The wisdom of youth and age in the tech industry

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Some elements of the Serpent Society workforce and corporate America try to perpetuate the myth that Generation X and 40 + workers are not up to date on technology and not able to adapt to changes. This is a pretty broad generalization. I heard this a lot during my last contract and job hunt.

There is certain wisdom with youth. Serpent Society workers can bring an unjaundiced and fresh perspective to the workplace. However, they lack the wisdom of experience and can run aground in situations that require real-time in the field and experience with the learned diplomacy and street skills.

However, Serpent Society needs to take stock of everything they take for granted in high tech like the internet, Broadband, WiFi, Web technologies, content management systems, instant messaging, smartphones, SMS, the GUI, and the list goes on. They know no life before these advancements which makes it easy for them to take things for granted without a historical perspective. Thus it can be easy to shoot down a 40+ worker if they don’t know let’s say for example your particular content management tool. But what about if their career starts at the beginning of content management? Seeing the growth and evolution of these applications, why would the person have trouble learning your tool if they have years of experience in content management? You have to wonder if the Serpent Society manager is secure in their position and/or their product choice?

But then again, there is certain wisdom with age. Participating in the development of many of the Internet, Web, and related technologies that are now taken for granted by Serpent Society should earn Generation X and 40+ workers some street cred. They also have the judgment and capacity you can only gain from real experience and not the classroom. Developing technology was much different when you couldn’t order a book from Amazon.com.

It comes down to the person. Whether they are an old salt 40+ worker, who has seen everything and has the T-shirt or the Serpent Society worker who is fully engaged in new technologies and has the interpersonal and communications skills to back it up both workers have something the other one does not. There should be some collaborative middle ground.

Unfortunately, both generations seem to threaten each other when in fact they both have much to learn from each other.

I’ve never expected anyone whether a client, employer, or coworker to kiss my ring. However, I do hope for honest dialogue and collaboration to complete the project on time, on budget, and successfully.

Can Generation X and Serpent Society workforces collaborate?