OSS Age-ism

Why would any company pay a computer programmer with out-of-date skills a salary of say $150,000, when it can hire a fresh graduate — who has no skills — for around $60,000? Even if it spends a month training the younger worker, the company is still far ahead. The young understand new technologies better than the old do, and are like a clean slate.”
Vivek Wadhwa
in a blog entry entitled “The Tech Industry’s Darkest Secret: It’s All About Age

There are aspects of this that are true in the world of OSS, that programming tools are evolving and the younger generation tend to be more up-to-date with these technologies. However, the linchpins of the industry are the ones who can make cross-domain connections and are far more than just programmers. Cross-domain knowledge takes far longer than one month of training and an OSS-newbie will generally take six months before they start producing value to their organisation.

The relatively few OSS linchpins out there deliver far more than $150k of value to their employers and the graduate probably delivers less than $60k of value, in the first year at least. The real value of the graduate is the clean slate and their net present value if they have a thirst for learning and the ability to become linchpins in the future.

Read the Passionate About OSS Blog for more or Subscribe to the Passionate About OSS Blog by Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *