Is 40 the new 60? How popular media portrays the employability of older software developers

04/13/2020 ∙ by Sebastian Baltes, et al. ∙ 0

Alerted by our previous research as well as media reports and discussions in online forums about ageism in the software industry, we set out to study the public discourse around age and software development. We analyzed popular online articles and related discussions on Hacker News through the lens of (perceived) employability issues and potential mitigation strategies. Besides rather controversial strategies such as disguising age-related aspects in résumés or undergoing plastic surgeries to appear young, we highlight the importance of keeping up-to-date, specializing in certain tasks or technologies, and present role transitions as a way forward for veteran developers. With our results, we target decision makers in software projects to help them anticipate and mitigate challenges that their older employees may face.



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