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Where are the old programmers?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by AndrewPS, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. AndrewPS

    AndrewPS New Member

    Somebody said something last week that I'd never thought of before -- that programming is a job for young people. I suddenly realized that I don't think I've ever met a middle-aged programmer.

    So where are all the people who were programming in the eighties? Did they burn out and change careers? Did they all make so much money that they retired early? Did they move into the other fields that have opened up since then? Where are they?
  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    A popular mis-conception.
    Many of us have learned not to admit to being a programmer in public. Unless you are well prepared for it the question usualy leads to some impossible-to-answer query about computers.

    Many are still there. Some have migrated into managing teams of programmers. Some have moved away. And don't imagine for a moment that we make *that* much money!

    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  3. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    I have family overseas and always knew one of my uncle's as *the man at the bank*. After a recent MSN chat i found out that he is the *IT Security man for a bank*.

    He is 50+, know's C, VB6 and *a lot* about networking in general (maybe Harry standard) and apparently helps out voluntary for a Linux distro testing.
    What a result for Boyce! I plan a European visit soon, (planned to go at Christmas :cry: ) and will ask (of course!) for some training in exchange for some Sangria!

    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  4. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

    Programming is based on ability rather than age, but for those programmers who start very young, like those in the games industry, something called 'burnout' can set in where enthusiasm for the job disappears and the feeling of the time to move onto other things becomes apparant. This is normally brough on by work stress.

    Some go onto consultancy, production, management that may or may not be tied to their original programming careers.

    I know one genius programmer from the States who is easily in his mid-forties and doesn't do anything apart from code.
    Certifications: BSc(Hons) Comp Sci, BCS Award of Merit
    WIP: Not doing certs. Computer geek.
  5. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

    Anywhere near me mate??:D

    The programmers are still here, we just don't admit it.:oops:
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685
  6. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester


    I could always pop in for a Leffe on the way back. :D

    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  7. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    I know quite a few middle-aged programmers. And, as Math said, several of them have moved on to consulting and management.
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  8. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

    I have tried to learn programming languages, but never really had the patience. I prefer to be hands on messing with computers, taking a sledgehammer to them when they don't work :D
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  9. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    First, define middle-aged :)

    I know a couple of guys who are now consultancy/service based. They tried to sway me to the dark side in my youth, but I managed to withstand the pull of the dark side. It's not that they disappear. It's called career progression :)

    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  10. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    A mate of mine was a programmer, just retired a couple of years ago - so they are out there, just keeping a low key :)

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: MSc in Tech Management
  11. witch

    witch New Member

    lol - I guess you could say I am an old programmer from the 80s if you stretched the definition to include someone who wrote text based adventure games (getting a couple published) in BASIC and later in PASCAL.

    What happened? I got into girls and did not get back into IT in the same way until just recently when the director told me to build a website without any training or knowledge on how or where to begin and I got married (so no need to devote so much time to chasing the fairer sex - lol).

    But have to admit I kind of enjoy trying to catch up.

    What am I doing now? I am an out of work terrorism specialist - amazing eh? Seems like working for our American cousins makes me a security risk back in the UK and not being an American makes it difficult to get new work in the US after my contract came to an end - LMAO - the irony of our special relationship in an age where terrorism is no.1 agenda in the West.

    Incidently - lots of ppl talking about certificates vs degree - take the certificates, I got a first class degree (albeit not IT) plus a masters and I can't get a job - I am told I am overqualified - can't even get work in Llidl. Employers want vocational qualifications because HR staff don't know the job they are supposed to train you to do :p Seriously if you own a company sack all you HR staff except one who knows employment law - waste of space.

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