I feel when it comes to actual discrimination in hiring practices, age discrimination is what you'll find. Tech companies prefer to go with as young as possible. Why doesn't anyone talk about that? Dont you think that is unfair?
- Apple Bnhjk56That is just for the people from 90s and early 2000s. Now there are a lot more people who started from 2010 who turned 30 and they will continue to be hired as there are a lot more of them now than they were. It will not be as big a problem going forward. Mark Z himself is old at 34
- You guys forget that you are competing for jobs on a global scale now. This isnt about baby boomers retiring. They weren’t coders or engineers so it’s not a 1:1 replacement. Plus all those Indians that want those jobs too. Keep your skills sharp! It’s harder than you think.Jan 247
- I’m in my 40s and I’m far “sharper” than I was in my 20s and a lot less cocky.
I’m also making a lot more money and haven’t had any problems with age discrimination. At least according to my paycheck and 0 unasked for days between work in the last decade or so.
Stay relevant. Learn new things. Same game it’s ever been.Jan 2448
- Oculus blndmeI find this discussion a bit sad. 30 is not old. 35 is not old. You are at peak earning potential in your 40s. I am in my 50s and definitely worried about age discrimination when I changed jobs. It was part of the reason I left my old job. They could find younger and cheaper labor. I felt fortunate that I had a network of people who could see beyond my age and give me the opportunity I now have. Now that I am here, I am happy to see a huge diversity in age. But I do not advertise my age either.Jan 257
- Intel zWUE03I feel it at 58.....And every time they transition our jobs overseas and i have to look for another job, which is where i am at now ...,i worry about age discrimination although no one would ever admit to that but i have seen it with others. I have applied to many jobs and still have not gotten one ...i have until April but it is rather frustrating. I don’t advertise my age and my company promoted growth yet i am still in this awkward position. I won’t give up though ..Jan 256
- Its simple. Just say you want to hire someone. You have below options:
1. you have someone who is very young, smart n fast at solving problems, can work 12-14 hours, and at same time stupid enough who doesn’t understand corporate ladder and dealing with people.
2. Guy in 40s who was once smart but now can work only 8 hrs, has to deal with kids, family, mortgages and also understands how company works and can deal with people.
Its no brainer that you will pick 1. You will be dealing with less shit and get more done. But you have to know how to manage those super smart idiots.
- What you are stating are exceptions. What I am saying is general average. And at top level, people take decisions based on looking at large set and averages, not exceptions.
I am not supporting this or advocating the preference to hire young, just stating how these decisions are made and how businesses think.
The total career of software developer is shrinking. You will not see people having 30 to 40 yr career just coding. Those days are gone. Either you move up corporate ladder and eventually start your gig. Or just figure out alternative sources of income by the time you hit 45 and exit. You won’t get anything crying foul on hiring practices based on age. They won’t change.
- Also to your harder/smarter comment - companies need ppl who are avg smart and work super hard (read monkeys who can solve hundreds of leetcode questions and then can work crazy 12/14 hrs on job). They don’t need super smart/avg hard working ppl.
In fact the latter don’t stay at lower levels for long. Either they are already at top, hiring the former kind or running their own companies.
The avg smart/avg hard working are the ones that are left out and stuck in this dilemma waiting to be phased out. This is the bitter truth.
- Genentech icqJ06I've seen much better code from older workers than the millennials... Absolutely no concept of error handling or defensive programming... Constantly needing the code reworked. Can't allow them to check in any little bit of code "unsupervised" (without code review) because they will break something somewhere. They only code to pass the pre Checkin.
It is also a handicap managing young kids who don't understand people skills. They don't understand how and when to prioritize projects, coding, bug fixing, negotiating with other teams where fixes should go, what to say to whom and how. They don't understand the big picture and fixate in little bitty details that they can't let go of. Have to keep them away from email to prevent them from muddying up the waters.
