When I was coming up as a programmer in the 1970s, you needed a lot of experience to work in the world of minis and mainframes. The programmers of the previous generation felt secure that in order to make real software you had to understand all that they understood, which assured them a place at the top of the ladder, and made young dudes like me start out at the bottom. Heh. This is always a mistake. If you’ve created too complex a world, the next generation will just create a new one that’s simpler. One that they understand and you don’t. You’re still at the top of a ladder — your ladder. They just created a new one, and you’re not even on it.
Jay Rosen rightly pointed out this morning that this Dave Winer post applies to not only the tech space, but many other fields.
For instance… with exceedingly rare exceptions, you still need some sort of daily print experience in order to get a full-time print (or digital) media job. Why is this so? All the arguments in favor of hiring this way are sound. But so are the arguments against it. We could say that this is especially true in an age when media needs new bold, fresh ideas, not acolytes of the old regime. And of course this isn’t to say that experienced, seasoned employees can’t also be great hires, but just that young, somewhat inexperienced ones can be as well.
As Dave said, if we can’t climb the existing ladder… we’ll just build a new one.