"I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."
This life-long—and quite obviously gray techie—holds steadfast to an unequivocal focus on thinking about problems...without rushing to solution...and it pays off.
Just one illustration from four decades of experience: Recently, a media-savvy client—replete with 20-something hipsters—engaged me to diagnose why the IT re-write of a core business process was approaching its one-year anniversary...on an initial three-month schedule. (And...approaching 500% of original budget.)
The dozen members of the IT team were working "Standard Hipster Hours" (60-70 hours/week...nights & weekends)—and were "too busy" to meet with me (read: "don't waste time with talking with the old guy...we have work to do!").
So, I observed what they were doing...for a single day.
To me, the problem was obvious: although reflective of well-intentioned, conventional hipster "lore" regarding the way IT projects were done...the project's approach and technical architecture were fundamentally, irreversibly, flawed.
At the end of the day, for about an hour, I met with the CIO and explained my observations, analysis and recommendations...including my professional opinion there was a negligible likelihood the project would be completed within six months...and the deliverables would materially fall-short of expectations.
- Why...you're right...I wasn't the most popular person in the room. How did you know?
One has to ask, what is the value of a well-intentioned group of high-energy 20-somethings squandering nearly 50,000 staff hours of work?
- It isn't zero...it's negative. Just think of the opportunity cost.
Long story shortened: the next afternoon, I proposed a fundamentally different approach...including a new way of thinking about the technical architecture (as well as the software development environment ("processes & tools")).
In spite of the IT team's enormous resistance, the "re-start" was completed by a team of 3-4 developers in a touch over 2 months.
If you were the CIO, which outcome would you prefer?
Since my 50th birthday...this case is one of a couple of dozen with similar outcomes.
Evidence that Gray Matters and Experience Counts.
What this means is: While most of us over 50 don't work insane hipster hours—we don't need to.
As for the stereotyped comments in this thread suggesting "old guys don't keep up with developments," like many of my age group, I invest ~2-3 hours a day with tech & industry journals & publications. In addition to continually completing advanced tech courses, I teach graduates & undergraduates current technologies (e.g., C/C++, PHP, HTML5, CSS3, JSON, MySQL, Apache)...and write Mobile Web Apps. To this day, I relish the intellectual & artistic challenge of crafting well-designed, understandable, minimalistic & functional code.