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As a young developer do you get sidelined?Ashley
As I was traveling home from work tonight reading the London Evening Standard, as I usually do, I couldn’t help but notice the headline: “At 25, I’m not past it at work, I’m ‘before it.” This got me thinking about being a young developer in a fiercely competitive sector and being at the forefront of new technologies. Being young in a field that is so competitive can sometimes have an impact on how others perceive you.
For example. I’m not the kind of guy to blow my own trumpet, and I realise I’m not as experienced as others. However on a few occasions I’ve recently felt like saying to people “I told you so” when things go wrong. It seems I’m the wrong side of 30. Being young and trustworthy in this sector just don’t go too well together or rather people sideline me believing that they know the answers without even asking.
As this article points out “it’s often the young who suffer ageism most acutely in the office not the old.” It’s a hard game of tug of war. Trying to assert authority in ones given field at such an early point in your career can look like a vertical challenge to say the least.
From what i’ve learnt you have to be pretty thick skinned to succeed and not let it get you down. Young people starting out are vulnerable and often exploited in the workplace, payed a pittance. I respect under graduates that leave university thinking they will be handed a job only to find before they can even start to earn a living they need to often work for free or very little on an internship. Luckily i was scared of this prospect as early as my second year in university and crazily applied for a full time web developer role. This worked out quite well for me as they we’re flexible enough to be able to accommodate my education. Then at the beginning of my final year I got a job at MySpace.com where i am today. There was no way i was prepared to leave university and be flung on the jobless pile with so many talented academics.
It’s a shame we live in a society where media is perceived as a young persons field, although it’s the big cats that are pulling in the good jobs and the under 30’s struggle in such a competitive arena to make their voices heard.
I’d be interested to hear what you feel about this topic. These are just my thoughts.