I really don't know the hullabaloo is all about. I would always like to keep a healthy mix of ages, genders and world experience. Everyone comes with their own baggage and their own basket of goodies.Jan 2413
- Guys! You can cry and make noise as much as you want. But this is the fact behind the scenes. The sad thing is you cannot prove it with exact numbers as no company gives age as rejection.
Instead of losing your mind by reading this bs, be grateful to the current job you have, stop looking at blind. And most importantly when you get rejected next time, stop thinking that it is because of your age.
- Microsoft qFUb34Yes, age discrimination is a huge issue. At Microsoft, most people I know personally who have been laid off were over 40. It’s so obvious. And no, please don’t tell me it’s because they let their skills lag. Some have been the best people. I was told recently at an interview that they specifically wanted a millennial. Was shocked they’d say that in person. To me, that’s no different from saying “you’re black/white/Indian so don’t even bother.”
- MSFT has been “managing out” older/higher leveled people over the last several years. I’m waiting for the lawsuit. There are way too many stories I know of long term employees who were managed out. They weren’t laid off on purpose. Those who haven’t been tend to be lower leveled. I know someone who has been there for over 15 years who is L61. They know they won’t be let go because they’re underpaid, but they’re ok with it because they have the stable job and flexibility for their kids and it allows their spouse to work in a less stable industry.
- Apple SageCanyonAt my old place (not Apple) there was this know nothing do nothing director who also said explicitly we should hire new grads. That was after he had enough attritions with his reports and others who despised him, so he figured new grads are easier to deal with. So, insecure middle management not wanting experienced folks is part of the issue.
- Uber / EngRqwx5omoreThe point is that it doesn't matter what they'd love. Companies pay salaries hoping that there will be return on that investment. With early career positions the hope is also that the employee will grow regardless of their age. If sometime taught themselves programming at age 50 and did well on the interviews, that might be even more impressive than a new gradJan 252
- Funny the whole “useless at lower level” comment. At Microsoft it doesn’t always help you to move up in level. It accelerates you moving out. There are only so many people at the higher level and Microsoft doesn’t need a bunch of people there. No company does. A company needs people at all levels of pay. The part I find funny is you assume level matches someone’s skills and experience. It’s nice if that’s always the case. It’s not...at least not at Microsoft. Sometimes you have the choice of staying under leveled and underpaid because you know it’s job security. The person I described above is doing just that and they know it. Their team is not targeting them when it’s time to lay off people because they get things done well and they are very cost effective for the business. Who’s getting cut? Others who are higher level, making more.Jan 292
- I call bullshit... every can make l64 and likely l65 as an IC. Then you are not loner managed out. Below that there is an unofficial promotion velocity timer... lack of velocity indicating either lack of skills either technically or influentially. We got a goddamn genius L62 for 15 years, but limited due to lack of ability to deal with stress, conflict or ambiguity inhibiting ability to deliver w.o oversight. The level is appropriate or dude would get fired.
- Fitbit 2¢I’ve noticed that many of my peer’s LinkedIn profiles no longer have dates of their degrees and their work only goes back so far. Possible reaction to ageism?
- My experiences shows me that its usually women that hide their graduation years. You're operating the assumption that because I want to find out how old women are I'm somehow trying to date them. This is not the case.
Frankly I personally feel that every member should be required to display the years of graduation. If I was an employer and I need to verify information I will need to know what year they graduated.
Some employers go as far as to find out what GPA you had when you graduated from college. Some examples include applying to teach English in Asian countries like the JET program in Japan where this information is actually verified for accuracy. This is especially true for government contractors specifically defense contractors.
One of my friends was interviewing for Lockheed Martin and they called me up to verify the dates of attendance, the year of graduation etc etc they wanted me to be specific as the position he was applying for required top secret clearance which essentially means a very extensive background check
- Amazon / OtherHygx15moreI cut 10 years of experience from my early career out of my resume for just this reason. Older workers are often seen as inflexible and unable to learn new skills. Not true. I came into my job with more skills than the kids fresh out of school and even more than many of my colleagues. But I struggled for a year to find a job after moving to Seattle from Portland until I found a group that put Hiring the Best (meaning rich with experience) over Frugality.
