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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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Snotty-nose young punk

by mikemulren In reply to Ageism? Good Idea?

Snotty-nose young punk goes out on a limb and tries to bait everyone with such a post. I say lets not try and change his attitude. It will defeat him all by itself.

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Hi Mike - You Might Be Right

by dotxen In reply to Snotty-nose young punk

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.


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by zentross In reply to Ageism? Good Idea?

I'm 30 something and happen to know DOS. While not using older tools has become more common place, who doesn't have to resort to command line access of remote systems or systems that fail to boot into GUI period for whatever reason? What does it mean to hire for experience if someone who has seen the backbones and nerves of our current technologies is not given a chance to work around these younger (don't)know-it-alls in order to give the youngsters a chance to learn something about IT history?

I work with with several individuals older than myself and am constantly amazed at how much I don't know as well as how much I've learned from them in the last four years.

If you think that hiring an older person with a firm experience base in IT is a bad idea, I think you should not be placed in the hiring seat.

That said: hiring someone wanting to change careers and not having the past experience may warrant further consideration as it would be more time consuming to train him or her up. This should not be a hard and fast rule rather than a caution to look carefully. Individuals are just that; there is no group mold to work from.

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by dotxen In reply to NO!

Excellent reply. I enjoyed reading your response to my topic Ageism. YOu are right of course. Along with many others who have a view.

Just to put the record straight...

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.


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by zentross In reply to YES!

you're a damned SE to boot <G>
Well played then.

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Youth is wasted on the young - Or Stupid is as Stupid Does

by ron.riley In reply to Ageism? Good Idea?

The young are too inexperienced and immature to work with anyone that knows more then they do. Which is why teenagers don’t listen to their parents most of the time.

The fact that you would post a question about setting a policy for your company to perform an illegal operation such as AGE Discrimination. Shows just how inexperienced you are. Getting caught could actually put your company out of business. And you out of a job.

The young think of age as OLD, the old think of age as EXPERIENCE.
The fact that an old guy has forgotten more then the young will ever know is TRUE.

Most of us old timers learned computers using assembly language and oscilloscopes.
You had to work at the hardware level to make it work or fix it when it was broken. On systems that only had 1K bytes of memory or LESS and NO hard drives or even floppies. The youth of today just copy someone else’s code and make it their own.
Working close to the hardware is almost a forgotten art.

That statement is proven by the job application requests that ask for 32 unique non related languages on 3 or more operating systems. Anyone that has that much knowledge is either 300 years old, or is LYING and isn’t worth a damn at ANY OF THEM.
There are also MANY jobs available for EMBEDDED programmers, yet the people doing the hiring are totally clueless what EMBEDDED REALLY IS. And won’t hire old timers that REALLY know what it’s about.

The ONLY reason managers want to keep a young staff is:
While Inexperienced, they are NOT willing to speak up when they see something wrong, for fear that they might be wrong. And be singled out as a dummy. Or they just don’t know any better.
The longer an error is allowed to continue, the more it costs the company to fix. I KNOW through Experience.

They also don't have the moxy that comes with experience, to stand up to the boss when needed.
Because the boss who usually doesn't keep up with technology made a bad choice.
So the boss knows he can “count on them”, to not embarrass him/her when he/she screws up.

The young are willing to work for minimum wages with little or no benefits to gain the experience the OLD GUYS ALREADY Have! Something an experienced person won’t do.

The young "I'm going to set the world on fire" (and all of us Old Timers have been there) are willing to put in a lot of overtime WITHOUT PAY because they want to make Brownie Points with the boss. The only thing impressing the boss is he/she can go home at night knowing some fool is working like crazy without increasing the dept. budget. So the boss looks good to HIS boss.

Managers and younger staff are afraid if they hire older more experienced people. That every time they come up with a stupid idea that THEY THINK is wonderful. The experienced person will tell them how it was done before and why it didn’t work, making them look as stupid as they really are.

Education is BASIC BOOK LEARNING, there are a LOT of VERY IMPORTANT things that you can ONLY learn through EXPERIENCE, Someone else’s (the less painful) or your own. MUCH More Painful, to the individual AND the Company that’s paying them.

Most of the PhD’s I have worked with could (and did) write white papers about pie-in-the sky theories. But don’t have enough common sense to tie their shoes. And hands-on is out of the question. They get the company “industry exposure” (no one cares that their theories are bogus). But never really accomplish a damn thing.

