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By piccoloprincipe
via exampler.com
Published: May 11 2010 / 11:44

How does one continue to build a career in software development, when there are younger, hungrier people (i.e.people who can, and will work 16-hour days and can learn things at a ridiculous pace) joining the field? I’m at the ripe, old age of 33 and am already feeling like it’s a challenge to keep up with the 23-, 24-, 25-year-olds. :/
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User 712887 avatar

chahn replied ago:

4 votes Vote down Vote up Reply

I'd vote this down 10 times if I could. A 33-year-old is not old for a developer. That's when they should just be getting started. Get a grip. It takes 10 years to learn to program. http://norvig.com/21-days.html

User 306525 avatar

Dave Newton replied ago:

1 votes Vote down Vote up Reply

+1 (except I wouldn't bother voting it down)

I'm 41 now, and better than I've ever been--and I find it easier to improve, incorporate new practices, become effective in new languages and environments, etc. The more you know the easier it is to learn.

It's not about marathon coding sessions, except maybe in some startups. But even then--the places that do the best work strive for a work-life balance.

User 203717 avatar

chudak replied ago:

2 votes Vote down Vote up Reply

I'm in my early 40's and have found the younger developers I've worked with to lack any sort of discipline. SCM? Who needs it? Tests? Bah! Build scripts, continuous integration? I'll just deliver the software to the client from my development machine!

Sadly, most managers are too stupid to realize how risky all these practices are and how seriously they put their projects in jeopardy.

User 745365 avatar

Travis Calder replied ago:

1 votes Vote down Vote up Reply

Exactly! I'm 22. My age-peers write horrible code.

Up until some very experienced older developers joined my team, I wrote horrible code.

I learn fast, but so do they. I would have gotten absolutely nowhere the past couple of years if it wasn't for them, and my learning ability would be severely crippled if they were to move to a different team without appropriate replacements.

A good team is all about balance, complimentary skills and knowledge-sets, and a good set of team disciplines and practices. If you have that, the age of any particular developer is almost completely irrelevant.


Honestly, this article is ridiculous. Older programmers should ask for less? Yeah right! How fast do you want your company to go bottom-up?

User 279678 avatar

Mark Dennehy replied ago:

-1 votes Vote down Vote up Reply

The poster is 50, not 33...

User 249531 avatar

Kaveh Shahbazian replied ago:

3 votes Vote down Vote up Reply

Maybe he should take off for some time. I am 35 and I'v just wrote my 2nd F# library, 1st XBAP (Connects to scanner and things like that) and some rewrites using MSMQ (After 3 years, last time I'v used it) in past 2 weeks.

On younger ones: I definitely disagree. Most of them (according to current state of economics, our culture, our schools and universities and ...) are really lazy, following easy paths and are not willing to learn! From my experiences, I do not see them as competitors and I solve problems more reliable (and mostly faster) than smartest of them (among which I have around).

I agree on that age matters in this field. I can not stay up all night like before and I really need enough sleep. I DO NOT KNOW what is the effect of age exactly shows up and part of that is because this industry is facing this situation for the 1st time (at least by numbers). I have started with a commodore 64 (Assembly, Sprites - were 8 but could appear as 32 ones! - and Simon Basic - some I remember) and now I am using a Studio XPS 16, VS 2008, VS 2010, SQL Server, Oracle, SQL Compact, HTML5, JQuery, SilverLight, F#, C# (3.0 and 4.0), WPF, WF 4.0, Mercurial, Mantis,...Whatever;; still I am getting better! For sure everything has it's specifications (including limits!) yet it is not the same as 'nothingness'.

Take off 4 a week; I'v done that. It's really efficient AND: Loose your laptop, phone, internet for that week. Do not forget to sing and drink beside fire at night.

Cheers!

User 393686 avatar

RawThinkTank replied ago:

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LOL

The writer has no idea how much i can gulp down in few hours and what i am capable of.


Its like the guy in early 20s will need 5 to 10 years to be able to do things i can come up with, i said come up with because i myself hav no idea what limits are to which i can innovate in coding.

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