John: Hey, John Sonmez from simpleprogrammer.com.
I got a question about programming until old. This question is from Apaven I think. He says,
“Last weekend I have discussed about software developer job with my friends about software
developer is a dead end job or not. Later I tried to look in the internet and found
some good arguments from both sides. Here is a sample about programming as a dead end
job.” He’s got a quote from a story here and he says, “Many programmers find that
their employability starts to climb at around age 35. Employers dismiss them as either lacking
in the technical skills such as the latest programming language fad or not suitable for
entry level, in other words, either unqualified or overqualified. That doesn’t leave much,
does it? It’s a sick show that most software developers are out of the field by 40. Employers
have admitted this in unguarded moments. Craig Barrett a former chief executive officer of
Intel Corp famously remarked the half life of an engineer software or hardware is only
a few years while Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook has blurted out that young programmers are
superior. I’m not satisfied with the results from my searching so I would like to know
your opinion about this issue.” So I’ve gotten various forms of this and
I particularly don’t like this because I’m 35. No, in reality though I don’t believe
that this is true at all and I’ll tell you why. I think that statistically it holds true
but statistics doesn’t mean that there’s a reason behind it. We can’t draw conclusions
just from numbers. Statistically it’s probably right, probably the employability does start
to decline after 35. Probably most software developers are out of the field by 40. I agree,
that’s probably true. But is it because being old means you’re going to be discriminated
against? That’s not really old now is it, 35 to 40, because you’re not a young programmer
or is it because of something else? I think it’s because of something else. I don’t
think it has anything to do with age. I think what it has to do with is ability and staying
up to date with technology. I know plenty of developers. A good example
is Uncle Bob, Bob Martin. He is a software developer who—what is he? He’s definitely
at least—I’m going to insult him now, but I think he’s in his 60s, I think that’s
correct. I could be wrong. But anyway, he doesn’t look it, he looks like he’s in
his 40s. You’re watching, Bob. But anyway, Bob is a great guy. He did the foreword for
my Soft Skills book. Anyway, he is still up to date on everything.
He is always learning, always improving his skills. He is one of the most famous software
developers out there and well respected. He’s definitely over 35. There’s a lot of examples
of this as well. The key thing is that I think a lot of software
developers they tend to not learn and not to grow and not to develop their skills over
time and they stick with something that they know or they get stuck in a rut with some
particular technology. Because they’re not developing and they’re not adapting then
they end up—when that technology fades which is usually around the time 35, the technologies
tend to have like around 5 to 10 year lifespan, they end up not being as employable because
they haven’t learned the new skills, they haven’t kept up to date with technology
and the new trends so they end up either not being able to find good work or they end up
dropping out of the business by the time that they’re 40.
I don’t think software development or programming is a dead end job. I think any job is a dead
end job if you don’t continue to learn skills and practice. We live in an environment now
technologically where things are advancing extremely fast. I don’t care what your profession
is, you’re going to have to keep up with the times and learn new skills. Every single
profession has had or most every single profession has had advances in technology and changes
in the way that things are done that they had to keep up with.
Programming is definitely the most extreme of these, right? We have new technologies
and new frameworks and everything happening all the time. In fact, I’ve built an actual
course that will help you because I think that learning things could be as really important
for programmers so you can check it out here, it’s called 10 Steps to Learn Anything Quickly
and you can buy that course. Go check it out. We’ve had like over 2000 developers that
have signed up for the course and have successfully learned how to learn things quickly.
The key is that you have to stay up with technology. If you think that you’re going to develop
one skill set, if you think you’re going to come out of college and never learn on
your own and never learn anything new and not stay up to date well then yeah, you’re
going to become a dinosaur. By the time you’re 35 those young programmers, Mark Zuckerbergs,
young programmers who are superior, they are going to be superior because they’re eager,
the want it. They’re learning new things. They have the latest technology, but there’s
no reason why—in fact, by the time you’re 35 or 40 you should be able to become a better
developer, right? You should be better than all those young 20 year olds because you should
have experience with a lot of different programming languages and technologies as well as the
knowledge of the new ones. There’s no reason why you can’t stay up to date.
You can build a very successful career. I know a lot of developers that are well on
their 50s and 60s and even 70s that make a lot of money and do extremely well because
they stay up to date on technology and they are constantly refining their skills. They’ve
learned how to teach themselves. That’s one of the most critical skills that you can
have in life. If you like this video subscribe to the channel.
I’ll talk to you next time.