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As a sexagenarian (no jokes please), I can assure you it is more environment.

Age will tell you the general environments which affected the person. Older people tend to have more experience in less digital intense environments than younger people. If an older person stopped evolving their technology environment and its use somewhere along the way, then I'm sure that might lead to the conclusion that age is the cause.

However, corrolation is not causality. I believe the real cause is in that case is familiarity which can lead to not adopting newer environments for some people. For other people who adopt new technology easily and adapt to constant change, they will continue to be right there with the best of their younger peers and, perhaps, their additional experience in other less technological environments may be valuable.

In my IT career, I have undergone four major evolutions in the technology base for my knowledge and skill set. Having started with assembler, FORTRAN, COBOL and mainframes, distributed and client-server C/C++ and UNIX/Linux became dominant in active and new software development. Tha was shift one. With distributed systems, networking, especially TCP/IP and Ethernet became dominant and HTTP/HTML with dynamic page content via CGI (common gateway interface) and Perl, C/C++, or, eventually Java, to create web--browser based human interfaces to systems. That was shift two. Java became a dominant with platform agnostic portability (unlike the libraries C/C++ used) and displaced C/C++ for distributed systems and dynamic web interfaces. In addition, Java SE/EE became the dominant means for advanced web services and web-browser interfaces. That was shift three. The LAMP stack has made significant inroads into web services and dynamic web page content -- so much so that PHP and JavaScript are as ubiquitous in advanced web services and web-browser interfaces as Java systems have been. That has been shift three. Handheld and mobile technology has begun to dominate how humans interface with systems and cellular digital data connectivity has become ubiquitous for connecting humans to systems. Android and iOS are about equal in dominance with Blackberry a major player. That was shift four. I am now surrounded by notebooks, mobile USB displays as small as the notebooks, Android tablets. Android smart phones, high-speed N600 WiFi, and high-speed cellular LTE and actively develop software to run on them and on servers for their back-end services. On top of that, I also evloved into project management and team management roles along the way.

The major determining factors I see are not age, they are the personality of the person and the environment. The willingness to adopt quickly emerging and rapidly dominating technologies, adapt to the new paradigms they present, and engage in the environments in which they operate are what I see as the determining factors. As far as I can tell, age itself has little, if anything, to do with it. Age only means there is a history which creates an opportunity for a person to stop evolving along the way.

In the meantime, I'll challenge any person half my age to keep up with me. I have twice their experience at adopting, adapting, and evolving my environment plus significant experience at project and management levels.

By Jim