Help wanted

Looking for someone under 30 with 20+ years of experience.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

This company has been growing for the past couple of decades by acquiring smaller companies that do similar things. In the process, it acquires a lot of solutions these companies had developed, as well as the solutions’ accompanying code. Of course, the acquiring company has been less keen on retaining all the engineers who wrote that code, and year by year, their numbers decrease, until the company finds itself with a whole lot of code that no one really knows and a bunch of young employees.

It needs to hire someone to help. It has no problem getting young and smart candidates to interview, but they all lose interest when told that none of the code they are going to have to deploy and maintain is in their preferred languages, it has nothing to do with AI, and none of it is in the cloud.

One manager says it’s clear they’re going to have to actively look for professionals with deep experience — in other words, older workers. See what you can do, he’s told, and in fact he finds only one candidate with the required experience.

But the interview goes great. The candidate is used to working on legacy systems, and he has even converted many older systems to newer technologies and reduced technical debt. On top of that, he has good manners and is pleasant to talk to.
So the manager recommends that the candidate be brought in for a second interview with the higher-ups.

A week goes by and nothing happens, so the manager asks what the others thought of the candidate. 

“We thought he was old.”

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