Episode 151: Where are all the old developers and Do I not ask enough questions?


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I have a lot of software developer colleagues who are 20 - 35 years old but none 50+. At what age does a software engineer’s career end?

  2. Hi Dave and Jamison, thanks for the great podcast.

    I recently started a new position on a small remote team.

    The co-founders are increasingly dismayed by my lack of Slack-question-asking, although I have reassured them that I’m not too shy and I will ask when I’m stuck. I have daily one-on-one meetings with one co-founder, where I do ask questions about the code base, story requirements, potential side effects of my solutions etc. It’s an open-source project with comprehensive and Googable developer docs, so between those and my debugger I can figure everything else out with a bit of research.

    A co-founder told me that he expects to see me asking one or two questions per hour, and strongly implied that I need to do this if I want to survive my probation period. I was actually let go from my last job at the end of my probation period due to “brisk communication style” and “not asking enough questions”, so I’m freaking out now.

    I don’t want to annoy my colleagues with a constant stream of inane RTFM-style questions, but I’m stumped on how else to hit my question target! Can you help me come up with ideas? Is there some big picture reason for this obsession with question-asking that I’m missing?