If by fitting in you mean staying out drinking with you until 3:30AM, you’re probably right. The 58 year old Java developer isn’t going to indulge in all night pub crawls with you. Now ask yourself, are you looking to hire a hang out buddy or do you want a senior level developer to help you get your product out the door. If however, by fitting in you mean buys into your mission statement, is collaborative, knowledgeable and hardworking, then developers of any age can fit in. Look elsewhere for drinking buddies.
Grow up and get over it. As a manager, you will need to learn how to manage a multi-generational workforce.
Age discrimination in employment is illegal. Everyone knows that. Yet it happens everyday. Everyday experienced, skilled software engineers are passed over by hiring managers because of their age. Too many companies balk at hiring older developers. It's a waste of talent and reduces productivity.
Let's take a look at some of the silly excuses that hiring managers make for not hiring older developers.
News flash -Most people don’t want to work late or on weekends. However, most seasoned professionals will pitch in and work late in a crunch. However, if you are constantly asking your team to work long nights and weekends, maybe you need to re-examine your practices.
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Some folks are afraid that the 60 year old developer is just looking for a place to hang out and collect a check for the next 5 years until he retires. Goldbrickers come in all ages. Most people want challenging, interesting work throughout their careers. And besides, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers between the ages of 20-24 on the average change jobs every 16 months. Employees aged 25-34 change jobs on average every 3 years. With that in mind, having a 60 year old work for you for 5 years is a bonus.
Maybe they are but maybe they aren't. You'll never know unless you talk with them. I know you have to be budget conscious, but don't bypass potential candidates just because you think their salary requirements maybe more than you can handle. A quick phone screen will uncover salary needs. Who knows, you may be pleasantly surprised.
That’s baloney. All of the good developers, young and old, are life long learners. Don’t assume that just because the candidate started out with one language 20 years means that he never learned anything new. While it is true that some tech workers for a variety of reasons don’t keep their skills current, this behavior is not tied to any one age group. Let your skills and knowledge screening process determine whether or not the candidate has the needed skills, not your prejudices.
Age discrimination is illegal, immoral and counterproductive. Will every developer over 50 be ideal for your company? Of course not. Nor are older developers a magic bullet for your development projects. However, they can be an important resource that you shouldn’t overlook because of your personal prejudices and outdated ideas.