This topic was created by Beelzeebub.
IT Got me depressed
Working for a consultancy which I cannot mention.
30 years in IT now I'm on the junkheap.
Ta for that IT.
Re: IT Got me depressed
Fuck that shit.
It's over when they put you in the ground.
That is all.
My Dad was chatting to an IT manager socially....
who blatantly said he did not hire anyone over 40 in a technical role, because if they were any good, they would be in managment by now. He also pointed out that anyone over that age was getting paid over the odds for skills they have accumulated which they would probably not use.
We're a commodity, people. Like mathematicians, our best work is done in our 20s and 30s.
I am repatriating to the southern hemisphere shortly, and fully expect not to get a job in corporate IT aged in my 40s. I expect I will teach grannies to surf the net in my spare time while serving coffee at Starbucks during the day.
Thems the breaks.
I've been making money from IT for nearly forty years ...
... but I've been a self-employed conslutant for about the last quarter century ... at least when I want IT work (rare these days).
Comment above, to whit "skills they have accumulated which they would probably not use" is total bullshit in my mind. I use skills I learned on Honeywell, Amdahl, DEC & pre-mini IBM kit every time I go in to troubleshoot a modern data center. The speaker had no idea what he was talking about ... which is a good sign that you want to "fire" that company/division/department before becoming employed by them.
The above mentioned bit of manglement will not understand my above paragraph. That's why I finally got an MBA on top of my more techie comp/engineering education ... THEY think it means something, but in all reality it hasn't changed my approach to IT.
Suggestion: Any IT bod finding advancement difficult after a decade or so ... get an MBA. If you can program in any of the major languages, an MBA will be a cake-walk. It's not exactly rocket-science ... look at all the idiots you('ve) work(ed) with who have one. If you already have any kind of degree, it shouldn't take all that long. Will jump-start your career. Will also give you the financial tools to strike out on your own, should you decide to.
I'm with Jake on this one.
I have been in IT since 1980 and most of the skills I learned back then are still relevant today. The hardware and software may have changed but the principles remain.
Frankly any manager who is prepared to make sweeping statements like "we don't hire anyone over the age of 40 in a technical role", is an idiot who is not up to the job and should be sacked.
This is clearly a manager who believes that management is a "profession" that everybody should aspire to.
When you have managers who believe everything that happened before they were appointed is irrelevant, then you do not have a culture which values experience.
I'm basically an engineer and pretty good at what I do, I also enjoy my work. Why should I have to take a job that I'm no good at and would hate doing, just to "get on"?
I was once interviewed for a contract updating the embedded software for a ten-year-old piece of control equipment.
At one point I was reprimanded by one member of the panel:
"You seem very sure of what can and cannot be done with this system."
"Yes", I replied, "I should be, I programmed it. I also designed the hardware."
I didn't get the contract as, according to the agency, I didn't have the relevant skills.
I made the mistake...
...of getting into IT because I was interested in it, pretty good at it and presented with the opportunity to build up my knowledge and experience.
What a stupid boy I was, of course I quickly got as far as I could go. After collecting years of knowledge and experience I found myself in a position where I was doing the job of the guy above me better than he could, stupidly thinking I'd get a promotion at some point.
I tried every which way to make it happen and had to face up to the fact that people get paid more because they know the right people, the duties of the job are just made up in order to justify that pay on paper. Those duties still get done but only because they have fools like I was to do them.
I ended up getting out of IT and I'm now doing something completely different which I have no background or experience in and guess why... because I knew someone at the company who got me the job.
Have I become the thing I hated the most? Probably. Was it that pre deterministic inevitability that I hated? Or was it just plain old jealousy? Probably the later, I hoped I would be doing more of the same and getting paid more because I'd be doing it better and found out that I'd been concentrating on completely the wrong thing, I ended up on the wrong side of that fence and I felt bitter about it. I didn't like it, I still don't but its just the way the world is and if you can't beat em...