- Oracle FffffffeDiscrimination against age is just as egregious as discriminating against race or gender.
But lots of these tech companies pretend it's not.
- I don't really feel there is any discrimination towards race or gender. There just happened to be disproportion numbers in terms of age and gender for other reason, and most tech companies will prefer minority groups to even out the number. It's like minority privilege... I'm a double minority and just calling it as I see it. But discrimination against age is very real.Jan 246
- Microsoft XKBH16@dkfbsu same logic applies to age. It’s like how it’s an economic recession when your neighbor loses his job, but a depression when you lose yours. You not feeling race or gender discrimination personally, doesn’t mean they don’t exist or can be explained away with your logic of proportions.Jan 248
- Facebook / EngnfLx4635-year-old me isn't competing for the same sorts of jobs as 25-year-old me.
It would be weird if I hadn't learned things in 10 years of experience.
- I feel there is rampant ageism in the industry, not just in hiring practices but also in the way companies are managed and structured from within. It feels like it is much more difficult for older people to find non-management (but senior) roles, or roles outside of their immediate purview, even if they are qualified for them. I also see this focus on youth reflected in benefits offered at top companies (lots of free food and cashlike perks, but scant on 401k matching in many places). I haven’t looked at hard data on this, but have come to this conclusion based on many conversations I’ve had with people of all ages, as well as what I’ve observed happening in many places I’ve personally worked.
I think it’s a much more concerning issue than some other issues that we are focusing on as a community. I also think it’s unfortunate because older people have a wealth to offer and teach younger people— particularly about emotional intelligence in the workplace, something that often (but clearly not always!!) is taught by age— and it’s unfortunate to miss out on that.
Ah, the hubris of youth...
- Ageism is rampant in the tech industry. I’ve been in tech of and on for 20 years. Mostly as a software engineer. Now when I look for work no matter how hard I try I get zero callbacks. I can only get recruiters in non tech businesses to contact me. You young engineers when you start getting north of 40 better plan to be supplanted but the shiny new college graduate with the latest hot new skills.
- Engineer at costco, not exactly a hot brand. Here is why age is harder... out of college you have potential and moldable. 15 years later you better have proven the potential or your worth goes down. I dont see ageism at manager of manager or principal/staff levels. If you are still sde ii you either lack talent or drive. Shit happens but rarely for 15 year straightFeb 21
- Why so defensive? Name calling is really mature. I made no judgements about you... you made that judgement on your own. I am explaining the pattern and stereotypes. Now my 2 cents is that you believe you have the skills, perhaps corporate bs patterns/processes dont work for you. The college people dont have it easy... only the top 5% get these offers. Write 10 gold stars, 15 patents and you will have same odds as a 4.0 stanford. Btw neither stanford or goldstars are skills proof, just rolling diceFeb 30
- The best engineers I know and I hire are all older... generally 50s+. I once hired a junior engineer in his 70s. He was looking for a retirement gig and taught himself Python. But some of his experience as a nuclear physicist came in handy too. Hard worker, clean code, never missed a deadline.
Reality is there aren’t nearly as many of them as tech wasn’t a fast path to riches minting 10s of thousands of jobs a year back then, but those who still do it and love it are stellar engineers. But most of them made plenty of money somewhere along the way and don’t have to hang out with kids who think they know it all.
- Google aspixMy manager once clearly said: "See, everyone is smart here. It's just a matter of how much time you put in. The more time you put in, the more productive you are." At that time I (35-40 yrs age range) understood that the 25 year olds are going to kill my career because they come at 8:00 for breakfast and leave at 8:30 after dinner and have no kids or hobbies or read nothing else than code and docs. I accepted my fate and decided to love my family more than earlier than running behind a promo.
- Amazon BlueAvianThe secret is, that's not actually true. Work smarter, and you'll work equally productively, unclouded by the fatigue that comes from putting too many hours in every week. Work for someone who measures results, not doing time.
