nothing that's targeted as a negative comment about older programmers - it's a generic comment about many IT workers, which I expect includes the people who started earlier, i.e. are now older

  3. It's simply a fact that quite a lot of people working in IT are not passionate about it. Nothing wrong with it, simply explains why some of these people don't become "old programmers". Most professions that are as easy to pick up as programming is (quite easy), have lots of people working on it who are not very passionate about it. IT as an industry also uncommonly has the ability to hire pretty much everyone with even the tiniest bit of skill to work in it.

Add to this the fact that a lot of them end up accepting promotions that take them away from programming to drawing powerpoints or managing technical teams or whatever, and that the whole IT industry has been massively booming for ages, so the younger generations are naturally more highly represented in the IT workforce.

If you've got a specific claim you'd like to refute, feel free to point it out.

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vevmesteren profile image
Valentin Backofen

So Sorry! I must have misread! Must be my ol' eyes not keeping up...

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lietux profile image
Janne "Lietu" Enberg

Sounds like you're trying to make some remark with this, but I fail to see the point.

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vevmesteren profile image
Valentin Backofen

Only one: I read you wrong, and I'm sorry :)

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lietux profile image
Janne "Lietu" Enberg

Oh, sorry. I'm tired and probably on a bad mood and just assuming malice in tone where there is none :)