back to article Fujitsu: Dumping older workers will wipe out quarter of forecast profit

Fujitsu has warned investors its full-year profits will fall 23.6 per cent below previous forecasts because it's extended an offer for older workers to leave in favor of youngsters more likely to deliver the DX, or "digital experience," customers demand. A Tuesday announcement was uncommonly blunt about the Japanese giant's …

  1. Unicornpiss
    Thumb Down

    Disgusting..

    Maybe some workers 50+ are truly past it or so set in their ways that they're not adaptable to the dynamics of IT these days. But mostly when you get rid of older workers, no matter how 'gently' you do it, or how gracious you try to be, you end up losing a lot of talent and experience. You don't just shuck the people that know where the bodies are buried (though maybe that is part of the intention), but the people that understand why decisions were made that seem illogical on the surface, without context. So you end up making the same mistakes that could have been avoided if anyone was left to remember the ordeals of the past. You truly end up stepping over dollars (or pounds, or yen) to pick up pennies, for a short term unsustainable gain, and besides the human harm, you truly hurt the business IMO. Not that there aren't a few crusty old bastards in every organization that only contribute friction and frustration to others.

    There is a reason that every indigenous peoples in every land revered their elders and kept them around despite their apparent burden on the younger folk. And its name is wisdom, which is not obvious to 20-somethings that "know it all" despite having experienced very little overall.

    1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

      Re: Disgusting..

      *RiverDances on the upvote button in the hopes the system allows a few zillion more upvotes*

      Upvote! *Jump* Upvote! *Jump* Upvote! *Jump* UPVOTE! *Jumpjumpjumpjump*

      I'll have to hand you a keg tapper & let you into the back so you can use a keg as your own personal stein. Cheers for putting it so accurately!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Disgusting..

      Article: "Most are executives or workers who have been rehired after already retiring once."

      Your comment: "So you end up making the same mistakes that could have been avoided if anyone was left to remember the ordeals of the past."

      The future: "Most are executives or workers who have been rehired after already retiring twice."

      1. Furious Reg reader John
        Thumb Up

        Re: Disgusting..

        Yes, I think the 50+ers who take the offer are being very shrewd. Take a payout (again) and wait for the call to come back (again). In the meantime, enjoy the holiday, or go work for someone else to fill their staff shortages.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Disgusting..

          Some years ago, $WORKPLACE - a large UK university - offered a very generous voluntary severance programme to older employees only. At least a year's salary, sometimes two, to leave "with honour" as they put it.

          The results were stunningly predictable. All the good older staff took the money and ran straight into jobs at other universities, sniggering as they went. The duds stayed.

          1. Naselus

            Re: Disgusting..

            Pretty sure I recall who $university refers to, and the substantial premiums they ended up having to pay out to replace all the workers they'd believed to be redundant paid for a substantial portion of my house.

            1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
              Unhappy

              Re: Disgusting..

              I knew an excellent mathematician at a UK University who returned from year's sabbatical in the USA to find an offer of paid redundancy. This guy was very well respected in his filed, had published several books and was a full professor.

              He took the money and went back to the USA.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Disgusting..

            Voluntary early retirement or redundancy programmes have two fundamental attributes: first, they stem from managers not knowing or understanding who their most and least productive employees are. Second, they always result in the people with other/better options leaving and those without remaining. If you want to fire people who aren't getting the job done or don't have the skills you need, sack up and fire them. But that requires first understanding who they are. In a nutshell, this approach results from incompetent management, with the predictable result of reducing productivity.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Disgusting..

        >Article: "Most are executives or workers who have been rehired after already retiring once."

        Suggest to me these people know a gift horse...

        Expect to see them rehired in a year or so...

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Disgusting..

      But what's the freelance scene like in Japan?

      I'm sure quite a few of the over 50s will be the sole prop for some bit of the business, rather like the random guy in Nebraska here https://xkcd.com/2347/

      If so I'm sure they'd be happy to take the redundancy and, for a good enough contract, come back to keep things running.

    4. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Disgusting..

