Silicon Valley's ageism problem


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Funny how ageism is fine when it comes to promotion in most industries, but is a problem when boomers try to enter the tech sector.

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Much of this article is about ageism affecting those in their forties–not boomers.


This ageism is all about hiring young guns who will work 80+ hour weeks without complaining. They feel like they’re being “hardcore programmers”, when really they’re being abused by their employer for the primary benefit of executives and venture capitalists. You can’t fool older folks with the same nonsense, and you don’t want them in your company spreading their “dangerous ideas” about work/life balance.

I’ve been there, lived that life, and now I’m thousands of miles away, and much happier for it.


Point taken. Gen X’ers are the ones complaining, then.

Have to wonder if any of it has to do with the family life.

“We Want People Who Have Their Best Work Ahead of Them, Not Behind Them.”

Wow. I’m surprised HR/legal let that fly on the website.


Just FYI 40 somethings aren’t boomers anymore. They’re Gen-X. If you were born in 1974, you’re 40.

My mother is barely even a boomer. Boomers are grandparents and great grandparents these days.


Ageism is hardly something new in fields like computer programming and graphic design. It kicks in around age 40. It has little to do with generations; I first noticed it in the 1980s. It has nothing to do with competence or energy, any more than race, sex, body shape, or other prejudices do, with one exception: young people are easier to play for suckers. This is very important to predators like Zuckerberg.


I actually don’t see the problem here. But that’s because I assume that an “older” employee (like myself :slight_smile: ) can still improve or add exceptional value to an enterprise.

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You don’t have much choice. If you want to fight the older population for a promotion you’re going to do the same thing: work for less. Yeah, you can’t convince the old folks to relent. So you end up working harder for less.

Irony of ironies another article about the younger generation depending on the older too much will likely be published today… Kids these days just don’t work hard enough!!!

Yeah, that’s it. Just need to work that 85th hour!

This is another reason why tech CEOs lobbying non-stop to be able to lure away the already sparse number of tech workers from developing nations into the US to work on the latest cat cartoon app is such rubbish. They treat existing workers like crap and ignore huge pools of workers because they want people they can push around instead of implementing fair labor practices. Why worry about workers quitting when treated badly when you can get the government to import them from nations that can ill afford to lose them? It’s a double whammy to national and global society.


Huh - Young people who think they know everything. That’s new.


“Smart” isn’t the same as “knowledgeable”, sadly. And being young and smart, too often you are ignorant without knowing it. This is one of the reasons software engineers repeat the mistakes of the past.


A 48 year old friend of mine set up a tech firm 5 years ago with nothing too serious ever on his CV prior - he’s just gone through VC financing and is powering ahead.

My view is if you let them put you down for any reason, you’re kind of cooked anyways.


Strongly agree that the tech industry’s focus on the young is very often equivalent to a focus on the easily-exploitable, the people who’re still physically capable of pouring every conscious moment into the bank accounts of shareholders (and also either capable of being deluded into thinking that this is “glory”, or hungry enough not to care). Every development agency I’ve had contact with that encourages sick project cycles and kneels on it’s developers to fill the promise-gap is full of frantic under-30’s sweating out 80 hour weeks. The agencies where people leave on time and take coffee breaks to talk about their lives with their colleagues have far more diverse employee age ranges, and (surprise!) far less of a panic cycle baked into their project management. I dunno which kind is more attractive to clients, but I know which ones I’m more willing to work for.


No yet, goddamn it, not yet.

How this is not front page news across the country is…well, sadly unsurprising:


Besides - old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance (I’ve crossed that line, you see)


Yes, yes… beautiful, wicked treachery


Honestly I don’t believe its as easy as blaming (all) tech companies for passing over older candidates because they can’t work them to death like fresh meat college students. I’ve seen candidates that have spent the last 20 years doing embedded programming for Boeing try to apply for web development positions where they just really have no experience. Unfortunately, the kids these days are able to learn that stuff on their own or maybe even in school, and can just stay ahead in technology more than people with real lives and families and jobs. I’m not sure how to fix this problem.

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