Need advice regarding my career path

Hi guys,

I am in bad need of your inputs regarding my career path as I find myself amidst a situation where I need to take a decision. For the betterment of myself in terms of my career and family life. In order to better understand my situation, I think it would be better if I give you an overview of my career so far – along with its ups and downs over the years… Please bear with me in case you find it long.

I started my career as software developer back in 2013, using mainly .Net languages and PostgreSQL. The company, being a startup, started to face some difficulties in the market and going through management turbulences. Many employees started leaving, having got better offers elsewhere. I joined the wagon as I was offered a nice opportunity in a consulting firm, with a package and opportunities that were hard to resist. This was back in 2014.

The firm is a partner of one of the leading banking software providers, and languages & tools used for implementation are quite outdated. The language is used resemble COBOL. It is only now that they have started providing Java implementation. Being a consulting firm, the working hours are rather odd, as we have to service clients from different time zones. From 2014 till now I have had no issues in working during these odd hours, travelling to on-site missions, etc. Appraisals have never been negative ones, as everyone I have worked with satisfied with my deliverables.

Over the years, I have found guys who joined in at a later stage and then being rapidly upgraded in terms of position. Some of them have even used this situation to obtain better offers elsewhere. Whilst I have always been here, never having got this idea of moving elsewhere. However, never got any upgrade yet. Also, along this years I got married and found myself with more family responsibilities.

There have been many departures during the past year and I (along with my friends) were hoping that I would be finally be getting an upgrade this year. Unfortunately it didn’t happen, and I have been made aware that it would be for next year. The funny thing is that it’s for the 3rd consecutive year that I am getting such comments. Meanwhile, there have been advertisements to recruit senior guys outside of the company. Though I do have most of the skills that they are looking for.

Furthermore, I would like to add that though I may not be really good technically (compared to the current senior resources), but functionally I am good. Having had a good exposure to the functional side of the job as well. One good example is that I am of the few technical guys who have been assigned to provide support to the legacy implementations.

Having said all that, I would like advice in terms of the below points:

  • Which languages you would recommend me to learn in case I want to switch jobs?
  • Should I still pursue in pure development skills, or get into project management skills?
  • Do you think having been 7 years in the same position would deter my chance of getting a job elsewhere?
  • Any other advices would be welcome.

Hello @theapache, welcome to the forum.

Unfortunately there’s not a correct answer that will fix everything, as with all things in life each one of us have a different past, and will walk on a different path.
So always remember to stay true to yourselves and that ultimately only you know what’s best for you.

That said a few considerations:

Which languages you would recommend me to learn in case I want to switch jobs

Depends on your goals. Do you want to get hired fast?
Then search the most popular tech stack in your area and invest in that.
If however your goal is mainly to learn just for the sake of it, then invest in whatever you find it interesting.

That said seeing you have experience with .net and sql you can probably switch to a full stack role easily. Probably the market nowadays asks for a lot of TS/JS developer with experience in at least a front end framework.

Coincidentally freeCodeCamp can help you with that as React is part of the curriculum.

  • Should I still pursue in pure development skills, or get into project management skills?

That is purely up to you.
Too many personal factor to consider to give you an unbiased opinion.
Follow your heart.

Do you think having been 7 years in the same position would deter my chance of getting a job elsewhere

Absolutely not.
Actually is the opposite that is always frown upon. Sometimes recruiter/hiring manager wander if it’s worth hiring someone that keeps jumping from job to job if they need someone more “permanent”.

Any other advices would be welcome

I don’t see why you shouldn’t start looking and applying for different jobs right away.
Looking for jobs and participating in interviews is not a crime :slight_smile:

You can always apply to job, and if not 100% sold turn them down.
Doing so you will get a lot out of the experience, mainly how the markets is now, and what’s your place in it.

Good luck and happy coding :sparkles:

Stagnation is a big problem across all industries, but it’s especially bad in the tech sector. The experience that you’re describing shows that your employer is extremely shortsighted, but it’s sadly also very common.

It depends on what you want to do. It sounds like you’ve worked mostly with C# and Java. Those are still heavily used languages and you can keep working in them. If you are considering moving to web developement, then you need to learn JavaScript (which you’ll pick up quickly and the overall web ecosystem. If you want to get into things like embedded systems, then C is probably the way to go.

If you’re interested in project management, then I know that there are a lot of companies that are eager for good managers with a strong technical background. I prefer writing code to management roles, but to each their own.

Sure. It shows that you are interested in committing to a project instead of jumping at the first opportunity for a raise. It also gives you a lot to talk about in interviews because you’ve seen a project go through a lot of highs and lows.

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