      I find it particularly perplexing when they start mentioning DX/UX. If the population is getting older, then the USER bit of UX is getting older too. As a slightly older individual, I really don't get on with many modern interfaces; infinite scroll is a particular pet hate of mine.

      Case in point, I just got handed the source code of V2.0 of our website ready for integration with our back end. Fired it up and the first thing I find is that my ageing eyes can't even read the bloody text because it's thin white text on a cyan background. Contrast fails all of the WAVE accessibility tests. And this is a company paid tens of thousands to produce a modern, fresh design. Mostly made up of young and upcoming individuals. It also failed the tests for screen reader accessibility too. It's going to take me weeks to get it into a fit state for release.

      1. hoola Silver badge

        Re: Disgusting..

        But this is the problem, all this digital stuff is now designed by under 25 "graduates" with no concept of how to use things on anything other than a mobile phone with perfect eyesight or a 40" monitor an a resolution of a zillion pixels.

        That older staff (ignore the customers) then feedback that the interfaces are not useable is seen as "blocking progress" or "being negative"

        Just look at all the fashionable shades of grey on web interfaces, microscopic text and progress bars that can barely be seen.

        It all looks great but is unusable by the increasing majority of the population. At the place I used to work at the website is appalling yet had allegedly passed some accessibility standard.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Disgusting..

          I recently had to complain about a bus travel web-ish-app. I recall the previous time I had to complain...* and so THIS time when they asked for the version number of the app which available from the account screen, I remembered it was in the bottom right and in 9pt #AAA type on a #EEE background. The last time they had asked me for that it ended in a massive argument that it wasn't there, at least until I was proved wrong by one of them screenshooting their phone and scribbling a red circle around the number before sending it to me. I had to use a magnifying glass. I mean, who uses the bus mainly? The very young and the very old! And people without a car. Anyway, user demographic matters!

          *That complaint was because the application included walking time to the bus stop. They still haven't fixed it by the way**. The travel planner says e.g. Travel time 15:47 to 17:40. Bus departs at 15:47 from xxx Railway Station. I live just under 10 minutes walk from the xxx Railway Station, so I start walking at a few minutes before 15:37. Arrive at bus stop at 15:45... check app again and it NOW reads Bus departs at 15:55. When I check the timetable, the bus is scheduled to leave that stop at 15:55, not 15:47. The planner screen should not say "Bus Departs at", it should say either "You need to leave at:" OR "Bus Departs at:" and give the scheduled departure time, with the travel time showing when you need to start walking. I mean, you might NOT be walking to the bus stop, or you might be a slow walker, so at least accurately describe the information.

          **Not only are they bad at apps, communication, etc etc which might be forgivable seeing as though it's a bus company, they're also rubbish at running buses.

          1. Drew Scriver

            Re: Disgusting..

            "User demographic matters".

            I remember a project about fifteen years ago were the target group was "older people living in mobile homes in Arkansas who only have dial-up internet access".

            The Millennials (who were hip, modern, and should be listened to by us geezers, according to the brass) went to work and created a hip and modern web site with all the whistles and bells available at the time.

            Lots of joking about the target group by said Millennials.

            Eventually the site was launched. Bounce rate on the home page was over 90%. They seemed to be unable to understand why the "older people living in mobile homes in Arkansas who only have dial-up internet access" never got past their 5 MB home page.

            1. PC Paul

              Re: Disgusting..

              Testing, if not dev, ought to be done on the same level of kit as the target audience will be using. 17" 4:3 LCD monitors, 5Mb bandwidth, 2GB RAM and a slow disk.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Disgusting..

          "microscopic text"

          Can we include the Post Comment box of elReg in this?

      2. Diodelogic

        Re: Disgusting..

        If the population is getting older, then the USER bit of UX is getting older too

        This is a serious issue in Japan, certainly. However, please note that Fujitsu is an international corporation, selling to many, many other countries other than their own. Not everyone's demographics are as dire as Japan's.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Disgusting..

          The age distribution that matters for interface design is that of the users. That depends on what the interface accesses and the audience for it might not match the country's demographics. If you're producing an application for pensioners to manage their pension payments it wouldn't matter whether the country's demographic peaked at 20 or 70.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Disgusting..

