This is truely incredible. I have been working in the startup industry for the last few years and my biggest complaint is “where are the pony tailed grey haired wizards that we were promised!”. In my first job, I learnt things about C programming from 2 absolute gods of C programming who were both in their late 50's/early 60’s. When I talk to graduates who are C programmers now, they do not know anything about structure packing for optimisation or how to inspect and optimise the assembly that is generated, some do not even know how to use GDB. I am thankful that I learned my trade as an apprentice from Old Geeks (proper OG’s ;-) of the computer world) and this site goes a long way to help get rid of ageism in tech. I have campaigned my entire career to increase the ratio of male/female in tech but your idea is truely inspiring me to go out and campaign for Old Geeks being the top flight engineers in startups! I recently watched The Intern, and although I struggle to take De Niro seriously as anything but an OG (in the Sons/Sopranos sense of the OG, not the Geek), it really inspired me to take the experience of the older generations on board when making decisions and if I even start another company, I would definitely do this!!
I think this reminds of a quote (that I do not know the source of)”
“An expert is someone that has made all the mistakes that are possible to make”
So, all of the young aspiring programmers -> Go truely learn how to debug, plan, test and really really really learn how to create a career in software that goes beyond your 20’s. Find a Gandolf of the software world. They have made ALL the mistakes and can save you a long time and make them your mentor!
This article (and your site) gives me hope that I can continue to be a software developer long into my career, and not get forced into management or a new career. So, thank you!
Finally (as I am now rambling), let me leave you with a quote from Albert Einstein:
“The _only_ source of knowledge is experience”