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Career direction for a C# (ex VB) developer

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    #11
    I agree things have changed and not always for the best. I think you have to be a bit easier on yourself.

    Most people don't know all the different technologies, they tend to choose some kind of combination that works for them and gets them work. Perhaps try that approach and get comfortable with a set of technologies that will be around for at least a couple of years.

    Regarding source control, setup a VM, couple of git accounts and practice making changes, committing, pushing, merging, branching etc. You usually only need to know the basics and once you get over the crappy terminology it's not hard.

    Timekeeping is a pain, you just need a think skin. Estimates for work are estimate, it's not a failure to not meet an estimate. Log the time and if you go over you go over.

    Pluralsight is a good resource, I've used it recently for CI and Azure work and really helped speed things up.

    Failing all that if you do decide to go another way, try management.

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      #12
      Regarding Git, I much prefer a nice GUI tool. TortoiseGit is OK but there are several more featured tools which enforce a particular workflow - which is better than everyone doing as they see best - Git is very complicated.
      I've avoided having to run git manually for years and I'd say it's saved me a lot of problems too
      Originally posted by MaryPoppins
      I'd still not breastfeed a nazi
      Originally posted by vetran
      Urine is quite nourishing

      Comment


        #13
        Another push where I am currently working is away from any GUI based toolset to command line only. Eg. Infrastructure as code (Terraform), containers and container orchestration (Kubernetes), Git command line.

        The driver for this is to make continuous build, test and delivery pipelines easier. GUI's are not easily automatable, therefore a new requirement is to unlearn the GUI and know all the command line ways of building, testing, setting up infrastructure in containers and deploying using pipelines.

        To be honest, with all this and agile crap, I am happy to be retiring at the end of next year at 55.
        I design idiot proof software. Trouble is, they keep making better idiots.

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          #14
          Seems bizarre. Your CI and so on should surely be controlled by one person who does need to be an expert in all that stuff. Whereas the developers are focused on developing and just need to know how to commit their work!

          Nothing wrong with Agile though. Haven't most places by now knocked the edges off Agile to make it work for them rather than vice versa?
          Originally posted by MaryPoppins
          I'd still not breastfeed a nazi
          Originally posted by vetran
          Urine is quite nourishing

          Comment


            #15
            Sounds like it's time to upgrade your skills. I went down a dead-end MS path in the early 00s and made some good money for a while. Then got laughed out of an interview because I didn't know what I was talking about (blagging).

            So I started over again with open source stuff that (fortunately) is still in demand. It was hard at the time, and I learned a lot. Now I don't let my skills get old. There's always something new to learn, and usually time to do it on the job.

            I recommend learning to use Git. Not only is it the tool of choice (almost) everywhere, it's also very clever, and fun to use (when you get it right).

            Comment


              #16
              Originally posted by d000hg View Post
              Seems bizarre. Your CI and so on should surely be controlled by one person who does need to be an expert in all that stuff. Whereas the developers are focused on developing and just need to know how to commit their work!

              Nothing wrong with Agile though. Haven't most places by now knocked the edges off Agile to make it work for them rather than vice versa?
              We have a thing at this place, T shaped skills (whatever the **** that really means). So basically a full stack dev needs full devops capabilities. Idea being any dev can setup and maintain new services without silos in different teams.

              Devs need to be developers, cloud gurus, dev ops gurus, everything from source code to delivery to cloud. If not up to scratch, out the door, feet don't touch the ground.

              There you are expected to work 40 hours per week on these tasks, and in your own time, every evening and weekend, another 40 hours keeping up to speed with evolving and new tech stacks.
              I design idiot proof software. Trouble is, they keep making better idiots.

              Comment


                #17
                Originally posted by _V_ View Post

                We have a thing at this place, T shaped skills (whatever the **** that really means). So basically a full stack dev needs full devops capabilities. Idea being any dev can setup and maintain new services without silos in different teams.

                Devs need to be developers, cloud gurus, dev ops gurus, everything from source code to delivery to cloud. If not up to scratch, out the door, feet don't touch the ground.

                There you are expected to work 40 hours per week on these tasks, and in your own time, every evening and weekend, another 40 hours keeping up to speed with evolving and new tech stacks.
                I mean there are people like that but they are few and far between. And worth a fortune. Apart from anything else, many (most?) developers aren't very interested in sysadmin and most sysadmin are not good developers.

                In a startup, or a tiny team, this IS exactly what you need arguably. In a big team it seems unworkable. Although, the principle every dev should at least know the ropes is reasonable... I have a huge hole when it comes to vsphere and all that VM stuff, which I just leave for someone else, and it always annoys me.
                Originally posted by MaryPoppins
                I'd still not breastfeed a nazi
                Originally posted by vetran
                Urine is quite nourishing

                Comment


                  #18
                  I think at the heart of your problem is that you're 'experienced' in the industry, but actually still at a junior level in terms of full stack (no offence intended here). This is a killer combo because you've a great expectation of yourself but lack of knowledge/expertise since you were stuck in a job that didn't keep you on your toes.

