...Just because overt age-discrimination is illegal doesn’t mean it never happens. In 2011, Google settled a multimillion-dollar claim brought by a computer scientist named Brian Reid, who had been fired when he was 54. Reid said colleagues and supervisors had frequently referred to him as “an old man” and “an old fuddy-duddy” whose ideas were “too old to matter.” They allegedly joked that his CD cases should be called LPs. A labor lawyer I spoke with told me he recently got a call from a thirtysomething supervisor at a start-up who said her job was at risk because the team she was managing—most of them ten years younger—had rejected her on account of her age. “She was being referred to as a ‘den mother,’ ” says the lawyer. “If no one is following your lead, you’re not much of a supervisor.”
Still, ageism in Silicon Valley is usually more subtle: an extra burden of proof on the middle-aged to show they can hack it, on a scale very few workers of their vintage must deal with anywhere else. “People presume an older developer learned some trade skill five to ten years ago and has been coasting on it ever since,” says a 40-plus developer whose department consists mostly of 20-year-olds...The article should really be called "Silicon Valley VCs prefer pitches from young people", but the stories are interesting nonetheless.