Ask HN: Why are we accepting ageism in tech as something immutable?
by Arisaka1 on Hacker News.
This week alone I had 2 interviews with 2 different companies where in the first one of the interviewers asked me my age, directly followed by “why hire you over a younger graduate?” (which isn’t the same as “why hire you over someone smarter than you?” because why even ask this). In the second one I was also asked for my age, followed by whether I plan to get married anytime soon. I’m under the impression that the industry needs to learn to treat amateurs as amateurs regardless of their age. It feels like I’m not allowed to be an amateur professional simply because I’m over 30 years old. Instead of seeing people as “a guy with 2 years of experience” or “a woman with 4 years of experience” we see “a 40 year old guy with 2 years of experience” or “a 34 year old woman with 4 years of experience”. It feels like there’s an implicit expectation of expertise in doing something that comes with my age. It’s almost as if I’m not allowed to learn and get good in something that I want, simply because I was late into “the party”, where party can be whatever but since I’m a web developer that’s what “the party” is. I’ve had multiple people telling me that “we saw people with fewer and less polished projects get jobs”. I’ve been seeking for 8 months, I’m almost at the point where I might as well freelance to bypass the discrimination. I get barely any calls back, and the one interview that felt somewhat fair was because I had my former manager from a completely unrelated field introduce me to someone looking for web developers, and that didn’t worked out because they wanted me to learn their stack and build an assignment within a week, which failed gloriously. Is there something that we can do so that people can just be amateurs regardless of age? I’m sure since we’re making SOME progress against sexism and racism we could somehow do something for ageism too, because I can’t blame Zuckerberg’s opinion anymore.