I am a software engineer. I have an experience of around 7 years. What should I do to revive my career?

Updated on : December 3, 2021 by Luka Leon



I am a software engineer. I have an experience of around 7 years. What should I do to revive my career?

If you are not learning something new (a new algorithm, design pattern, language, framework / library, technology, etc.) every year, either on the job or in your own time, get started. (If you don't want to spend your own time continuing to learn, you may be in the wrong field.) In this field, if you are not constantly increasing your skills and knowledge, then you are falling behind. There really is no such thing as standing still, even if that's what it sounds like.

Now, all of that is pretty general. And there are so many things to learn and so little time. I suggest making a list of things they try

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If you are not learning something new (a new algorithm, design pattern, language, framework / library, technology, etc.) every year, either on the job or in your own time, get started. (If you don't want to spend your own time continuing to learn, you may be in the wrong field.) In this field, if you are not constantly increasing your skills and knowledge, then you are falling behind. There really is no such thing as standing still, even if that's what it sounds like.

Now, all of that is pretty general. And there are so many things to learn and so little time. I suggest making a list of the things that interest you, the things you've always wanted to learn / do, the things that you think will make you more commercial, etc. List all. Then prioritize them based on your personal / professional goals. Once you've done that, start with the top item and work on that.

Digging into a new area may involve reading books and / or code, doing research, experimenting, taking a class, contributing to an open source project, starting your own open source project, offering your expertise to a good cause, etc. Teaching a seminar or class, especially on a topic that really interests you but is not yet an expert on, can also be a great way to grow.

You need to see why your enthusiasm for it, your enthusiasm for building running software, has waned, and try to fix it. Maybe your true love lies more in theoretical computing? There are PhDs in computer science who don't even want to bother with actual programming. On the other hand, maybe you just need a kickoff. Do you do any personal programming, create your own software projects as a hobby, end up taking pride in something you've created for yourself? Do you accept the challenges of questions and annoying problems in programming by creating benchmark programs to exercise a

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You need to see why your enthusiasm for it, your enthusiasm for building running software, has waned, and try to fix it. Maybe your true love lies more in theoretical computing? There are PhDs in computer science who don't even want to bother with actual programming. On the other hand, maybe you just need a kickoff. Do you do any personal programming, create your own software projects as a hobby, end up taking pride in something you've created for yourself? Do you take on the question challenges and annoying problems in programming by creating benchmark programs to exercise and explore? Are you going to research the features of your programming language (s) that you haven't used until now, to see what you could use them for?

That's all I can think of right now.

I think new things are needed. Give yourself homework - try writing something for your phone or tablet. The tools are out there.

There are competitive sites that could be a challenge, like topcoder.

Think about the product you are working on and suggest entirely new features or enhancements, perhaps making the mockup on your own time.

Learn new languages. Think Stack.

Think of ways to polish or make what you're working better than it is, maybe better error handling.

Learn new languages.

Think out of the box.

Several rules for the world of programming:

  • Constantly learn new techniques, languages, libraries, frameworks, etc.
  • Your knowledge can become out of date very soon if it is not updated.
  • Be open to exploring, for example you may like object-oriented programming, but learning the basics of functional programming won't hurt.

It's your job interesting?

Perhaps the technologies used in the company are outdated and have a closed mind to changes? If so, consider your options. Change can be good for you.

If they are open to changes, you can propose something. It is also good to check if the software development process is successful.

Keep reading

Several rules for the world of programming:

  • Constantly learn new techniques, languages, libraries, frameworks, etc.
  • Your knowledge can become out of date very soon if it is not updated.
  • Be open to exploring, for example you may like object-oriented programming, but learning the basics of functional programming won't hurt.

It's your job interesting?

Perhaps the technologies used in the company are outdated and have a closed mind to changes? If so, consider your options. Change can be good for you.

If they are open to changes, you can propose something. It is also good to check if the software development process is successful.

Start a personal project.

You may not have the desire to build a multi-million dollar project, but doing something small from start to finish can be very rewarding. You would not have architecture, language, framework restrictions, etc. It is a great opportunity to learn something new.

