Are younger employees better?

The CEO of a Danish IT company just posted a heretical article (in Danish) where he stated that he preferred younger employees, because they were more productive and more open to new ideas.

Naturally, older IT guys immediately started flaming him. Interestingly, they exactly proved his point: Many older employees are set in their ways and refuse to consider that other viewpoints might be as valid as theirs.

Especially in a fast-moving field like IT, dogmatism is deadly. If you are a not-quite-young IT person, think about whether you are falling into the trap of believing that your experience trumps every new idea that younger colleagues come up with.

One thought on “Are younger employees better?

  1. Yes, if I was running an innovative startup growing rapidly, I’d look at a pool of talent that had recently proved their ability to pick up new skills that may startup required!

    OTOH, If I was looking for a DBA to be responsible for the data accumulated over a number of years, I might look for maturity and responsibility as much as knowledge of the latest technologies.

    It’s horses for courses!

    At the negative end, I’ve just had a week off work and spent it at my mothers. I’ve picked up 2 phone calls from young enthusiastic people ‘working for Microsoft’ that have informed me that the PC I operate is infected with a virus and that I need to allow them to download some software to fix my PC.

    Sometimes in youth there is either desperate ambition or gullibility that appeals to unscrupulous managers that can result in unprofessional behavior.

    While I appreciate the value of enthusiasm in youthful employees, I’m suspicious of employers that value youth over experience.

    Dave

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