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Career direction for a C# (ex VB) developer

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  • t0bytoo
    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).

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  • d000hg
    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?

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  • _V_
    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.

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  • d000hg
    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

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  • woohoo
    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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  • d000hg
    Originally posted by Fraidycat View Post
    Plus many more things you didnt mention lkke TDD/BDD/CI/CD, daily standup meetings. Code reviews.
    It's awful that people actually want your code to be tested and good, when that's difficult for you

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  • Fraidycat
    "Wondering if anyone else finds it tough going nowadays, and if anyone has any ideas/suggestions?"

    Yeah its really tough these days for all the reasons you give. Plus many more things you didnt mention lkke TDD/BDD/CI/CD, daily standup meetings. Code reviews.

    However one thing that is easier compared to the 1990s, is that we have access to online resources like StackOverflow and Google.

    Work harder, put in extra hours until you master the skills you need to master. Thats the price we pay for not building up a retirement plan (property or whatever) over the last 25 years, or not moving into management or architect but being stuck as a developer doing the grunt work, at least it is still relatively well paid (outside of ir35 anyway).
    Last edited by Fraidycat; 31 May 2021, 16:12.

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  • d000hg
    Originally posted by cannon999 View Post
    There is only 1 skill that's required to be a successful full stack developer. And it's not Javascript or C#.

    It's the ability to learn. And learn fast. And it truely is a skill, I tell you. So you have your answer then? It doesn't sound like you have that skill.
    I can relate with the OP - on Git at least but I think the above is the key thing. I think most of us have/will eventually lose that ability/desire to be continually learning new tech.
    I wouldn't say at all that means your career is over though, but it does mean you might be looking for roles on established systems rather than new ones. I know people who I thought were 'dinosaurs' when I started work ~20 years ago, experts on one specific thing. Some of them are still doing that same thing 2 decades later, quite happily, and finding work.

    C#/SQLServer is very much a popular stack.

    edit: great list from BigDataPro above. I would say that database experts are always valuable so you might have the option to lean more into that, especially as there's so much more to it - spatial data etc.
    Last edited by d000hg; 31 May 2021, 15:38.

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  • BigDataPro
    Let me come straight to the point. Since you are a VB / SQL Server developer, the quickest and easiest career direction could be this. Numbers represent the order.

    1. General understanding of Azure
    2. ADF - Azure Data Factory
    3. Azure SQL / SQL Server including T-SQL, Stored Procs
    5. SSRS/SSIS
    6. Powershell / C#
    7. Azure DevOps - Git, ARM templates etc
    8. PowerBI
    9. Bit of Python, Spark, Databricks

    It is very likely that you may be already familiar with 1/3rd of them. So, it's not a long way to go. Good luck
    Last edited by BigDataPro; 31 May 2021, 10:14.

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  • jayn200
    I can relate.

    I spent 5 years as a developer where I did pretty mediocre work (my own admission no one has ever said that to me). Like you I was doing VB.Net and SQL Server transitioning to C# about half way through, I did 1 project on ASP.Net for a few months. I also did an iOS app so had to learn objective C for that back in the day but most of my work was on similar stack to you.

    I went out into the marketplace when I left that job and came to similar conclusion as you, the move to the web was something I wasn't interested in from the little bit of work I'd done and the technologies and skills needed were changing and widening like you mentioned (of course not to the degree it has today) and I really had no desire to learn them.

    I was lucky that the place I worked at had kept a lot of business logic in stored procedures in SQL Server and I was also able to do some reporting work that had come up. This left me with pretty strong data skills. So I transitioned to working with data exclusively. It's been 6 years now that I have not been a software developer and I couldn't be happier with the switch.

    I initially got a role doing reporting and some sql development, I then quickly saw that data visualization platforms were exploding so I jumped on that and took some courses and got some certs and started building out data visualisation and sometimes data warehouse platforms for companies. I did the odd data migration contract/work. Now I just did a data science masters and honestly data science is less interesting then the data engineering and data visualisation work but it's something a lot of companies are exploring so it's good to have the skillset. I went from being a mediocre software developer to being pretty damn good with data.

    I would recommend exploring going into either data or get really strong in one of the cloud platforms and go cloud architect route. Your skills will be transferrable and tech skill wise it's easier. I think you'd be happier and more successful.

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