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Will Millennials Be Forced Out of Tech Jobs When They Turn 40? (ieeeusa.org) 247

dcblogs shared an interesting article from IEEE-USA's "Insight" newsletter: Millennials, which date from the 1980s to mid-2000s, are the largest generation. But what will happen to this generation's tech workers as they settle into middle age? Will the median age of tech firms rise as the Millennial generation grows older...? The median age range at Google, Facebook, SpaceX, LinkedIn, Amazon, Salesforce, Apple and Adobe, is 29 to 31, according to a study last year by PayScale, which analyzes self-reported data... Karen Panetta, the dean of graduate engineering education at Tufts University and the vice president of communications and public relations at the IEEE-USA, believes the outcome for tech will be Logan's Run-like, where age sets a career limit... Tech firms want people with the current skills sets and those "without those skills will be pressured to leave or see minimal career progression," said Panetta...

The idea that the tech industry may have an age bias is not scaring the new college grads away. "They see retirement so far off, so they are more interested in how to move up or onto new startup ventures or even business school," said Panetta. "The reality sets in when they have families and companies downsize and it's not so easy to just pick up and go on to another company," she said. None of this may be a foregone conclusion. Millennials may see the experience of today's older workers as a cautionary tale, and usher in cultural changes...

David Kurtz, a labor relations partner at Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, suggests tech firms should be sharing age-related date about their workforce, adding "The more of a focus you place on an issue the more attention it gets and the more likely that change can happen. It's great to get the new hot shot who just graduated from college, but it's also important to have somebody with 40 years of experience who has seen all of the changes in the industry and can offer a different perspective."
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Will Millennials Be Forced Out of Tech Jobs When They Turn 40?

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  • by orin ( 113079 ) on Sunday September 03, 2017 @07:35AM (#55131613)
    Every generation thinks it will be the exception. Gen-X techies were computer literate. We were around when the internet went mainstream. We were sure that Tech was going to grow up with us - but lots of Gen-X'ers found themselves on the wrong side of 40. Some got to hang around, but most moved on. The same will happen to the millennials, replaced with those born after 2000. Younger is cheaper.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Somehow Silicon valley has tried to take over the word "tech"... but tech means technology, and I don't think this piece is talking about CPU design even, but rather quite specific internet companies. Why would you think that Google would continue to grow forever? It seems infinitely more likely to me that Google is going to be like IBM used to be... they have a period of some decades where they become giant, well established, and never go away, but other new things will happen, and none of us even know w

    • I'm guessing that a lot will just leave on their own, and not be forced out of tech jobs. Ever since the end of the 80's, I've see more and more folks entering the IT business, not because they are tech geeks, but because they think that they can make easy money there. When they realize, after a few years, that they do not like their work . . . AND . . . they are not making that big IT money . . . they pick up their marbles and go into some other careers.

    • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Sunday September 03, 2017 @08:49AM (#55131853)

      Younger is cheaper.

      But not necessarily better value for money.

      The trap is managers who don't understand the difference.

      • on every one of these threads and it's just as nonsensical every time.

        Yes, for the absolute top end of tech, the math geniuses, you keep the guys around. What I don't think /.ers realize (or want to face) is that's a small percentage of tech jobs. The rank and file $70-$120k/yr tech jobs are what most of the folks here are going to settle into. You can train anybody to do those in about 4 years. Which coincidentally is the length of a college education.

        For the vast majority you're not a snowflake, yo
        • You seem to view of the industry from the perspective of US tech hubs, but sadly most of the world doesn't pay anything like $70-120K for rank-and-file jobs in technical fields. For example, the lower end of your rank-and-file range is about the salary ceiling for senior software developers in most contexts even in the UK, which still pays relatively well compared to most places. Web work pays less as a rule. Hardware-related fields aren't much better.

          To go much past that, you probably need to be either a s

    • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Sunday September 03, 2017 @08:50AM (#55131859)

      Maybe it's survivorship bias but I work with plenty of Gen-Xs and even some boomers. All are employed and productive. I'm an old millenial that has finally accrued a decade in industry I 'understand' what group of people this applies to.

      In college for engineering students usually fell into two groups. Those excited to learn, take on new concepts and learn more & those that were there to get the minimum for 'on the job training' and get out of there.

