It’s a Young Developer’s World

By Deane Barker on December 24, 2014

Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem: Silicon Valley and start-up culture is dysfunctional.  So many great quotes in this piece.

[…] what matters most is not salary, or stability, or job security, but cool. Cool exists at the ineffable confluence of smart people, big money and compelling product. You can buy it, but only up to a point. For example, Microsoft, while perpetually cast as an industry dinosaur, is in fact in very good financial shape. Starting salaries are competitive with those at Google and Facebook; top talent is promoted rapidly. Last year, every Microsoft intern was given a Surface tablet; in July, they were flown to Seattle for an all-expenses-paid week whose activities included a concert headlined by Macklemore and deadmau5.  Despite these efforts, Microsoft’s cool feels coerced.

As a guy pushing 44-years-old, this resonates:

If you are 50, no matter how good your coding skills, you probably do not want to be called a “ninja” and go on bar crawls every weekend with your colleagues, which is exactly what many of my friends do.

And what are we losing for the world when the top technical talent wants to work at companies that do – let’s face it – stupid, meaningless things?

Why do these smart, quantitatively trained engineers, who could help cure cancer or fix, want to work for a sexting app?

[sigh] I’m old.



  1. I’m 32 and I’ve always lamented the culture. I grew up almost idolizing how NASA’s mission control operated under Chris Kraft, Gene Kranz and the philosophy of “Tough and Competent.” Those were people who built things that mattered, and they knew it, and they approached it with sobriety because they wanted to do a damn good job.

    Let me know if that’s still out there, somewhere. Even if all the hair is grey (or gone).

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