The finest programming teams have all ages of coders. All developers have something special to offer in terms of perspective, experience, and character irrespective of age. While younger programmers can sometimes be cheaper to hire and come with updated technological knowledge, the older programmers can make up for it with experience and wisdom. 

Let’s first discuss the benefits and drawbacks of younger programmers and coders.

Benefits of Younger Programmers

Young, idealistic programmers are more likely to land programming jobs than older, more experienced programmers. Reasons could include: 1

  • Their insights are more likely to be up-to-date and more relevant.
  • There are a lot of rapid advancements in the technology sector. Changes in both technology and programming languages are constant. A younger programmer who has only lately begun to prepare for their role has done more academic work than practical work. 
  • Younger programmers bring a new perspective to old issues. This might lead to more creative thinking and novel approaches to problems.
  • Hiring a young programmer can save you money.

Drawbacks of Younger Programmers

Even though younger programmers bring updated knowledge, new ideas, more energy, and enthusiasm, the following challenges that they may experience may be viewed as drawbacks by some employers. 1

  • Although younger developers have a lot to offer in the software industry, their enthusiasm and creativity may be offset by inexperience.
  • Since they lack experience, it could take a while for younger developers to get used to things in terms of workflow. Additionally, they might be unaware of the optimal solution to solve an issue. Because of their lack of experience, they are more inclined to squander time and make mistakes.
  • Younger programmers emphasize creativity and a fresh approach. Unfortunately, this might result in hastily-written code that lacks consideration for the long term and must be updated before further development.
  • They may feel helpless or discouraged.
  • Jobs in software development are challenging. An experienced developer eventually understands that a programmer’s job is never done and needs to be updated frequently, while a newcomer may have trouble accepting this. Younger programmers might easily feel disheartened or burned out. often suffer from imposter syndrome or face enormous quantities of code or complicated challenges.

Benefits of Veteran Programmers

People of more advanced age may be discriminated against because of their age when applying for programming jobs. But if given the opportunity, aren’t veteran programmers better?8,9,10,11,12

  • Most of the major programming issues are familiar territory for more seasoned programmers. They have persevered through challenging tasks such as detecting bugs and rewriting code. They can identify when a given remedy is doomed to fail. Even if it was written in a different language, their knowledge of resolving complex issues would be useful.
  • They are in a better position to manage and work with existing code.
  • Legacy code is a problem for many software development organizations.2 This is outdated code that has to be rewritten from scratch and needs to be de-tangled. It’s more likely that the older developers will have experience with the obsolete programming language. They are more familiar with the older systems and can better assist in managing them.
  • They excel in authoritative positions.

Drawbacks of Veteran Programmers

According to a 2018 survey, 61 percent of developers older than 45 were worried about whether their age is a barrier to employment.4 This worry is substantiated by the fact that fewer than seven percent of professional developers were 45 or older in a poll by Stack Overflow in 2018.3 Given their obvious value, why aren’t there more opportunities for senior developers? Here are several hypotheses as to why older workers aren’t being hired for programming positions.5,6,7

  • Not all programming experience can be easily transferred due to the dynamic nature of the technology sector. Experience with a defunct programming language, for instance, can be useless, even though their problem-solving experience is invaluable.
  • There’s a possibility of becoming rigid.
  • The “old dogs, new tricks” myth can become a problem when it comes to the age effect in programming employment. There’s a common misconception that a seasoned programmer can’t be taught new languages or techniques. There is apprehension that experienced engineers will get set in their ways as they age, resulting in less creativity and adaptability in the software they create.
  • They can be more expensive for the organization to hire. 

Developers in their 20s are seen as having fresh perspectives when it comes to coding knowledge. While experienced developers can serve as role models for up-and-coming programmers, sharing their knowledge and guiding them toward success. It is suggested to have a range of ages represented in the development team. The hiring team should focus on prioritizing employees based on their passion, curiosity, and desire to learn rather than their chronological age. The age impact in programming positions shouldn’t be about discrimination or bias but about inclusion and diversity instead. 

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  1. Reed, N. (2019, April 11). Programming jobs and the age effect. Parker Software. Retrieved November 13, 2022, from
  2. Uttarwar, P. (2020, December 3). Legacy Code And Its Improvisation. Codegrip. Retrieved November 26, 2022, from
  3. Stack Overflow. (2018). Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2018. Stack Overflow. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from
  4. Savage. (2018). Is there a software developer age limit? Apparently, it’s 45. SearchSoftwareQuality. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from
  5. Ageism in tech: the not-so-invisible age limit developers face – TechTalks. (2019). Retrieved January 2, 2023, from 
  6. Tech Job Posting ‘We Hire Old People’ Went Viral For Highlighting Ageism. (2021). Retrieved January 2, 2023, from 
  7. Why Older People Struggle In Programming Jobs – DEV Community (2020). Retrieved January 2, 2023, from 
  8. Thompson, L. F., & Mayhorn, C. B. (2012). Aging Workers and Technology. The Oxford Handbook of Work and Aging. Retrieved January 2, 2023, from 
  9. 3 reasons why hiring older tech pros is a smart decision | TechRepublic. (n.d.). Retrieved January 2, 2023, from 
  10. Benefits of hiring older employees over younger ones | TJinsite. (n.d.). Retrieved January 2, 2023, from 
  11. The Case for Hiring Older Workers. (n.d.). Retrieved January 2, 2023, from 
  12. 5 Good Reasons to Hire Older Workers. (n.d.). Retrieved January 2, 2023, from 

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