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“Unlike software development which is typically a “young mans game” due to the constant need to learn the latest thing”

Why? As an old developer you don’t need to constantly learn new things?

Because software development generally doesn't reward experience. Technologies change with the wind, and a new grad has just as much experience on the latest JS Foo Framework 0.1 (released yesterday!) as someone with 20 years of industry experience. In addition, older folks say negative things like "don't use JS Foo 0.1 in production...it was released yesterday, and there are battle-tested frameworks to do the same thing in $boring_old_language". This makes younger programmers frowny and sad, and less likely to work overtime in exchange for pizza. After all, those old guys don't know anything, or they wouldn't be using such boring, messy code in the first place!

You do gain some generalizable skills over time (and there are always exceptions to the rule) but in practice, older developers are more expensive versions of that which can be bought at a college career fair -- and the marginal difference in efficiency is offset by the young turks' propensity to work long hours while being paid in snacks.

> the marginal difference in efficiency is offset by the young turks' propensity to work long hours while being paid in snacks.

I don't know if this is true. Even just with my meager 6-7 years of professional experience I can do things now that would've been impossible for me when I was starting out as a professional. Experienced devs aren't just more efficient - everything else being equal, they're more capable along all the axes you can measure a software engineer on.

Additionally if an experienced engineer has non-sucky people skills they can even turn your junior engineers into seniors with mentoring and example-setting. Which means you'll be employing a senior engineer for the price of a junior engineer, at least until they learn their increased value and ask for a raise/move on. /s

Younger developers are more likely to have learned their trade using the latest thing whereas older developers have to do their job and invest time in learning the latest thing.

Is there a correlation between "do their job" and "learning the latest thing"? I've often heard that the best advice is to use the most boring/stable tools which tend not to be the latest and the greatest but which focus on getting the job done.

Which is fine at your current job. At your next job they're more likely than not going to be using the latest thing though so you'll need to learn it.

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