Dave Gets Defensive Over Ageism

Dave’s heart fluttered when he saw that his bogus post on ageism had made it onto ycombinator, but then couldn’t contain himself when he was called “grumpy” (which I think is actually rather charitable) so he had to chime in, with one of his ironically named handles.

Hey it’s not the companies that push this supposed innovation, it’s the new crop of engineers wanting to
create a hurdle for others to jump over. Some knowledge that they have exclusivity on. Engineers have
been doing this since the dawn of time, but since you guys are so green you don’t know that.

Most engineers (like every other profession and occupation) are mediocre. They look for job security in
incompatibily. I once had a programming partner who refused to document his work. I asked why after
pleading with him repeatedly to leave a trail behind him. “Job security.” At another place, the
programmers had a slogan “comments are for sissies.” Same idea.

So if you take something like C and permute it slightly so that a C programmer doesn’t have the skill,
you now have something that makes you marketable over that person. You can snow the non-technical
manager into believing that your older colleague can’t cut it because he knows C and you know Javascript.

In this world of mediocrity there are a very small number of gems, people who work for the user, who strive
to make their tech work better for people. That’s a skill that develops over the years, you get better at it
every decade, because you know more about people. When you’re in your 20s you don’t even have a clue
about yourself.

And most of you commenting here are the mediocre kind of programmer (if you’re programmers at all). The
ones who are questioning the broad conclusions are the ones I’d want to work with, and I don’t care how
young or old they are. What I care about is if their minds are at work and if they can relate to other people
as equals despite superficial differences like gender, race, age.

It’s amazing to me that Dave can still harbor a feeling of superiority when it comes to programming ability. This is a pretty great comment, though, as it highlights a few different places where Dave’s reality departs from our own.

His implication that he “works for the user”. Of course, his “user” is himself (and only himself). When his users want to use his website in a way he doesn’t like (remember his pissing and moaning about google’s autolink functionality?), he’s the first to want to put the brakes on.

Also interesting is the combination of the suggestion that a programmer who knows Javascript isn’t more suited for a job (presumably a javascript position) than someone who knows C with his “mediocre programmer” ad hominem. This is the same guy (who supposedly knows C) that couldn’t figure out the most simple of javascript tasks — hiding dom elements based on clicking links. That’s about as close as you get to “Hello, World!” in Javascript, and he was only able to make it happen after a lot of back and forth with his commenters.

Makes you want to ask him whether he’s too washed up to program javascript or if he’s just not a good enough programmer to figure it out. (Could easily be both, of course)

2 thoughts on “Dave Gets Defensive Over Ageism

  1. Just want to say it’s good to see EoW updating again. Gods know that there’s enough cars in the Dave Winer crazy-train to keep an entire fleet of bloggers busy.

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