Can we code when age?

I am a developer living in Vietnam. I got many friends from the university, from companies I worked. When I was under 30; just a number to say that when I was young developer; my friends usually say:

You cannot code when you are age; assuming over 30 as they said. You have to do project manager, learn about economic. You become a project manager and let young developer do the coding task.

My first reaction: WHY?

Pretty much I got the same answer from them:

  • You are old, so you cannot think fast. Technology changes frequently and you cannot keep up with
  • Young developer is better than you
  • Being a project manager will give you more income with less work

At that time, I still did not understand why they thought that. They were a good programmer or at least did good job. And they thought of giving it up, and dreamed of another title, another job – believe me, some of them took economic class or MBA course (local MBA course).

Time flies. And now I am over 30 (31 precisely). And I am a developer. Actually, I am a technical manager, project manager. I have a team of more than 10 people with both developers and testers. But the main point is:

I do the coding. I still code and I love code. And I make a living with my coding job

Then I started to find out the reason: Why do they think that? What are the root causes?

Due to the expansion of the team, and of my new startup company, I made interview with some candidates. They are good programmers and might take many roles in their company. I asked them:

What books have you read since university? Which blog post do you follow? Do you know any famous programmer names?

To my surprise: NO. They have not read any technical books or books that can help them in coding life. They do not know Uncle Bob, Ayende, …

The answer is obvious:

They have not learned anything since university. They think they are good. They do the normal every day task and get bored. Their mind are slowing down.

In term of science, there is no evident for being stupid when you are age. Except you are over 70 or the like. Your brain needs food. Knowledge is the food. You do not give brain enough food.

Young developer and developer in general, I just want to tell you:

Foster your brain with knowledge. Learning everyday. Read more books. Do more code

Happy coding Smile

Comments 2

  • Hi a Duc,

    I totally agree with you. We’re happy to code even though we’re old; however, i’m younger than you. Nice to meet you in there. I can list a lot of my subscribing developers in .NET stack. I even have a chance to talk to Glenn Block (the main guy’s responsible for WCF) .

    .NET stack
    C# Language Designer : Anders Hejlsberg, Mads Torgersen, ..
    Compiler : Eric Lippert
    Base Class Library : Immo Landwerth, …
    Stack Exchange Develoepr : Marc Gravell, Sam Saffron, …
    RavenDB : Oren Eini
    C# in depth : Jon Skeet

    They do know all together. Nice to meet you 🙂

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