Are Experienced Developers Really Rarer than Inexperienced?
I saw this article wherein StackOverflow is used to correlate developer age with knowledge/ability as well as inversely correlating with quantity of developers. Read the whole article – it’s interesting although I don’t agree with all his conclusions. One thing to keep in mind is the implicit assumption that all developers are equally vested in StackOverflow for all purposes. For example, I know from answering StackOverflow questions, that I see a fair number of questions that are either student questions of noob questions. It could be interesting to know if younger StackOverflow users have a different pattern of use – more likely to ask questions there that could be looked up elsewhere and spend less time answering questions, whereas more experienced developers either know the simpler questions already or are more tenacious in looking for the answer themselves because they didn’t go through their career with StackOverflow available or, in many cases, Google.
I also find the raw numbers interesting compared to my own. The average reputation of a 44 year old is 2090. I’m at 15K. The average reputation of a 35 year old is 1739. Jon Skeet is at 312K. Makes me wonder how he did the stats. I’d like to see ranges, standard deviation, etc. For questions asked for a 44 year old, the average is 13. I’ve asked 4, one of which I answered myself and one of which remains unanswered (for me personally, this supports the notion that more experienced engineers go to StackOverflow as a last resort instead of a first resort). For questions answered for a 44 year old, the average is 92. I’m at 622. Then again, I answer about 1% of all PDF questions, vs .1% of all C# questions.