By Jim Grey (about)
Since I last posted here, I had a major life milestone: I turned 50.
I wrote a personal reflection about it on my other blog, but in short, being 50 is a pretty good gig. This stage of life offers its challenges, to be sure, but they come with the maturity to handle them.
Yet I’ve noticed that I’ve continued in my career that I work increasingly with people much younger than me. Today I lead a team of software engineers mostly in their 20s. I know of only one fellow on the team who’s older than 30. It was much the same in my previous job, and in the job before that.
I’ve long assumed that engineers my age all still worked in .NET shops. .NET was new, hip, and cool when I was in my early 30s. Where I live (central Indiana), companies adopted it readily and so most then-young engineers built their careers on it. I worked for several .NET shops in a row. Some of those companies still exist, and their products are still built on .NET.
But according to the 2018 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, 75.3% of respondents are younger than 35. Just 6.9% of respondents are 45 or older.
So I searched LinkedIn for names of people I worked with years ago. Some of them are still writing code. A few of them are in some level of management. But the rest aren’t on LinkedIn or have left the industry.
I don’t know why. Do you? Especially if you’re older than 35: where have all the older engineers gone?