It has been 15 years since I joined the workforce. At that time, the business world seemed really strange to me as my interaction with it was mostly transactional in nature. I exchanged a value with another one (well mostly money from my part). But for a computer science graduate, it only seemed right that I would be employed as IT personnel by the business (software developer at that time). It was a comfort knowing that I will just sit in front of the computer all day to do some code snippets and to deploy the applications to a server. My interaction was primarily with my seniors, who were a strange breed between business and IT, which made me in a comfortable position. At that time the IT was straightforward, and the seniors were running some fundamental but complex work to ensure the IT runs and supports the business. And since the IT was basic, you will see the same guy working on all verticals. Going to the business and understanding the requirements, developing some COBOL code, testing it, and deploying it at the production. Going to the DB admin and asking to create some tables and index some columns. Then going to the infrastructure and provisioning a server after taking permission, installing the OS and meddling with its configuration. Talking about opening some network sockets and adding things and removing them from the DMZ zone. The IT personnel at that time was the know it all guy.
Since then, we have crossed great heights and leaps. We witnessed the disruption of the internet and mobile. New trends in merging the business with IT; the implications of mature technology capability, and the criticality of data and cybersecurity. All of those changes and disruption caused the business to react and adjust its expectations and requirements for the resources that deliver such capabilities. So, newly graduated were higher to specialize and work on those niches, and the industry further helped by brining very complex and sophisticated enterprise solutions that all the time in the world to understand. So we started hearing about the Data Analyst, Front-end Developer, and User Experience all of a sudden.
And with that divergence, the old people who founded and run IT departments during the 90s and 2000s suddenly found their selves very old to accompany the change as old systems started to be decommissioned in favor of the new trends. Those people were forced to either manage the transition, antecedently, or thrown in a supporting position that killed their career. They are now absolute, unrecognizable, and unwanted.
I was recently was with a client who was proud of his IT department where the oldest guy they have was of 35 years old. I know most of the people in our local culture, set aside the IT industry, want always to pump new blood in the business. But it should never reach the point where people of high expertise and knowledge are set aside when moving forward. There is a lack of diversity in the new IT environment when it comes to age. Everyone wants the 20 years old, rightfully so, but there must be a place for an expert with 30+ experience.
People who worked for the longest part of their lives have something the newly joint doesn’t have, and that is knowledge. And knowledge can’t be gain without mistakes within the path. You have those people who could say it will not work because it has flows; not energetic younglings who will kill for doing something to impress others.
I genuinely wish this trend slows down. Like what our culture has taught us is to respect the elders. Cause we will eventually get old, and we want to be treated with respect when we become the elders in the business environment.