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Businesses Crime Google

More Software Engineers Over Age 40 May Join a Lawsuit Against Google (yahoo.com) 162

More trouble for tech giants and how they are dealing with people. Google suffered a setback in an age discrimination suit this week. A judge ruled that other software engineers over age 40 who interviewed with the company but didn't get hired can step forward and join the lawsuit. From a Business Insider report: The suit was brought by two job applicants, both over the age of 40, who interviewed but weren't offered jobs. Specifically, the judge has approved turning the suit into a "collective action" meaning that people who "interviewed in person with Google for a software engineer, site reliability engineer, or systems engineer position when they were 40 years old or older, and received notice on or after August 28, 2014, that they were refused employment, will have an opportunity to join in the collective action against Google," the ruling says. While this isn't good news for Google, the ruling was strictly focused on whether the suit could be broadened to include more people. It doesn't mean that Google will ultimately lose the case. Google says it's fighting the suit.
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More Software Engineers Over Age 40 May Join a Lawsuit Against Google

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  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @09:12AM (#53041621)
    So, say two guys apply for a job, they're not really motivated and seem quite incompetent ... *but* they're over 40... then they *must* be hired??
    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      Only applies to women because diversity. The men wouldn't be hired anyway, google would have already put in applications for H1B's and claimed there's no people capable of doing the job.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I work at Google and I've seen salaries of both, and they're the same. Sure, there are contractors and whatnot, but boatloads of full time H1Bs paid the same salary/bonus/stock as trailer-loads of non-H1Bs. So if you want to spread that FUD, point to the appropriate companies, not Google. kkthxbye

    • Why not, it's exactly how affirmative action works.

      You don't even have to be capable or qualified for the job but, because of some quota stating you must hire X minorities, they will get the job before you do.

    • The population of people working in the field may differ substantially from the general population in terms of race or gender. The genetics or cultural backgrounds of certain races may bias them towards or away from certain professions (e.g. African Americans disproportionately overrepresented in athletics and music). Differences in what activities males and females enjoy may cause them to gravitate towards or away from different professions. So simply comparing the breakdown of the job population to the
      • There are some smaller deviations (e.g. older people preferring email, younger people preferring SMS),

        And you would think that alone would cue recruiters that younger people typically think in much smaller chunks.

        But then again, that would require the recruiter to think in larger chunks, and that... lol.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        If you find the opposite, that's a pretty big red flag that discrimination may be going on.

        But not necessarily deliberately. That's the interesting thing about Google and lots of companies like it; they're so concerned about not accidentally picking up dead wood that they err on the side of rejection. As a result, plenty of competent programmers (young and old alike) don't make it through the process because they don't test well.

        Unfortunately, the older you are and the less job hopping you've done, the ha

    • How it works in Silicon Valley is you find the most desperate person in Southeast Asia willing to work 80 hours a week for slave wages, take their CV, remove their name, and turn it into a job posting.
  • by gatkinso ( 15975 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @09:26AM (#53041659)

    For no other reason than I flubbed an easy problem during the interview.
    Not sure that Brain Fart is grounds for a lawsuit.

    • Exact same thing happened to me when I had a Google phone screen at age 41. I'm not sure what happened - it was the first time ever that I did that. My best guess is that I was wound too tightly because I was interviewing with Google.

      But could it have been age? I can't say no for sure. I've definitely seen some changes to how my mind performs at I get into my lower 40's. It hasn't necessarily been a net negative, but I'm certainly a little less sharp in some categories of mental function.

      I think many o

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        There is no doubt Google is very much ageist, that can not be denied, extremely so. The real problem with older coders is they do not keep up with newer languages in sufficient numbers (averages) to show they are capable of it and hence are a bad bet. They can test for this but they simply take the easier options. Get inexperienced coders, ad in a modicum of training, mainly on the job, and when they get expensive turn them over for the new batch. Reality is over 40 don't bother with Google as far as they

        • by gatkinso ( 15975 )

          Not my impression at all. The recruiter flat out told me that their hiring process was very much in favor of recent grads for one reason only: much of the material that pops up in many of the interviews is covered in an academic setting and theif you graduated long ago you had probably forgotten a lot of it.

          Google was interested in me be extremely proficient in C, Java, or C++. At least for this position they didn't care about anything else. Flat out did not care.

          Aside from that, it was algorithmic and data

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Actually, you want those people over 40 because the demographics are trending to a more aged population, and those over 40 want to be working 40 hours a week so the motivation is high to build things that are reliable. I don't necessarily care about redoing something every 6 months in its entirety; I want to build something that can be extended and enhanced without re-inventing the wheel. If the person isn't qualified that's one thing, but eventually the young people will be 40, and if you're male then watc

  • by Sebby ( 238625 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @09:42AM (#53041729)
    I'm not saying it's boring or unrewarding, I'm sure it's not, but from what I heard, they basically troll you through a dozen interviews or more - ain't nobody got time for that! (If you're in your forties, you likely have a family, etc. that takes up your time - I sure wouldn't appreciate having to go through that many interviews just to not get the job in the end. It would feel like they're just wasting my time after the 4th one - even if I did get the job).
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I was rejected by Google at 33. However, I can't join the lawsuit because I'm not old enough. The lawsuit is clearly ageist. I'm going to sue the lawsuit.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The Software development industry is a project-driven industry, exactly like building construction, but without the real-world constraints of material and space. The reason why building architects have to be so well educated and experienced is because simply the cost of material and labor spirals out of control when mistakes are made. We have the same exact problem in the software development industry, except the only input into projects are man-hours and CPU cycles. Nobody ever tracks the number of man-

  • by Ramley ( 1168049 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @09:56AM (#53041789)
    There are a lot of good comments about older developers who are more than qualified in numerous ways in the tech world today.

