Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Businesses Google Technology

Half Life of a Tech Worker: 15 Years 473

Hugh Pickens writes "Matt Heusser writes that when he went to work for Google all the people he met had a sort of early-twenties look to them. 'Like the characters in Microserfs, these were "firstees," young adults in the middle of the first things like life: First job out of college, first house, first child, first mini-van,' writes Heusser. 'This is what struck me: Where were the old dudes?' and then he realized something very important — you get fifteen years. 'That is to say, your half-life as a worker in corporate America is about age thirty-five. Around that time, interviews get tougher. Your obligations make you less open to relocation, the technologies on your resume seem less-current, and your ability find that next gig begins to decrease.' By thirty-five, half the folks who started in technology have gone on to something else — perhaps management, consulting, on to roles in 'the business' or in operations. 'Yet a few stick it out. Half of the half-life is fifty, and, sure, perhaps 25% of the folks who started as line technologists will still be doing that when they turn fifty,' adds Heusser. 'But by the time you turn thirty-five, you'd better have a plan.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Half Life of a Tech Worker: 15 Years

Comments Filter:
  • I started at 33 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 03, 2011 @12:38PM (#38250410)
    With a not so glamorous 15 year old technology no less. Been at it for almost 3 years now. Guess what? People who know what I know are very hard to find and I get paid accordingly. Much better than my previous 11 years in retail sales I must say.
  • by Mean Variance ( 913229 ) <> on Saturday December 03, 2011 @12:39PM (#38250416)

    At 43, I live with the senior software engineer title. I've been at the same company 12 years. While I consider myself well established, nothing is guaranteed - company could be bought, sales could suffer (I've survived 4 layoffs), I might piss off a boss.

    Many of us have grown up inside the company (we are a Silicon Valley tech company) so there are a number of 40-something engineers and a couple have crossed 50.

    But when I'm in a worrying mood, I do think about what would happen if I had to go into the interviewing machine. There is probably some truth to the tenet that it's harder to stay in development in later years, but I know peers who have done it, and we just hired someone in his mid-40's.

    If the employer can get over age and hire the best person for the job and if the 40-something can swallow and maybe be willing to take a pay cut, things can stay in balance. At least I hope so if I'm in that situation.

  • Ageism (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 03, 2011 @12:40PM (#38250424)

    So, in other words, this is just a long winded way of saying what we've all known-there's a severe problem with age discrimination in tech.

    " Your obligations make you less open to relocation, the technologies on your resume seem less-current, and your ability find that next gig begins to decrease."

    All irrational assumptions that people just internally accept and contribute to the ridiculous amount of ageism in Silicon Valley.

  • by digsbo ( 1292334 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @12:44PM (#38250458)

    Years ago I decided to move sideways into a position doing C systems development instead of Java web development. My thinking was that few people under 30 (as of 2000) knew C, but it didn't seem to be going anywhere. Did that for a while, doing a little Perl and such on the side. I've been making moves sideways and slightly up since then, moving out of the Unix/Linux world into Microsoft .Net most recently. If you go to high in salary too fast, you find your career path played out by 35 (how old I am now).

    By moving sideways, I've got a broad resume, with reasonable depth (just find challenging projects). I have a little headroom to move up salary-wise yet, and have a convincing story to tell that I a) am capable and willing to learn new technologies on the job, and b) don't mind making parallel or even slightly backward financial moves to find work, especially if it gives me exposure to new technologies.

    There is nothing brilliant or insightful about this, yet people still fail to do it. I work with people who have been in the same job for 25 years. If they get laid off, they are screwed. No one will see them as anything other than set-in-their-ways old people.

    The drawback for me is that I'm finding it harder to continue to get energized to learn new technologies. I can still do it, but it's becoming more of a hassle. Not so much the languages, but the specifics of frameworks and technology domains (i.e. web vs. traditional client-server vs. realtime). Probably more a personal limitation, I'm not the smartest guy in the world.

