by Mike Masnick

Time For Greysourcing?

from the focus-on-the-expertise dept

With all the talk about age discrimination in the tech field (and there's no doubt that it is an issue), and other complaints about offshoring or outsourcing of jobs, an opinion piece out of the UK suggests that those feeling the brunt of such things, might want to play up their experience difference and start offering "greysourcing" services. The idea is to get a bunch of experienced techies together, and then be able to pitch services to companies by showing thousands of combined years of service focusing on whatever technology they need. While, certainly, some projects will still need recent college grads or newer technologies -- there are still plenty of older technologies that are important in various projects. Being able to offer a wealth of experience in those technologies should be a selling point rather than a worry. However, the trick is in teaming up to offer the combined experiences, rather than just applying for individual jobs.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2005 @ 5:01pm

    This is exactly what I and some associates do...

    We're all over 40, we're all more experienced in our little niche than anyone else they could hire.

    It rocks. Oh, and it pisses off our old employers no end. Serves them right for laying us all off.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    YUP THATs SO TRUE, 24 Oct 2005 @ 5:16pm

    Yo this is bill u homey g's

    Hi this is bill stoping in to say a few last words. Microsoft rocks!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DGK12, 24 Oct 2005 @ 8:21pm

    [Subject Not Given]

    Its the person who should be judged. If their age has dulled their ability to work then it will show and should be judged accordingly. If they are keeping a chart saying 'he's getting too old' then they're fools.

    If the older generation has something to offer, then the companies in question will have something more to worry about than the legalities of their decisions. I think "may the best man win" is appropriate here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Mcd, 25 Oct 2005 @ 6:09am

      But Resourcing Companies, HR and Senior IT managem

      have all helped perpetuate the "younger is better" mantra.
      Try getting past an IT resourcer to a client if you are the wrong side of thirty, let alone 40.
      This is a pity as the best teams are balanced with skills and depth of business experience. It's all well and good having a team of young blades armed with six months experience of the newest tool on the block if they have no real idea of the mindsets of the end users in the sector they are working in. It might work for extreme programming teams working on some new web 2.0 app but it is unlikely to work so well developing an order processing system in a lumber yard for example.
      Some skills are transferrable, programming is programming (whatever the language) but learning the nuances of business can only come with time however talented the individual is.
      A simple analogy is, would you trust a firm of lawyers/attournys fresh out of college or an established firm with a mixture of new and experienced employees on the books?
      You would hardly tell an experinced attourney that he couldn't practise law simply because he didn't have case experience with the latest IP legislation.
      This IT business is a very broad church and yeah some of the members of it do themselves no favours but the shortsightedness of the employers will lead to genuine long term problems once this planet is short of cheap IT resources, a day that is approaching increasingly rapidly.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Simon, 25 Oct 2005 @ 6:42am

    Grey Sourcing

    After working in IT with 25 year old newbies who proposed "strategies" for billion dollar firms during dot.com days, it is so heartening to see many of them relegated to lower level development positions. These companies finally realized that the only strategy that many 25 years old know about is what bar to hang out in after all the pointless dot.com went bust. I had one 24 year old complain to me in 2000 that his salary check started to bounce. I asked him what product the company was building (company was run by under 30s) and he said it was a really cool piece of software, everyone there was "so" smart. I then asked him if anyone wanted to buy it; he waited a second and then said no. I have found over the last 4 years that firms love to hire experienced "mature" managers who know how to make things work, manage clients, projects, and not work every day until 2AM.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    sean, 25 Oct 2005 @ 9:36am


    Umm, this article makes it seems like you can actually get a job right out of college. Which, honestly, you'd still be pretty lucky to. Almost all jobs still read "entry level: 3 years on the job experience required"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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