Get them while they're young (workers).

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#1 AlbuquerqueApache  Icon User is offline

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Get them while they're young (workers).

Posted 20 June 2011 - 05:56 AM

I have been reading Paul Allen's new book "Idea Man" which has been a fantastic book and truly interesting to read.

In the book he describes Microsoft's early culture and that he and Bill Gates wanted to "get them while their young" to keep in touch with their roots and use their enthusiasm (and maybe Naivety). He said they would generally hire like this 1. hiring mostly B.S. students 2. some Masters and NO DOCTORS.

I know a lot of people will probably rip this apart (especially older workers) but I have to say, I agree.

My own experiences in the IT business have proved a couple of things to me about the IT business. Please note that I am making a distinction between somebody of this age group who has ALWAYS had an IT background vs Non-IT background. Why? Because they are generally accustomed to younger workers and have grown up with that versus the recent transfer from accounting is used to dealing with people who are older.

Anyway, back to what I have learned about older people getting into the IT business. 1. They tend to suffer from Group-think. They are often influenced to an extreme by their peers on just about anything (especially their perception of younger people), which leads me into my next point:

They often miss big business opportunities because they "just don't see it". An example Paul Allen uses in his book was the guy from MITS, Ed Roberts. After having helped start the mini-computer revolution the guy approached some executives about what essentially was a laptop computer ( about a decade and a half before their popularity boom) and was told by high level executives (probably of the same Group-think): "We don't know about every computer in an office and home, but we sure as hell know they don't need them in their laps."

Another example is DEC and Honeywell which Paul mentions in his book. DEC was so slow to catch on to mini-computers that they simply went under when they simply HAD to play catch-up.

Honeywell is a good example of complacency or lack of drive I see a lot in older workers. Paul Allen described them as: "Able programmers, but lacked the Hacker ethic." Which I take it to mean that they had no passion for what they were doing it was , "just another job."

So, while I know I will be ripped to shreds by my post and probably given "The other side of the coin" which tells us that younger people are 1. irresponsible 2. Naive 3. and hey, your just new to the game, jr! but I really feel this to be true.

Anyone else notice this;

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Replies To: Get them while they're young (workers).

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Get them while they're young (workers).

Posted 20 June 2011 - 06:55 AM

Sure those are great examples, but more often than not it is business people making a poor guess at the future. Tablets have been attempted for years now and are just finally getting going. Smartphones are just glorified Palm Pilots, but where's Palm at? (consumed and embalmed by HP if you were wondering).

Just tossing this out there - what about the other side of the pendulum? You know that whole era where people were throwing money down ratholes of "bleeding edge" tech and sites sans any effort to understand or question it? I believe it's called the .COM crash?

The conservative nature of business and "old folk" getting into IT late in the game shouldn't be derided. In general the older you get your world view starts to tint conservative, right? The higher up in the company you are the more responsibility. Is it responsible for a company to risk their financials and gamble the employees work place and retirement away on a fanciful idea? Maybe Ed Roberts gave a shitty presentation and he neglected to explain the idea of "essentially a laptop computer" in a coherent fashion.

Just because it's a good idea now doesn't mean it was a good idea to weather those years of non acceptance until laptops "caught on".

What I am interested in is the back story for this post? It sounds like someone's getting crap from 48 year old Ted-the-accountant-turned-web-developer. Wanna talk about it? ;)
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#3 BenignDesign  Icon User is online

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Re: Get them while they're young (workers).

Posted 20 June 2011 - 08:54 AM

Please to be defining "older people"?
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Get them while they're young (workers).

Posted 20 June 2011 - 09:22 AM

Probably anyone born before July of 1984.
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#5 AlbuquerqueApache  Icon User is offline

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Re: Get them while they're young (workers).

Posted 20 June 2011 - 10:14 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 20 June 2011 - 09:22 AM, said:

Probably anyone born before July of 1984.





Ok, let me re-phrase.

And no, I don't mean people who throw money down the rat hole (I knew I was going to get crucified for this). And "older people" refers more to a mind set than an age. Age is just a number, I am referring to the mindset of pessimism to the point where your just blind. Unfortunately (maybe I'm just generalizing), this is a mindset of "older people" generally.
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#6 BenignDesign  Icon User is online

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Re: Get them while they're young (workers).

Posted 20 June 2011 - 10:15 AM

Again,

View PostBenignDesign, on 20 June 2011 - 11:54 AM, said:

Please to be defining "older people"?


What is the age range of your broadly overgeneralized "older people"?
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#7 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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Re: Get them while they're young (workers).

Posted 20 June 2011 - 10:18 AM

Edited topic title, because some of us "older people" actually know the difference between "their" and "they're".
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#8 Nightfish  Icon User is offline

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Re: Get them while they're young (workers).

Posted 20 June 2011 - 10:53 AM

Reading this, I'm not really sure what your point is. Would your ideal company consist solely of people born after 1990? Is that it? Or am I missing the point completely? Of course you need to get some fresh blood into the buisness every now and then, I don't think anyone ever disputed that claim. But you definetly need experienced folk as well.

