Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Yeah, this. There is ageism out there, and it happens younger in tech than in other industries, but it's far less of an issue than all other forms of hiring discrimination I can think of.

I've been a part of hundreds of interviews for dozens of engineering positions at a variety of companies and organizations. While I have witnessed clear-cut ageism with qualified older candidates, it's with the distinct minority of older candidates, and typically only with borderline ones. Compare to even the most qualified female candidates, where there's almost always a strong undercurrent of sexism, or non-Asian minority candidates, where there's almost always a strong undercurrent of racism^.

So I won't deny that ageism is a problem but - in the case of white dudes - it's the jolt of a sudden uphill at the end of a couple decades of easy slightly downhill coast. Compared to continuous vertical climb that women and non-Asian minorities have to put up with in engineering, it's a pretty modest problem that the affected have both ample time and opportunity to prepare for.

^- The tech industry isn't, at least in my experiences, blatantly racist/sexist these days. Anecdotally, women and minorities have an easier time making it through HR/recruiter screening. It's a more subtle and pernicious effect in tech interviews, where correct answers are overscrutinized for flaws and even marginally incorrect answers are blown out of proportion. Never seen this with older (white/Asian, male) candidates.

I know that women have many problems working in tech. But are you sure they have a harder problem interviewing in tech overall? I'm absolutely sure there are engineers who will overscrutinize their interview solutions, but there are also many companies who have initiatives targeted specially at hiring more women. I've even heard first hand of companies specifically hiring women to train in order to boost the number of female engineers.

Like I said, anecdotally. And I'm not talking about company policy, I'm talking about the behavior of individual engineers/managers during and after interviews. Even if a company has a policy that it WANTS to hire more women, it needs the people actually conducting the interviews on board for that policy to be meaningful.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact