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It's Hard For Techies Over 40 To Stay Relevant, Says SAP Lab Director 441

New submitter NewYork writes with this chestnut from an article about the role of age in the high-tech workplace: 'The shelf life of a software engineer today is no more than that of a cricketer — about 15 years,' says V R Ferose, MD of German software major SAP's India R&D Labs that has over 4,500 employees . 'The 20-year-old guys provide me more value than the 35-year-olds do.'" The article features similar sentiments from Mukund Mohan, CEO of Microsoft's India-based startup initiative.
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It's Hard For Techies Over 40 To Stay Relevant, Says SAP Lab Director

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  • I call BS on that (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 18, 2012 @10:31AM (#42018755)

    I'm 43 and still very relevant. I offer experience as well as raw skill. I know what works, and what doesn't. I know the best practices and I know the pitfalls, and I know them well. I can troubleshoot a problem much faster than any of the kids, as well as learn new languages and new technologies very quickly, since after the first dozen or so, they're all pretty much the same. I can be a sysadmin, and a DBA, as well as a developer because I've seen it all, and over the years done it all.

  • India (Score:5, Informative)

    by michaelmalak ( 91262 ) <> on Sunday November 18, 2012 @10:32AM (#42018757) Homepage

    The comments are from India, where the software field has not been around as long as it has been in the U.S. Attitudes on age are just now (barely) starting to come around in the U.S., and I predict they will in India as well in a few years.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 18, 2012 @12:10PM (#42019341)
    Have you been able to maintain any career progression? Basically this same story comes up regularly on /. but I am reading it with some tightening of the chest for the first time due to a recent experience: I took a temporary management assignment, and hated it. Sometimes it was kind of fun to sit around like we had all the time in the world and basically gossip about people, but I realized what I really like is the engineering - crafting something and then seeing it come to life and function properly. Worse, I am an introvert, and fighting it too much makes me tired and doesn't come off right. With this new-found knowledge I am suddenly afraid my career potential is limited. I am not even quite 40 yet.
  • by Xeranar ( 2029624 ) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @12:17PM (#42019381)

    Ssshhhh! You can't let them know you're a person with feelings!

    Seriously this is such a terrible meme that runs around. Most tech and science workers are constantly updating their know-how but it just justifies them firing older better paid tech workers for younger underpaid fresh from college workers who will take 1-3 years to get up to speed. Meanwhile if you had gone to business school you would be relevant forever and probably better paid.

  • by Bigbutt ( 65939 ) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @12:18PM (#42019383) Homepage Journal

    Yep. I'm a 55yo Sr Unix Administrator who uses my old coding skills to proactively monitor systems. I used my debugging skills to identify a problem Friday that had the younger folks scratching their heads (it was a cloned virtual machine and the original worked fine). And a tool I wrote to help make server builds more efficient across the various necessary teams (networking, servers, SAN, backups, virtualization, applications, and infosec) is going live December 1st. How's that for an old guy. :rolleyes:


  • Re:Here you go (Score:4, Informative)

    by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @01:00PM (#42019793)

    The word is out on SAP. It's crap and always has been.

Today is the first day of the rest of your lossage.