I can't exactly say I'm on the right side of it now, I don't think it matters what the job is there just comes a point like being initiated into some secret society where you will either be given a bump up the next level based on your connections, or you won't. Knowledge, experience and being able to do whatever job they bump you up to really doesn't come into it. Half the manager's I've ever met couldn't manage to organise a gangbang in a brothel, its simply that a management job pays more so making these people managers was the only way to give them a bump up.
As BC pointed out, being the absolutely perfect most qualified person for a position won't get you it and I don't think it just applies in IT, you'll get jobs based on whether or not they like you and it seems to me that in the world we live in being a techie isn't just un-attractive, its positively repulsive.
As OB quoted "any good they'd be in management by now", obviously whoever said that didn't think it through as it basically translates to "If this person was any good at being a <WHATEVER> they wouldn't be asked to do that and instead would have been asked to do something completely different instead of the job they are good at." Of course I make this poor translation based on my old definition of 'any good', I'm sure the original speaker wasn't thinking of how good the candidate is at doing the job in hand but rather taking 'being in management' as a sign that this person must be 'the right kind of chap' ... after all, someone made him a manager so he must be one of the club.
I still do the occasional bit of software dev but only where it benefits me, I've learnt that I'm never going to get paid any more than I am now no matter what I do, the numbers might go up but then so will the rent and the price of gas over the years.
The best thing you can do as a techie in my opinion? As little as is required to keep your job, why work your arse off if no-one is going to reward you for it?
As OB said about best work being done in 20s and 30s, perhaps that is true and if it is I can only speak from my own point of view here but I think its because by the time we reach our 30s we realise the above and stop trying. Management like to hire young people because they don't know the score and are prepared to give you their moments of genius thinking they can prove themselves and that rewards may follow... when they didn't I learnt not to waste my effort, all I got from it was a sense of a pride and maybe a pat on the back. Then I got home and realised I was living in a shitty little bedsit with a damp problem and didn't have a girlfriend, the pat on the back really didn't make a lot of difference to the bank balance or my life.
Skills not Syntax
Blofeld may be right that the manager should be sacked, but although it may be his fault, it is *your* problem.
What I've seen is that any given job hires you for what is basically "syntax", ie knowing how to declare some absurd pointer to a function that returns an array of pointers to doubles, or the differences between Oracle and MS SQL or some parameter to a firewall, the thing that keeps your career going is deeper skills which allow you to blag your way through changes in fashion.
Re: Skills not Syntax
The other approach here is to know something inside-out that's arcane, ancient and yet still widely-used in business-critical systems.
Nobody else is learning it and the sunsetting going on doesn't keep up with the retirement and death of others who can scry the runes.
Your friends, who you will learn to love, are the big consultancies. They'll continually talk execs into some mind-numbingly complicated and bleeding edge approach to replacement, ensuring that the legacy crud will be around for years to come when the replacement project inevitably goes titsup.com.
COBOL is dead! (was: Re: Skills not Syntax)
Long Live COBOL!
Seriously, there are more functional lines of COBOL and Fortran working in big business today than the average kid who never used a dial telephone could possibly imagine. I do not know of a single COBOL or Fortran programmer who is currently out of work. I can't say the same for Java(script), VisBas, C++, C#, and what-have-you. Not a month goes by when I don't get email from a former student, thanking me for suggesting COBOL or Fortran as another programming language to learn ... The two are pretty much ubiquitous in big business.
(First posted 8th January 2009 here.)
Why depressed, man?
learn PHP, IT comes into play coding all the backend if a web design firm actually codes their own CMS or big online shop/bank etc. then you can earn the £35k+
::memo to self:: (was: Re: A few cam corder product critiques which you may positively learn about)
Never hire anyone who isn't truly multi-lingual to do cross-cultural marketing. Unless the plan is to come off as being completely silly and/or cartoon-like, of course.