            Even the RNIB website has missing alt-texts!

          2. martinusher Silver badge

            Re: Disgusting..

            There is a subtle shift in website design for older people which you may not have noticed. The text gets simplified, more elementary/primary school level, as well as the point size grows a bit. The only thing that's missing is the periodic 'dearie'.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Disgusting..

              Come on now... don't be patronising. If they were designing websites specifically for the older user they'd have the colour control set to 100. And over the top colour palettes seems to be a feature of design for websites with a younger demographic.

          3. Unicornpiss

            True

            If you want everyone to be able to use a UI properly, you design it for the least capable or lowest common denominator of the public. If you want, include on the homepage links to either the 'simplified', low bandwidth or 'large type' site, along with the site where you show off your design skills. Otherwise it's like designing a public space with no wheelchair ramps or elevators.

      3. oiseau Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Disgusting..

        And this is a company paid tens of thousands to produce a modern, fresh design.

        Hmm ...

        Let's see:

        "And this is a company paid tens of thousands to still wet-behind-the-ears and inexperienced DXers only to produce a failed, unusable design.

        There you go, methinks it reads better now.

        Been there, seen that and suffered the consequences.

        Best,

        O.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Disgusting..

          I know what you mean! TBH, the design isn't that bad, it just doesn't gel with the UI/UX principles I picked up working in a media college circa early 2000s. That was all down to the research articles that used to come out of places like Xerox Parc and Don Newton's office. That kind of research seems somehow to have evaporated... I mean, I know it HASN'T, because it couldn't have done... but you just don't see it anymore. What you get is thousands of frameworks all trying to be slightly different and be the next big thing. There's no consensus, really.

          NO that's not it...

          What there doesn't seem to be anymore is any controlled testing of these things. At least, not published as scientific articles anyway.

          Is there a Journal of Interface Design? I'll have to go and look it up... in the cardex at the local library.

          1. Someone Else Silver badge

            Re: Disgusting..

            CUA, FTW!

    5. TheManInSpain

      Re: Disgusting..

      Here in Spain the cheapest way of getting rid of employees is to "early retire" them.

      There are now a lot of people over 50 with no chance of getting a job as they are seen as "too old" and not all of them get generous benefits either.

      The reason of not having the digital experience is a smokescreen as these companies are hiring the 20 somethings at much lower salaries. This is a cost cutting exercise pure and simple.

      The interesting fact is that the executives deciding to do this are in most cases well over 50, in the case of one large Spanish telco, the CEO was well into his 60's when he decided to get rid of all employees over 52. Maybe if top management had to take the same medicine they would think twice.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        @TheManInSpain -- Re: Disgusting..

        C'mon Man! C-suiters got to be C-suiters by applying rules to everyone except themselves.

      2. oiseau Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Disgusting..

        ... the case of one large Spanish telco ...

        Indeed ...

        The case/s I referred to above are, to the letter, exactly what I witnessed first hand at a post-privatisation Italian/French telco consortium.

        ie: I unwillingly heard the conversation between a HR dick and his director while setting up the latest available IBM PC he had demanded, it was 1995 and he just had to have one pronto, other directors already had one:

        "We can get rid of ABC, who is already past 50, and for what we are paying him we can hire four grads on a three month trial basis."

        And:

        "DEF screwed up, it was no big deal and probably not his fault but we can fire him with cause and not have to pay his severance.

        The consequences all over were dire but it did not matter.

        The bottom line was lower operating costs.

        Little did the newly hired grads know that they were to be recycled at the end of the trial period because (obviously) there were government incentives to hire young grads, with the net result being that the overall costs went down even further.

        It's been over 25 years and it still turns my gut when I remember ...

        O.

    6. jason_derp

      Re: Disgusting..

      Congratulations! You managed you replace one form of ageism with another!

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Disgusting..

        Now now. Don't confuse ageism with experienceism. We'd be perfectly happy to employ anyone with 25 years experience, even if they're only 20.

  2. cantankerous swineherd

    are they going to weed the perjurers out while they're at it?

