What Makes Veteran Programmers Better Than Rookies?

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What makes an 11-year veteran programmer better than a hotshot n00b right out of school?

I think it’s fair to say that experienced programmers are better than rookies. Sure, there are exceptions, but in my time in the business I’ve rarely seen someone with a couple of years under their belt do better at creating good stuff on time than someone who’s been at it for a decade.

Before everyone goes nuts, let me qualify this a bit. I define “better” as “better able to deliver working software within a mid-size shop”. This narrows things down, but it’s where my experiences lie, so I choose to focus on it.

I have my own thoughts on why I think this is true, but I’m very interested in hearing what others have to say.

So, thoughts?

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