  • by digsbo ( 1292334 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @12:46PM (#38250478)
    Ability to flow with change is critical for knowledge workers. It is not easy, but who said it should be? Given the quality of life we have, I'm thankful that as hard as this job can be, I'm not melting solder off trashed PCBs in China.
  • by mdf356 ( 774923 ) <> on Saturday December 03, 2011 @12:51PM (#38250510) Homepage

    I suspect it's harder to hire someone who's older simply because the pool is smaller. That is, almost everyone at 21, or 23, or 25, whenever they finish college or graduate school, will be interviewing for a job. A lot fewer people at 40 will have a reason to leave, especially if they've become Senior and somewhat indispensable at their company.

    I left IBM three years ago to work for a company not far past startup days. At 33 (at the time) I was one of the oldest developers at the company. Now, though, as the company has grown (and been acquired), not only are there more older people at the company, plenty of people who were young when it was founded 10 years ago are in their mid 30s and now have spouses and children. Several senior people have now gotten married or had kids, so in that sense the whole company has aged up toward me in just the three years since I started (age is often as much a particular position in life w.r.t. how long one has been married or how old ones children are).

    And very few of these people now in their late 20s or mid 30s are looking for a new job, because they have one they like. So the pool of available interviewees continues to be heavily biased toward college graduates.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 03, 2011 @01:06PM (#38250604)

    If so, I haven't seen it. I'm 49, currently working on optimizations for an ARM compiler backend written in C++. I've never had any problems getting jobs, and I've worked for IBM, HP, and about 4 smaller companies doing various things.

    You DO have to keep up. If you don't, obviously, your value as an employee will drop rapidly. But I haven't seen any age bias so far, and I've gotten an offer out of every set of interviews I've ever had. I suspect what seems like age bias is that many people stop learning when they hit about 30, and then wonder why nobody wants them when they're 50. I'll be 50 in 4 months, and I don't think I'll have any problems landing another job if my current one disappears.

  • by retroworks ( 652802 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @01:24PM (#38250768) Homepage Journal

    If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. I'm 49 and surviving by trading with "techs of color" overseas. There is a huge aftermarket for older / used / lagging edge technology in "emerging" and "converging" markets outside of the OECD. I can't keep up with the newest display technology. But I can buy and sell what I know about. During the past decade, internet access grew fastest among people in nations earning average of $3500 per capita per year. They aren't buying tablets or twittering about Tahir Square on their IPhones.

    The biggest threat to this has been American and EU ignorance of the 6 billion people in non-OECD markets - grouping 6 billion people together under a single "non-OECD" label. They are too frequently depicted as wire burning monkeys in the press. [] If you are willing to do your homework and differentiate between the lowest run / price-cutting technology buyers overseas, and the "fair trade" lagging edge and secondary markets, you can find some great partners. Oh, and by the way, they tend to have a lot of respect for seniors in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

  • too annoyed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @01:31PM (#38250838)

    I'm 50 and have found few interviews, lately (sf bay area) even though I've been doing C programming since my early 20's. I also design and build my own hardware (most pure software guys can't do this) and so I'm not just a coding guy, I also can do full system bring-up, device drivers, up thru app code. can I find a job? no. not in a year of trying, I can't. its like I'm blacklisted. it really feels like I'm stuck in a 1950's mccarthy era movie and my name is on a list, somewhere. the 'too old, too expensive to hire' list.

    suffice to say, getting older and having years of experience 'not matter' (coding is coding, really; years of doing coding *is* experience) sure seems like the social contracts are broken. work hard and you will have a position in our company. ha! and while companies ding you on any short-stays you have in your employment history, what about all the companies who simply decide to downsize to make a faster buck at your expense? where's the 'short stay' at the company side, ding? there isn't one, folks. they get to make the rules and you get to be judged by it.

    and while its bad for us in my age bracket now, just WAIT for 30 more years and see what the tech (western employment, I mean) world is going to be like. I shudder to think how much worse it can get. the movie 'logans run' does enter my mind; and like orwell, it was *supposed* to be a story, only, not reality.

