The day has finally come :(

I knew this day would come eventually… but not at 48!

I was turned down for a “senior software engineer” position because I was, quote “too senior” unquote.

48 isn’t 65… ugh.


Age discrimination is a very common problem in IT, but no one wants to acknowledge that it even exists. Age implies a lot of things and none of which employers want other then what is inside your head.


I am 50 next month and I couldn’t even handle a senior position if it meant no more hands on. I am much happier and like a kid opening Christmas presents when I am working on hardware and software systems etc. Most of my friends around the same age are managers now. I still get a kick when something is switched on and works for the first time. :slight_smile:


I’m 55 and just having way too much fun actually doing stuff now. I have been at Microsoft for 20 years and did the management thing, but never really enjoyed any aspect of it.

I got into software because, other than being an artist (no hope for me there), there aren’t too many other vocations where your mind is the origin of the effort, and your hands are the last to touch your creation; your efforts are directly visible in the end product; and you can directly reach so many people.

My university education was in Computer Engineering, but I just plain love writing code. You can call me whatever title you want, so long as there’s a compiler involved.

We apply our own inventions and ingenuity to the hardware and software blocks contributed by other creators to make things that are uniquely ours. Sometimes people even pay us to do it. How cool is that?


48! Just a kid.

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Ok, I !cannot jump in here. 61 and having a blast but then I’m not looking for a job either. I’m kind of an anomaly having worked 30+ years in the same company. Never want to retire. I go home every day thinking they actually pay me to play with all these expensive toys and they actually expect me to buy all this cool stuff to combine into other cool stuff. I could never fund this kind of fun at a hobby level.

Of course one needs to be able detach from all the political and management nonsense (entertainment). I tell my friends at work “I come for the entertainment, stay for the paycheck.” I work in cube city between Dilbert and Wally.

Although I have been considered a senior hardware/software engineer for half my career I have intentionally chosen a non management technical path. I have lost count of all the engineering leads, supervisors, and managers I have worked for that go home stressed every day for an insignificant increase in pay and no fun all day long.

NETMF and Gadgeteer just add to the fun. I work in an environment where we usually create just serial number 1 of a system. Rarely up to 50 units. Usually the prototype is the final product. That completely inverts the economics of a product where materials are insignificant compared to NRE. I can significantly reduce development time by cranking out some C#/NETMF for some embedded remotely controlled system versus other options. And the college graduate we just hired who doesn’t know what an embedded system is can actually maintain it.


Ultimately for a lot of companies developers or technologist in general are just seen as a commodity anymore and experience isn’t valued beyond what the latest technology is (in fact if you have more years of experience then the latest technology, then its likely seen as a liability), so for a lot of companies that younger, unmarried, unchilded, gullible/naïve, perhaps hungrier employee is just seen as a better deal then an older experienced person (I’d love to see exactly what their metrics are however and how they arrived at those). We see this in our tools as for example the idea behind Git is any developer could do any code anywhere in the project at anytime, so there is no specialization and hence no difference between coders (other then perhaps cost). Where a 20 year old developer is no different then a 50 year old developer except the 20 year old is seen as more current and willing and able to work longer for less, guess who is going to get hired even if the pay is the same. If you are lucky enough to work for a company which values experience, might I suggest you never quit (I would also suspect you work for a business where IT is their customer product).

Now to some point this is all understandable as for most companies IT is not their line of business and hence an overhead to be cost minimized in every possible way, but for an industry that is constantly screaming about shortages of suitable employees, its rather bogus really, but that is only part of the problem as typically as an older employee you are likely to run into the younger employer who hasn’t the chest full of medals and the battle scars to prove you earned them and they sure the heck don’t want you around and I have to admit there are times when I have a hard time recommending IT as a career to youth because of these problems as it can be a great career to begin with, but once you get older some of that polish can wear off pretty fast.

A couple of years ago I suggested to some of my middle aged IT friends to be careful how they managed their careers and finances and they laughed at me, but now they aren’t laughing, unfortunately.

As for changing technologies, try changing say something like a building code and see what happens. We change technologies in IT for no other reason then change itself and often spend most of our time walking backwards. When I was an engineer and someone said something was better we could ask them to measure how much better it was, or show us their calculations, but in IT we somehow believe just because someone says something is better, then it must be. Software engineering really is an oxymoron.


@ mtylerjr -

Take it easy. 2015 is the year of IoT. Soon they will kiss your (you know what) and start to cry if you turn them down.