The New York Times has published a lengthy story on the life and death of a software developer, and the facts don’t paint a pretty picture of what it’s like to age in a career that values youth extremely highly.
Last August, a resident in New York City’s East Village noticed that a man had been siting in his parked car for two days and called the police. Police recovered the body of 61-year-old Geoffrey Weglarz, also known as Geoffrey Corbis, who had committed suicide by ingesting poison. His body had actually been in the car for a week, even though his family had been pleading with police to locate him.
Weglarz had enjoyed a very successful development career early on, designing performance management software for Hyperion and then serving as a senior director of development for Dell. But after leaving Dell, he couldn’t find another job. In an interview for PBS NewsHour, he said, “I’ve applied for 481 jobs. None of them have panned out. They think that anybody over a certain age is going to be used up.”
He added, “I’ve gone through my savings. I’ve gone through my 401(k). My unemployment last check is next week. I have about $2,000 to my name, and after that, I don’t know.”
The full article is well worth the read.