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From Punch Cards to Python: Still Hitting the Keys in my 50s

by Francesco Marcolini | AxioWorks CEO, Software Architect and Developer

I spent the entire weekend writing code, not because of deadlines to meet or million-pound dreams, but for the kick that I still get from doing it. Especially now, with the wave of AI and all its amazing potentials unfolding before our eyes. It’s a pleasure that, I suspect, only computer programmers can truly understand.

At the age of 50-something, in a profession where you’re often considered “very old” once you pass 35, my passion for this craft burns as brightly as ever. I still pull the occasional “all-nighter,” not out of necessity, but for the sheer, unbridled joy that coding brings me. I’m still that eager coder, delighted by the symphony of logic and creativity that this job lets me conduct.

Sure, keeping up with the latest languages and platforms is no longer as exciting as it once was. Honestly, you can get excited about new ways to write a web form and a date input validation only so many times before it starts to lose its lustre. Yet, the passion for developing a solid system, running it for the first time, and seeing it work just as you envisioned? That magic, my friends, never fades.

And what about the development tools we have at our disposal today! They are so advanced and refined that the performance of “old” developers like myself is more and more on par with that of the young whippersnappers entering the field. Our IDEs are like well-organized, wise old assistants, making suggestions and catching our typos before we can even finish the line.

But ah, the experience gap, it’s always there like a trusty old friend. The years have imbued me with a kind of ‘coding intuition’, a sixth sense for where a bug might be hiding or how a system might be made more efficient. It’s something that doesn’t show up in the lines of code but shines brightly in the finished product.

And let’s not forget about the value of ‘been-there-done-that’. While fresh faces are puzzling through their first catastrophic server crash, we veterans are calmly brewing a cup of tea, having navigated such storms dozens of times. The stories we could tell would fill volumes – enough to make a junior dev’s IDE run out of memory!

To round this off, let me leave you with a funny thought: Being a 50-something programmer is like being a vintage car in a world of electric vehicles. Sure, the new models are flashy and have some cool new features, but nothing quite matches the charm, the character, and the roar of the engine (or in our case, the keyboard) of a classic!

So here’s to us, the seasoned coders – still cruising down the information superhighway, windows down, and absolutely loving the ride.

#CodingPassion #DevLife #TechVeteran #CodingWisdom #CodeAndCoffee

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