  3. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Dumping older workers will wipe out quarter of forecast profit

    And removing all that hard earned experience will wipe out the other 3/4 in the next decade.

    I'm off - got some shares to short.

  4. Potemkine! Silver badge

    This PR BS makes me puke

    Is this "career course redirection outside of the Fujitsu Group" also valid for Fujitsu's board?

    Takahito Tokita: 57 yo

    Takeshi Isobe: 60yo

    Masami Yamamoto: 68yo

    Chiaki Mukai: 70yo

    and so on...

    It's more than time to DXify the board, isn't it?

    1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Re: This PR BS makes me puke

      As was emphasised over and over again when pay rises and bonuses (or the lack thereof) were discussed for staff, directors are 'remunerated differently' to employees of the company. Directors are appointed by shareholders for their, well their, oh yes, knowledge of the market, technology, inspirational personalities, risk awareness, prudence, wisdom and, err, networking skills. So the normal rules for 'the workers' simply do not apply to them.

      Which is why they get multi-million dollar payoffs when they have to leave, whereas the rest of us get offered a < 100 percentage of our annual pay.

      If I've remembered that correctly.

      Basically, it all makes perfect sense if you just remember the phrase 'one rule for us, another rule for them'.

      FTFY

      1. Steve Aubrey

        Re: This PR BS makes me puke

        Animal Farm. All the animals were equal, but some were more equal than others.

  5. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    ...to deliver the DX, or "digital experience," customers demand.

    You mean to dick around with a functioning UI so it "looks cool" and is less productive?

    Or is this about making the same mistakes over again?

    All businesses need succession and new folk/new ideas coming in, but equally the new folk benefit from the guidance and experience of those who have been there and bought the T-shirt. A sudden plan like this smacks of the very leaders needing a bit of a clear-out. Still, at least the Japanese are being a damn sight more honest than IBM.

  6. Confused of Tadley

    Career Planning

    The Fijitsu DX plan tells every employee from new graduate hires to those in their late 40s how committed the company is to their future. The good news for these employees is it gives guidance for career planning, including how committed they want to be to Fijitsu. Withdrawing respect can work in two directions.

    People do not lose (all) their marbles the day they turn 50. Neither do they lose their skills, contacts and domain knowledge. It is always hard for those at the sharp end of a policy change, but this also brings opportunities to entrepreneurs. The over 50s are a fantastic talent pool for start-ups and established companies that care about their long term future.

    1. batfink Silver badge

      Re: Career Planning

      I'm sure my marbles are around here somewhere...

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Career Planning

        The cracked ones are definitely mine.

  7. h3nb45h3r

    No doubt some of their staff will be getting different jobs soon anyway, sowing mail bags...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      sew so

      As ye sow, so shall ye reap.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Come on... get with the time... no-one posts letters anymore. They'll be sewing eMail bags.

      1. PM.

        You mean Telegram bags ... ?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          TikTok bags.

          Oh, hang on... TikToks come in little clear boxes, don't they?

  8. ColinPa Silver badge

    Learn the lessons from history

    In the days when Java was still new with all these bright keen youngsters, I remember going to a presentation on it, and someone saying that it supports transactional recovery (2 phase commit)! (whoo hooo!).

    Some old geezer in the back row, said "I agree it is a hard problem to solve. II took us some time to solve it 20 years ago on the main frame, why didn't you come and ask how we did it, and save yourselves the pain of rediscovery"

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Learn the lessons from history

      I remember getting excited a decade or so ago about being able to migrate running VMs with VMotion, an older chap in the office pointed out he used to do it with Vax boxen decades before...

      1. Plest Silver badge

        Re: Learn the lessons from history

        Yep!

        I remember watching someone auto-shift a running DB live onthe fly by pulling out a mains plug on a machine, the apps were coded to simply re-connect in background and no-one in the 45 strong test group ( located on another floor ) even noticed! Very cool.

        The year I watched that....1996!

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Learn the lessons from history

        >I remember getting excited a decade or so ago about being able to migrate running VMs with VMotion

        I bet if you had had lessons in mainframe tech you would wet yourself.

