After surviving a recent round of layoffs in my current position, I decided to compare my current skillset against what is being sought after on LinkedIn. I was shocked about how much had changed in four years. I was also a little disappointed in myself for not keeping my skills up to date. I knew very little about Node.js, Angular or any of the reactive frameworks. I used Handlebars from time to time, but that's about as close as I ever got to templating. I also haven't really been apart of "the conversation" beyond what I do at work.
The best thing that came out of this is that I feel like I am a part of the coversation again. I started listening to developer podcasts and I have signed up for a couple of local developer meet-ups. I also feel like have gained leverage in my current position because now I knew skills way beyond what I do.
Something else I've learned is that you shouldn't limit yourself to what you use in your current position. Learning new skills can help reinvigorate your interest in being a developer.
I forgot to mention I'm 46 old. I cut my teeth on VBA, HTML and SQL Server. I was coding before there was an ASP or a .Net. There have been a lot of conversations about older developers and how hard it would be to get a job later in life if I ever needed to. I think that as long as you stay excited about the industry, keep yourself in the middle of the conversation and understand that there is a world to explore that goes way beyond your place of work, you'll always be relevant. Making excuses for why you shouldn't learn is the fastest way to make yourself obsolete.
Now excuse me, I have a .Net Core/Angular class to go take.
Here's to learning!