On getting older I

May 28, 2021 – 100 days to offload countdown #98

I will be 49 at the end of this summer. If everything there is to read about employment practices is true, this will leave me with 12 months of employability, of having the chance to tackle something new. After that a business will have to be in desperate need to not disqualify me based on my age alone.

This is hard to accept - I don’t feel old, I feel basicly like my 17 year old self, only without the knowledge that my actions like smoking and drinking have no real consequence for me, because I wouldn’t reach 20 anyhow. I reached 20 and then some, quit smoking for good a couple of years ago. And I don’t think my capabilities to learn new things and apply what I know to new challenges will diminish any time soon.

I always found this age discrimination unfair - I had my encounters with people I perceived as incompetent because they made the impression of beeing stuck in their ways, but only a handful of those people were significantly older than me at the time. In fact, I can remember only one instance where I had to assume the white haired geezer I had to meet with and try to come up with a solution to our problem was really simply too old, unable to grasp the changes needed to map his world (SAP) to mine (j2ee web service). But I had a ton of (then) older people that were as sharp and smart as they come, and I liked to learn from them – some of them were actually my teachers, most were not.

And growing up with examples like Donald Knuth, Jon Hall, etc around to look up to always, I knew I was right in thinking so.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m neiter Knuth nor Hall; but I think the experience of 35 years of programming and over 25 years of getting paid for it and always finding a solution, as wonky as it might be, counts for something. I love what I do, and I have 18 years ahead of me before I reach retirement age – I would hate to be regarded as an unfit old fart just because.