Unless you're one of that 1-3% who really does need less sleep than everyone else - then go ahead and work instead of sleeping, and you'll still have your time to recharge.
- Uber O(If you're 25 years old and display immaturity, it's cute because you still have potential. If you're 35 and doing the same, that's a reasonable negative sign
- One obvious sign of age discrimination that is subtle to most...when reviewing applicants if the HR and hiring managers are saying the older people are “too experienced” - that’s the subtle sign most people miss. And in reality it’s either: 1. Covert age discrimination (eg how the average age at Facebook is 25!) or 2. Posting less senior jobs and hiring more junior people Constantly. People have ways of twisting around the rationale for this in a way that sounds like it’s more opportunity and flatter org or things like that but reality it’s a bias in the hiring process.
- Nvidia zVEC05It is really bad most places. I know so many good devs, managers, & PMs who are over 50 & cant get a job due to their age. Yet these same companies say they can't hire enough people so need to get more H1Bs.
My mitigation plan: diversify my skill set & stay on top of paradigm changing trends (AI, big data) & plan to be able to retire/take a massive pay cut at 50 in all my retirement planning.
- Couchbase stealthdbOne important point people seem to miss here is most tech employees in a place like silicon valley are exempt employees by law, because we earn high wages. That is there is no fixed hours of work, but we need to work as much as possible to get the work done..
So why would business not prefer to hire someone in early 20s who has all the energy and enthusiasm to work for 70hrs a week happily and for lesser salary as they are less commitments in life ?
For aged ppl like me (I am in 30s), unless I have skills that an early 20yr old does not have, why should a company pick me ?
And face it, kids in college these days learn amazing things. unless I pick up skills outside of my day job and other soft skills by the time I reach 40 I will be outplayed in the demand-supply game..
This so called perception of age discrimination comes from the fact that everyone feels entitled to get paid high salary (twice or thrice national average) and still want socialistic protections on their job !!!
While there maybe specific cases of age discrimination, I don’t that is the major cause of people losing/not being able to find jobs as they age.
- So true... The shenanigans around removing dates from resume and hiding wrinkles on LinkedIn were aimed at just getting you past the front door so you can discuss skills, contributions, etc. These days it seems like the only way to get hired is by networking. The HR route is a non-starter.
- You expect entry level engineers to improve over time. 1 year or so to go from Entry to L2, same for L2 to 3, couple of years to L4.
At senior level, that pressure is somewhat removed. A company is perfectly happy to pay a senior engineer in perpetuity for heir work. Career advancement is self motivated at that point.
When junior engineers fail to hit that velocity, you really need to evaluate what’s going wrong. Shit like PIPs happen.
So if you get an older person with 15 years experience that is interviewing at a junior engineer level you have to wonder why they haven’t improved. Are they worth the investment in training and mentor ship? Will they always be a junior eng?
Age discrimination happens. But not near as much as gender and racial discrimination. If you’re coming in with 15+ years experience you need to deliver some expertise. The same performance that at 25 got you the job might not be good enough.
- Not everyone can be staff. Senior engineers are every bit as skilled at engineering as staff. Or should be.
They generally are more narrow in their focus and less organizationally/architecture focused. Also, staff generally reports higher up the org tree.
Not everyone can be staff, just like not every one can be a director.
- Hortonworks lis55xWe are the opposite of doctors. Doctors are most wanted when they are old. Engineer are most wanted when young.
- Yea I'm thinking about doing the same thing. I want to take off my graduation date from my resume. can I do that?
- I would think that after a time, your experience should grossly overshadow your education and your date of graduation becomes meaningless. Your dates on your work experience should paint a picture of your cumulative experience. That should really make your graduation date irrelevant.
- hahahaa f***ng millenials. I’m 42 years old and my mind is faster than yours at the same time I can work with multiple problems without feeling frustated or crying like a baby.
I don’t feel stressed 3 times at year like yours and enjoy my job. I enjoy my free time with my wife, kids and friends.
