Some believe that the H1B flooding is actually designed to get rid of older IT workers
I think that's just to keep wages down in general. Our universities are pumping out plenty of CS and MIS grads as well as math and engineering graduates to keep up with demand. The companies that say there are shortages are just saying that to justify going overseas or to bring in H-1bs.
My father in law in quite an accomplished design engineer but as he got older, he has been gradually moved into testing positions.
It starts off with a lay-off and he gets it, finds another job that's not quite what he did before, lay-off, then another job not quite like what he did, and so on until now where he's writing Perl scripts to take data from testing equipment and putting that into Excel spreadsheets. Pretty beneath him, but he's grateful to have some sort of technical job at 70. All his contemporaries went into management (if they could) a long time ago, changed careers or they're now retired.
In my programming experience, I've known very few folks who stayed in programming after 40. One was well into his 50s but he grabbed onto a product and stuck with it for years. When I left, he was still programming C on Dos. But folks came and went because they didn't want to work on old shit and he was very lucky to have gotten a product with a very long market life - cash register software.
You're completely right and the problem are precisely the managers and the people, that is, the suits, who do the hiring who believe that only youngsters know how to code and that programming is the only area where experience is not worth a shit.
That's a problem for older people who program well but do not know a shit about management and so on. For my part, I still program because, coming from control systems programming in general, I specialized later in home automation which is an area where there are very few programmers and very few that know the proprietary crap from a bunch of brands like Lutron, Crestron, AMX, Alcorn McBride and so on.
As always it's the dummies in the suits that fuck everything up...
But that surprises me of Google. I thought its suits were smarter than what's usual...
El Guerrero del Interfaz