Older IT Workers in Germany

41 posts in this topic

I've had on my teams many SW developers over 55, and a couple above 60.

In general they are not very motivated and just want their pre-digested tickets.

But a few integrate quite well, including social activities. Of course there is a (few) generation gap(s), but some can mingle quite well.

 

Most of the issues are related with developers who think their vast experience is still valid, and then there are collisions with younger developers, which have a more modern mindset.

 

And of course if you get a job where you work alone, then there's no issue.

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1 minute ago, MikeMelga said:

I've had on my teams many SW developers over 55, and a couple above 60.

In general they are not very motivated and just want their pre-digested tickets.

But a few integrate quite well, including social activities. Of course there is a (few) generation gap(s), but some can mingle quite well.

 

Most of the issues are related with developers who think their vast experience is still valid, and then there are collisions with younger developers, which have a more modern mindset.

 

And of course if you get a job where you work alone, then there's no issue.

wow - I feel sorry for you.

This isn't my experience at all. Maybe because I don't consider myself a "SW developer".
When people ask me what my job is I'd say "travel guide, toymaker, treasure hunter".
I'd consider 85% of my vast experience completely irrelevant for the project on hand.

I'm not sure what you mean by "modern mindset" - but I am a true extrovert, love social activities, and prefer to dive head-on into the unknown.
"Pre-digested tickets" are boring, I leave those to the kids to chew on.

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12 minutes ago, karin_brenig said:

wow - I feel sorry for you.

It's not so bad, I was expecting worst, but some guys do integrate!

 

Quote

I'm not sure what you mean by "modern mindset" - but I am a true extrovert, love social activities, and prefer to dive head-on into the unknown.

Unfortunately younger developers come with these pre-made design patterns and coding practices that they apply to everything, even when it makes no sense. Older generations were more "engineers" and would develop their own ideas.

And when an old timer comes and challenges these pre-made ideas, because they make no sense to the problem at hand, the younger guy throws at him lots of articles from smart influencers that say "this is the only way to do it in modern times".

 

Example: error handling at function level vs throwing exceptions. Now it's trendy to throw exceptions and let the upper layer handle it! Then if an exception is caught, destroy the object, reconstruct and issue the same command!

This is of course not applicable to stuff like hardware control, which can't be constantly "reconstructed", as a reconnection can take several seconds.

It's just a lazy approach that works well for simple projects.

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On 6/22/2011, 10:42:32, Texas_to_GE said:

In the US, IT workers once they get close to age 40, are pretty much sent out to pasture rather than valued for their experience.

 

I don't find this to be true at all.  For me, when hiring, it always comes down to the individual.  You can have one person with 10 years of experience in their early 30s' and another in their early 60's.  People move into IT at different times in their lives.  The first may have no experience outside of IT and another might have specific experience to my project Plus IT.  One just does the work and the other knows why the work is being done.

If US IT workers are out to pasture, they went there to graze themselves.  With demand so high, they could come back to the barn whenever they chose.

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On 16/08/2022, 16:25:51, MikeMelga said:

Unfortunately younger developers come with these pre-made design patterns and coding practices that they apply to everything, even when it makes no sense. Older generations were more "engineers" and would develop their own ideas.

 

I feel more certain about my long term future in Germany that I did in the UK, now that I'm over 50. But you do need to make sure your skills don't become out of date. I've been there before when I worked on one project for one company for 8 years, which was good and I was proud of the work but I became too focussed on that way of working and when I left I discovered there was so much I didn't know in the field where I was meant to be an expert.

But I remember interviewing someone in his mid-50s who only wanted to talk about his garden and not about software engineering. So he didn't get the job. I don't think that would be me; I still like being a software developer.

I would say my younger colleagues often seem reluctant to do the hard work. And I don't mean they're lazy; it's what you said about they've been taught "when you see X you do Y" but can't handle it when they don't know the answer and nobody can tell them the answer. I'll happily spend a couple of days stepping through code in the debugger to try to find the problem or trying things out to see what happens as a way of getting to a solution and they'll want a whiteboard session after which they'll declare it impossible.
 

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On 16/08/2022, 16:05:47, MikeMelga said:

I've had on my teams many SW developers over 55, and a couple above 60.

In general they are not very motivated and just want their pre-digested tickets.

 

I think what you are describing is more, that older people have been there, done it, seen it, bought the t-shirt etc.

They are simply not impressed with management motivational speeches.

 

I see one of the main problems of IT is a lot of people seek jobs which are challenging, and there is an increasing trend to dumb down everything and try to make everyone fit in the same box. With people who are 55, 60, you have the wisdom of years. Likely also the ability to assume responsibility and make difficult decisions well. After you know them for a while, so can judge, you might find someone who would make an ideal mentor. Instead they are assigned 'tickets', so they play the game and wait for retirement, for the system offers no reward to play for. No promotion prospect (too old). Not very likely they will get fired so little downside. No bonus or other thing to aim for if they 'solve' 10 tickets vs 5. 

 

It's interesting you mentioned the throw vs return an error approach. Simplistic vs complex design. Sometimes akin to religious/political arguments :lol:

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18 hours ago, scook17 said:

 

I think what you are describing is more, that older people have been there, done it, seen it, bought the t-shirt etc.

They are simply not impressed with management motivational speeches.

 

I see one of the main problems of IT is a lot of people seek jobs which are challenging, and there is an increasing trend to dumb down everything and try to make everyone fit in the same box. With people who are 55, 60, you have the wisdom of years. Likely also the ability to assume responsibility and make difficult decisions well. After you know them for a while, so can judge, you might find someone who would make an ideal mentor. Instead they are assigned 'tickets', so they play the game and wait for retirement, for the system offers no reward to play for. No promotion prospect (too old). Not very likely they will get fired so little downside. No bonus or other thing to aim for if they 'solve' 10 tickets vs 5. 

 

It's interesting you mentioned the throw vs return an error approach. Simplistic vs complex design. Sometimes akin to religious/political arguments :lol:

Oh hell yes, this! 

Just shy of 62 here and for the last two years I work for a company that keeps a large institution running, happy and content. I am one of the technicians at the coalface, crawling under tables, fixing servers, resolving network issues, updating hardware and software. Fixing printers and copiers. Run of the mill IT ticket stuff.

I did this over thirty years ago before moving on to greater things with global travel working on multi million Euro printing and prepress equipment.

Come full circle now and sometimes, if not always, I feel like a master chef relegated to flipping burgers at Maccy D´s. I see middle management struggling to find solutions where I see an easy fix. I see them in their meetings and meetings and telco´s after which they are totally unable to function, I see them trying to implement procedures where I think that is probably the most stupid thing I have ever heard.

Weeks later when it gets dropped the middle M pat themselves on the back for dodging the bullet. There are so many of them trying to justify their jobs, some will listen but ignore, some are just full on arrogant and totally sure of themselves.

 

It is frustrating at times, but I´ll stick with it until Rente.

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15 hours ago, slammer said:

It is frustrating at times, but I´ll stick with it until Rente.

 

Do exactly that.  My Rechtsanwalt pal said to me some years ago when I also had about 5 years to go "Sit tight - every month is raising your Rente...".

 

I just managed it.

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4 hours ago, HEM said:

 

Do exactly that.  My Rechtsanwalt pal said to me some years ago when I also had about 5 years to go "Sit tight - every month is raising your Rente...".

 

I just managed it.

Getting hold of mine is going to be a grade "A" nightmare.

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A German colleague of mine once made a derogatory remark about  IT colleagues sitting it out until retirement:“abkacken hinter den Bildschirm“.

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12 hours ago, HEM said:

Do exactly that.  My Rechtsanwalt pal said to me some years ago when I also had about 5 years to go "Sit tight - every month is raising your Rente...".

 

Could you have gone early, say at 63, and not suffered financially for it?   I'm looking forward to going early, definitely do not want to stay until I'm nearly 67, which is what the full Rente requires me to do. 