With my years of experience I can work on many position much better than younger kids and at Bay area are plenty of well paid jobs
- Ageism is quite prevalent in Bay Area tech. I’ve seen it first hand. Hell I’ve probably committed it without realizing it at the time under the oft used “cultural fit” bs. You see it more with startups, who will set up interviews over happy hours, etc. Just last week I was talking to a pre IPO company and they LOVED me.... until I said I can’t work 10am-7pm every day if the week per their “culture”. That’s targeted right at anyone who has a family. Dumb assholes.
- It’s so hard to find peers whose age is between 25-30! Why are they all under 25 my god
- Yeah I'm pretty young, but that's why I look for teammates who are fairly similar in age.
But also, having an excessive number of teammates under 25 is a little bit sketchy because then who becomes the leader? How would they have enough experience to make good decisions or manage?
- Empty nesters work triple overtime, especially if they are single.
- Yep, it's a thing. Recently laid off (50+) and was given 30 days outplacement assistance... Their repeated advice was to remove dates from resume, only list last 6-7 years of jobs and remove phrases like "over 15 years experience as engineering manager".
But be sure you have a current photo on LinkedIn. Doh! Advice there was to make it BW so maybe grey hair passes for blonde or make it a full body shot to hide the receding hairline and wrinkles.
- Google / EngeYiX63moreI feel that companies discriminate against younger people during hiring. Everyone is interested only in experienced candidates. Your title at the new company depends mainly on your years of experience
- Poshmark star1I can't agree. Last company I worked at (20 person startup) kept bringing in New grad after new grad. I complained that they were hard to interview because they had no skills but that's what we expected... and was told they can be a great investment.
Of course after a couple years experience you can make so much more that most people bail - and they should.
- It starts with reviewing resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Nobody says it out loud. They just simply pass on older applicants as unqualified. With race at least you need to see the person face to face to make that determination. Age you can judge by the length of the resume. They simply pass because they don’t want old people working with them it might spoil the party. Forget these people are qualified and have many years left in them.
- Amazon / Design🤖ithonmoreAge discrimination is real and maybe more complex than gender/race discrimination. Depending on the job, you can hire a smart, ambitious 20-something to do a job over someone who has experience and wisdom but at a price. What’s the trade off? I’ve also interviewed several older folks (design, not dev) who, while talented, have not stayed on top of their game and don’t seem to have much self awareness. As someone who is trending towards that demographic myself, if you want to stay relevant, you have to put in the effort and energy. It’s not for everyone. In my experience, Amazon seems to have more age diversity than some of the other big tech companies.
- I honestly haven't seen it. I'm 34, colleagues in same Sr dev roles at 40 and 60+ (Mr 60+ just got hired a few months ago after months of kicking ass as contractor) going strong and well respected and in high demand. When I hear from managers and recruiters it's always "DO YOU KNOW ANY TALENT THAT'S AVAILABLE AT ALL????" Talent and attitude have always seemed to trump everything else in my experience.
- Honestly for me, age discrimination comes from the actual job itself. I’m a relatively young PM (22, graduated college early), and essentially tell everyone that I’m in my late 20’s. I don’t try to purposely lie, but try to get around the answer whenever we talk about age.
I’ve noticed that as soon as someone finds that your young, they think less of you than before, and that your not as capable or smart because your younger .
- Going to get tough when AI automates the programmers away and all that’s left standing are the physicists who know how to cram more qubits into a .15 Kelvin refrigerator.
- Logicaly speaking:
Demand is increasing
There is not enough supply
Coding bootcamps are garbage in, garbage out (unless you already are talented)
Industry is getting more mature (compare with other industries that have been around for centuries)
So in the future ageism will be less of an issue.
It sure will impact your paycheck, say after 45-50; but it won’t impact your job security.
How far a future are we talking about?
That’s the question.
- One way to stay relevant as you age is acquire skills needed for the positions where young engineers are not considered. Example become a lead or manager or learn AI or ML. It would be a losing game for 30+ if they want to compete for jobs that needed to write some web apps or develop APIs.