When the interviewers at a startup told John Wheeler he wouldn’t be a good “cultural fit,” he knew they were referring, at least in part, to his age.
Wheeler, who lives in Temecula, California, doesn’t believe he was outright discriminated against, but at 37, he knows his interests are likely different from the 20-something “brogrammers” commonly found at startups.
“The interview was generally positive,” he writes in an email. But after reading two stories this week about age discrimination in the tech industry—including a Bloomberg piece titled It’s tough being over 40 in Silicon Valley—he felt compelled to create a job board for tech roles open to all age groups.
“The best programmer I ever worked with was in his sixties,” he says. Still, in the startup world, he can’t help but feel a little old.
In all, it took about an hour to register the domain, whip together a site, and set up a server for Old Geek Jobs. So far, prospective employers have submitted 54 job postings using a form on the site, but he’s working to revamp the site so it will automate postings. The project’s been gaining traction on Hacker News after he cheekily advertised it as a job board for people over 30.
“I’m excited because employers will post jobs knowing beforehand older people plan on applying,” he says. “That in turn will make older people feel comfortable about applying. It’s a simple idea that can make a big difference.”