After 6 months of interviews in the Bay, I gave up (due to cost) and decided to try another market... less than 6 weeks and I had a job in Charlotte. I had my first iOS role at a startup another 6 months after that. Even after the startup coughed me up (thanks again Zomato), I was able to get another iOS job in a month. I won't mention (any other) names but I can say that the culture fit issue doesn't really exist outside the Bay.
And to any decision makers out there, you are making a mistake if you assume someone like me can't fit on a team of 18-30 y/o. I fit in so well, in fact, that almost all of my new connections on LinkedIn are these same 18-30 y/o. I have made more friends with interns than I did when I was the age to intern. And my 20 year-old friends have no fear in making fun of my age just as I have no fear in making fun of theirs. We even talk sH$@! about race (oh yeah, I'm also black).
The experience has been awesome for me as well as them (I believe). So, the next time you have a chance to hire an old dev who just wants to be a fu$!@E~!! DEV - just hire her.
People who share complaints here, on Reddit or on more or less similar places, do indeed keep up in general and always have personal interest in tech. But that isn't a magic bullet. They'd have better chances if they had stuck with COBOL, for example.
Go tell that to a recruiter... most don't care about what you toy with; they generally don't even have the slightest idea of what it may be. They just care about what you've been doing at your previous company, if it sounds like the position they have to fill, if the title of the gigs looks good, if the company name looks good or if at least they've heard its name before, and that's all. You are not given a chance to explain the interests you have and side skills you may have developed, it would be all Greek to them anyway and they do not value non-professional experience. Admittedly, I am not talking about California here.
I'm really interested in hearing more of your story.
Yeah, almost all of my connections are people I worked with too. ;)
I wonder if it makes any difference being > ~40 years old but having less experience. Instead of trying to walk in and be the ultra senior person, you just walk and do the job of a mid level dev.
The only thing that matters is if the candidate can do the job and get along with people. Everyone talking about "would I want to have a beer with this person" can fuck off.
I have seen the culture fit thing outside the bay, though.