It’s come to that point in my software development career where it’s time to start thinking about career goals.
Being honest, this scares the living daylights out of me. It feels like such a long, daunting task - like I’m at the foot of a mountain, knowing that I must begin climbing, but with literally no idea how. But, hey ho, the time spent figuring this out will ultimately prove beneficial and will aid in my decision-making in times to come.
So, why now?
I've put in so much effort over the last few years just to get to this point, and quite frankly I don’t want that going to waste. Cut back to 5 years ago, I ceased on an opportunity to change career and move from a business role (for which I had absolutely no passion) into a software development position, one where I had to teach myself to code through self-study. And since then, I’ve moved discipline once, from testing to backend development, I’ve juggled several different tech stacks, and have gained experience working in different industries and different sized companies. The entire process has been a fantastic experience - the effort put in up to this point has totally been worth it.
But I’m also very aware that software development is perhaps a younger person’s game, and the phrase 'you don’t see many software developers in their 50s' somewhat rings true. Ok, I’m only in my early 30s, I don’t need a walking stick just yet, and actually of course there are older software developers around - but I think it’s now a wise moment to start thinking about what I want to be doing in 10-15 years time. Having also recently started to listen to 'Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual’ on Audible, it’s a good time for me to think about which road to take.
There are several options of course. Do I want to work towards a senior developer role? Should I consider a people / engineering manager type switch? Should I look to go into consulting or start my own business? What about just giving it all up and working on a farm somewhere? Many possible choices lie ahead.
And so that’s where I am at the moment. And actually, having written this blog post, the daunting prospect of thinking this stuff through has strangely gone away a little. Ooooo, the power of writing! It’s felt really nice to write some thoughts down, it’s been a while since I wrote any form of blog post. Along with the 1000 other things I want to achieve this year, I’ll be making more of an effort to write to this thing more often. Next one will be a technical blog for sure.
Top comments (6)
A John Sonmez book might not be the best source of advice. Just saying.
Fair point. I've found it quite useful so far to be honest. Is definitely getting me thinking!
wowser, thanks for sharing!
I say this as someone who used to be a big fan of John. I watched several of his Pluralsight courses and was a regular subscriber of the Simple Programmer YouTube channel. I even sent him a few questions, some of which he even answered in a video.
However he started to slide into "brogrammer" territory and started posting some questionable videos. Then he changed "Simple Programmer" to "Bulldog Mindset" and I was like "yup, I'm out". Then the debacle involving him on Twitter a few months back only confirmed that I made the right choice.
Good post by the way. Career development is definitely important to think about, especially for those of us who are starting to get a little older :)
Thanks man :-)