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Being an old techie
I'm with @tbmay on this. Keeping tech skills current is obvious, but sometimes it's hard finding the time to do meaningful research and training in your own time. In my early-40s I was in a job that had a long commute (1.5 - 2 hrs each way) and too many chores and family commitments at weekends. This went on for a few years. It was a gradual thing, but I found myself losing touch with the latest tech skills, something I had always made an effort to prevent. The IT field moves so rapidly, it seems you have to be young and eager, with no family, to stay on top of the new tech. Hirers tend to favour the young, too, since pay is generally less. I'm a techie through and through, with no desire to move into people management. Now in my 50s, I have to sacrifice a lot of family time in order to build my tech skills. The size of an employer is another factor: in large corps with huge IT staff it may not be possible to influence IT policy even if you do come up with some good ideas.