I turned 45 this month. In many professions that’s the prime age to be – and in others it’s considered young – but in my line of work, some people think middle-aged coders are old farts. That’s especially true when it comes to startups.
The startup culture is similar to professional sports in that it requires a fleet of fresh-out-of-college kids to trade their lives and their health for the potential of short-term glory.
“Old farts” are often excluded from that culture, not because we’re lousy coders but because we won’t put up with that shit. We have lives, we have families, we have other things that are important to us. We’re not about to sleep at our desks and trade watching our kids grow up for the promise of striking it rich. Especially when the people who really strike it rich aren’t the ones writing code.
So many developers my age have had plenty of chances to ditch coding and move into management, but we’ve stuck with coding because it’s what we love to do. We’d earn more in management, but writing software is in our blood. We wouldn’t stop doing it for anything.
And because of the years we’ve spent creating software, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, regardless of the language or the platform. Operating systems rise and fall, development tools come and go, but through it all, old farts know how to write solid code.