If shit hits the fan, it's neat to have someone on hand who has seen this before. I'm not saying every youngster would go to pieces or that every old guy could keep it together, but I know whom I'd give the better odds. Generally, managing projects requires some experience. It's definetly beneficially to "tag along for the ride" a couple times before you start leading your own team of 40 devs working to meet a deadline.

And if we're not just talking development, you definetly need someone who *looks* and acts experienced for dealing with customers. If you're pitching a project to a room full of managers and CEOs, you don't want an 18 year old guy to do that, generally. Not just because odds are he'll fuck it up, but because of how that'd look. He's just not going to get taken seriously if his voice is still cracking. In a perfect world, appearances wouldn't matter, but yea... You get the point. Even if you have a proverbial "Wunderkind" running around, you're probably not going to let him at a high profile customer all by his alone.
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#9 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Get them while they're young (workers).

Posted 20 June 2011 - 11:07 AM

Bro, just like Lucy you have some 'splaining to do. Exactly *WHAT* is your point you are trying to make? Initially I thought it was the mindset of Ted-the-48-year-old-accountant-turned-web-developer versus Timmy-the-tween-techno-texting-tyke. Then I thought it was an issue with managers not being flexible enough to gamble away a company on a technological lark. Then I thought it was someone at work bulling you and putting down your ideas. Now I wonder is it about how pessimists suck?

You highlight past events that did not work out so well for the companies involved and make the leap that "they should have known that X technology was going to be huge thirty years down the line" so shame on them for being "old" and "group thinking". Right? You are dogging on companies that have withered and died along the trail of progress, and naturally the best example of the opposite is the .COM bubble! You can't cut out the counter example, brah!

I am not sure how "old people" and pessimism are hand and hand. What's the chain of logic? "Geet off my darn lawn you crazy whippersnappers! I am keeping yer football this time! *cackle*"?

You have some odd internal linking issues you should clarify for the rest of the world.
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#10 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: Get them while they're young (workers).

Posted 20 June 2011 - 02:25 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 20 June 2011 - 11:22 AM, said:

Probably anyone born before July of 1984.


Lucky for me I was born in August. I'm still a young person!
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#11 maniacalsounds  Icon User is offline

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Re: Get them while they're young (workers).

Posted 20 June 2011 - 02:28 PM

I understand the point you're trying to make, but you have to remember: if it wasn't for those "older people," you and I probably wouldn't know even half of the stuff we know today about programming.

[edit]Edited: Grammar Fail[/edit]

This post has been edited by maniacalsounds: 20 June 2011 - 02:28 PM

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#12 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Get them while they're young (workers).

Posted 20 June 2011 - 02:30 PM

View PostCurtis Rutland, on 20 June 2011 - 04:25 PM, said:

View Postmodi123_1, on 20 June 2011 - 11:22 AM, said:

Probably anyone born before July of 1984.


Lucky for me I was born in August. I'm still a young person!

Aaaaaaaaand that's why I am keeping your football, Frisbee, and bike I found on my lawn. If you don't know how to take care of your nice things then you won't have any! *huff*
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#13 Programmist  Icon User is offline

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Re: Get them while they're young (workers).

Posted 22 June 2011 - 06:20 PM

The great thing about younger developers is that they are cheap. :) I'm smiling, but not really joking. Many consulting firms here in Dallas love hiring people right out of college because they can pay them next to nothing while training them on the job alongside expert-level consultants. The result over the course of a few years is a bargain-priced, highly skilled and loyal team. They, of course, treat them well and give them pay increases, but usually not close to market. Not saying it's good or bad. Just my observation.
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#14 AlbuquerqueApache  Icon User is offline

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Re: Get them while they're young (workers).

Posted 23 June 2011 - 10:17 AM

View PostProgrammist, on 22 June 2011 - 06:20 PM, said:

The great thing about younger developers is that they are cheap. :) I'm smiling, but not really joking. Many consulting firms here in Dallas love hiring people right out of college because they can pay them next to nothing while training them on the job alongside expert-level consultants. The result over the course of a few years is a bargain-priced, highly skilled and loyal team. They, of course, treat them well and give them pay increases, but usually not close to market. Not saying it's good or bad. Just my observation.


I agree with you and that's the way it should be. But the situation above is the situation I am currently in.

I was hired on for a bargain price and was doing my fair share of the technical work. However, the price increases never came :-/

Oh vell! I guess its just stuff I can sell to someone else!

and to the dude who ran off my birthday, well in the immortal words of Bill O'reily, "You sir, are a DICK!.... I mean pinhead" ;)

This post has been edited by AlbuquerqueApache: 23 June 2011 - 10:18 AM

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#15 BenignDesign  Icon User is online

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Re: Get them while they're young (workers).

Posted 23 June 2011 - 10:31 AM

lolwat?
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