Continued discussion of age of programmers

Nor is it common to see people who are over 50 years old still programming. So they become an example to others.

I am one of those people who believe that after fifty is just a number. Age is not a limitation.


Age is not, but is real easy for people to get stuck in their ways. As they age, those ways become increasingly dated, and we wind up with developers refusing to modernize their software. Continuing to learn, evolve, and adapt to trends requires effort.


Some people are 60 or 70 years old and look better than many under 50. Even if you want to compete with them, you can leave humiliated.

When one person learns new technologies, train to improve their programming, and never stop learning, they are the best leaders.

Thom, you have a point of view from those people who refuse to change. Fortunately, it is not the majority.


Oh absolutely. My neighbor is approximately twice my age, just finished up cancer treatments, and he’s still in better shape than most of the neighborhood.

This feels like it might be a language barrier thing, but it sounds like you’re accusing me of being unwilling to change. I think anybody who knows me will tell you my willingness to change is almost a fault. I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t appreciate my attempts to modernize the Xojo IDE! :stuck_out_tongue:


What you say is correct. My English is little more than a basic level.

I apologize for not getting the idea across. I thank you for your frankness.

I also appreciate anyone who reads my comments, even if they do not understand me well. I like that I am excited to write in this forum. I learn a lot by writing and making mistakes.


It certainly is a language thing. @Jose_Fernandez_del_Valle did not accuse you of anything. He made a statement based on his own observations.
Disclosure: my first language is German.

My first language is Spanish.

Both countries are very different in their communication and customs. Now it is no longer a barrier to being able to communicate.

It would be interesting to see who was born in the United States if what we wrote is correct. From the point of view of their customs and their culture.

In Mexico, people ask me a lot if I’m from the United States. A friend from Germany asks me a similar question. He thought I was from North Germany.

Not me. Although one Frenchman thought I was from the Swiss Canton de Vaud.

You cast such a negative connotation on it with “refusing”. What really happens is that as people age, they realize that newer is not necessarily better, and in many if not most case it’s worse. The vision of the original visionary is lost as newer hires think they can do better, or they are pressured into “improving” the original product in order to justify their salaries.


May I add that also I frequently see that the new hires, have very limited experience and often end up making things worse, because they don’t understand why something worked the way it did before, only to have to “revert” their work to almost be identical to how it was before they started.


i’m over 50 too, and i really enjoy coding using Xojo, plus really enjoy buildings thing.
But you have to admit, the brain of a 50 y+ is not as fast as a 20y one. neurosciences made some studies recently, but we compensate with experience to solve problem faster ? :slight_smile: and tend to waste less time on useless things.
But 20y can put a lot of working hours and focus on things and bring a new perspective, so it can be efficient. And fact is, over 40y you tend to be more conservative, and reproduce things you did.


I agree.
If I intend to compete with 20-year-old swimming in a pool, I can see myself well at 50 meters without being too far behind the young man. But the physical capacity between 20 and 50 years is not comparable.
If I do a similar competition with programming, maybe you can see a similar example swimming 50 meters or less. If I see swimming using a distance of 100 meters or 200 meters, I cover my eyes with my hands.
After 50, you need to eat a lot of protein to maintain your muscles. Doctors recommend doing it.
Fortunately, there is good news. According to research in neuroscience, the mind’s ability to abstract increases over time, up to the age of 70.

The latter means that you are more likely to solve a problem based on your experience over 50 years than a 20-year-old.

On the page, you can read an interesting article. Scott Barry Kaufman writes this:

<<The good news for older adults is that not only can we continue to acquire domain-specific knowledge into older age, but purpose in life is also modifiable. It seems that the question “When does intelligence peak?” is actually a rather meaningless question. Not only do our various cognitive functions peak at different times, but past a certain age it might make more sense to view adult intelligence not through the lens of youthful general processing speed and reasoning, but through the lens of expertise, wisdom and purpose.>>

Reference: When Does Intelligence Peak? - Scientific American Blog Network


I have seen vast amounts of money and resources poured into ‘reworking the product for the technology used by the popular kids’ , only to run aground and try again with the next new thing.

Back in the 90s, I saw people so keen to jump on the internet bandwagon that they added a button which launched Internet Explorer purely so that it was possible to put ‘Internet capable’ on the box.

There are those in this group who say that ‘the future is tablet/ the future is browser’.
I know for certain, for me it ain’t, but if I was starting out now, I would be weeping with frustration at what it takes to get stuff working there.