    my only bit of advice: please be a little compassionate and understanding when 'older guys' show up at interviews. we all know that you young hot-shots have all the classic algorithms stored *recently* and freshly in your minds. for us, well, we have had 30+ years of stuff to save and sort thru; and its harder pulling specifics (during interviews) out on-demand and at seconds and minute-level expectations. to you it may seem a disadvantage that we are not 'walking ROMs' but maybe give us the benefit of the doubt; and if our resume is filled with coding jobs, please don't assume that we can't code *now* because we aren't up to 'live performances' and coding-on-the-spot challenges that are more and more common in interviews.

    it used to be that people could get jobs they couldn't do. now, there's a wealth of people who *can* do jobs but can't get past the damned interview process! and you folks in the interview loops don't seem to see or care; as long as YOU have your jobs, you are mostly insensitive to those of us who are not so fortunate.

    you will be in this position in 20 or 30 years. karma is a bitch, remember that. be kind now.

  • by hoppo ( 254995 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @01:37PM (#38250884)

    what seems like age bias is that many people stop learning when they hit about 30, and then wonder why nobody wants them when they're 50.


    Length in career varies greatly by individual. Tech is no different than any other career -- if you want to continue with it, that means you do what it takes to keep your value high, through continual learning, and self-reflection and improvement. People will either wash out (by choosing not to keep up), or they will choose to drop out, by either migration to management or moving to a different career path. As someone else stated, we're looking at a relatively new industry, so it's hard to judge how many "old" people there are in it. The dot com crash of 2000 sent a LOT of people scrambling away from tech, never to return. That was a draining of the pool from which we'd be seeing a lot of 40-somethings today.

    I'm in my mid-30s, and I feel pretty fortunate to remain in demand. However, I also realize it's because I have always striven to stay current with my skills. I spend my free time looking ahead to what is coming, and not just rest on what I have done in the past, and it has continually paid off.

  • by morcego ( 260031 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @01:43PM (#38250942)

    It is a little more than that.
    In a CEO's head (or anyone in upper management/board), anyone over 40 who is STILL in a tech position is incompetent, stupid or both. If they were good, they would have been promoted to management, and would be making a lot more money.

    It is a sad reality, and even more sad that it is mostly true. Not the vast majority, but based on my professional experience (IBM, couple Japanese multinationals etc), I would say that is true for 60-70% of the cases. And for management/the board, 60% is more than enough reason.

    The thing they fail to see, and most of us who either are still in tech positions, or were forced to migrate to management even if we really don't enjoy it, is that not everyone is cut for management, even if they can handle it. And even if (if you succeed) you will make more money, the money you made as a techie was more than enough for doing something you actually enjoy, instead of doing twice as much for a job you hate.

  • by DarthBart ( 640519 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @01:50PM (#38250994)

    I tried it too. I may be one hell of a programmer/admin/network monkey/guru/whatever, but I am not a sales person. I failed miserably selling myself. I'd usally end up taking on shit projects that I underbid myself on to get the job and the worktime versus pay wasn't paying the bills. It put a hell of a strain on me and my wife & kid. After a year of being able to survive only by selling my stash on ebay, I went back to "work".

    Nowadays would be even more of a joke. I retired on disability a few years ago but I still try to pick up a side job or two here & there to supplement income and those jobs end up being maybe one every other month. I simply can't compete with the "programmers" in India or Ukraine who will bid a project at $100 that I wouldn't touch for under $1000 despire the fact that the $100 project turns into $5000 after the overseas clusterfuck.

  • Re:Ageism (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @01:52PM (#38251016) Journal
    Why would I hire some old guy who's going to miss days and only work 9-5 because he has sick kids, baseball games, piano recitals, etc?

    One word: "Analyst".

    As someone in the ballpark of my first halflife, who always considered myself a pretty damned good coder, I have slowly - ever so slowly - come to understand the difference between writing impressive code and getting the job done.