                  My few points of advice:

                  - First off - chill. You're dealing with some imposter syndrome, you may look at the full stack devs around you and wonder how they know the ins and outs of all the various new and shiny frameworks from DB to CSS, it's not the case (to some extent). People are familiar with these technologies but 'familiar' is not the same as '20 years experience in each tech they've ever touched'. You just need to get stuck in and use them and you'll find common concepts shared very widely amongst the various languages (e.g. LESS is very similar to SASS, MySQL is very similar syntax to SQL, most JS frameworks deal with model binding and some form of routing) which means you can adapt, which is what most people are having to do from role to role. Just get your hands dirty with some.

                  - Secondly, I have only been developing for 12 years, but even in that time I have seen a change from development expertise being focused around knowledge and experience in particular languages more towards a focus on how resourceful one can be, i.e. how quick they pick up the new hottest language/tool/framework on the block. So yes - you may feel like this is a learning curve, but I suspect that's just the essence of what the development game is now.

                  - Thirdly, in terms of ideas/suggestions, suss out the market - what are the key skills? Not sure? Check on itjobswatch.co.uk for what's trending. Then choose tecnologies you're least familiar with an put together a side project. Try and encompass the following, for example: .Net core, some JS framework (react/angular), SASS or LESS - and call off to a DB in Azure. Try and employ some strategies and architectural patterns you think may be in demand (micro-services? use a service bus for decoupling?). This doesn't need to be perfect, but if you can't get the exposure - spin up some hobby projects that'll fill in the gaps.

                  I think you have a big decision to make here to remain competitive in the market. Are you fully invested in having (and being interested enough) to constantly learn and make sure you're 'agile' enough (for want of a better term) to pick up a new skill and keep an eye on what's in demand? Or not? If not, I think you may be a bit out of sync with what the dev industry now demands of people.
                  Last edited by DevUK; 9 June 2021, 10:46.

                  Comment


                    #19
                    Originally posted by DevUK View Post
                    I think at the heart of your problem is that you're 'experienced' in the industry, but actually still at a junior level in terms of full stack (no offence intended here). This is a killer combo because you've a great expectation of yourself but lack of knowledge/expertise since you were stuck in a job that didn't keep you on your toes.

                    My few points of advice:

                    - First off - chill. You're dealing with some imposter syndrome, you may look at the full stack devs around you and wonder how they know the ins and outs of all the various new and shiny frameworks from DB to CSS, it's not the case (to some extent). People are familiar with these technologies but 'familiar' is not the same as '20 years experience in each tech they've ever touched'. You just need to get stuck in and use them and you'll find common concepts shared very widely amongst the various languages (e.g. LESS is very similar to SASS, MySQL is very similar syntax to SQL, most JS frameworks deal with model binding and some form of routing) which means you can adapt, which is what most people are having to do from role to role. Just get your hands dirty with some.

                    - Secondly, I have only been developing for 12 years, but even in that time I have seen a change from development expertise being focused around knowledge and experience in particular languages more towards a focus on how resourceful one can be, i.e. how quick they pick up the new hottest language/tool/framework on the block. So yes - you may feel like this is a learning curve, but I suspect that's just the essence of what the development game is now.

                    - Thirdly, in terms of ideas/suggestions, suss out the market - what are the key skills? Not sure? Check on itjobswatch.co.uk for what's trending. Then choose tecnologies you're least familiar with an put together a side project. Try and encompass the following, for example: .Net core, some JS framework (react/angular), SASS or LESS - and call off to a DB in Azure. Try and employ some strategies and architectural patterns you think may be in demand (micro-services? use a service bus for decoupling?). This doesn't need to be perfect, but if you can't get the exposure - spin up some hobby projects that'll fill in the gaps.

                    I think you have a big decision to make here to remain competitive in the market. Are you fully invested in having (and being interested enough) to constantly learn and make sure you're 'agile' enough (for want of a better term) to pick up a new skill and keep an eye on what's in demand? Or not? If not, I think you may be a bit out of sync with what the dev industry now demands of people.
                    The 'full stack developer' is a myth IMO. I have been in the industry for 30 years .... most of that being with the MS stack. Sure you can be a Jack of all trades ... but master of none. Some of the people I have worked with in the past sell themselves as being full stack devs .... but don't know anything about columnstore indexes, SSAS etc. Indeed just keeping in touch with the SQL Server stack has been very difficult in the past due to its sheer size...luckily things are changing somewhat now as the likes of SSRS, SSIS and SSAS are becoming increasingly unimportant for new work. It will be interesting to see the direction that MS go with SQL Server in particular ... as its licensing sucks for the micro services model.

                    Comment


                      #20
                      Someone recently suggested to me the idea of working as a developer for an IT consultancy (as a permie, I guess); a medium to large type where they have multiple clients across different industry sectors. The work would probably be project based. For example; they'd probably put me in a team working on a specific project for one of their customers (e.g. health sector) for maybe 6 to 12 months. Then when that project was over they would re-deploy me in another team working on a different project for a different customer (e.g. retail).

                      In the past I tended to avoid that type of job beacause I saw it as having one of the downsides of contracting (having to travel around and work away from home) without the upside (higher rate of pay).

                      However, nowadays there seems to be much more likelihood of being able to work from home, which might remove the need to travel. I wonder if that might be worth a try? At least if I'm struggling with a project then I might get to start fresh on a completely different project/application a few months later. Seems like there would be more flexibility that way, and more chance that over time they might recognise my strengths & weaknesses and deploy me on projects that I'd be more suited to.

                      Has anyone experienced working for this type of company?

                      My other idea is to go contracting.

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