It's partly economics, party age discrimination/bias...

Story: Research explodes myth that older programmers are obsoleteTotal Replies: 3
Author Content

May 03, 2013
11:07 PM EDT
There are three reasons why younger workers (including programmers) are often favored by businesses. It certainly isn't that older workers can't adapt or learn.

1: A more experienced worker may demand a higher salary in the marketplace. Using someone with less experience, even less of a skillset, may be worthwhile if they are quick at learning simply because the payroll and benefit costs are lower.

2: Younger managers are often loathe to higher workers older than themselves. Partly, it's just a bias. Partly it's insecurity. If someone has more experience than the manager or the bulk of the team they may show up the manager/team or the manager may fear the more seasoned employee will be after his job.

3: When the economy was in rough shape issues other than competence came to the fore. For example, who will fit into the team best. In a young, male team more young men will fit in. An older worker may not. A woman may not. A member of a minority group may not. Harmony was seen as important. Unfortunately, in my experience this mindset is counterproductive. A homogenous team will tend to look at a problem and solutions from the same vantage point. A diverse team is more likely to come up with innovative and diverse solutions because they start with a diverse set of ways to examine the problem.

The good news, at least in the U.S., is that the IT market has improved sharply in the past year to 18 months. It isn't like the dot com bubble by any means but we are getting back to a market where competence and ability is starting to trump other considerations again.

May 04, 2013
11:36 AM EDT
>1: A more experienced worker may demand a higher salary in the marketplace.

This is the bottom line. I saw it over and over. Best, oldest, most experienced, highest paid, first out the door. Oldersters also have more med probs, so corp gets pressure from med insurer. I worked for one of the biggest fortune 500 corps in SV. The highest paid were always the first to go. Hire HB-1 visa workers and kids right outta college, pay diddly, toss the experience. Been there, wore out that t-shirt.

May 05, 2013
6:27 AM EDT
so the myth is kept alive because noone wants to show that they are cheap and pinching pennies. i do hope that startups get the message though. the mantra there is that you need to hire the best and brightest, even if they are more expensive. so funded startups at least should be snatching up all that talent that the others don't want to pay for.

greetings, eMBee.

May 05, 2013
11:10 AM EDT
I can report that age discrimination is very much alive and well here in America for all of the reasons caitlyn mentioned. And, it's apparently rampant across all sectors. Where I work in R[he]D in the chemicals industry, the oldest, wisest, most highly paid are the first out the door when times get tough. They're either replaced with college grads, or worse, contract workers who are paid even less and get no health or retirement benefits either. I have contractors directly reporting to me who have been with me for 3.5 years and I am not allowed to hire them on as full time employees. Also I see the trend of hiring young hotshots whom are quickly groomed and promote to management. These then turnaround and get rid of all the "old people"[/he] perhaps because they make handy scapegoats as the executioner or maybe they're biased. My only problem with some of these fresh out of college types (and I know I'm going to get flamed) is that a lot of them seem to be egomaniacs who expect to run the company in five years. Meanwhile, they're glued to their smart phones all day and like to delegate while taking credit. I see a lot of wasted productivity. Scary. I wonder if that's what happened in ancient Rome.

Posting in this forum is limited to members of the group: [ForumMods, SITEADMINS, MEMBERS.]

Becoming a member of LXer is easy and free. Join Us!