        The tools available on Unix and Windows in the early 2000's were poor man's versions of what the mainframes had been able to do for years. Okay the mainframe was terse command line - (terse like Unix but in a different way) and not point-and-click.

        One would hope that today's version of VMotion is as good as (or even functionally better) the 20+-year-old mainframe equivalent.

    2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Learn the lessons from history

      Just as

      1960s: This is how you do transaction networked communication.

      2010s: Wait, what? What do you mean dropped packets? (Horizon, Fujistu, Post Office)

  9. hammarbtyp

    Calling a spade a agricultural enhancement implement

    "career course redirection"

    When will the HR bods get it into their heads that renaming something does not make it better, it just reduces the already low respect that the workforce has of the management who don't have the guts to be straight forward and honest

    1. oiseau Silver badge

      Re: Calling a spade a agricultural enhancement implement

      When will the HR bods get it into their heads ...

      Well ...

      Never?

      In my ~37 years of working to make a living in both the private and public sectors I have never seen a half-decent HR person.

      Not once.

      The couple of times I thought I may have been dealing with an exception, it ended up being due to their having a hidden agenda.

      I have come to believe that all these people most probably have a genetical proclivity to grow up and turn into certified A1 Class AHs, just like marketing bods and other abominations of nature.

      O.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Calling a spade a agricultural enhancement implement

      HR ?

      Oh that’s so last decade…

  10. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "to support employees seeking career course redirection outside of the Fujitsu Group"

    Payoffs for those who, elsewhere on this planet, would just be made redundant with little or no compensation. Were it not for Japan's aging population (in which they're by no means alone) the latter course would probably have been taken.

    The net result is a massively less experienced workforce creating technologies that we rely on ever more to keep out societies operating. So presentation progressively takes precedence over functionality, safety and security, leading us downward to oblivion in an accelerating spiral.

  11. Ken G Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    50+

    So they left college early 90's, probably know unix, sql, java and have been through Y2K and .com bubbles. They'll have been working on phones and tablets for other a decade, probably remotely for 2. How could they understand the wonders of "digital"?

    If I were cynical (I am) this is more about pension funds than skills.

  12. Howard Sway Silver badge

    As part of its human resources initiatives to strengthen its status as a DX company

    So this is being driven by the HR people : HR departments being of course notorious for their young, dynamic, innovative and transformative nature, and not at all stuffed full of unimaginative dullards who can't scratch their own arse without first having consulted the company policy on arse-scratching.

    And all because it's the trend of the moment to spout vague meaningless blather about "digital experiences", which is usually shorthand for "things that look like the trendy shit I've got on my smartphone", rather than true efficiency of processes, system integration, effectively leveraging reuse and other actual good uses of IT.

    1. Munchausen's proxy
      Devil

      Re: As part of its human resources initiatives to strengthen its status as a DX company

      "HR departments being of course notorious for their young, dynamic, innovative and transformative nature, and not at all stuffed full of unimaginative dullards who can't scratch their own arse without first having consulted the company policy on arse-scratching."

      I think you mean there, "...without holding internal meetings with "senior leadership" for a year and a half to create a company policy on arse-scratching."

      And then not telling anyone about it.

  13. Korev Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Sales people, for example, will be asked to become "business producers who are responsible for creating new businesses in cross-industry [and] play a central role in accelerating the conversion of companies to digital transformation."

    What does that mean in English?

    1. Antonius_Prime

      RE: What does that mean in English?

      Someone was getting paid by the sylable and negotiated a contract that failed to put a limit on how many they could use. And also contained clauses that stated that it didn't have to be intelligible on any level, English, Japanese, Swahili or even, Engrish...

      And that someone? I reckon they got paid VERY well...

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "What does that mean in English?"

      I don't see that as needing to be translatable into English. I see it as sales people getting a dose of what they've been dishing out all these years.

    3. Someone Else Silver badge

      It means I now have some new squares on my Bullshit Bingo card!

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

        And I've got a new phrase to try out on the boss during the next meeting

        "Never use one word when ten are more confusing"

    4. batfink Silver badge

      It means "Oh shit we need some more customers and when we get them we're going to have to sell them some consultancy they don't need"

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      One or more prolonged visits to court

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this Japan-only?