I spend a lot of most years keeping stuff working on Macs despite Apples best efforts, and with the cherished aid of Xojo, Sam Rowlands, And Christian Schmitz.
Then I add new features, but no new technology for at least 10 years.
Keeps me fed and active for now, at 63 (Crikey when did that happen?)


You stil do not get the point. It’s not what you think is better but what trends need. Trends sell… nostalgia does not. Thom is 100% correct. Adapt if you want your software to sell better than average. Unless you settle with average, of course.

Trends do sell but can sometimes cost the company money and time that could be spent on the core functionality of the software you are making.
Sometimes it is necessary to adopt, sometimes not so much.
For instance, lots of people expect mobile apps and web apps. If you don’t have them, you are outdated and won’t be able to sell your product. But if your original product is desktop (mac/windows), you will end up recreating the user interface for new platforms (iOS, Android, Web) but nothing will functionally change. You will still just have the same product, but now with new targets that you really need for sales (because people want to be able to have the customer sign off on an order on mobile or tablet for instance).
On the other hand, modernizing a user interface to adapt to the newest trends might be less important than adding new core functionality (for instance a new link from your software that takes orders from customers to link the orders to accounting software)
I personally have never stopped learning, as that is part of the job in my opinion, but I won’t just modernize to modernize. I’ve seen that young people tend to do just that sometimes, which in my opinion just ends up costing the company money for no real gain.


As a young 71, I have seen so many software companies come and go… Where are the Borland, the Lotus 1-2-3, the WordStar, the dBase ?

Fact is, software is software, is software: computer software, books, songs, video. Trends are an important part of what can sell at a moment’s time. In general, it does not last beyond a few months, perhaps a year or so.

Classics sell for a very long time. Not vintage, mind you. An old fashion UI is a certain recipe for fading away. But take the example of the Office Suite. It has been around since 1988. No matter what you think about Microsoft, they are an example of software that sells steadily for decades. Is it identical to what it was back then ? No. It has evolved. Is it trendy with plenty of bells and whistles and the latest gizmo ? No. It does what it is supposed to do efficiently.

@Dirk_Cleenwerck is right: we don’t have the luxury to refuse to port our popular apps to mobile, and even web. It is a fact: desktop is slowly regressing in numbers, as users switch to iOS or Android.

I don’t think age defines so much developers as their mindset. I have known psycho rigid programmers fresh out of the university. Such people are the epitome of early senility.
The main quality of a programmer is an open mind, and willingness to learn.

All too often do I see posts in this forum from people who staunchly refuse to change their mental habits. These people are setting themselves up for failure. And they will even probably will blame others for their own errors.

Bad workers always blame their tools. Have I so often read charges against the new IDE, or any kind of change for that matter. The issue is not about liking or not a new tool, it is about being able to overcome resistance to change, and get the best out of it.

On the other hand, I see people who embrace change, and thrive on innovation. Not trends, mind you, which are quickly gone by. But true improvements, in tune with users needs.

Age has very little to do with success, really. But mental flexibility does.


100% this


Ioannis from Greece.age of 51 and still i like to programming and adapt to every new that come out.
Old job was computer network technician and the last 3 years is programming and 3d modeling.
Still missing my amstrad :smiley:

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Single (simple) change(s) can be adopted by everyone.


It takes times to be adopted for a simple reason: memory.

Usually, people don’t fear changes. Simple changes.

But if you have for days, weeks o-r more connect to the Language Reference and search how the hell the new function name/syntax, whatever is, rapidly, you will reject these changes.

Read Darwin: the evolution takes time and was done a bit at a time.

These massive changes have less impact with youngster or new comers: the former have fast memory (SSD vs HDD) and the later do not have background, so this is learning new things.

Who cares the name changes from REALbasic to Real Sudio, then Real Sudio to Xojo ?

But changing nearly evey single word of the Development language is a different task: it is simply like learning a brand new language.

Geoff: do you recall how you were feeling when in France (outside of the US Dollar land) and it was pay time at a restaurant (not with you VISA, but with paper money) ? You were lost and do not understand what they say and how much it was (in $).

Different situation, same confusion.

NB: All Euroland know that in the 1999-2002 frame time when the old money was deprecated and the Euro (€) comes: stranger money in your own home land.

Unless you absolutely need API 2.00, for instance because you need to port to iOS or Android, you can continue using API 1.00.

That said, moving to API 2.00 can largely be easied by autocomplete, and the LR.

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