Paul relates his experience with regard to different kinds of discrimination in the work place. The subject related to age discrimination.
Paul writes: "One guy might be able to log in and fix a problem (He's my hero) -- another guy might be the type that prevented this problem from ever rearing its ugly head in the first place -- how do you, as a middle manager, even see the latter value if it doesn't happen?"
Avoiding Oblivion in Your Tech Career
tuxchick: it's alive and well.
I can recount a half-dozen or so experiences, if you want.
The issue is rather complex, but from what I see, as you get further
and further into the complex realm of technologically focused work, it
becomes harder and harder for people to understand not just what you
do, but the value of your expertise.
It's easy, for example, for someone to build a Linux box. It's not so
easy for someone to manage, say, 1000 Linux boxes from an engineering
perspective. This first concept is where most middle-management
(depending on the corporate culture of promotion and so on) leave off.
I've simply seen too many people who don't understand enterprise scale,
let alone some of the things that make one person more valuable than
The difference can be stark. One guy might be able to log in and fix a
problem (He's my hero) -- another guy might be the type that prevented
this problem from ever rearing its ugly head in the first place -- how
do you, as a middle manager, even see the latter value if it doesn't
happen? Complicating matters is the fact that given extreme complexity,
it's easy to walk in as a junior admin with a specialty and simply not
understand the enourmous value some of the old mainframe guys (how
boring!) bring to the table, for example.
I've thought long and hard about this. As a senior guy that has
survived a lot of things, one of my strenghts has been my ability to
communicate through multiple mediums -- written and oral
communications. This along with the ability to clearly explain my value
have kept me in the game far later, sadly, than a lot of my peers.
I have more of this droll experience if you want to hear it. ;)