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    The author is 35 and worried about perceived decline with age, by contrast I’m 28 and I’m the youngest developer at my organization. I’m seen as a bit of a whippersnapper. Pretty amazing how different businesses and orgs have entirely different frameworks of what “old” is.

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      Age discrimination is a prejudice that screws in both directions. When you’re 23 and you need time off, people assume you’re drinking and playing video games. When you’re 35, people assume you care more about your family and quality-of-life than capitalism, and use the fact against you. The former set of assumptions casts you as less admirable; the latter is more noble but also permanent.

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      Employers think the elder employees have families and want more work-life balance, so they won’t work over-time without complaint like fresh graduates.

      It’s true. I’m 34 and I do care more about getting a weekend hike in or working on my book than rendering additional hours, for free, unto capitalism. Even in terms of career investment, I’m generally more adept at investing in my own career than some duplicitous corporate manager who says he has my back but is really out for himself.

      Older people know more. They’ve made their bad decisions already. (Some of us have made more than enough for two or three lifetimes.) All that stuff makes us better at everything… but harder to take advantage of.

      The reason the pre-20th-century geniuses like Keats and Galois peaked so early is… they died. Before 1900, the age of 50 was fairly old and you were very lucky if you got to 60 with your health intact. (It happened; it wasn’t common.) We live in a different era and the intellectual peak seems to be quite late– at least 30, probably around 50– with the decline being extremely slow (if not nonexistent) in people who stay in good health.

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        As a 24 year old, I hate the fact that enough people my age work long hours such that it is almost expected of me. Everyone is free to do what they want, but I can’t imagine not having enough hobbies so you willingly fill time doing work. Even with my strict 8 hour schedule I feel like I don’t have enough time to do what I want!

        Also, almost every young programmer I’ve seen put long hours to “impress” bosses has failed. Software doesn’t work like that and most spend the extra time tabbing in and out of Reddit anyway.

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          Everyone is free to do what they want, but I can’t imagine not having enough hobbies so you willingly fill time doing work.

          :( as a 25-year old who doesn’t have enough hobbies and fills his time sometimes doing work, ouch.

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            I relate to that (as a 26yo that was doing +12h/day). I read some books about work life balance (Off Balance) and others (Dream Manager, The Rythm Of Life) from Matthew Kelly, and then tried to apply.

            When I changed job recently, I decided to add a challenge and directly told my future manager that I won’t work more than the legal 8 hours per day. He was comprehensive and even if he overworks a lot, I don’t feel pressured to do the same.

            At the beginning coming home earlier was a pain, I wondered what to do, and spent hours reading HN/Lobsters/The Guardian, watching YouTube/Netflix etc…

            Then I started to cook a bit more complex stuff and challenged myself to impress my girlfriend with it, I started to contribute on Github (very small things but I cleared myself from computers at home so I do my PR from and iPad now!), I’m reading more than ever, I now sleep much better, probably because I’m out of screens earlier, so I can wake up at 6 and go to the gym…

            I really think that if you try to un-focus from work, you’ll find things to do. Play a musical instrument, help a local community, or if you still want to dev, dev for yourself or the community !

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              He was comprehensive and even if he overworks a lot, I don’t feel pressured to do the same.

              That’s an interesting choice of words.

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                Oh sorry, got messed up in the translation! I meant understanding!