    If this is only intended for Japanese workers, then it may not be quite as unpleasant as it appears. I work for a Japanese-owned company, and have several Japanese colleagues who are seconded to the UK. It's usual for them to retire at age 60, then immediately be rehired, either doing exactly the same job, or in a sort of emeritus role "mentoring and supporting" their replacement. Whenever the topic has come up, we have been told it's a common practice in Japan, particularly at senior levels.

    The line "Most are executives or workers who have been rehired after already retiring once" may mean that it's intended for people in this situation. Properly training people for a role before their predecessor retires (rather than afterwards) would be necessary, of course.

  15. Paul 195
    Holmes

    Speaking as a 59 year old who sometimes helps enterprises with their "digital transformation" projects, I can honestly say it's flexibility of mindset that's needed, and that I haven't seen much evidence of that being the sole dominion of any particular age group. Honestly, the more mixed your workforce is in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, culture, etc, the more it's likely to be able to generate fresh ideas and execute them successfully. You need the bold fearlessness of youth seasoned with the experience of having seen innovation that works and innovation that doesn't.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I once took the golden parachute in my early 50s

    I was back contracting to the same company at the same gig at 30% extra within 6 weeks.

    They even sent me my old laptop so I had everything I needed at hand.

    5 years later I moved on on my terms.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I once took the golden parachute in my early 50s

      Similar.

      Got encouraged to take VR just after turning 50, did some contracting for a while, then about 18 months later, the old company called, asking if I'd come back as a contractor. Seems they'd got rid of too many of the experienced people, and were having issues delivering on projects!

      I asked for a little over 3 times my previous rate, they accepted (should have asked for more!).

      After 12 months, they offered me a full time job again. They couldn't offer the same contracting rates, but it was almost twice what I'd been on originally, plus of course paid holidays, pension and so on.

      They'd have saved a not too small fortune by just not letting me go in the first place!

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I once took the golden parachute in my early 50s

        Karma.

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: I once took the golden parachute in my early 50s

        I took VR in my early 30s, 30 years ago. Didn't go back to working for the same company (or industry) but I'm still waiting for the chips I designed then to turn up on the market at the price we could have delivered them then!

        I can buy a chip with tens of billions of transistors that work at the same speed the ones I designed with hundreds of transistors but none so cheap...

        Yes I'm still bitter!

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I once took the golden parachute in my early 50s

      I once worked with someone who claimed to have been made redundant or retired from 3 different companies - by the same CEO. The claim was shortly after the retirement when he was back at his desk freelance.

  17. Electronics'R'Us Silver badge
    Windows

    Skills and experience

    As others have mentioned, these are things that the 20 somethings lack for the most part, but are essential for a company that wants a long term future.

    I currently work with some very old equipment (radar, RF, 8051 style microcontrollers and discrete analog and digital circuits such as quad gates up to 4 bit counters and the odd PLD); the younger parts of the team are (well, were) totally clueless as to how to troubleshoot this stuff from first principles (there are some automated tests but that only tells you if it works, not what has gone wrong).

    Other things of interest are stripline inductors (just a length of copper track) and other such RF trickery, which was incredibly useful when I was doing high speed design (10Gb interfaces for example).

    I was hired for the fact (among other things) I have all that domain knowledge as well as a lot of diagnostic code behind me although I am hardly a spring chicken (68 last month); there are not many people with all those skills and more (I rattled off well over a dozen logic families I have worked with over the years at the interview).

    Using age is the wrong metric; capability should be the metric.

    I recently did an updated design of an interface board used in automated test that was riddled with problems (I wonder how I knew they were problems…) and it was fairly simple - 6 layers. The rest of the team were 6 layers?!; $DEITY help them when they have to work with 20+ layers.

    So although quite a few over 50s may well be past it, I know a lot of under 50s who never achieved it.

