Reply to post: Re: Is this getting worse with time

Machismo is ruining the tech industry for all of us. Equally

Jeff from California
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Re: Is this getting worse with time

Part of the reason for that is that, compared to when we got into the field (1970s for me), there are so few older guys (or women) in the industry now.

In any proper engineering discipline, experience is valued, and one does not attain "senior" or "principal" levels without decades (usually quite plural) of experience. For software, I've seen adverts for "senior software 'engineers'" asking for as little as 1-1/2 years of experience, and I saw a "chief 'engineer'" advert last week, for an established firm, that was asking for a piddly four years of experience.

In four years, from what I've seen, people usually get to the point where they begin to understand what the important questions are. It takes quite a while beyond that for anyone to be able to evaluate competing answers, and that's if they're disciplined about learning (which too few of us are). Admit it: how much of what you pick up is I-need-this-next-week-for-the-project-I'm-on, and how much is I-don't-know-when-I'm-going-to-need-this-but-it-could-come-in-handy? Technicians focus on the former; engineers mix in the latter.

The predictable result of that is that nobody "has time" to learn from their or others' less-than-successful experiences, which means that nobody HAS experience in the traditional sense — you just manage to guess right enough for two or three years and then go into management, or leave.

Is that any way to run anything that fancies itself a profession?

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