InformationWeek's Community of IT Professionals Debate Ageism in the Technology Industry
Conversations That Matter on InformationWeek.com
Dec 4, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The new community-driven InformationWeek is playing host to a lively discussion among IT professionals about ageism in the technology field. According to InformationWeek's "Are You Too Old For IT?" feature story, while ageism may be a taboo topic among employers, veteran IT pros say it is very much an industry reality.
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Ageism in IT isn't a new story, but it typically hasn't traveled far beyond the confines of Silicon Valley and its youthful startup culture. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, 28, for instance, told the audience at a 2007 Y Combinator Startup School event: "I want to stress the importance of being young and technical. Young people are just smarter." The average age of Facebook employees is 28, according to a recent study. The average age of Google's workforce is 29.
InformationWeek reporter Kevin Casey's article cites how ageism extends well beyond Silicon Valley and the technology industry at large. Members of InformationWeek's community are chiming in on this hot topic, as well as on its follow-up piece from Casey titled, "Too Old For IT Jobs? 7 Fight-Back Tips."
BillS20101, 11/20/2013 | 12:04:45 PM
"Ageism exists where hiring managers focus on skills rather than values, abilities, and skills. Plenty of older technologists value learning and advancing their careers and have the abilities to do so. Focusing on a particular skill, e.g. Ruby on Rails, eliminates some of the best, most consistently creative people out there."
BenCronin04, 11/20/2013 | 11:20:59 AM
"I see both sides. As a 'younger' individual in IT, I have been passed up for positions strictly based on my lower age. 'We think you'd do a great job in this position, unfortunately we are not sure if our clients would feel comfortable with having someone of you age in this high of a position.'"
AdamBlackie, 11/20/2013 | 12:59:00 PM
"At the end of the day it is a case of 'horses for courses.' Any organization that overtly ignores any section of the workforce, either because of gender, age, religion, disability etc., will be a much weaker competitor in the long run. So, as someone has already noted in this thread, if the process is discriminatory maybe potential employees need to turn this on its head and reject the organization instead."
Midnight, 11/27/2013 | 7:54:23 PM
"This cult of the new programmer gods truly saddens me, because I am not the only techie out here with a combination of deep knowledge and years of experience. While I agree the new tools and techniques are valuable, dismissing the real-world implementation wisdom, gained during trial-by-fire crisis events of the dot com era, is a major disservice to the industry as a whole."
MariposaW534, 11/24/2013 | 7:35:40 AM
"Ageism AND sexism are prevalent in IT. I recently experienced both and as a result changed careers."
sfreeves, 11/21/2013 | 2:08:19 PM
"If age is holding companies back from excelling at what they do best because of a learning curve, why are majority of companies ran by older people? I've always been taught that 'everyone brings their own worth to the table, but not one person brings all the worth'. I value the 'experienced' people in the IT field, that's who I look to for guidance and let's just say none of them are in their 20s or even their 30s."
turquhart201, 11/21/2013 | 10:10:31 AM
"I have only one word for my response.... BALONEY!!!!! I am 58 and I am in my 15th year of IT and I am in the best years of my life! I am learning new things constantly and I also teach the new concepts as well. It is only when people think and believe that they are too old is when the boat is sinking."
JayOza, 12/2/2013 | 1:51:15 PM
"You can't hide your age so don't play defense, but go on offense. This means you have to clearly show how your experience helps companies make and/or save money. If they care about that then you have just leveled the playing field and even taken an edge over your youthful competitors."
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