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Comment: I turned 60 this year (Score 1) 376

by RetiredMidn (#48491151) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: IT Career Path After 35?

I've been in software development for 38 years, and my favorite years have been spent doing Mac or iOS development (Mac in the 80's, and Mac or iOS for the past seven years). I write apps as a hobby, which helps keep my skills current, and my employer is (mostly) paying me to do what I enjoy; it doesn't get better than that.

To be honest, writing software for an employer can be a drag, because corporate decision-making processes can be frustrating. But I spent about 10 of those years with some degree or other of a management role, and those frustrations are even worse in middle management. I'm much happier as an "individual contributor". The upsides to corporate development are the benefits and reasonably steady paychecks.

Age discrimination? Maybe; I get along better with some people than others (and vice versa), and maybe age is a factor. I don't really hide my age (I like to inject "Get off my lawn!" into conversations every now and then), I don't try to pretend I'm someone I'm not. I think if you're doing what you like and are engaged as a team member, it all works out.

I think I still have about 5 more years in me, unless my plan/hope/dream of earning a modest income at independent development bears fruit before then.

Comment: Re:Tom Clancy thought of it first (Score 1) 409

Actually, it is Executive Orders I'm thinking of. The Gulfstream in question is traced to Iran, who had weaponized Ebola from the patient. Rainbow Six involved eco-terrorists who wanted to decimate the human race by spreading a bio-weapon via an Olympics (in Australia, IIRC).

Comment: Get off my lawn, youngster! (Score 2) 274

by RetiredMidn (#46914825) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Joining a Startup As an Older Programmer?

I'm turning 60 this month. My current (startup) employer had less than 50 employees when I started a year and a half ago; my previous employer was at about 200 employees, pre-IPO, when I started my 2+ year stint there. At both places I had co-workers younger than my youngest child.

I don't think missing the extra-curricular stuff is going to be a big impediment. What's most important is whether your skills and knowledge are current, and being able to adapt to the work environment. I have contemporaries who have struggled with new technologies, languages or methodologies (i.e., scrum vs. waterfall) and therefore haven't thrived in the same environments. I haven't gone out of my way to adapt "culturally" (music, entertainment, etc.), but there's usually something of common interest to talk about.

If you've gone through several interviews and there is a mutual desire to work together, go for it. The startup could be the best place to keep you from becoming sold a calcified before you're 50! :-)

Comment: Re:iPads do support HTML5 (Score 1) 234

by RetiredMidn (#45818341) Attached to: Is a Super-Sized iPad the Future of Education?

iPad is a mobile browser based on other capabilities than just HTML5 support.

I agree with the previous reply that "mobile browser" suggests a significantly less capable browser than Safari on iOS (iPad or iPhone). One frustration of using iOS Safari is that too many web sites unnecessarily decide the browser is "mobile" and re-directs to their dumbed-down "mobile" variant, requiring me to specifically ask for the "full site", which typically works fine.

Comment: Re:What is it then? (Score 1) 246

by RetiredMidn (#45707247) Attached to: The Business of Attention Deficit Disorder

So ADHD is certainly over diagnosed, but certainly not YOUR sons.

Well... yes. In my reading on the subject at the time, it was clear that some pediatricians and parents were reaching a diagnosis and proceeding to medication on anecdotal observations and not by thorough evaluation; even advocates of ADHD treatment cautioned against jumping to conclusions. By contrast, as I noted, we did not initially embrace the diagnosis or treatment, and were relatively conservative in applying it. The markedly higher diagnosis rates today make me think that this is more or a problem today, especially since acceptance of the diagnosis and medication is way more mainstream now. Up to a point, it's possible that acceptance has caused fewer people to resist the diagnosis, but the numbers are too overwhelming.

Curiously, I can't tell if you're doubting my son's diagnosis, or doubting my doubts of the number of diagnoses today. In conversations about ADHD, I encounter people that assume all diagnoses are fake (i.e., there's no such disorder), and those who think all the cases are real and caused by environment, diet, video games, etc., without any evidence. I tend to think the answer is somewhere in the middle; some cases are real, some are mis-diagnosed.

Comment: Re:What is it then? (Score 5, Interesting) 246

by RetiredMidn (#45702917) Attached to: The Business of Attention Deficit Disorder

Is it big pharma pushing doctors to prescribe more? Is it doctors too lazy/busy to do a proper diagnosis? Is it mothers, fathers and teachers who seek to explain bad behavior and poor discipline (which is largely their fault) on medical conditions? Is it our foods which have changed over to GMO based content over the same period of time?

The basic cause of this is simple: lack of physical activity causes kids to be fidgety. They can't concentrate. Kids that fidget in class are disruptive. They are marked as "trouble".

Crap. My son was diagnosed in the early 90's. We resisted the diagnosis at first, then balked at medication. In the end, the medications did help him succeed in school and at such activities as soccer, where the difference in his ability to pay attention was easiest to observe.

The counter-intuitive thing about ADHD medications is that they are typically stimulants, hardly something you would think of giving to a hyper-active child. Our doctor described the symptoms as something more akin to the restlessness that can come with drowsiness than an over-active mind or metabolism.

Maybe some parents diagnose and treat to make life easier, but I'm here to tell you that we specifically did not medicate my son during weekends and vacations, partly to minimize the medication, and partly to be able to observe his baseline behavior to see whether it changed over time.

As for teachers, my wife has taught first and second grade for about 20 years, and in her school system, teachers are prohibited from offering a diagnosis or even acknowledging the possibility when asked; that is the domain of medical professionals, not teachers. YMMV, of course.

All that said, ADHD is certainly over-diagnosed, and that was almost certainly the case back when my son was diagnosed, at the early end of the chart in TFA. I have to say I was shocked at how much more prevalent the diagnosis has become. I tend to lay the blame at the feet of Big Pharma marketing treatments to lay people; the lengths they go to in advertising in magazines (with pages of fine print that few read or understand) and television, carefully staying within the guidelines of regulations (that clearly aren't helping) is absurd.

Comment: Re:The Only Good Bug is a Dead Bug. (Score 1) 726

(For those who haven't read it the gist of it is that the world is governed by a democracy in which only those who have served in the military can vote. The argument is that voting rights are open to anybody, but only after demonstrating a willingness to sacrifice for the common good. Non-voters still obtain the same freedoms/rights/etc, but are not trusted with the operation of the government.)

I beg to differ, but IIRC, the "franchise" (to vote) is granted to anyone who enters (and leaves) public service of any kind, not just the military, and only a small percentage actually end up serving in the military. Readers may be forgiven for overlooking this, because many of the arguments about this qualification for voting is specific to military veterans.

Comment: Backwards (Score 5, Insightful) 459

by RetiredMidn (#44740513) Attached to: How Gen Y Should Talk To Old People At Work

As a Boomer (age 59), I'm finding it more important to embrace the future than ask the young 'uns to adopt the past. I think the last time I used a land line phone at work was over three years ago, and that was an exception; it's all Skype and Hangouts now, and I like it better.

I do miss some of the perqs of the past: private offices, beer at lunch...

That said, now get off my lawn!

Comment: Another way to look at it (Score 5, Insightful) 100

by RetiredMidn (#44413937) Attached to: Why Bob Mansfield Was Cut From Apple's Executive Team

Mansfield tried to retire in 2012. It's just possible he wanted out again and Tim Cook asked him to stick around and lend his expertise without the management responsibilities. It's the perfect semi-retirement: get rid of the tedious part of the job, work on the fun stuff, and continue to get compensated. I'd jump at an offer like that. Get removed from the management bio page? pfft.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser