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Ageism? Good Idea?

By dotxen ·
Do we really want to have old geeks in our industry? Isn't it time we came clean with the truth and said it like it is? Older people (over 40s) working in the IT industry is like a wrinkly driving a sports car...pathetic! Buy a Volvo for Christsakes!

The oldies struggle to keep up with change. It's a natural consequence of aging. They prattle on about how important understanding DOS is, when no-one gives a toss about DOS anymore and 90% of current IT folk don't even know what it is!

If you were interviewing candidate for a job in network technical support, would you employ a 55 year old? Truthfully please!

It is for the young.......isn't it?

What do you think?

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Shades of Soylent Green

by a.techno.geek In reply to Ageism? Good Idea?

What in Great Britain if you are over age 40, people have it line up at an euthanasia station? See in Great Britain they pay people not to work, so to say, "be on the dole!" Too bad, if you live long enough, you will be over 40 some day and someone will be saying the same things about you and your experience. Me thinks Mr. Robb got replaced by someone older then he, so this is a way to strikeout about his situation. As for America, unfortunately we 40 + have to work for a living as well. Problem is can you handle anything in EBSCDIC, well sonny I can! How about wiring up "Unit Record Equipment" to run the machinery? How about an IBM 360/20 computer? How about Hollerith cards? See we all have experience, I just have more and it goes deeper then your's.

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What is your purpose for this?

by CoachRick In reply to Ageism? Good Idea?

Robb,
What is it that you want to create with this idea? What is your purpose for proposing it? I wonder also how differently you will feel when you are a 'wrinkly'. (And it doesn't matter what you think you will think because you don't have the experience to honestly say.)

As for the "you can't teach old dogs new tricks" ideology you are proposing, my experience is quite the opposite. And on top of that, there is a wealth of usable experience that the 'wrinkly' will bring to the table that does not show up in most young people. Again, this is empirical knowledge. (Pun intended!)

What is your evidence that "oldies struggle to keep up with change" -- I know a lot of over 40s coding .NET, Java, Perl and creating dyno-mite web sites. Some of the 'older ones' have struggled with the change; it is a big leap from procedural coding methodology to object oriented technology. It is a bridgable gap that many have made. And those I know that did not make the change either did not by choice (close to retirement so why bother) or they were struggling to begin with. And I have seen plently of youngsters struggling just out of college with new technology. Some got past it, some not. From my experience, it is not age, but commitment to learning that allows or blocks progress. An open and active mind does not age.

I agree with your comments about DOS. No one talks about it at all. However, in an IT shop with over 500 developers, many do talk about the command line (or shell), creating slick command files/shell scripts to perform mundane tasks. And 90% of them do know what it is even if they don't use it. It can be a bore to have to slow down and teach one of the new young pups how to use it. Strange how they want to spend two days writing a program to do what a command line script will do and take about 15-20 minutes to create. I guess that is the price for "knowing it all".

Can you "spell Unix" in all its 'flavors'? How about use vi to create a script or generate a startup for a daemon for your server? I work with many 40+ guys that do that in their sleep.

So again I ask, what is it that you wish to create with this idea?

Sincerely,
Rick Curry, CPC

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Good Idea? Not a chance

by pbachman In reply to Ageism? Good Idea?

You're presuming that every person's capabilities are the same at the same age - BAD assumption.

You're also implying that you have more of a right to an IT job than someone who's older than you - because you're "young".

We can only hope you don't get into a hiring manager's position until you learn to judge people by their capabilities and accomplishments, rather than their age.

I AM a hiring manager and yes, I would consider hiring a person 55 to do network support. I would also consider you, even though I don't agree with your opinion.

One last thing - before you write off "older" people in IT, or any industry, look at folks like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. They prove that individuals, not age, are what counts.

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Does age matter?

by johngaz In reply to Ageism? Good Idea?

