Where are the old programmers?

In PaulDotCom episode 133 there was a throwaway line about “where are the old programmers”.

You don’t see to many that’s for sure.

I was burned out after 5 years of programming professionally (preceded by 8 years in high school and college). The group I was in was young and after 3-6 months I was the de-facto chief programmer (e.g. setting the standards and practices, building the common use libraries, training/mentoring the newbies, checking code quality, helping on all the hard/weird/odd problems). For me the way out was Systems Administration, Network Engineering, Security Engineering and some Project Management.  I still use my programming skills somewhat in ways that make me a better IT infrastructure engineer.

What I think happens to most programmers is that they become:

– Project Managers

– Business Analysts
– IT Managers

– IT Infrastructure specialist (Systems, networks, security, databases)

– On the fringes as IT trained analyst but in operations or supply chain roles

– Out of IT completely

Are there other current former IT folks out there? What’s your story?


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