Experienced IT people: What we Learned While you were in Kindergarten

“I want to stress the importance of being young and technical,” Facebook’s CEO (now 28) told a Y Combinator Startup event at Stanford University in 2007. “Young people are just smarter. Why are most chess masters under 30? I don’t know. Young people just have simpler lives. We may not own a car. We may not have family. Simplicity in life allows you to focus on what’s important.”

This outlook, expressed by none other than Mr. Hoodie himself, Mark Zuckerberg, of Facebook states a viewpoint that goes far beyond previous explanations for hiring practices in tech companies, which emphasized that start-ups were looking for younger hires because they were cheaper hires. This is a specifically articulated arrogance common to the very young. It seems to crop up more frequently among the young and ultra entitled.

This on the record age-discrimination belief model is far from comforting to the tens of thousands of super qualified IT professionals who are long-term unemployed, and past the magical age of 44. Or is it 39? Perhaps 35?

In any case, we at SJN Sales have been gathering the reviews, comments, and musings of experienced IT people and the things they have learned that help their lives and careers. Items are screened for whether the commenter indicates that they learned the skill, viewpoint or strategy after the birth of the Facebook Hoodie generation of younger-is-smarter up-starts.

Feel free to send us your contribution. We’re up to over 200 items and we think it will be fun, and perhaps even educational to post items from the list throughout the back-to-school season.

4. The world didn’t begin or end when the first fax machine, pager, fed-x overnight, laser printer, or CRM software arrived at the office. Whatever arrives this year may fade or disappear eventually as well.
5. Products and services with no business purpose are called hobbies.
6. Hobbies do not pay the bills
7. Nice guys do not publicly compare which girl on the sales team (or at college, Mark) is prettier.
8. Guys who talk down to women, pretty or not, are losers and not as smart as they think they are.
9. Teams are for accomplishing goals. The more specific the goal, the more likely the team will have the win of accomplishing the goal.
10. Work is good. Satisfying creative work is great. No job has 100% satisfying work. In other words, there is skut work in every job.
11. Family, friends, home life, little league games, trips to the beach, watching your little one climb up the curly slide are not improved by having a phone in your ear, texting, or emailing
12. Number eleven is true even if you are recording and broadcasting the event. Watching and participating is better than sending and forwarding.
13. No-one wants to hear that much about the project you’re working on. No one.
14. No-one wants to hear that much about your smart kids, your sick mom, your appendicitis, or your sales award.
15. Most business books suck.
16. Money is a tool. Don’t be a tool about money.
17. You’re lucky. Trust me, if you’re reading this, you are lucky.
18. Most problems fall into two categories: Cadillac problems that aren’t really problems, and problems that you can’t talk or buy your way out of. Know the difference.
19. High heels aren’t worth it.
20. Never say anything on the internet, in email, or on a plane that you wouldn’t like to see in 108 point type.
21. Typesetting is still important and no-one under fifty seems to know how to do it.
22. Most content is crap. Read a genuine classic novel once a year and you’ll be reminded how illiterate and under-educated we have become
23. Never give your kid the whole semester’s allowance on the first day of the semester

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