How much does age affect ability?

I am 55 and absolutely do not care what anyone else thinks about it.

When I first started out I quickly rose through the enterprise ranks and was never taken seriously because of my age. As a wimpy looking nerd, I had always been underestimated by others and I found a way to use that to my advantage. When the time was right, I would just shoot them between the eyes with the right solution. My young age didn’t matter.

Fast forward 30 years. I “never” notice age discrimination. It may be there, but I simply don’t notice it. I think being in IT and in my 50’s is a “tremendous advantage”.

For every issue I have to address, I have that many more instances of experience dealing with something like that. Many more iterations of similar patterns to draw from.

IT is one field where you can actually get “better” with age. You don’t have to run fast or carry heavy loads, but you do have to think nimbly and get things done, both of which get better with lots of practice.

IT is also one field where “what you get done” is more important than “who you are”. This is always good news for us hackers and makers, regardless of age, sex, background, or anything else.

I am currently writing the best software of my life, by far. Not just “how” I’m writing it, but “what” I’m writing. I have seen so much that I have a natural instinct for what is needed, what works, and how to best go about it. New technologies keep me fresh and engaged. I feel perfectly at home here among younger programmers. I can’t imagine a better place to be, with 21st century technology and 30 years experience!

To me it’s odd that others in my age group don’t feel the same way. Then again, maybe it’s just state of mind.

My grandmother taught me one of the most important lessons of my life, “If you look hard enough for trouble, you’ll probably find it.”

There is negativity everywhere, about ageism and a million other things. The secret is that it’s only data to process as you choose. I have decided to ignore it and continue to do what I love and love what I do.