    Very, very few jobs (outside research and academia) care about you shaving those last few cycles out of your code. They don't care if you used a neural net or plain ol' linear regression to predict the future sales of widgets for budgeting purposes. They don't notice that you have an excellent sense of color aesthetics in your once-a-month-force-crap-into-the-GL interface design.

    They care about - in order:
    1) It does the job.
    2) It keeps doing the job.
    3) When the job changes slightly, someone other than the original author can realistically update the software.

    The most important part of that involves you as the coder understanding "the job". You need to figure out why and how someone who inherited a seemingly stupid task from their predecessor, who inherited it from their predecessor, who inherited it from some long-dead genius in 1950s tax law, needs to reconcile data between two seemingly unrelated systems. Sometimes the answer ends up "you don't", and they could have stopped doing it 30 years ago but no one understood it until you looked into it. Sometimes you need to do it and then some, because they haven't actually satisfied the original need for the past 30 years and no one noticed. And sometimes you need to keep the exact same typos and delays because a complex and fragile chain of downstream consumers depend on you spelling it "dolars" on page 4.

    Don't get me wrong - You don't need to turn into a "business weenie", you don't need to start spouting management-BS-speak about "internal customers" and ROI and the like. But you do need to understand that you serve the business needs, not the other way around; and I have yet to meet a newbie coder, even among the best of the best, who can appreciate the difference there.

    So Bethesda and EA may not hire someone with grey hair who flatly refuses to regularly put in 12 hour days "for the team". But you can bet the countless non-IT-specific companies out there who just have work that needs to get done, will.
  • by mark_reh ( 2015546 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @01:59PM (#38251052) Journal

    and made it to 45 YO before the push to management/marketing started in earnest. I had no interest in either so tried to stay in engineering. Layoffs ensued. I went back to school and now I'm a dentist.

    I think the half-life of tech workers int he US is going to get even shorter. I'm not suggesting to my son that he study engineering as I did. He doesn't seem to be interested and I don't think it is a secure way to make a living any more. Instead I am advising him to do what my brother did- start up your own business of whatever type interests you. My brother distills Vodka and Gin. I figure he's got about 10 more years at the rate he's going until Seagrams buys him out with private-jet money.

  • You must love it. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 03, 2011 @02:00PM (#38251058)

    Here's the thing: You must love it.

    And I feel a lot of those who "got out" in the mid-30s and later just really didn't love it. And I mean willing to sit there for 12 hours a day to work stuff out.

    I remember when I was in university (80s) there were folk who were in the program with me because they thought it would be a high paying career.

    I did not understand that at all. The first time I took a programming class, it just ticked. It was the perfect balance of play/reward/solitude/etc that I crave.

    Yes, I am very well paid, but the only reason I've stuck it out, and the only reason I was in school in the first place is because I loved it, and I still do.

    I just spent all saturday afternoon working on a side-project. I am 45 years old. I just love to write code, what can I say?

    And if you don't, it's very easy to get burned out, and just leave. And that's OK. Go do what you love, if you can. If you can't, then do all the things others are suggesting: become a manager, move into marketing. Or stay a programmer.

    So I think all the points folk are making are valid.

    But we can't forget that programming is something that if you don't really, honestly, love through and through, the hours will eventually kill you. Just destroy you. And when it does, you find yourself at 35 going "where did the last 10 years go?" And I was at 35 still saying "This is great! It never ends!"

    So if you are in it for anything else other than the love of it, I don't think you can stay in it for 25 years. Money only motivates so much.

    I hope this helps folks just getting in. If you area already thinking the hours are "long" and you often look out the window and wish you were somewhere else... think again about this particular career. If you're doing that at 18, at 35, you'll wish you weren't doing it, even if you have a nice salary.

  • by jhoegl ( 638955 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @02:04PM (#38251084)
    I dont know... I mean I tend to view my IT job like a Doctor would view his. Constantly reading, constantly scanning, constantly updating my knowledge on all things IT.
    Much like a doctor who needs to keep up on medicine, we must keep up on technology.