Where are you going?

Think about your long-term goals. Where would you like to be in 10 years? Be aware of the dramatic changes taking place in this industry. Maybe you want to transition a bit? Find an address, then follow it. Analyze again. Repeat.

I'm almost 57 years old (with a Ph.D. in Computer Science) and I'm quite happy and even proud to continue being a software developer (actually, “research software engineer” is the official description of my job). Actually, I would be ashamed to be a manager. I have met very few interesting managers in my career (perhaps none).

My late father (Dimitri Starynkevitch, who implemented the first commercial compiler in France in 1957-61, for PAF) ended his career at IBM and saw how many managers were laid off, as he was retained due to technical expertise, and to the end of his career was still a software

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I'm almost 57 years old (with a Ph.D. in Computer Science) and I'm quite happy and even proud to continue being a software developer (actually, “research software engineer” is the official description of my job). Actually, I would be ashamed to be a manager. I have met very few interesting managers in my career (perhaps none).

My late father (Dimitri Starynkevitch, who implemented the first commercial compiler in France in 1957-61, for PAF) ended his career at IBM and saw how many managers were laid off, as he was retained due to technical expertise, and to the end of his career he was still a software developer.

I still believe that the Peter Principle is relevant in organizations today. I also read once (see my French slides at http://starynkevitch.net/Basile/Starynkevitch-inge-ss-fron-mars2015.pdf, a talk -a bit provocative- whose title could be translated into Rambling about free software for the reference ...) that "seeking to move up the hierarchical / managerial ladder is often a sign of mental illness", that is, from some serious article in a French newspaper written by a respected sociologist) and from past experience is generally ( but not always) somehow true.

So if you are happy as a software developer, don't become a manager. Ask yourself if you'd be proud to become that (I certainly won't). Worry about your happiness and your personal values, they matter much more than your "career".

By the way, reading Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century would help you understand and accept the fact that you won't get very rich from your job and work, whatever career you have (so stories like “Zuckerberk or Gates they got fabulously rich because of their software development knowledge "are lies, and Zuckerberg or Gates or Jobs are not great software developers, and they probably are and have always been bad programmers). So if you are as happy as a software developer as I am, stay that way. Of course, this does not mean that you cannot progress as a developer or change domain.

I respect people like Linus Torvalds, Brian Kernighan, Douglas Lenat, Dennis Ritchie, Alan Kay, and many others much more than Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Page, etc. entrepreneurs), I would deny (IMHO, they are not worth my time, and Ritchie died the same month as Jobs, but he was much more useful to humanity).

Maybe I should answer this question, but as anonymous. I lost my IT job when I was 40 in 2008. I was a manager at a well-known multinational product-based company. There was a movement to reduce the workforce and hiring came to a complete halt. Although I consistently did well, I was unable to enter another business unit of the same company.

I was armed with 18 years of experience and 3 months looking for time. But contrary to my expectations, I did not receive any interview calls. My confidence was losing day by day when I lost my job with no hope in sight. I felt like being pulled from a bus in a desert with no hope

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Maybe I should answer this question, but as anonymous. I lost my IT job when I was 40 in 2008. I was a manager at a well-known multinational product-based company. There was a movement to reduce the workforce and hiring came to a complete halt. Although I consistently did well, I was unable to enter another business unit of the same company.

I was armed with 18 years of experience and 3 months looking for time. But contrary to my expectations, I did not receive any interview calls. My confidence was losing day by day when I lost my job with no hope in sight. I felt like I got off a bus in a desert, with no hope of finding another bus.

In early 2009, I started as a franchisee for a well-known supermarket chain in Bangalore, but lost the business due to tough competition in the neighborhood and the inflexible franchise business model. I finished the business in 2 years, but not before putting a hole in my savings.

Although the change in domain was a negative factor, the two years as an entrepreneur kept me busy. I didn't have time to think about my lost job. I learned lessons that I had never learned before. But my big question at the time was, what's next?