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Himself was supposed to work until 65 but he clocked out at 63. Missing a few yoyos a month on his Rente. It was well worth the extra 2 years by far. He had worked 45 yrs. Genug!

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4 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

Himself was supposed to work until 65 but he clocked out at 63. Missing a few yoyos a month on his Rente. It was well worth the extra 2 years by far. He had worked 45 yrs. Genug!

10 greenies!

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1 hour ago, fraufruit said:

Himself was supposed to work until 65 but he clocked out at 63. Missing a few yoyos a month on his Rente. It was well worth the extra 2 years by far. He had worked 45 yrs. Genug!

If I had stayed on Malta I would be clocking out.. now!

Got a letter two years back from the Wasauchimmerstelle saying that if I were to go into Rente right now I would receive 570 Euros, Started to work in 1976, in that time I missed two or three years unemployed up until 2001, then I left Germany, came back in 2018 and will probably work until.. Böh, no idea.

Now I have to get my Rente from Denmark, from Switzerland and Malta. The money I paid in the Schweizerrentenkasse seems safe enough, Denmark requires you to have worked at least 10 years to receive a Rente, but that money seems to be transferable, (still in the process of finding all the pitfalls out) Malta, you have to have also worked for ten years but that money is not transferable, so it´s either leave it or pay the remaining three years.

All in all I see an enfolding nightmare and a real danger of poverty in my dotage.

If only I had made millions.

But by far my greatest fear is that I will wither as a Rentner, without a purpose, without work, without the money to be doing the things I love, what is there?

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3 hours ago, silty1 said:

 

Could you have gone early, say at 63, and not suffered financially for it?

I guess I could have gone at 63 but at a financial hit.  As it was I'd only worked for 31 years in DE.

So I have a patchwork of pensions which I got sorted out.

 

Oracle got rid of all remote hardware support services folks in EMEA early 2018 (the last to go were DE & UK) & replaced them by

cheap just-out-of-school techies in Romania.  I retired one month before I'd have been put out to grass.  Bit unfortunate really cos

if I'd been a year younger I could have sat on my backside at their expense for a year.  Not so funny for my ex-colleagues in

their late 50s or early 60s.

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, slammer said:

But by far my greatest fear is that I will wither as a Rentner, without a purpose, without work, without the money to be doing the things I love, what is there?

 

"Don't retire in Winter - you will fall into a black hole" said a wizzened old guy on Blaubeuren airfield 8 mths before I reached official retirement age.

No fear - my feet have not touched the ground since due to being involved in voluntary work in the sport of gliding - at club, national & international levels.

But at some stage I will start to cut myself lose from that as its getting to be too much work (unpaid) & I'm getting older.

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4 hours ago, silty1 said:

 

Could you have gone early, say at 63, and not suffered financially for it?   I'm looking forward to going early, definitely do not want to stay until I'm nearly 67, which is what the full Rente requires me to do. 

 

I left work at 63 to become a Rentner.

The difference beween 63 and 67 yrs old was ca. 10.5% a month less from the German state pension.

But I get 4 years of my life instead...

 

My only other pension is from the UK and doesn't kick in until I'm 66.

So there is a gap there between 63 and 66.

 

I had roughly equal work time in UK & DE

 

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2 hours ago, slammer said:

But by far my greatest fear is that I will wither as a Rentner, without a purpose, without work, without the money to be doing the things I love, what is there?

 

Start now doing things you enjoy - making the time to do them.

When retired it isn't so easy to start new things.

 

On the other hand: 

we started a cycling group taking oldies from retirement homes out for a rickschaw ride.

That keeps me active and meeting new folks (club has 25 members...mostly new to me)

 

Joing evening school to learn a language or whatever is possible too - and you'll have time in

the mornings for that!

 

Giving your time to perform voluntary work give a purpose back in life too.

 

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12 hours ago, HH_Sailor said:

The difference beween 63 and 67 yrs old was ca. 10.5% a month less from the German state pension.

But I get 4 years of my life instead...

 

This is the bargain I'm going to make.  I figure what do we have but time?  Might as well enjoy it while healthy.

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