    The other thing that both helps and hurts me is that I keep my knowledge general. I like all things IT, programming, database, networking, OS (Linux and Windows), and all the things those entail. I do not keep myself limited to one scope, because that actually prevents one from getting a job, but then so does not specializing when they are looking for specifically that person.

    So it is a catch-22, but it may actually work.
  • by cshark ( 673578 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @02:04PM (#38251086)
    If you love what you do you'll keep adapting, evolving, improving. If you care about making a living, you will keep learning. If you're afraid of change, you will fail. I think that's pretty much universal in any field though.
  • by Brandybuck ( 704397 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @02:04PM (#38251092) Homepage Journal

    Google is an aberration. I work with many different companies, and the average age can vary greatly according to culture. Google has a very young average age, heck I think half the males there can't even shave yet. Startups also tend to be very young. But then go take a look at medical technology companies. A much higher average age. Animation studios: very young. Petroleum engineering: higher age. Financial trading: somewhere in between. Military contractors: much older. Other miscellaneous companies I've seen have also ranged from the very young to long in tooth.

    I am talking about the SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS in these companies.

    I think the two factors that push the average age downwards are: 1) The trendiness and hipness of the company. Kids want to go work for Apple and Google, and not for IBM or Oracle. Older workers shy away from these because they feel uncomfortable. Then there's 2) the cultures at software companies that emphasizes newer languages, technologies and platforms. "Newer" being relative of course.

  • by chrb ( 1083577 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @02:06PM (#38251104)

    The drawback for me is that I'm finding it harder to continue to get energized to learn new technologies. I can still do it, but it's becoming more of a hassle. Not so much the languages, but the specifics of frameworks and technology domains (i.e. web vs. traditional client-server vs. realtime). Probably more a personal limitation, I'm not the smartest guy in the world.

    There are incredibly smart guys who don't learn many new technologies. I have no doubt that the old school guys like Linus or K&R are very smart, but I'd also guess they are pretty unfamiliar with modern web and application development (AJAX, Rails, PHP). They probably wouldn't be considered experts in Java, .NET, or any of the other modern frameworks that recruiters want. They probably don't know that much about Android applications and the Dalvik API, or about developing iPhone apps. Of course, they could learn, and possibly faster than others, but they would lack specific experience. From a recruiter's perspective, their CV would be thrown in the bin ("No 10 years X experience?! Out.") To me, this is a flaw in modern IT recruitment, but to others, it makes sense.

    There are various reasons as to why older people tend not to learn newer technologies. Free time has a lot to do with it. As you get older, it seems as though, no matter how smart you are, the amount of time you can dedicate to learning new things decreases. The motivation also decreases. Once you can program in five difference languages, there is not as much reason to learn the sixth. Your knowledge is already sufficient to carry out the tasks you want to, and much of the difference is inconsequential - all of the APIs are slightly different, but you gain little from memorising them all. There is also a mental barrier - the "Why should I struggle to write this in a language/framework I don't know when I could write it in my old, familiar language in a fraction of the time?" feeling.

    Another important reason is that the software world is a lot bigger now. Once upon a time it sufficed to know C and Pascal. Now it seems like we need to know C, C++, Java, C#, Perl, Python, Ruby, Bash, PHP, HTML, Javascript, CSS etc. And for each of those, there are multiple frameworks in use. How many different ORMs are there just for Java, Python and PHP? There has been a framework explosion over the last 15 years, and this makes it difficult for a person to keep up. The world was a lot simpler when 90% of development only required knowledge of C and the standard libraries.

  • by Surt ( 22457 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @02:13PM (#38251150) Homepage Journal

    I've seen it first-hand, interviewing for Google. Their interview process just isn't capable of evaluating someone with 10+ years of experience. All of their questions are targeted at kids straight out of school. When they have to evaluate someone with 10 years of experience who will want twice the salary of someone straight out of school, they literally have no way to understand why the experienced person might be the better choice.

