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I started my IT path early in the 80's working for a Goverment facility doing COBOL programminmg at the tender age of 17. Agisim back then was against young people and more the older people working in the industry. This was born out when a year later a new batch of trainee's of which one I was mentoring was actualy being paid twice what I was. This was soley due to age.

I moved on to another company and trippled my salary in the private sector, though again was told by the recruiter if I was over 21 I would of got paid at least £2k more than I was.

After a short time I moved into contracting at around the age of 19, doing COBOL work. Again I had many issues due to ageisim for being so young in what was a old generation feild. Interviews would be a complete grilling of which I excelled and shone above and with that got the work. Age was still a factor then and as a young contractor I was often dismissed by people soley due to my age. Though would always shine above them in technical ability, because I had too.

After a few years contracting and the isolation of being a contractor amongst permies(permenant staff) I would feel left out and moved back into permenant work.

Times changed, now it is the reverse and sadly I missed both boats, being at the age of 47 and with the IT feild often shafted on many managerial levels I somewhat regret not working in a building trade as many people I know did and made better money, more free time, less stress and burden. Not forgetting it is a older trade and with that TAX wise more adapt in NI contributions (National Insurance - UK thing) being a pitance on contract to IT, which is full rate. Then there was the introduction of IR35 desigend to penalise contractors in IT directly.

It still is finding it's feet and whilst law and accounts have there long standing estabilished exams of recognition, IT still does not. With any certification easily expiring in a few years and nothing holding up for a lifetimes of work.

Sadly that still prevails and IT is often the butt of all departments in many a company and often shat upon, little reward for good work that saves money over other departments who add little value.

But during my time, one event stuck out. I went for a permenant job at a company - PC Database work, Dataease and turned up at reception ontime. Was left waiting for 30 minutes then handed a form to fill out, which was basicly a HR form regergitating what was already on my CV. I then had an intervew with the HR manager. She was very curt and rude and said, that is a lot of money for somebody your age and was very dismissive and really put me off the company. I had the IT department intervew with a manager and contractor they had in who was an `expert` in the feild. Shone thru and even educated the contractor about a hidden debug mode, happily answeared the question about post codes in so much detail that it was scary (post codes same as USA ZIP codes). This resulted in a job offer before I even got home, offering me more than I was (the recruiter) asked for. I turned it down flat for a lesser paid role as the HR experience had put me off completely from that company.

So whilst agisim is a problem, that problem has gone from looking down upon young people, to looking down upon older people.

But the real issue of IT and one that will carry on for many years is one of establishment, be it certification and exams that stand the test of time akin to accountants or lawyers. Until that day, IT will always in many companies be the shat feild for many due to upper managment mentality. Which ironicly enough is the older people mostly. Younger managerment (CEO's etc) have more respect for IT and also sadly less respect for older people in IT.

With that I often wished I was born earlier or later instead of catching the shit-tide from both ends from when I was young and now older.




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