      The latter group has been sitting around in industry for a decade learning nothing. They treated a STEM degree like a vocational degree thinking that they'd learn their trade, get out, work on that until retirement.

      Look at 2015 vs 2005 and what has changed. If you're in any industry you're quickly becoming obsolete with 2005 level knowledge, especially if you're stubborn to pick up anything new. In mechanical engineering & controls (my field) that means adopting Simulink and autogenerated code. If you're a 2000 graduate and refuse to learn or even touch Simulink you're quickly finding your job options diminishing.

      And the work that the 'younger is cheaper' does is typically non-exploratory roles when you need to throw bodies at a problem. I, and my group, have plenty of work to do but 'older' workers are too expensive and over qualified for what we need. Right now it's the company's MO to throw that work to India. I'd rather hire 2-dozen 'boot camp' python coders and have them knock out the modules that we need. Someone with a full CS degree isn't what we need, let alone someone with 10 years experience.

      But those that are driving the changes, all of those guys are still employed. Some are nearing retirement and we're not sure what we're going to do without them. Some of them wrote the literal book on some of the technologies we use today. How is Linus' employability? Did Dennis Ritchie need to beg for jobs near retirement?

      Given Slashdot's track record of guessing what technology is going to take off I take most comments with a grain of salt. It's pretty easy to look back at stories breaking everything from the iPod, Bittorrent, Bitcoin to self driving tech and see the comments.

      • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Sunday September 03, 2017 @09:02AM (#55131905)

        For some reason it seems to be an issue unique to STEM.

        MDs have required training (CME) needed to keep their licenes. The voc-tech trades have training centers to keep plumbers, electricians, steam fitters, and the other union trades up to date on the latest.

        But for some reason STEM thinks that when they graduate everything they've learned in school is all there is to ever learn. So a large number of people sit and coast on it for as long as they can. Then complain it's someone elses fault when they're caught with no useful skills. (And 'learning' is a useful skill).

        There are embedded C guys at work that are picking up "flavor of the week" languages for fun. They earn their bread and butter on C and assembly. But they try out new things.

        Some of the polygots at work know C, C++, Perl, Python, Java, .NET, C#, VBA, Matlab. They may not know some as well as others but when something comes across their desk in any language they jump in and figure it out, fix it and move on. They don't sit and pout that it's not in C.

        For that reason they're pretty recession proof. The youngest Gen-Xers are on 2 recessions. (2001 / 2007) and the oldest may have graduated into one (1982) and had 10 years in industry around the the one in 90.

        • There isn't much difference between STEM and the medical field, except STEM workers need to take personal responsibility to grow professionally instead of being forced to by a governing body. But the result is generally the same, since in both industries you won't last long without continuing education.

          • by Octorian ( 14086 )

            ... STEM workers need to take personal responsibility to grow professionally instead of being forced to by a governing body.

            And STEM fields are full of people who are only there because "its a good job," but who have no personal genuine love of the field. As such, they probably don't give two shits about it the moment they go home from work for the day. Fast forward a few years, change the tech at the office, and they're suddenly unemployable.

            Of course I fear that there are enough of these people, that older workers who actually do have this genuine interest are lumped in with them... and punished as a result.

          • instead of being forced to by a governing body.

            We currently have a system in the free market that seems to be working just fine.

            If you keep up on learning you can get a job. Otherwise you don't.

            • A governing body is a free market system. Board certification for MDs and the NCLEX for RNs are governed by the professional groups. LICENSING is a different story and is government based....Any stupid job can require a license. A profession is one that governs itself to maintain standards of practice.
            • Obviously the free market is not at play

              As age seems to say: he can't do it.

              While in fact he could do it.

              If I ever will not be get a job I want because of age, I wait in the garage and beat the decision maker to pulp. I hope it will be a young super sportive super muscular super aggressive guy ...

              http://www.imdb.com/title/tt04... [imdb.com]

        • One of the challenges is knowing what to be current in, re: needed to keep their license. A doctor doesn't have to fully understand a dozen new diseases every year. I used to be an embedded asm/c++ guy who picked up a "flavor of the week" language or technology (think OpenGL) for fun, bu that is a lot of work, usually with no payoff, so now I just kinda keep track of what is out there
          • That's where companies should be helping out. They need to make sure they know what they need from their staff and making the development of that knowledge part of their staff review process.
            • Every company is going to be different. A large number of companies that I've worked with have had their own proprietary language andmost of them were moving to auto generated code from requirements. They've been doing that since I started working the 80's and should be getting good at it by now.
          • A doctor doesn't have to fully understand a dozen new diseases every year.

