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Businesses Programming IT

Can Older Software Developers Still Learn New Tricks? 365

Posted by samzenpus
from the old-school dept.
An anonymous reader writes "There's a persistent bias against older programmers in the software development industry, but do the claims against older developers' hold up? A new paper looks at reputation on StackOverflow, and finds that reputation grows as developers get older. Older developers know about a wider variety of technologies. All ages seem to be equally knowledgeable about most recent programming technologies. Two exceptions: older developers have the edge when it comes to iOS and Windows Phone."
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Can Older Software Developers Still Learn New Tricks?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 29, 2013 @04:46PM (#43585229)

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trygve_Reenskaug developed MVC when he was 49, and DCI when he was 78.

  • No [slashdot.org]. No I am not [slashdot.org]. For reference see:

    Ask Slashdot: Am I Too Old To Learn New Programming Languages? [slashdot.org]
    Ask Slashdot: Am I Too Old To Retrain? [slashdot.org]

    They should have a lot of the bland "buck up" responses alongside the "outta my way I know everything" youngsters.

    Also, to more quickly expedite this process, I prefer your story submissions in the form of "Ask Slashdot: Am I Too Old To <X>?"
  • by geezer nerd (1041858) on Monday April 29, 2013 @08:07PM (#43586753)
    I took on my last tech job at age 61. I was titled a manager, but as ever before, I could not (would not) keep my hands away from coding. I was in a start-up company involved in a completely different line of work than I had done before. I had learned a lot about XML in my previous job, and in the last one I learned VXML and Perl. And developed my first Eclipse plug-in. My coding experience went back to the old days when every computer architecture was different, there were no "platforms", and all code was developed from scratch. Memory dumps were our friends in the old days.

    I did sense that programming technologies were changing rapidly, and I managed to keep my hand in with all the 20-something coworkers by working very hard to study and learn and apply new things. It can be done.

    Too often, I see folks debating the merits of various languages. During my career I learned a zillion of them. Not a big deal. The big deal is learning the concepts. Sometimes a particular language will embody a concept (such as objects) more clearly or more usefully than another. But once you grasp the concept, the rest is syntax. Once I was searching for a new job and an HR type rejected me because my CV did not show Visual Basic. When I did get a job a few weeks later, one of my first activities was helping a junior programmer develop some Visual Basic code. Although I had never seen Visual Basic code before, I became the "expert" because I could see the ideas and concepts beyond the syntax.

    33, 40 is not "old". I am 70 now, and still get a kick out of reading /.

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made. -- Jean Giraudoux

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