    Very short sighted of them, no age pun directly intended.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Skills and experience

      H/W's not my bag but I had a whipper-snapper look at the not very complex database schema I'd produced and complain it had too many tables. I'd just come off a contract on an ERP system which had, IIRC, several hundred.

      The galling thing is that in a way he was right. The next iteration was much simpler after I'd manage to dump some of the IT director's ideas.

    2. Beach pebble
      Thumb Up

      Re: Skills and experience

      Universal:

      Using age is the wrong metric; capability should be the metric.

  18. C-Clef

    Sounds rather too familiar, as an ex-employee of a former profitable ICL for twenty years.

    Made redundant at the end of '92, I then sold my freelance services back to them for the next ten years.

    How does the song go?

    " When will they ever learn, when will they e-e-ever learn?"

    And isn't DX something to do with a Yamaha FM synthesiser?

    1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
      Boffin

      DX coding

      Is how a film camera* using 35mm film cassettes can tell the ISO rating of the film:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DX_encoding

      Basically as the cassette is made of metal, covering part of the external surface with paint, but leaving other parts bare allows electrical contacts to detect the bare areas and this is used to encode the speed of the film.

      See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DX_encoding

      Of course, as they are effectively an IT thing, they can be hacked:

      https://www.photothinking.com/2018-02-03-film-dx-coding-a-photographers-life-hack/

      *Not to be confused with a 'Movie Camera'**, this is usually an old camera that uses a transparent flexible plastic base coated with usually a silver halide emulsion which is light sensitive, to capture a projected image, instead of the now almost ubiquitous electronic sensors.

      **Movie Cameras can also us silver halide films, and are why we still often refer to 'footage' for amounts for moving picture images.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge
      Pint

      Upvote for the Yamaha reference!

      (Well OK, upvote for the post; this for the Yamaha reference) - - - - - >

  19. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

    "Self-Produce Support System"

    Sounds like The Good Life gone bad.

  20. roblightbody

    I find that when using the latest "exciting" cutting edge cloud technology, full of buzzwords and sexy branding, under the skin, its exactly the same in principle as what I've spent 25 years learning... all the lessons learned still apply.

  21. Plest Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "deliver the DX"?

    "deliver the DX"?!

    There, that right there is why you're losing ground! You come up with a load of old wank to attract "da yoof" "wiv da yoof speak" and then you complain about profits and "old people" not getting it.

  22. Valeyard

    Fujitsu says 3,031 people have already applied for the scheme

    Yeah that's because once the writing's on the wall you know where you stand, better to leave than stay where you're not valued before they find an excuse

  23. Someone Else Silver badge

    Different country, different rules...

    Don't know about how things are in Japan, but here in the good ol' USofA, shareholders being told that a voluntary action by the C-suiters that would reduce profits by $600MM would be considered as a breach of fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders (which, as any fule US B-school graduate* no, is the most important part of any corporation -- customers be damned). This would, of course, then result in serial lawsuits being filed by said shareholders (and some activist hedge fund managers as well -- I'm looking at you Carl Ichan...).

    *Upon further review, seems that "any fule" and "US B-school graduates" might be redundant....

  24. TeeCee Gold badge
    Meh

    ..."career course redirection."...

    Sounds like yet another euphemism for "political re-education" / "work placement" / "resettlement to the east", etc, etc.

    Which bunch of totalitarian arsehats are Fujitsu channeling? Marxists or Fascists?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      I dont think they are that well read!

    2. Deevo

      Fujitsu isn't Marxist or Fascist, it's Capitalist and following the doctrine that money matters more than people.

  25. Deevo

    Fujitsu forgets the lesson of CSC

    CSC (Computer Sciences Corporation) was the second largest supplier of IT support in the world until some bright spark decided to fire everyone over 50. It only took five months for them to go bankrupt. As the CEO of a large government business enterprise I was on contract to put it when I went to say goodbye "Who am I going to talk to about our IT? All these youngsters are just yes men who don't have the experience and guts to call us out when we get a bit too fanciful with our plans. You can't have a conversation with them because they're too busy nodding their heads instead of considering what we want and need. That's dangerous for us - we could end up wasting a lot of time and money with them!" They dropped the contract just weeks later.

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