            And a programmer doesn't have to understand a dozen new kinds of CS problems every year. In fact, it's pretty much the same old set of problems year after year in both cases. In medicine, the understanding of the problems and the tools change. In software, the context of the problems and the tools change.

        • I think certain STEM fields should have professional bodies that provide continuing education. We need to keep on our toes with the latest research and knowledge but we don't have a motivation outside of an intrinsic one so there is a glut of people who just coast....workplaces could do a lot to help out in this regard. If they want staff to be current they should require it and use a 3rd party group (like one of those professional orgs that may/may not exist) to track the "currentness".
        • That works for those trades because they are highly regulated fields (ie, if I screw up your electrical wiring and burn your house down, im going to jail. If I screw up your application, I get fired...).

      • by jdunn14 ( 455930 )

        Amen to this. I went to college in the late 90s and was blown away by the people who saw a CS degree as a good way to make money without having any actual interest in the field. They spent four years bitching about not getting trained on the flavor of the week technology because they couldn't extrapolate how things they learned in language A could be applied to language B with minimal work. Those of us who actually wanted to know *how* things worked and what was underlying whatever keyword / checkbox was

      • Where is the mentoring from these older folks who are driving the change so the next person can step up?
      • Absolutely right. A good engineer is a lifelong learner. With docker and cloud services, no reason not to be able to do deep dives on topics. Setting up a network of computers is cheap enough these days.

        • I get the sentiment here. I really do. And there are certainly things I suspect I would be interested in learning about. Most things, though? Not so much. Even though I don't use it at my job, I could teach myself python in my spare time. It's highly marketable. I haven't. Why not? Because learning yet-another-language doesn't strike me as particularly interesting. It's a chore. I'd rather spend time with my kids. Watch a good movie. Read a good book. Sleep. Now if I needed to know python to
      • DevOps, this is the case. If someone isn't familiar with utilities that came out six months ago, the job interview stops, the person will be showed the door, and that is that. There are trends as well. QA is going away and is being merged with dev, and if someone considers themself a "tester" only... the will be pinkslipped and their job goes to someone who will wear both hats.

        Even when not in DevOps, there are core utilities that are a must: Splunk, SCCM, ELK, Ansible, Puppet, Salt, Chef, Jenkins, Git,

    • by murdocj ( 543661 )

      Younger is cheaper. It's also less informed and less experienced. Which is why you see people making the same mistakes and learning the same lessons that experienced developers went thru decades ago.

      As for the idea that older software engineers won't be up on new tech, it's not like younger developers were born with a different skillset. In the last 10 years I've worked on project with Java, C++, Ruby on Rails, .Net, and now a single page web app. It's not like there's any magic here, or that a younger

    • 42. Still employed in tech.

      If you consider the age range to be 22 to 62, if the population graduating with tech degrees were constant over time and there were no bias you'd expect an average age of 42. But there are a number of factors that I suspect skew that average downward that have nothing to do with bias:

      1. The pool of potential tech workers in each year's cohort has likely grown over time.
      2. Some older employees may no longer be counted as "tech workers" by virtue of having "graduated" to uppe
    • Younger is not more experienced. If you want inexperienced know-it-alls making all your tech, then good luck waiting for customer support when everything breaks. There is simple tech, and that's what the twenty-somethings are working on, and then there's tech that demands higher quality.

    • ..those who are computer literate anyways.
      however, I have seen plenty of people go from the industry.

      though, late 1980s and 90's people.. all I can say is good luck fellas. you can't just npm or get gems for everything - or rather you can but so can everyone else. ..I don't particularly care if google recomends sqlite it's still a frigging bad idea to take that recommendation and use it for a database as backend for your realtime ui... that's just an example, but the millenials just look up what "google"

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Then its OK.

    Just don't discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender. That's off-limits.

  • by MindPrison ( 864299 ) on Sunday September 03, 2017 @07:39AM (#55131631) Journal

    Surprise surprise, I didn't expect that to happen, but a large company just recruited me.

