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What career advice would you give to a middle aged software developer?

software developer woman career advice

Nicholas Tee's answer on Quora:

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Mature software developers: "Writing people off because of their age is one of the most common mistakes in business and society today - yet it is a mistake that is seldom mentioned or discussed."

In general don't people with more age have more experience?

Playing devil's advocate here - in general, yes, but if a person was working on a particular technology stack for a long time, it could be difficult for him to move into new areas, while it is -assumed- that younger people are more up on the latest and the greatest...  Totally not fair, but as a recruiter I see this a lot, unfortunately - along with, yes, younger people being (understandably) uncomfortable managing older people.  This seems to be one of those issues that are difficult to correct even though many agree it needs correcting.

May I, since you were referring to 'a person' and not the letterwriter, specifically? ”... if a person was working on a particular technology stack for a long time, it could be difficult for him to move into new areas", changed to 'it could be difficult for *them* to move into new areas'.

I feel bad in pointing out 'him/people'. So sorry. I understand that many times we write certain things by rote, our minds concentrating on our ideas.

I completely understand your point about using inclusive "them", and I was considering using he/she .... but, I have to admit, I do not think this is something worth paying attention to. As a women, I had never felt excluded by a pronoun, in situation like those I feel "he"="person". I do understand that language informs thinking, so I will keep thinking about this, but for now using "them" or "he/she" feels to me more "PC" than "equality".

I know! :) Isn't it interesting?


I thought about us... now maybe we should discuss Powerball numbers?

Interesting facts: You only need 14 powerball tickets to cover all numbers at least once and most of the powerballs in 14 different combinations. 26 different tickets assures you match the powerball. Also, if you had 292M different combinations, costing $584M, you would be a guaranteed jackpot winner of $1B after taxes (assuming no one else matches).


More about Powerball:

"There are far too many people out there that make a big deal about employing young techies when in all reality the reason they do this is simply because they are either afraid - or unsure about, how to work with - or manage, someone who is older than them."

Well said. There is no need to fear. We just need to commit to communicating well with each other. 

We all need to familiarize ourselves with the communication traits of different generations. Watching "Meet The Press" and "The MTV Awards" — let's make a stew of understanding each other.

I like how you think, Marlene!

More commitment to understanding helps us all.

something I got to practice in the army as a young officer with older soldiers. 

Any tips Jared? Or is it just a matter of practicing being clear?

be clear, consistent, and competent? practice

Thanks. Yeah all three of those C's take practice. 

Adam Grant in "Give and take" has a good example of communicating - actually, teaching! - experienced and older officers. But the problem, as I see it, is not "how" - the problem is unwillingness to even consider getting oneself into the situation where you will be dealing with older subordinates. Something that was not an option for Jared, I guess :)

good point. there needs to be a willingness on both sides. 

Attitude counts for so much. 

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