[Baypiggies] Chompapps Position - from Issue 31

resmith at runbox.com resmith at runbox.com
Thu Oct 29 22:15:11 CET 2009


> Programming ability is affected by accumulated knowledge, and it is also
> much more complex than solving puzzles, recalling words and story
> details and spotting patterns in letters and symbols, so I'm not sure
> how applicable this study is to it.

I want to make clear that I am "not young" :) ,  and have as much desire for there to be an increase or no decline in programming ability as anyone. My gut feeling in my personal case is that my quality has not declined, my degree of difficulty may have increased through knowledge, but my quantity has decreased.

If  there is no decline with age then I don't see a need for any study as real-world experience will cause hiring managers, through their own personal "studies", to be unconcerned about age. If ability increases due to accumulated knowledge and experience then age discrimination would likely be the reverse of the way it takes place in other professions and the people complaining about it would be 20 somethings.

What about this. A company has an opening for a "junior programmer" or "Programmer Level 1" or however they put their lowest level/entry level position. Isn't it the normal practice that they only consider recent college graduates for this? Don't they toss the resume of someone with 20 years of unrelated programming experience who is trying to get into a new area (let's assume they applicant made it clear that they would work for less wages than they had been making) ?


>  BTW, the last paragraph contains a
> logical fallacy; "virtually everyone agreeing" on something does not
> make it true, as implied. I find it odd that anyone would expect a
> recent graduate to outperform someone who may have spent their entire
> life honing skills the graduate has barely started to develop.  FWIW,
> the only 80 year old programmer I ever worked with could code rings
> around the recent graduates.  And why not?  He had 50+ years of
> experience, we had none.

If my statements were the logical fallacy of "appeal to popularity", your last statements are the logical fallacy known as "anecdotal evidence."  In both ways that the term applies. 

Would you guys have argued against 90? :)

Rob


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