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IT’s about age (again)

by on September 13, 2016

Two very different articles caught my eye today – both about age and the IT industry.

The first deals with the appointment of Greg Touhill in the new role as US Cyber Chief.  Not all coverage featured information about his age but the label ‘retired’ was used in much of the coverage.  One article tackled this issue of age directly however.  Tom Temin (@tteminWFED) wrote about this appointment in the context of reported age discrimination in the IT sector more broadly under the headline “New Cyber Post goes to Old Guy“.    He concludes “rather than repeat platitudes about hiring on ability and not on age, how about if we acknowledge that sometimes you need experience, sometimes you need certain energy or skills that skew young, but most of the time age is a weak predictor of performance or suitability?”  We would agree that assuming age is a predictor of performance or suitability is a problem – but would go further in questions whether ‘experience’ should be automatically associated with an older applicant and ‘energy or skills’ with the young.

The second is a very different piece which offers an individual account of ageing in the IT industry, by David Strain who provides advice which perhaps is best taken with a pinch of salt.  I’ll leave you to judge for yourself!

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