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I see this all over.  Kids (20,30, some 40) are willing
to work all kinds of hours.

There is more to the 'age bias' than salary -- though.

Over the last five years a whole new paradigm has emerged
around "object oriented programming."

Those just getting into systems programming do put systems
together faster, not just because they are energetic and put
in long hours, it is also that they reach for tools that
many over 50 find hard to grasp.

Basic became Visual Basic, but even in the last few years,
its been revamped to more object and method orientations.

A C programmer can't get his mind around C++ .

An example of an "old timer" who has kept pace is Stephen
R. Schach, Professor at Vanderbilt.  His _Software Engineering
with JAVA_ is much more a story about the paradigm shift than
anything to do with actually programming in JAVA.

News item from Benton:

QUESTIONING THE LABOR SHORTAGE
Issue: Workforce
While the high-tech industry has convinced President Clinton and Congress
to
raise the quota on H-1Bs, the temporary visas for skilled foreigners,
author
Richard Rothstein contends that the worker shortage the move is intended
to
address is nothing more than a mirage. The annual H-1B limit will go to
200,000 next year, up from 65,000 only three years ago. High-tech
companies
claim that more visas are needed to advert a potential labor crises.
However, according to Norman Matloff, a computer science professor at the
University of California, these companies have created artificial
shortages
by refusing to hire experienced programmers. By age 50, fewer than half
are
still in the industry. Matloff says that technology industry often
rejects
older workers because they require more pay and they will not work the
long
hours typical of younger workers. Rothstien suggests that raising wages
to
attract those with needed skills is a better way to avoid shortages than
importing low-paid workers.
[SOURCE: New York Times, AUTHOR: Richard Rothstein]
(http://www.nytimes.com/2000/09/06/technology/06LESS.html)
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