    And I'm not even the oldest one they recruited, the oldest one was over 60. In fact, in our group of 20 people just newly recruited, every age group imaginable was represented, everyone from 19 to 60+ and inbetween.

    I'm still kinda surprised by that, pleasantly surprised - but quite surprised. Guess there's a lot of common misconceptions about age discriminations.

    • by Entrope ( 68843 ) on Sunday September 03, 2017 @07:53AM (#55131667) Homepage

      The big tech companies want young (especially childless) workers because those workers will work insane hours in an effort to generate marginally more output than the person at the next open-plan table. Lots of other companies are more reasonable about expectations and environment.

      • by AmazingRuss ( 555076 ) on Sunday September 03, 2017 @11:42AM (#55132553)

        That open plan bullshit is wasting billions. Let's pay people to think, and force them into a noisy fluorescent lit hellscape for the entire workday.

        Advocates of open office need to wake up and smell the headphones.

      • The POS managers that want idiots willing to work crazy hours and are too young to call bullshit in deadlines in the name of agile get reputations. If you aren't off playing ping pong and getting your work done, 40-50 hours of solid work, and a good manager will notice. The 50+ hours weeks should only be for special events the last less than a month once maybe twice a year. If you are working 50+ on a regular basis, you better be one of the first 20 hires and have ownership in whole percentage points.

        S

      • The big tech companies want young (especially childless) workers because those workers will work insane hours in an effort to generate marginally more output than the person at the next open-plan table. Lots of other companies are more reasonable about expectations and environment.

        I'm not sure which big tech companies you're talking about. What you say is not true at the one I work at (Google), nor is it true at the others that I have friends at (Apple, Microsoft, Amazon).

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I'm coming up to 40 and I've found that there are plenty of well paid jobs than ever for someone with my experience and skills. Then again this is the EU... Maybe the US has more age discrimination.

      • by El Cubano ( 631386 ) on Sunday September 03, 2017 @08:42AM (#55131835)

        I'm coming up to 40 and I've found that there are plenty of well paid jobs than ever for someone with my experience and skills. Then again this is the EU... Maybe the US has more age discrimination.

        I too am approaching 40, but I am in the US (in the Midwest, specifically). My experience and observation is that while companies here certainly hire young talent (I teach an upper university class and most of my students with whom I stay connected end up with jobs in tech), the companies around here tend to value experience a great deal. It is reflected in the salaries for mid-level and senior-level developer jobs that are advertised. In fact, the salary I am able to command here (based on my experience) is no where close to what I would likely be able to get in SV (accounting for the significant cost of living different as well). The lifestyle I am able to enjoy is far and away from the lifestyle I would be able to enjoy in SV, even if I could find a job with a salary comparable to what I earn now that accounted for the differences in cost of living.

        It still absolutely amazes me that people, especially in middle age, want that SV culture. I feel like I would have to give up everything that I value that I have now in return for nothing that I value. Plus as a middle aged worker I don't feel like I would be valued by a SV company.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          I guess young people often don't really appreciate just how expensive places like SV are at first. It's the same in the UK, you see jobs offering 50k to live in London and expecting experience. Maybe that's okay if you can live in a single room and eat only pot noodles.

          • OTOH London pays absurd prices for C# developers.
            Around 800pounds per day.

            However it is not challenging enough (for me) to jump from Java to C# (and attempting to tell a recruiter they are just different names for the same thing anyway)

        • Plus as a middle aged worker I don't feel like I would be valued by a SV company.

          FWIW, I'm 48, work for Google, and feel quite valued.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Your experience is an outlier though. It's not a misperception. The facts don't lie the average age in tech is not much above 30. The median is even less. And this is not just age discrimination too - a lot of people move on into business development, executive management, or just decide to leave tech altogether for other pursuits. Few want to stick it out for 40 years doing the same job.

    • by twdorris ( 29395 )

      Guess there's a lot of common misconceptions about age discriminations.

      Agreed. Mid-40s here and honestly, when I want a job (which isn't all the time, BTW), I find one. If you're mid-40s and walk in with a mid-20s resume, expect to struggle. But if you're mid-40s and have all the experience and knowledge and success one might expect with a qualified mid-40s applicant, well, I've never seen age be the issue; perhaps the salary requirement that typically goes along with that, of course, but not age itself.

