I had a job interview with a tech company in Little Rock today. It's a startup, and the dress code is very informal. I wore a suit and tie. Which was interesting. I had read the job description as technical liason with customers, which said to me 'gravitas' but when I got there I felt like I looked very old and out-of-date. Which is a very strange feeling to have. My wife asked me 'did you feel out of place, or feel like you looked out of place?' which was a very astute division. Nevertheless it made me think about a couple of questions: 1 - aging in the tech industry, and 2 - what your environment says to potential hires.
I am obviously getting older - we all are every day - but in the tech startup industry there very much seems to be a bias to the very young. I can't decide why that is - perhaps the risk/reward prospect? The job insecurity? Or perhaps it's the work expectations. I also wonder about my community in particular - the folks I've met in tech who are my age or older who've been here their whole lives might have some strikes against them, real or imagined, having often specialized in jobs or industries without a lot of growth, or tech jobs in non-tech fields.
The second was more interesting. I know we want a young, hip vibe, and I'm definitely also attracted by that, but I wonder if we scare off experienced workers, especially those from the industries I've described above, with a firm that is too 'young and hip'. Or, alternately, is that just my corporate roots showing?
Regardless, an interesting experience, and an interesting company. We'll see what happens next!