Then I found another domain, yes I jumped to another domain. Education. I am in this for the last 6 years with an income that is one fifth of the salary I had in 2008. So I created a backup plan to have additional and constant income.

  • I added 2 floors to my existing house and gave it up for rent.
  • I started working as a freelance in teaching.

Looking back, I still feel my loss. Did I work really hard to get another IT job in 2008? Probably not, although I did try a lot of them. It was more like he wanted to be an entrepreneur. But after 2 years, it was very difficult to get back to IT.

But now, the intensity of the loss is now reduced. I feel better. Today I enjoy my work. This lesson of my life taught me one thing, it does not make sense to review again and again what has been lost. Once we accept the loss, it is easy to move on.

Best of luck.

Ah, the "management victim" excuse. I remember a story about a CIO that I heard when he was in a similar situation to yours. This CIO was in a public meeting when one of the IT team members asked about innovation and what it would take to move up the organization. The conversation apparently went something like this ...
CIO: Let me ask you a question, how long do you think it took you to learn your job?
TI Member: Approximately two years.
CIO: And how long have you been working for us now?
TI Member: Approximately ten years.
CIO: You have two years of experience that you acquired more than eight years ago.

The point of th

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Ah, the "management victim" excuse. I remember a story about a CIO that I heard when he was in a similar situation to yours. This CIO was in a public meeting when one of the IT team members asked about innovation and what it would take to move up the organization. The conversation apparently went something like this ...
CIO: Let me ask you a question, how long do you think it took you to learn your job?
TI Member: Approximately two years.
CIO: And how long have you been working for us now?
TI Member: Approximately ten years.
CIO: You have two years of experience that you acquired more than eight years ago.

The point is, as developers, it's up to us to stay ahead of the game. It is up to management to ensure that the work is carried out with minimal risk. The two of you are often going to disagree with each other.

Work on side projects to keep your skills up to date. Try new things on your own. Maybe even link some of those things to the work you do at regular work to see if it can provide even more value. When it comes time to interview the most progressive companies, you can point to your ten years of loyalty to the existing company (a positive), as well as your initiative to keep your skills sharp in areas that the company cannot reasonably provide (another positive). ).

There's another great answer that I remember reading here on Quora about what separates really awesome developers from the regular ones. That answer pointed to the ability of incredible developers to engage others for the greater good. I guarantee that those developers won't keep doing the same for years. Technology moves too fast. Every hiring manager is looking for those amazing developers, regardless of their cutting edge experience and skills. You can always learn new languages ​​and techniques.

Before even trying to answer the question, let me tell you that you are not the only one struggling in the IT industry. There are many.

  • Why this happens, I don't know.
  • Maybe they never got the right mentors.
  • They may have incompetent supervisors.
  • They may have motivation or attitude problems.
  • Giving actionable and valuable feedback is still a lost art.
  • Maybe people don't have the right skills and are going into the industry.
  • Maybe they are in a super toxic environment and they don't realize it. This is possible when people are overly self-critical and blame themselves.

Whatever the cause, maybe my first

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Before even trying to answer the question, let me tell you that you are not the only one struggling in the IT industry. There are many.

  • Why this happens, I don't know.
  • Maybe they never got the right mentors.
  • They may have incompetent supervisors.
  • They may have motivation or attitude problems.
  • Giving actionable and valuable feedback is still a lost art.
  • Maybe people don't have the right skills and are going into the industry.
  • Maybe they are in a super toxic environment and they don't realize it. This is possible when people are overly self-critical and blame themselves.

Whatever the cause perhaps, my first suggestion would be that you don't make a drastic decision to change to the point where you know exactly what it is that you are missing. Without this analysis, your move to a different job / role / domain might not be fruitful. Your current situation should provide you with enough data for analysis and self-introspection. Otherwise, you may face similar challenges in another job / role / domain and have no idea again.

Here are my suggestions:

  • If necessary, read a motivational article or books.
  • Get rid of your biggest waters. It could be facebook, whatsapp, tv, gossip. You will suddenly realize that you have enough time to work on your area of ​​focus.
  • Start getting feedback from your friends, colleagues, and family. Make a detailed note of each comment. Don't argue if the feedback doesn't make sense, just write it down. See if you can do something with that.