    • Similar experience... switched careers at 40 to game development, am 50 now, not having trouble finding work. I seem to be blessed with extended mental plasticity. I'm good at my work, and can demonstrate it. I've also kept fit, which helps tremendously with the first impression.

      I do encounter quite a few people in their 40s that just won't move forward, and seem to have an ever growing list of things they won't do. They'll use seniority to try and justify that, through controlling architecture or just get

  • by hsmith ( 818216 ) on Sunday September 03, 2017 @07:42AM (#55131641)
    Outside that shit hole of garbage where they want young people to shove in the meat grinder this maybe the case. Outside of SV, I've seen more senior people fought after because they don't make junior mistakes. SV loves young people because they'll work 90 hour weeks and not think twice. Older established folks want a normal work week but can put out a better product.
    • by twdorris ( 29395 )

      Older established folks want a normal work week but can put out a better product.

      I hadn't thought of it that way before but you're probably hitting the nail on the head. The companies that people feel aren't hiring older engineering types are probably the very same companies whose profit margins aren't necessarily defined by a "better product". Companies that have to compete with other companies (i.e., MOST) *want* to hire people they feel confident will improve the quality of their product not the number of webpages and ads they can fling around. In *that* area, age is irrelevant an

  • by MacTO ( 1161105 ) on Sunday September 03, 2017 @08:00AM (#55131689)

    Over half of those companies are very young, Apple and Adobe being the outliers. If they hired young, their workforce will still be young. The numbers themselves do not say that older people are being forced out.

    At least half of those companies also experienced phenomenal growth in recent years. There is a good chance that a subset of the early employees could afford to leave the company (stock options, rapidly being promoted, etc.). Those who were stuck in dead end positions had plenty of examples to encourage jumping ship for better opportunities. Again, age statistics alone cannot tell us much on that front.

    Of course, simply reporting the median age alone does not say much about the age distribution. It implies a normal distribution, which is where I suspect the 40 year old figure comes from, yet that may be misleading.

    • I work for Google, and your comments are consistent with what I see. Plus I can add a couple of points you didn't consider.

      The company is young, and mostly hires new grads. They hire some older guys (I was hired at 42, now 48, and have worked with Google engineers as old as 70), and they're perfectly happy to do it, but still they find it easier to hire new grads. That skews the median young.

      The first point you didn't consider is that Google has an academia-like "up or out" system, with a sort of tenure

  • I think we are do for another big tech bubble bursting.

    I mean really where has the innovation in tech been lately. What can I do online that I could not do in 2010? The only thing that is really new in the last decade or so is the "gig-economy". Basically its a bunch of permutations of GPS/Cellphone apps stapled to Mechanical Turk. Out of that you get Uber, Waze, variations on food delivery and bike sharing, and some other stuff like Takle and dating apps.

    If you ask me none of that has to much of a futu

    • trying to work out how to provide self driving components to auto makers.

      So how is machine learning and computer vision not "pure tech"?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 03, 2017 @08:11AM (#55131709)

    When the CEO of my company said in an all-hands meeting that the company would focus on hiring younger engineers, I decided to leave voluntarily, seeing that I would quickly become a target.

    Sure enough, in the months since then, they've started forcing out the "old" guard though hostile working practices and punitive performance reviews.

    I studied engineering because I loved the art, but our culture has destroyed the art of technology. I don't miss working in tech at all, but I do enjoy teaching high school math and science (my new career), and doing whatever I can to discourage students from pursuing a career in it.

    • Same here :)
    • What are you encouraging your students to do, then?
      I myself started in tech, but am now a researcher in academia, and I would never go back. Science is so much fun, I'd do this for fucking nothing. It's awesome. It really is. I don't have a single regret for switching to academic research.

    • I studied engineering because I loved the art, but our culture has destroyed the art of technology. I don't miss working in tech at all, but I do enjoy teaching high school math and science (my new career), and doing whatever I can to discourage students from pursuing a career in it.

      The best teachers do it with their passion, the worst with their failure.

    • I feel sorry for your students. If you left the engineering field instead of finding a Good company to work for, do not take it out on future engineers. I hope that star in the first robotics program is encouraged to become an engineer.

    • Against popular believe:
      a) Europe is not that way
      b) high skilled Engineers are in high demand
      c) plenty of European countries are easy to access for english speaking Engineers, e.g. Netherlands, Denmark, and the rest of Skandinavia

      Germany or Switzerland might be a bit more tricky, but should be no problem. France and Italy have "language problems" but it is doable.

