How Can We Achieve Age Diversity in Silicon Valley?
Steven Levy

It’s not just “Silicon Valley”, it happens in all tech companies. Despite the fact that I did very well at a health IT company, as soon as I hit 55, it was obvious they would get rid of me as they did every other employee over 55 in the entire company.

Seems the kids out of grad school didn’t like working with people who were their parent’s ages. I was told I made the young guys feel bad about themselves because my work ethic was so strong, I could write an understandable sentence in English, and my customer service skills were so strong that our customers asked for me to implement their system management solutions.

The company got rid of a lot of us 7 and 8 years ago — I think part of it was their fear that our healthcare costs might be too high compared to the twenty-somethings.

Anyway, I was let go — they forced me to sign a document swearing I would not sue them for age discrimination. If I did not do that, they would not give me severance pay.

I had to train guys to do what I did first. I remember one, who supposedly had all kinds of certifications, did not know what FTP meant, and had to be taught how to move files from one server to another.

It was a joke, and I’m sure it remains a joke.

But the company is happy that they still have a “youthful corporate culture”.

I raise angora goats now. No way would I ever return to the world of IT Youth Culture.