Try to analyze where exactly you are failing:

  • Is it in the coding?
  • Are you in the planning?
  • Are you running?
  • Are you not able to set expectations?
  • or is it that you cannot understand your expectations
  • Are you not thinking about the problem and then it is biting you?

However, suppose that even after performing the steps above you did not get a good perspective. This is what I suggest:

  • Find a coding language and be thorough with it. Read at least one best practice book in that language. And you should finish at least 2-3 books on coding / programming in a year.
  • Go to coding competition sites and start by solving basic problems and move on to complex ones. Don't focus on ranges, just to learn to code.
  • Start solving interview coding problems, especially from Google, Facebook, Amazon. Not only do they improve your problem-solving skills, but they also increase your confidence. And not just confidence and problem-solving skills, you'll always be ready for the interview.
  • If it is not daily, you have a problem to solve in a week. Until you get to a point where coding doesn't seem like an effort. It comes naturally to you.
  • And trust me if you've done this once, even if at a later stage you don't have a chance to code for a while, you'll feel a bit awkward, but coding at least will never be your pain point.

However, let's say you're not ready to put in the effort (Hint: this in itself should give you a hint). But there is nothing wrong with this anyway.

Get started with certifications like PMP, ISTQB, Java, etc. (could be certifications related to agile, security, big-data, etc.). Little by little you will begin to have a greater breadth in your resume. Which will definitely keep you fit to work. This will also give you ample opportunities to discover your area of ​​interest. And I highly recommend that you don't settle for a one-time certification and don't delay completing one. Finish one quickly, maybe 4-6 months, and move on to another.


Thanks for A2A. I hope that helps. I wish you the best. Let me know if you have any questions.

8 years and still as a programmer? Something is wrong with the company's career system. Either you must be a designer or delivery leader or team leader. Your career choices, whether it's on the technical line or on the managerial line or on the pre-sale line or on the product line (if you're in a product company) or in project management or the service leader or the quality or line of evidence should have been discussed after 3 to 5 years of your career by your team leaders and managers.

You can take your call, whether you prefer management or consulting or quality or sales or design and take the appropriate training / certification or courses.

You can

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8 years and still as a programmer? Something is wrong with the company's career system. Either you must be a designer or delivery leader or team leader. Your career choices, whether it's on the technical line or on the managerial line or on the pre-sale line or on the product line (if you're in a product company) or in project management or the service leader or the quality or line of evidence should have been discussed after 3 to 5 years of your career by your team leaders and managers.

You can take your call, whether you prefer management or consulting or quality or sales or design and take the appropriate training / certification or courses.

You can learn Agile / DevOps / PMI / Testing or QA in CSTE or CSQA or CSTM or CSQM or Audit or Security like COBIT, SOX or Data Analysis or Specialized DevOps or Service IT like ITIL etc.

You have a lot of options, but don't wait more than 10-15 years to make the switch before then and move sideways and up.

You can be a subject matter expert, consultant, leader, manager, or salesperson. But you decide. If you want money and power, choose management or leadership. If you just want money and demand, choose technology and tools and become a consultant or subject matter expert.

If you don't want to be part of technology or management, but be in demand, develop a career in marketing and sales. It will provide you with money and networks, and both technology and management will listen to you. A tech-savvy salesperson is a great and rare asset, and that will be a good role to play.

Remember that each role has its own strengths and weaknesses.

So, as the Knight Templar said in Last Crusade to Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford, choose wisely as it can also spell professional death if you choose wrongly.

I have been writing software for 35 years. What I learned is that software development is not much different from the rest of life - if you don't see the value of what you are doing, there will be problems.

In short, you have to be involved in something that is personally meaningful, or there will be consequences that will be measured in loss of satisfaction, burnout, etc. What is "personally significant"? That varies from person to person, but the common denominator is that you are doing something worth doing for yourself, rather than for the benefits you personally gain. That is what is "significant" m

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I have been writing software for 35 years. What I learned is that software development is not much different from the rest of life - if you don't see the value of what you are doing, there will be problems.

