My name is Peter Pilgrim and I am writing for Mastery Quest. This is a semi-joint blog entry from my original post on xenonique. This entry is about Ageism in our IT profession and why we should find it. Let us begin with a couple of Twitter messages.
@peter_pilgrim: Ow! I watched panorama via the iplayer finished at fifty http://tinyurl.com/3dm2yzn and the future prospects were bleak
@imccaffery: @peter_pilgrim i know the future is bleak i was on the programme
British Television viewers are probably very familiar with Panorama, the investigative journal program on the terrestrial BBC ONE TV. I watched this program using the iPlayer [sadly only available to the UK - This is the UK link to watch the episode on BBC iPlayer site]. The episode was called Finished at Fifty, and followed four individuals who were aged 50 or over as they attempted to find employment. The 30 minute programme included Lord Digby Jones, a former business leader, who volunteered his advice for free to the four individuals. Some of the advice was about changing career, other advice was to refresh the approach to job hunting, the other bits were uncompromising.
I found this report, Finished at Fifty, to be one of the most alarming looks into UK job market. I found it difficult to understand why people are labelled by business and society finished in their middle ages. I am not old enough yet to be in this upsetting age bracket, but I know plenty of people who are, and also the future prospects for all are being squeezed.
On the one hand, we have young graduates from university, who are struggling to find that very first job and with the other hand, industry is behaving in ageism way. Hence the twitter call in the first section of the article. I tweeted my feelings and empathy about prejudices against older people, and it was Ian McCaffery, one of the individuals from the Panorama report, a former bar manager, who lived in Salford, near Manchester, who got back with a response.
I know the future is bleak, I was on the programme - Ian McCafferyHow on earth is this entry tied with mastery quest?
- Without stating the obvious, our industry is about knowledge share. If we as a society and collection of business do not value wisdom or experience, then it makes innovative endeavours like Mastery Quest defunct.
- If we start to prejudice against younger and older workers, then ultimately we are hurting the future prospects of out industry. We should not allow business leader to select on band of the population for their exploitation or making a profit.
- Mastery quest is about taking control back from middle persons, recruitment agencies, human resources and puts the knowledge share back in the minds and hearts of engineers, designers and developers.
- You have to give respect in order to earn respect. I will observe for you that in many professional sports, there is always the incredible talent, the person who is the upstart, the usurper, the new king or queen in waiting to be next champion of whatever. Often you find that the new talent in order to become a great talent has to follow a unique destiny, a path apppointed and found by the sudent themselves, it usually is student who finds the master.
- Ageism, the horrid principle of, the disenfranchisment of the old and wise generations, in at odds with the relative youth of our information technology profession. In much older professions such as engineering, science, law and medicine they have long-valued wisdom, experience and skills obtained from long-term practice
- Ageism seems to be a business model 2.0 of a silver bullet / a short-term fix or gain to avoid or escape what is surely must-be long-term peril. Today, the new story is about the over-fifties, should tomorrow be the over-forties? This is morally wrong.
Mastery Quest is a very nice idea in that it aims to bridge inexperience with experience is some form as yet unknown. It could be start of a real change and thinking. I hope so.
This is slight difference to my original blog entry, which you can read here.