Hey John! 31 years as a professional developer is impressive. I have been at it for 10 years. I only want to ask how you feel about it as a long term commitment. Does development capability decrease with time? Is it worth sticking to development only if you enjoy it and not move on to a managerial position with less on-hands coding?
I don't think my development capability has decreased with time. If anything, the tools and libraries have allowed me to go quicker than ever and to experiment more (often via refactoring the same thing multiple times to improve it).
I can't speak for anyone else but me. But for me, it's worth not changing. I'm still doing what I enjoy and in many ways enjoying it more today than a long time ago. I would not enjoy being in management, I just wouldn't. It seems like a huge chore to me and it would take away the thing I love.
I can relate to this so much "I would not enjoy being in management, I just wouldn't.". I am just worried that, with time the number of opportunities get limited as you get more experienced, if the local industry does not have large scale projects. Large enough to require a dedicated solution architect or a very experienced professional.
You're right. You could find yourself capped in salary/advancement (though that could also happen in management as well). In a case like that you might find that you have to become an entrepreneur and do your own thing, move to another market, or try to find remote work.
Remote work used to be the exception though it seems like more and more places are doing it at least part of the time now and some notable companies are entirely distributed.
We're a place where coders share, stay up-to-date and grow their careers.
We strive for transparency and don't collect excess data.