Old Farts - Unite!
Ageism? "Naw, there ain't no such thing", you say. Well, just wait until you're past the mid point of your career and find yourself in the job market and then tell me that. Then, we'll see....
I recently completed my projects for the National Association of REALTORS®, maintaining and enhancing some of their Real Estate Transaction Standard open source software. So, I started looking for new positions, both within the Real Estate industry and outside of it. Before I describe my experiences to date, let me take a moment to talk about my past.
Anyway, the C.V. is all a long winded way of saying I have great facility with the ability to dig into things unknown and learn them quickly. What I didn't discuss was the fact that I would typically do this one-third to one-half as long as others. But, the important facts are that I have significant experience from a wide variety of technologies. No, I'm not cheap, but I'll bet you that even at my rate, the total dollar outlay would be less for someone of my experience in the long run.
That said, we come full circle to my initial complaint. As I said in the other entry regarding the NAR project, I was pretty much hired sight unseen and only based upon the quality of my work. In fact, when I met my "boss" face to face for the first time, I'll bet he was pretty shocked that he'd hired an "Old Fart". Actually, I was surprised at how young he was as well for his position! But then again, he's a very smart cookie (and did remind me of myself when I was his age). I fully understand it.
So, now that the NAR contracts are up, I'm looking for projects. In this economy, I'm looking for them "everywhere", across industries. When I send in a "full" resume, I get the polite "your skills don't match our requirements" blow off. The only interviews I've had face to face are when I start leaving out facts and experiences and pretend I'm younger than I am. That's just wrong. Contrary to popular sentiment today, "been there, learned from that" is a great asset.
Some of us in technology have been able to keep up with the state of the art. It's too bad that many companies (and hiring managers) are narrow minded enough to think we can't cut it in today's environment. In many of the rejections I've had that I've met the requirements of the job. And with my years of consulting experience, I know what works and what doesn't. I'll bet I can be as agile as the next.
Maybe all us "Old Farts" oughta get together and form our own company (no young-uns' allowed) and see how that goes over. Anyone got any bright ideas for a product they'd like to see implemented?