I just read an article (Do You Really Want to be Doing this When Youre 50?) from James Hague, who describes himself as a “Recovering Programmer“.
I understand his experience, and his reasons for deciding that it’s not the job for him. I even like that he has blogged about it.
What I really don’t like, though, is the sweeping generalisation that this is a universally-applicable, age-related issue. Software development is already a field riddled with ageism from employers and management (see Silicon Valley’s Dark Secret: It’s All About Age from TechCrunch), and the last thing we need is an assumption that one person’s dissatisfaction with a particular job means that, in James Hague’s closing words, “large scale, high stress coding? I may have to admit that’s a young man’s game”
A programmer in his or her 40s or 50s who has kept up with the evolution of the field can be one of the most awesome and effective developers you’ll ever meet.