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Yeah a big mystery in our relatively young industry: what happens to old programmers? Do we all _have_ to become managers? Management is so much less fun.

Once or twice I have met programmers in their 60s who remember the days of punched cards etc. That's really exciting. Generally there's not many of those guys and now they are tucked away in major corps or government systems.

"Do we all _have_ to become managers?"

Who would we manage, if per the article their average future employee only has 2 yrs experience and I have about half a century of working life. So the average bottom layer of the pyramid programmer will end up reporting to roughly twenty five ex-programmer managers simultaneously.

Or rephrased, 24 out of 25 programmers "must" find work elsewhere every two years or so, to keep the numbers reasonable.

"tucked away in major corps"

That's where I am. Work to live, not live to work, great benefits, nice working environment, nice coworkers, but if I want a promotion pretty much ten people would have to quit or die of old age first. This "being pushed into management" stuff from coasties sounds really weird to non-coastie ears. Or having a "career" sounds weird, since I've had the same job for decades and have no realistic hope of title advancement, and I'm perfectly OK with that.

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