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Now we just need to figure out why so many tech workers _believe_ that older tech workers are disappearing. Part of it is, as you say, a demographic shift. I wonder if a big part of it is also due to the employee structure of large, non-software companies.

Non-software companies do hire programmers, but have difficulty recognizing the talented ones, and don't really have structures in place for rewarding that talent. So, the "successful" programmers in those companies quickly figure out that they need to switch over to management. These workers with only a few years of actual software development experience move up into management roles, and take charge of software development groups. What's interesting is that they have so little actual software development experience that they might be perceived as non-technical to their employees, hence the tech worker has effectively "disappeared".

IT industry is very young but in next 20 years it will be pretty common to see a lot of 40+ folks in this business. It's obvious that we don't see many 50+ folks in IT today since when they started 30 years ago IT business was more or less a niche. Plus majority of them were unable to keep with dramatic changes and knowledge absorption thorough the years.

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