Programmers: Before you turn 40, get a plan B | Improving Software

Welcome to geezer town, junior. While researching my recent article, “Age discrimination and Programming Jobs” , I discovered a 1998 Op-Ed piece from The New York Times that cited some startling statistics from the NSF and Census bureau about the longevity of a software engineering career. [S]ix years after finishing college, 57 percent of computer science graduates…

— Read on

Unfortunately, age discrimination is a real thing that I never thought about before. As I am approaching 40, I am getting more aware of it.

Programming is such a unique profession in that people expect programmers to give up programming eventually and move into management. For a while I believed that and moved into leadership position as Dev Lead. But I hate it and probably will move back to pure programming job.

No one expect doctors, lawyers, writers, artists, etc to eventually become managers.

I guess it is because as programmers get older, they get expensive and acquire work/life balance while don’t provide enough value to justify their cost.

My Plan B is basically real estate license and real estate investments. This may generate enough money and give me enough flexibility to work on my programming side projects.