Nice article. I think one additional reason people drop off as programmers as they get older is life’s baggage... when I was younger, I did a lot less diy round the house, I’d let the garden grow for longer than it should before cutting it etc. I cared less about that stuff and had more time and energy to spend learning and tinkering with code. Younger people, not always but probably more often, don’t have old relatives to care for, don’t have children to look after (or have more options for support with childcare). If they are in a serious relationship tend to have some different groups of friends they do things with on evenings or weekends enabling their partner to spend time learning and tinkering. It’s often not that older people don’t want to, or can’t, learn new things it’s just that they have other life pressures that can challenge that... a partner weary of spending too much time alone complaining they want to see more of a person, asking why their employer doesn’t pay them to do that in work time etc. I think the comments are true about the burnout as well and people becoming weary of that as they get more experienced. I find the best developers are hobbyists... they have pet projects, they enjoy coding so much that they spend most of their time writing code whether they are paid for it or not. That often, not always, but often disappears over time.

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Over 20 years experience in software engineering, mostly in Tech Lead and Lead Dev positions. Passionate about software craftsmanship.

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