      On the other hand you always could go to Asia. High demand on Engineers, emerging countries are interesting.

      And all of the above have "normal heal

    • Your former CEO was an idiot for stating publicly that they're going to focus on hiring younger engineers. Even if he was planning to do that, broadcasting the fact that you're going to illegally discriminate is a pretty dumb move.
  • Who says time does not change never read any article about Generations.

    Millennials, which date from the 1980s to mid-2000s

    So now Millennial generation started in the eighties ? WTF, lets do math -

    Baby boomers - 1945-1964, this seems to never change.

    Gen X should be - 1965 to 1985, I have heard all kinds of end dates for this generation with the earliest 1980, 15 year generation ? Guess they grew up fast

    Gen Y - Did these people disappear ? Gen Y, using consistent math, would have been born between 1985 - 2005. The new forgotten generation I guess

    So this

    • Gen Y was another name for Millenials, not something different.

      In August 1993, an Advertising Age editorial coined the phrase Generation Y to describe those who were aged 11 or younger as well as the teenagers of the upcoming ten years who were defined as different from Generation X.[4][5] According to journalist Bruce Horovitz, in 2012, Ad Age "threw in the towel by conceding that Millennials is a better name than Gen Y"

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      Also they don't divide "generations" into neat consist

    • by Euler ( 31942 )

      I was born in 1978 and Gen X people were always older than me. It was only later on that we somehow got folded in to "X". Gen X'ers came of age fully in the analog world. I'm in a bridge generation where we remember both worlds. If you can't remember a time before the internet, then you are a millennial or later.

      Gen "Y" was always poorly defined, it might have literally been something in a soda commercial. They just needed to name the next thing after "X" without knowing what that would look like. I do

      • You're Gen X, just the tail end. My wife and I are just a few years older than you, both of our younger siblings are just a few years younger - and there is a very real difference. I have a lot more in common with someone ten years older than me than I do with someone ten years younger. To me, that's enough to call it a meaningful thing.
  • by mark_reh ( 2015546 ) on Sunday September 03, 2017 @08:59AM (#55131897) Journal

    out.

    Engineers in their 40s are pushed toward marketing or management, but there are 10 engineers for every one of those jobs. And that insight and perspective that an older engineer can provide can be provided by one engineer. You don't need 20 of them on the payroll.

    Engineering is fine work while you're younger, but you should be working toward your second career by the time you're 30.

    I left engineering (or shall I say, engineering and I parted ways?) when I was in my mid 40s. I went back to school for 6 years and became a dentist. That's a field where most patients prefer to see an older person...

    • "Engineering is fine work while you're younger, but you should be working toward your second career by the time you're 30." Good luck with that if you graduated in 09
    • There are plenty of jobs outside of being an IT Engineer, many of those remain technical. If it is not your career choice, do like you did and move into something else. Sure, there are 10 engineers for every manager. Architecture probably has 50-100 engineers under them, program development maybe the same, etc... If you grow and continue to provide value to a company, you probably will have a job regardless of your age.

      As with _any_ job you won't be able to make a career doing 1 thing. You being a Dent

  • Are they going to want to spend time with family? Buy bigger houses? Be able to afford recreation? Live better as they advance in their career? Then, yes.
  • I first had to face this problem back when the only online forum for discussing it was Usenet, which had no visibility with the general public whatever. Fortunately, I found an underserved market of fellow Boomers who, suddenly finding themselves adrift in a digital future beyond their comprehension, needed people other than the condescending pups at Geek Squad who could guide them in applying today's tech to their daily lives.

    It starts with their need to personally start applying the software they have had

    • I first had to face this problem back when the only online forum for discussing it was Usenet, which had no visibility with the general public whatever.

      I wish. You've never heard of the September that never ended?

      • The gradual infiltration of the masses into Usenet, and its replacement by other online media, started only after you no longer needed academic/governmental credentials to get onto the Internet. It started with newbie students, who roamed around clueless on the system at the start of each school year. When the Internet opened up to the public, the term 'endless September' was coined.