    For the younger guys who are developers: Use those long-term thinking skills and remember where you might be in XX years.

    Are you a person who loves to learn (and keep up with) new technologies and solve real problems, and has learned a lot over the first few years of your career?
    Do you think you'll be any different any years down the road (other than being more experienced and more mature maybe)?

    If so, then welcome to the life of may older developers. Granted, some people don't keep up nor want to, but the same can be said for virtually any age group.

    My point is simply: Be careful who you prejudge as you will potentially be an older developer one day yourself. Unless you've gone into another role/career or made your retirement $$ before age 40, be kind to the ones who can offer a lot of talent, even at their age.

    Thanks for reading.
    • The problem is that the people 'in charge' (management) are the people who DO NOT love to learn, keep up with new technologies and solve real problems. They are the people who took CSci in College because they thought it might be a lucrative career. The people who step up into managment or sales positions as soon as they can because for them engineering is a 'drudgery.'

      They can't possibly imagine why any of their peers in engineering would like that stuff, and they figure if someone is 35 and hasn't 'step

  • The Google interview process is famous for being hard to crack and I am pretty sure they would not object hiring someone over 40 if he passes it with flying colors. They even have on stuff some folks who remember Unix in its infancy. So it seems quite arrogant to claim being turned down only because of age. Whoever is suing will have hard time to provide proofs that Google is accepting less competent people than them just because the other ones are younger. The Google interview is just too rigorous to leave
    • Part of the problem with a lot of tech interviews is that by focusing on mostly academic questions, you will naturally end up with more younger recent grads than programmers who have been in the industry for a while and have not had to transverse a binary tree in 10+ years.
  • by wisnoskij ( 1206448 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @01:17PM (#53042621) Homepage

    You would think with the incredible amount of job hopping that goes on nowadays, there simple is no one being hired right out of college, and then putting in 40 year in that company before retiring, that companies would prefer 35-50 year olds who are settled and who will not upend their life's to get a new job in some other city.

  • Personally, I doubt this has anything to do with if old people have the skills for the job, but a cultural one. Did you see the backlash from Brexit? The youth of today do not believe anyone over 29 should be allowed to vote as old people simply do not believe in the same things that the youth do. Perhaps if these 40-somethings went to the interview in a "*uck Trump" or "Black Lives Matter" t-shirt they might stand a better chance. But baring some form of virtue signaling the 20-something interviewee is lik

    • by radish ( 98371 )

      I'm in this category (40, interviewed and rejected at Google). Everyone who I spoke with during the day I was there was around my age (+/- 5 years). Yes, Google is a fairly young company as a whole but there are plenty of old farts like me in management.

  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @01:46PM (#53042731)
    Keep in mind that there is also a large group of people (likely with no legal standing) who don't apply to companies that are known in the industry of only hiring below a certain age. Thus they don't even bother applying to companies like this. For this reason we need the government to step in and fine the shit out of companies like Google.

    As someone over 40, I can say that there is a single benefit of hiring people at least in their late 20s and beyond. Most programmers that I have worked with who sucked, sucked because they had latched onto some technology cluster/methodology and would let go. It was group-think at its worst. One of the benefits of hiring someone with a decade or more experience is that it is easier to detect this. So if you see someone who has 20,000 certifications in a single technology stack over a long period of time and a resume with nothing else, it throws up a massive red flag. Then you can explore this in an interview. Is this their only hammer in the toolkit.

    What also amazes me is that many people in their early 20s make it clear that they have largely learned all they plan on learning. Thus they have not only picked a technology, but a version of that technology. So I will walk into a consulting job where I have been brought in because the project has gone to complete hell. I will start looking at things like the overall systems architecture, the internal architecture, and finally the code and the methodologies for creating that code. It is not uncommon that it is a fairly good selection of the worst of breed everything. Someone who didn't know what they were doing made a prototype and then an entire system was built on that. So you get some Ruby, a bad choice of cloud provider, some bastardization of Azure, and they are using some slow as molasses IDE/build system that means 5 minutes between making a change and seeing the change work. Except they have 100,000 lines of this crap code.

    But what amazes me is that the above story happens regardless of age. There is some myth that 20 somethings chase the node.js type things of the world and that the 50+ crowd is just decades out of date. The reality is that they are often both wrong but for different reasons. The 50+ crowd screw up because of the "This is how I have always done it." and the 20 year old versions of the same crap programmer is "This is how my professor said was the only way."

    The key being that crap programmers are crap for reasons other than their age, and as I said, the advantage of getting someone with a bit of a resume is that their bad attitude is easier to detect.
  • I interviewed for a high-level engineering position at Google last year at age 42, and was hired. Just saying.

This is now. Later is later.