How does age affect programming?

Things I am worse at at 55 vs. 25: the 50 yard dash.

Things I am better at at 55 vs. 25: everything else.


Magic Johnson (great American basketball player) once described the difference of being a world class athlete at 30 vs. 20: you have to be a whole lot smarter about how you use your body and recover when competing with younger people.

We programmers on the other hand get the best of both worlds: the ability to work smarter against a physical and mental landscape that doesn’t degrade nearly as fast as a world class athlete.

Frankly, when it comes to work, I can’t think of a single thing I “used to do better”, not creativity, not work habits, not personal habits, not physical or mental toughness. 

I believe that programming, like running, is one of those things where the performance curve can remain flat until retirement, providing you take care of yourself. I’ll let you know if it does.