Every profession has its share of workers who continue past their prime years of productivity. Maybe you've seen one...the overweight police officer who looks more at home in a Krispy Kreme shop than in his cruiser. I'm thinking software engineers have to "throw in the towel" sometime before 40...before the ol' brain loses too many working cells that can absorb it all.
I'll admit that maybe it's just me feeling old, like my best programming days are behind me, but I'll bet there are plenty of others too that feel similarly. I just can't keep up with the latest spec of this or that anymore. The pace is too fast. I can't read it all, test it all, write it all, grok it all.
So where do old programmers go to live out the rest of their days? Once you leave programming, where are you going? My last software contribution to the Java platform was Unicode 4.0 and supplementary character support in Java 5.0. However, it's time for a career change. From now on, you'll find me behind the J2SE hub at java.sun.com. I'll manage and deliver new technical content for developers. At least I'm narrowing my focus from all the Java APIs to the core J2SE and language...and that's still a huge chunk. Hmmm...maybe I haven't done myself any favor after all...