As I commented in a previous post regarding part 1 of Margaret's excellent input on the topic, I can readily identify with the "age" issues. If you think it is tough to face apparently being "over the hill" in the IT world in your 40's, try your 50's. You find yourself between a rock and a hard place, not able to afford to retire (even if you wanted to) and not able to get employment. I am very, very fortunate that ,due to events totally outside my professional arena, I could, if I wished, retire.
Having said that, my "brain" is definitely not ready to retire. If it were I wouldn't be blogging here on a fairly regular basis nor would I devote the time to try and make VANTUG a growing and successful UG. In fact the discussion here has only served to stimulate me, for which I am grateful, and further convince me how we are wasting such a valuable resource when it comes to older IT Pros.
Many of these people are already the "versatilists" that Stephen has indicated is where the industry is going. What better way to use them than as "mentors" for the younger people. It may even be that many of these people are perfectly able and willing to manage at a salary well below what employers often seem to be "scared" of. They may have retired from a fairly senior position but want to continue to be productive and "give something back". I certainly have been made to feel on more that one occasion that I should just "fade away and go of into the sunset".
Maybe Stephen isn't fully aware of it but meeting him gave me a new injection of belief in myself for which I will always be grateful. His knowledge of and energy and enthusiasm for the IT industry comes through in this blog on a daily basis.