In short, you have to be involved in something that is personally meaningful, or there will be consequences that will be measured in loss of satisfaction, burnout, etc. What is "personally significant"? That varies from person to person, but the common denominator is that you are doing something worth doing for yourself, rather than for the benefits you personally gain. That's what "significant" means when we talk about work. If you can't see how it benefits your world, your work will be unsatisfying.

Your question is full of self-centered concerns ... do you think this means that you are a failure, etc. But it's not about you, that's the completely wrong perspective. It's about what you could contribute. Life is not a test in which your value is judged, it is an opportunity in which you have to grow to contribute with what you have to contribute, it calls you to be greater than you used to be, and if you do not hear the flame then you don't grow up.

So open your ears and listen to the value of what you are doing. If you can't hear it, move on to something else that has more value. Stop thinking that this is your personal validation and listen to the broader game.


My posts on Quora are primarily related to my efforts to write a book called "The One Piece Puzzle: The Real Me and the Fragmented World." The book attempts to answer the question "what does it mean to be yourself?" A sample of that material is kept here: 1pp Journal

Right now, I feel like my career has stalled (40 years).

I realize that it is much more difficult to get interviews.

When I go to an interview and everyone else is under the age of 25, I see that I am going to fit "badly into the culture."

I noticed that younger programmers have started talking to me like my experience is worthless, even when I'm debugging their code for them.

My experience is losing market value faster than I can get a new experience. (Currently mostly C / C ++ and PHP / LAMP.) I know I need to branch out into something else, but it's hard to take advantage of that opportunity.

To get a senior position in a new tech stack,

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Right now, I feel like my career has stalled (40 years).

I realize that it is much more difficult to get interviews.

When I go to an interview and everyone else is under the age of 25, I see that I am going to fit "badly into the culture."

I noticed that younger programmers have started talking to me like my experience is worthless, even when I'm debugging their code for them.

My experience is losing market value faster than I can get a new experience. (Currently mostly C / C ++ and PHP / LAMP.) I know I need to branch out into something else, but it's hard to take advantage of that opportunity.

To get a senior position in a new tech stack, I need several years of experience in that stack. My experience in other things is valued at $ 0.

To get an entry-level position in a new tech stack, I am considered less valuable than a recent college graduate.

Most HR / Headhunters say "Learning new skills on your own doesn't count", which means the only way to gain new business skills is to find a job where you can use what you already know AND gain valuable new experience.

Software is a double lemon market. Most candidates are lemons and most jobs are lemons. That makes it very difficult for someone who knows their stuff very well.

It's been a long time since I've worked with people I was learning from. Above all, I have been learning everything necessary to accomplish whatever task I am doing.

If you are not a software engineer, the answer is clearly yes. If you have spent the last twelve hours trying to chase a race condition between a replicated cassandra cluster in two data centers and two services trying to read and write the value leading to the most recent position of a user, in very specific circumstances , reverted to a value that was neither in the database nor in any of those services, you absolutely think that no, I am not being paid enough for this abuse.

In practice, most companies will not overpay their employees. From the point of view of economic theory

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If you are not a software engineer, the answer is clearly yes. If you have spent the last twelve hours trying to chase a race condition between a replicated cassandra cluster in two data centers and two services trying to read and write the value leading to the most recent position of a user, in very specific circumstances , reverted to a value that was neither in the database nor in any of those services, you absolutely think that no, I am not being paid enough for this abuse.

In practice, most companies will not overpay their employees. From the point of view of economic theory, companies (especially large ones with good HR and Legal departments) will try to find a happy environment in which they can pay just enough to attract the people they need. This applies globally, of course. On an individual level, you are likely to find people who are paid too much or too little because both the hiring managers, the HR staff, and the job incumbent are all human and presentation issues.

However, in general, it seems that companies make money by hiring software engineers, so clearly the benefit provided is greater than the cost. In that sense, I would say “no”.

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