  • Doesn't matter (Score:5, Interesting)

    by maxrate ( 886773 ) on Sunday September 03, 2017 @10:15AM (#55132197)
    I'm not sure age has much to do with it if you are 'good'. I'm 38 years old, been running my own tech company since 2000/2001. (We are small - 7 employees). We hired a really talented guy in his early 20's a couple months ago. More than satisfied with his work to say the least, and he was pretty good with the customers. I was more than satisfied with his tech capabilities, but didn't always work things out logically I found, missing the target - but he'll learn over time. Sadly, had to let him go this week, he could never arrive on time - and you could never, not once, get a hold of him on his mobile/email/etc during or after hours. I'm not talking 5 minutes late to work, I'm talking hours late to work, 4 out of 5 days a week - every week. WORK ETHIC COUNTS. I have shown up to work on zero hours sleep, hung over, etc - on-time and still effective. Same goes with the rest of the staff. People who know their stuff and are willing to learn will last forever. I have no age biases. I have a guy nearing retirement working for us for the past 8 years, and for the past 3 years I have a 21 year old (started 19 - still in school). Be a productive employee and keep learning & adapting - you'll last forever........ IF your workplace is not comprised of short sighted douche bags (or the environment is 'too' corporate).
    • _Excellent_ for you and your crew. I do wonder if you'll feel quite the same way in several decades, when you realize a senior engineer was born _after_ you started in the field. It's a strange experience, one I can attest to personally.

      I've been very fortunate to work with mentors, and to mentor, people of various ages in my decades in technology. There are many valid reasons for age bias: the generally better medical condition of younger workers is one of them. Knowledge of the latest technologies, and e

  • You guys and girls are so fucked, the older you get the less the capitalists want you and it has been going on all my life. You are welcome.

  • Not true, the average age at Google has increased a lot.
    • > Not true, the average age at Google has increased a lot.

      So has the role of those people. They're building on, or maintaining, an existing technology.

  • Tech firms want people with the current skills sets and those "without those skills will be pressured to leave or see minimal career progression,"

    Engineers who fell into the job because they're insanely curious and constantly looking for new things to learn because that's what they love to do will be just fine. As always. My mom was in her late 40s when they said "hey, you're the sysadmin for this new DEC thing we bought now. Here's the manual!", and she thrived at it because it was challenging and interesting.

    Engineers who got compsci degrees because their parents pushed them into it because "it pays well" will continue to steer into management. As

  • Hi. Stay current. Stay wage competitive. Maintain strong work ethic. Be accountable.

    If you do these things and you're still let go when you're older, it may be ageism. If you don't do these things, it may be something called a labor market.

    • This is my experience too. I'm at a company with lots of late-20s engineers, but there's a cadre of older people like me (I'm 44). We bring a different sensibility to the team and thus diversity of ideas and techniques. There's a synergy that improves the output of all the engineers.

      If you can show your programming chops on a whiteboard, that you're good at learning new things and that you have the drive to get things done when everyone else is working extra hours the smarter companies will pick you up at l

  • Will Millennials Be Forced Out of Tech Jobs When They Turn 40?

    Hope springs eternal. I'm not holding my breath though.

  • That's what is so funny about youngsters complaining about old farts. They have no idea how quickly they will become one, at which point they will be complaining about that, too. There is really only one thing old folks know that young folks do not: Youth does not last very long.

  • Ageism is a fact in tech. I've experienced it first hand and saw it happen over and over. The data supports my anecdotal observations.

    That's why I'm furiously opposed to the H1-B visa program, maybe the only issue where Trump and I have common ground. Not only on the salary issues but for manpower. If Silicon Valley would pay more and work a little at retaining older workers, I think their labor shortage would mostly evaporate.

  • 40's already too old. I'm gonna say more like low 30's.
    Welcome to the shallow, superficial world that you Millenials have created for yourselves.

  • Millennials may see the experience of today's older workers as a cautionary tale, and usher in cultural changes

    You mean younger generation considering input for their elder? That may happen after they matured enough, but that will be too late then.

  • I somehow recall the number 42 having a certain significance as an answer to the wrong question. I can't possibly imagine how so many people who have read the books or seen the movie can't seem to figure out that 42 is the answer but don't realize that you're asking the wrong question.

    I am 42... and I know the right question to ask... if you want to build me a massive super computer as a gift, I would gladly accept.

    The question is :

    Maybe I should simply leave it there and make you all build the computer and

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A black panther is really a leopard that has a solid black coat rather then a spotted one.

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