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Career direction for a C# (ex VB) developer

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  • Dark Black
    Totally understand where the OP is coming from on this - My skillset is primarily C++/C# and I've deliberately avoided getting involved with anything to do with web development as (it seems to me at least) that the spread of technologies needed is massive (and I have zero interest in them). As a result of course, that does limit my market somewhat but I have still managed to stick with platform (desktop) application development.

    Have you considered looking into embedded roles - always struck me as being a far more "pure" form of software development?

    Agile (IMHO) has ruined software development and I try and avoid roles using it like the plague. YMMV.
    Last edited by Dark Black; 31 May 2021, 17:37.

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  • lecyclist
    To define a problem statement in this way is a skill in itself. Which makes me think a bridging technical role, working more in applied technology rather than low level programming could me a good move for you. For example, working in machine learning or data science. Both can be extremely technical, can operate at the data visualisation level, or can head in the Product Owner direction. DS and ML make use of design patterns and parallel processing. While data visualisation is ridiculously easy using tools like PowerBi for example, appreciated deeply by business people accustomed to Excel, and could get you out of a rut.

    Posting the problem onto a public forum will not solve the problem for you. Better to focus on specifics. e.g. "I've decided I want to get a job working with blockchain, what are the core skills I need?". Asking some random strangers on the internet what you should do with your life (which is how an open ended question like this comes over) is unlikely to lead to anything transformative.

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  • hobnob
    Maybe it's worth a sideways move into sysadmin work? E.g. Azure DevOps involves using Visual Studio to deploy VMs: having a background in VB/C# would help with that, but it should be a lot simpler than full stack stuff. Similarly, if you've got a good grasp of programming fundamentals (e.g. for loops and conditional logic), you should be able to pick up PowerShell pretty quickly, and you'd have an advantage over people from a non-programming background. I think that writing a script to do things like "Find all the user accounts which haven't logged in this year" might be more in your comfort zone than the other things you described.

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  • cannon999
    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.

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  • jamsandwich
    started a topic Career direction for a C# (ex VB) developer

    Career direction for a C# (ex VB) developer

    I've been in software development since the late 90's. Used to do VB & SQL Server. Got stuck in a job that didn't progress my skills much for a a long time. Past few years I've been doing C#, ASP.NET, SQL Server developing web applications. I've done a lot of studying to get my skills up to date, aiming to become a "full-stack" developer. However, I've had three jobs (permie) in a row (including my current job) that I've really struggled in.

    The technology is only part of the problem. Seems to me that software devlopment as a career is much harder now than it was in the late 90's. I can think of 3 reasons for that:

    1) Modern software applications tend to use far more technology. In the old days it was just VB, SQL Server and maybe a middleware layer (DAO, RDO, ADO). Nowadays it's C#, SQL Server, ASP.NET, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Bootstrap, XML, Typescript, SASS, SignalR, Dot Net Core, Docker, Kubernetes, Microservices.

    2) The applications themseleves are far more complex. They have lots more functionality, and users expect far more from them than in the past. For example, cross platform, high security, high availability, scallable, etc.

    3) Iterative development methodologies (e.g. Agile) have led the business people and end users to have very high expectations from a development team. They expect rapid progress in delivering bug fixes, improvements, new functionality etc. There is a relentless tight (e.g. fortnightly) cycle of planning, recording, monitoring, reviewing progress through work tasks. Developers are expected to account for almost every hour of their working day on a timesheet; not just hours worked but allocating those hours to specific tasks so that management can see how long a developer spent on any one task. Feels like relentless pressure to deliver.

    Even the source code control system seems more difficult nowadays. I was quite comfortable using SourceSafe and TFS. Felt like I understood what they were doing, at least from a user perspective. However, nowadays I'm using GIT, and even after 3 years I still don't understand it. Every time I need to merge or rebase I tend to have problems and lose faith in the process. It's just my opinion, but I find it very un-intuitive.

    I'm getting a bit tired of struggling so much. Really expected it to have gotten a bit easier by now. I'm begining to wonder whether it might be over ambitious to aim for full stack. Then again, whenever I look for dev jobs in the language I'm familiar with (currently C#) they tend to always require the web skills as well as the language. I suppose there are other areas I could get into that are still within IT (e.g. testing, technical authoring, database administration). Not sure I fancy those though. I think part of my struggle is in understanding the business domain (not just the language). That would be necessary for a tester just as it is for a developer.

    The type of dev work that interests me most is the middle-tier & back-end stuff (OOP, design patterns, parallel processing). Not sure there is much call for that though, without needing to also have the front-end skills.

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