I recently read in an article that Software Developers Are Terrified Of What Happens When They Hit 30. I did not like it too much, mostly because the main source for the article was a thread on Hacker News that discusses what happens to older developers – and shows a quite different picture. No idea where the original article draws the conclusion from, as the thread itself contains some really informative comments – at least if you leave out the usual inflated salary numbers that are cited there.
Anyway, by digging through this, I found this gem. It is about David Maynard, a 65 year old software engineer that has apparently worked his way through some of the most famous companies in our industry, all while staying a developer at heart. Best quote from the article:
Sometimes I have to leave a company when I get promoted to the stage when I can’t code anymore.
That’s somebody with enough self-esteem and love for his profession to beat the Peter principle for sure ;-) . And a shining example that nobody should be afraid in software engineering of becoming older and more experienced. As long as people are keen to learn new skills and stay curious – and I am convinced this is more of a personal preference, rather than something that age takes away from you – age will not be a problem. Which is why it is so needed for companies to have a technical career ladder. But this is a topic for another post…