Considering where Robb resides, it should not be shocking that he asked this question? In Europe if you are over 40, no need to apply for a job! All European countries discriminate against age, looks, etc.
The funny thing is, he posted the question but he doesn't have the guts to reply to any one of them!
Yes! I am going to hire an older person and yes my network admin is over 50 years old and yes he does do Windows and Novell, and yes he still uses his DOS skills to troubleshoot problems! And NO! I will not replace him with a 20 year old if he retires tomorrow!

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Basic logical fallacy

by Server Queen In reply to Ageism? Good Idea?

If you genuinely think that younger IT folks learn new technology faster than older ones (way to paint with a broad brush there, btw), then your lack of experience is definitely showing. Yup, there's plenty of older folks who struggle to keep up with change, but most of us have seen one whole **** of a lot of it. Those of us who are still here have proven that we can adapt to change, over and over and over again. Have you?

Frankly, it's been my experience that a COMPETENT older tech learns new technology faster than a younger one - because we've had to do it so many times.

As to what do I think - I think you're bored and trying to stir the pot. ;-)

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Experience Before DOS!!!

by mhasf In reply to Ageism? Good Idea?

I am 51 and I am still learning and producing. I am a network administrator on a Windows 2003 AD network. My workstations are all Windows XP Pro. And yes, I have built many a network based on Novell, with DOS workstations, and even LANtastic.

I am now managing a network and writing applications in Access 2003 (VB) and just finished learning SAP ABAP.

Although I have been building systems since before there was a DOS, I am still current and keeping myself a valuable asset to the I.T. community. And what's even more important, is my experience pays over and over again.

I have worked on the following:

Northstar DOS
CP/M
RSTS/E
VMS
RSX-11
Cyber 170s
DOS
Windows 2, 3, 9x, XP, 2000, 2003
OS/2
MAC
Netware 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Linux

So, tell me how that can't be worth something???

I rest my case.

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Amen, mhasf, Experience Before DOS!!!

by diamondphoenix In reply to Experience Before DOS!!!

Yes! I wonder if you're familiar with CORVUS SYSTEMS "Omninet" as well....your list of experiences parallels mine pretty much, too!
I had a Northstar Horizon network with TSS/C - Northstar DOS and CP/M on it many year back....
Oh yes, Lantastic! CP/M Netware, UNIX, XENIX, you name it! I thought no one left remembers any of 'The Good Old Days" when it was really exciting to be a PIONEER! I think I am jaded now, it does happen - same old WINDOWS XP out for how many years now? Hah!
Sounds like Windows went stale to me, LOL
Where's the overdue PENTIUM FIVE????

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Too Old?

by jima In reply to Ageism? Good Idea?

Robb is typical of the young punks/geeks that think they have a lock on the IT world. Hopefully he never makes it very far in management so he doesn't exclude valuable, older IT workers. Many of us came into this career path in various ways. I came in at age 53 and had to learn DOS as well as Windows and its various incarnations. I am now learning SQL as well. We are as capable as those under forty who started with video games. Our judgement many times is better having been seasoned with years of life experience as well as work experience. Maybe a younger person will have somewhat of an edge in technological skill but this is more than made up for in workplace maturity that us 'older' workers are more likely to display. There are many, many more reasons that the over 55 IT worker has advantages over the younger folk but I will leave that to the other respondents.

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You are young and stupid

by ron In reply to Ageism? Good Idea?

You'd better hope you are employed at age 55. Putz.

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Thanks Ron - You Made My Day Mate

by dotxen In reply to You are young and stupid

Hi and thank you for that.

I am 55 years old and I have been in the IT industry here in the UK for 15 years.

I wrote the topic because I wanted to provoke debate over an issue that rarely gets any air-time. It has been a very busy week. I have received some fairly abusive mail. No matter. I am happy to have made folk think. I just hope that those who do hire and fire have read this and realise that people like me have so much to offer.

Thank you for your time and interest. I do appreciate the response, even if you were being annoyed with me. Well, I deserved it.


Robb

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