Friday, September 30, 2016

Old Geeks

Inspired, apparently, by a James Gosling post on Facebook, Tim Bray penned a barn-burner of an essay on his blog: Old Geek.

To be fair, not ev­ery­one wants to go on pro­gram­ming in­to their life’s sec­ond half. To start with, man­agers and mar­keters make more mon­ey. Al­so, lots of places make de­vel­op­ers sit in rows in poorly-lit poorly-ventilated spaces, with not an atom of peace or pri­va­cy. And then, who, male or fe­male, wants to work where there are hard­ly any wom­en?


Bay Area tech cul­ture to­tal­ly has a blind spot, just an­oth­er part of their great di­ver­si­ty suck­age. It’s hurt­ing them as much as all the de­mo­graph­ics they ex­clude

It's true, it's real, it's sad.

I know it sounds like sour grapes, like weepy nostalgia, like, yes, old bitterness, but the computing industry I'm part of nowadays is nothing like the joyous, optimistic, and welcoming world it was back in the late 1970's and early 1980's.

Is it just "money spoils everything?" Perhaps, and perhaps even more it's because of the cult of the celebrity superstar startup founder rock star.

Another interesting theory I've seen tossed around is that this is wreckage from the Great Recession of 2008: when all the Type A over-achievers abandoned Wall Street because there were no longer empires to build there, they ended up in Silicon Valley forming Unicorn startups instead.

Regardless, people today seem to be in it just for power, and don't even seem to care if they're building something worthwhile, lasting, useful, and helpful to others.

Computers are tools. We're supposed to be using them to make the lives of humans easier.

Not cheaper, meaner, and nastier.

Bonus links:


  1. You need that rock solid union, a global professional association of programmers to enforce behavioral standards.