While the young are making their mistakes (costing the company $$$) gaining experience, the older more experienced individuals. Have ALREADY made those mistakes and KNOW ”not to do that”!

The trend for the past 6 years or so has been to hire only the young, under pay them, while the CEO of fortune 500 companies are pulling in more then $ 4 Million a YEAR in salary and Bennies.
The CEO really doesn’t give a crap if the company folds a couple of years down the line or not.
By then they have made “theirs, screw everyone else.
Including their customers.

Which is why 98% of the commercial software that was written in the last 15 years is full of holes & bugs. Example: When MS Windows 2000 was released it had 63,000 KNOWN BUGS. Yet business bought 18 Million copies the first day it was released.

I have a quote from the CEO of IBM from back in the late 70’s that states, “IBM ISN’T going to get into the Microcomputer industry, because it is only a passing fancy”. Three years later they came out with the IBM PC. Several months ago IBM sold their PC market to China for $ 10 Billion.

When I worked for Exxon Office Systems, the company (only hired young engineers for the most part) developed what we called the “Exxon Many Woman Theory”.
Which is: “If you get ONE WOMAN Pregnant she will deliver a baby is NINE months.
Therefore if you get NINE WOMEN Pregnant then they will deliver a baby in ONE MONTH”.
Logically it’s TRUE, but EXPERIENCE tells us that it’s “White Paper Theory” that will NEVER WORK. The young engineers kept trying to throw more people at the project to get it done faster.
Exxon Office systems folded after 8 years in business. They had all the possible resources you could ask for, except experienced people to tell them when they were screwing up.

If you get THIS Far, I have one last statement. AGE Discrimination is ILLEGAL.
And if you listen to the old timers, you MIGHT just live long enough to become ONE.
Then you’ll have gained the experience to see the error of your current thoughts.

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Hey cool down!

by zlitocook In reply to Youth is wasted on the yo ...

I am a older person with alot of experenice in the computer field. I have programed, interfaced (ie) used the main frame and just dialed into things that were so called secured. The new people who are just learning about computers are virgins to what you know. And they will stay that way if they do not try to use their brains. The internet is not free any more, there is alot of branches to it now. So if you really want to learn about the web you need to search and look for other ways to use it. The web is the new way to interface life and use it to change your life.
Give it a few years and it will tell you how to change your life and fix whats wrong.
Sorry my view on life has stopped.

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Ageism Good Idea? Not!

by captg In reply to Ageism? Good Idea?

You might as well say that IT is for anyone 25 to 35 years old. Ageism is a blade that cuts both ways. When I was breaking into IT as fresh faced 20 year old kid, everyone who was already in was at least 10 years my senior.

Truth is, IT is for anyone who's willing to put forth the effort to learn & adapt in an ever changing enviroment. I'd hire the person with the right set of attitude & skill that the position required.
That said. IT isn't just about keeping up with emerging technology. It's also about being competent with mainstream tech, and legacy tech. DOS maybe dead, but OS's with command line interfaces are not. Neither are the basic concepts used by DOS.
To use your sports car analogy, the 40 year old is probably a better driver than the 20 year old, and is less likely to crash the sports car.

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Yes, I would hire the best qualified age indifferent

by gary_joanne In reply to Ageism? Good Idea?

Age doesn't matter! It's what that person has to bring to the table that matters. I'm right inbetween at the age of 40 and just getting ready to graduate with my degree in Computer Information Systems. I sure hope it wasn't for nothing, and in fact, I know it's not. At this point even today, I turned down 2 job offers for technical positions.

At the age of 40, I have tons of professional skills that are valuable to any IT Department, and I learned them from the 50 and above age. It was those people who are above 50 who taught me the many different methodologies which now allow me to construct a program from the Interview stage all the way to implementation and in many different languages, C++, XML, XHTML,, C#, Dreamweaver, Flash, and the list goes on. It was those of the older generation who have the knowledge to allow some of the little Arregant pricks who think they know it all, to keep their arrogant butts in line. I know some of the arrogant pricks in IT who think their **** don't stink, when in reality, they might have one skill. It's a joke.

And by the way, tech support and networking are a given. Any IT professional should know those skills automatically beyond the actual design and implimentation phases.

Wake up!

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What the heck????

by pmtk724 In reply to Ageism? Good Idea?

Unbelievable. I see people in their 50's every day that can dance on anyone's head on the technical side. We have one employed as an Identity Management consultant right now, and he blows away all the young geeks. Hardly worth replying, but I just had to. Good grief.

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