George V. Reilly

Being A Developer After 40

Adrian Kos­maczews­ki wrote a in­ter­est­ing post on Medium about Being A Developer After 40, and some of the things he’s learned since he started in 1997. My own career goes back to 1984, when I had a part-time job for five years writing graphics software that was used in many live and pre­re­cord­ed shows for RTÉ, the Irish national television station.

I agree with his main points on how to reach age 40 (or 50), willing to continue in the profession of software developer:

  1. Forget The Hype
  2. Choose Your Galaxy Wisely
  3. Learn About Software History
  4. Keep on Learning
  5. Teach
  6. Workplaces Suck
  7. Know Your Worth
  8. Send The Elevator Down
  9. LLVM
  10. Follow Your Gut
  11. APIs Are King
  12. Fight Complexity

#4, #5, and more recently #8 par­tic­u­lar­ly resonate with me.

I’ve spent my entire career learning new skills and reading widely, far beyond what I im­me­di­ate­ly needed for my job, and I’m a much better developer for it.

I teach other developers face-to-face and I also teach by blogging, answering questions, and publishing software.

I’ve worked hard to reach where I am but I know that I started out with many advantages. White males are vastly over­rep­re­sent­ed in my industry and diversity is badly needed.

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