    There's also definitely a lot of layoffs targeted at aging workers. Lots of firing going on in the 35-39 age block where they don't have to worry about lawsuits. If you've been lucky enough never to be hit by such bad management, congrats.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @02:17PM (#38251186) Homepage

    Google's giant R&D operation is starting to look like a huge flop. Google has never originated a successful post-search product in-house. The ad system was acquired from DoubleClick. They had to acquire YouTube because Google Video was a flop. The hard part of Gmail, the smart filtering, came from Postini. The Android software was acquired from Android, Inc. PIcasa was acquired from Picasa, Inc. Google Earth was acquired from Keyhole, Inc. SketchUp was acquired from @Last Software. Google Voice was acquired from Grand Central.

    In-house, they produced Google Answers, Base, Lively, Knol, Buzz, Wave, Gears, Page Creator, etc - a collection of cool hacks, all now discontinued.

    They're good at improving and scaling up stuff. That's what smart junior people are good for. Google is terrible at developing new technologies. They don't have enough people with experience to do so.

  • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @02:23PM (#38251230) Journal

    Google in particular sucks for more experienced workers - they have the "compressed pay scale" problem that killed Sun. They pay fresh college grads quite well, but pay people with 20 years experience only a bit more - often less than market. They're still a newish company and working through the maturing process they'll need to survive.

    There are definitely companies out there though that have a place for the second 20 years of your career. I just screen for that before I go for an in-person interview: what's your career ladder beyond a manager-equivalent paygrade? Do you have drector and VP-equivalent tech paygrades? Do you have a fellowship?

    Of course, to reach any of those paygrades you need to be a serious badass, but the fact that a company has them at all means they know how to value older workers. BTW: don't expect to get paid any more just for experience past 10 years or so. Those higher pay grades are going to be for the top 3% then 1% then 1/300 then 1/1000 engineers, you don't age into that.

  • by Anne Thwacks ( 531696 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @02:39PM (#38251364)
    Speaking as an oldie: we all did that - it still wont save you! Train up as a plumber now, while you can afford it.
  • by Bigbutt ( 65939 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @03:57PM (#38252024) Homepage Journal

    This, with spades. At 54 I still love mucking about with computers and I'm extremely valuable in Operations. I'm a mentor for my team. I know lots of esoteric technical stuff in part because I was there when it happened. Because I still love what I do, I spend my own time, and sometimes my own money (I paid for a Symantec class out of my pocket so I could get a preferred position in the company) keeping up on tech as well as time at work. Because I'm a bit on the older side, I help keep the other guys from burning out although I skirt the edge from time to time. My linked in "resume" has recruiters calling me or e-mailing me a couple of times a week. Management values me also because the three younger guys on my team all have young kids and are out sick or handling sick kids several times a month. I'm here, rain, snow, or shine.

    While I've taken a few "leadership" classes and have considered moving up to a Supervisor role (half manager/half tech), I'm still not there. The classes have given me an even better edge because I step up to take responsibilities to help my manager. My age seems to let me talk a bit more freely with managers, directors, and even Vice Presidents and they listen.

    As to moving, I appear to have pretty itchy feet having moved 45 times in my life so changing location isn't all that much of a hindrance to me other than packing up all my gear when it's time to move again. :)

    But mainly it's because I truly love working with computers. And I've been into computers since I opened the Sinclair back in 1980 and started keying in Life.


  • by dohnut ( 189348 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @05:12PM (#38252516)

    That's why connections are so important. Completely skip HR and go straight to management, you know, the people that actually put in the hiring requisition.

    At my current job I knew several people that worked in the company. They talked to their manager, passed along my resume (no HR required) and the manager arranged for an interview with me. The interview went well and the manager told HR to hire me. If I went through HR I never would have got the job. I could tell HR wasn't even too thrilled with me when they did my orientation. F*ck 'em.

    Speaking of HR... Today if we want to hire someone we pretty much have to go out and do it ourselves. HR barely even attends to the needs of the currently employed (question about your 401k? vacation policies? medical insurance coverage? -- we'll get back to you on that), I'm not sure if they even have the ability to interview potential new-hires.

  • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @05:17PM (#38252554) Journal

    In the meantime save your money like your future depends on it because, you know, it does. Live on half your takehome pay - merely maxing out your 401k is just getting started.

    BTW, I've been known to outperform teams of 20s wonderkids, when the measurement was debugged features that survived a rigorous QA process. It's so much easier to tapdance through the minefield when you've already stepped on every mine. A team of 20s wonderkids with my guidance, however, is vastly better than either one alone.

  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @05:30PM (#38252638) Journal

    Speaking as an oldie: we all did that - it still wont save you! Train up as a plumber now, while you can afford it.

    ...Because after 20+ years of sitting on your now flabby out of shape ass in front of a computer, with old bones starting to creak, that is the time to consider working in the hot sun digging trenches and wading through human excrement on a daily basis. What the fuck do you think a plumber does exactly? And who mods up such fucking idiotic bullshit?

  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Saturday December 03, 2011 @05:41PM (#38252696) Journal
    OK, you're doing better here, at least you have numbers to back this stuff up......but let's attempt to look rationally at this stuff.

    63% of women in science, engineering and technology have experienced sexual harassment ... Demeaning and condescending attitudes, lots of off-color jokes, sexual innuendo, arrogance; colleagues, particularly in the tech culture, who genuinely think women don't have what it takes - who see them as genetically inferior

    OK, so 63%........including arrogance? Programmers are arrogant, but to people of all gender. It's how we are, and it's not misogynist, it's misanthropist. Still, for the sake of argument, lets assume they were talking about sexual arrogance. In the nursing industry, it's as high as 90% [LINK pdf] []. And yet there are still more nurses. So clearly there isn't a strong correlation between sexism in these two industries and proportion of women to men. Or rather, there is a correlation: there are more women working in the field with more sexual harassment. Most likely it isn't a meaningful correlation, however, it's more likely that women don't like working with misanthropes.

    But let's go with your assumption that women don't like the IT field because of sexual harassment, not because of misanthropes. The article is talking about women not being able to find a job. Presumably they want to stay in the IT industry, despite the sexual harassment they experience. So the numbers in the article you just cited are not related at all to this situation.

    In other words, utter logic fail by you, babe. Now, you might think I am being anti-woman by calling you babe, but you are wrong. I am showing favoritism. If you were a man I would have called you a brain-dead retard. It's just another example of the favoritism women get in the industry: you get a compliment instead of an insult.

    But just look at your own "reason" #2 for an example of sexism.

    Another example of you not being able to use logic. #2 was one potential explanation, and it might be true for a small segment of women that age (we are talking about 1.6 percentage points here, which is obviously not all women, or even most women). You don't know unless you investigate the numbers, and you haven't. That's why it's a logic fail by you.

    If I said, "women are worse than men at sports," that's not sexist, that's true. The fact is, women are just as capable and just as intelligent as men. You are never going to convince men to not be attracted to women, and vice versa. But women are perfectly capable of surviving and excelling in that environment. There is nothing to stop them but themselves.

  • by tweenbean ( 1627021 ) on Sunday December 04, 2011 @02:53AM (#38255480)
    My situation: 59 yrs of age, started in electronics in 1979, migrated from hardware to software, no college degree (but some courses) I have found that working contract (temp) is a great way to open doors that might otherwise be closed. The company gets a good look at you, you get a good look at it. I've interviewed several times for a direct (captive) position at the place where I now work, and was shot down. This last go-round I hired into a temp position, (so the company has a low level of commitment) and I hit the street running. I *proved* I was up to the task even though I don't have the sheepskin (or much of the theory either - I just know how to make things work and get things done (using perl mostly :-)).

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson