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In a little over a month, I'll be turning 46. I've been doing software development professionally since I was 18. I have no formal education in it, except for a couple classes taken at a CC for C++.

Between hearing things like this, the way the internet is going, the way cell phones are becoming more closed up and walled in...just everything about the way the world is going...

...I honestly am beginning to think my best course of action would be to (somehow) change jobs entirely, move out to the middle of nowhere on 40 acres, drop off the internet, build my own cellphone (which I've mentioned), and just go back to hacking on my TRS-80 Color Computer. If I ever accessed the internet again, it would only be for email and maybe the occasional "telnet BBS" - and that would only be after a 50 mile drive into "town".

While I know and understand that despite 25+ years of experience I may not be at the same level as others with fewer years, that time should count for something. In my case, what I lack mostly has been any sort of opportunity for a "management" role; I have never been a team lead, for instance. It pains me. It does nothing for my self-esteem as a software engineer.

But that shouldn't count against me. Nor should being able to solve some rando problem concocted as a gatekeeper. I've worked at places for short periods, and I've stuck around at places far longer than I should have. But lately things have been hovering around jumping at 3 years, and that time seems to be coming up for me at my current place of employment.

The thing is - I don't want to leave. I like it where I'm at. I enjoy the problems. I enjoy my coworkers. I enjoy the development environment. But more often than not, it seems, outside forces seem to conspire to kick me out whether I want to go or not.

Maybe I'll get lucky once more and land a new position. Maybe I can use the fledgling skills I have in ML in some manner. Or I might have to drop my salary requirements down and take something lesser, just to stay employed?

But at some point in the future - the near future - it feels like it won't matter what I do or don't do, I won't be allowed to "make the cut" any longer.

Thank $DEITY I have no debt other than my mortgage...




> I honestly am beginning to think my best course of action would be to (somehow) change jobs entirely, move out to the middle of nowhere on 40 acres, drop off the internet

In my mid-30s and this feeling is only growing stronger. I don't even have a demanding job, I never work more than 40 hours and I get to implement the latest and greatest (.NET Core, Vue).

In the last 6 months I've applied to several remote jobs. I always do well on the sample projects they give me and I have a good personality during the interviews... cracking a few jokes to lighten things up a bit. However because remote jobs are so damn competitive they always focus on one stupid question I didn't answer exactly the way they expected or something I slightly missed and I end up getting rejected. "We're looking for someone with more experience" - I have over a decade of experience, I've demonstrated as much and I can solve pretty much any business problem.

All of it just makes me feel defeated despite the massive progress I've made in my career, all the awards, back to back promotions... all feels meaningless anymore.


My first thought upon reading this was: "If you don't want to quit your job, then just stay."

So, is it you are working on a project, and when the project is finnished there is no work left, or do you think thay you will get fired, or what am I missing here?


> My first thought upon reading this was: "If you don't want to quit your job, then just stay."

Well - that's always what I try to do, but the last several places I've worked, the decision was effectively made for me, either due to a layoff, or because the company closed down, or because it was bought out (and I was given a real stupid offer to stay), etc.

> So, is it you are working on a project, and when the project is finnished there is no work left, or do you think thay you will get fired, or what am I missing here?

> My first thought upon reading this was: "If you don't want to quit your job, then just stay."

Well - that's always what I try to do, but the last several places I've worked, the decision was effectively made for me, either due to a layoff, or because the company closed down, or because it was bought out (and I was given a real stupid offer to stay), etc.

Currently, it's because the client I work for, on behalf of my company (I'm part of a small team here, but the client is international, and the larger dev team they have in place is the same), has made a decision to outsource the work we do here in the USA for a different international team (who likely is cheaper). We will be training our replacements on how the system is designed/working. Once they are "up to speed" (we imagine), our team will be cut loose.

Our boss (owner of the company - it's a small boutique web application business) has assured us that we have an internal project waiting for us, which we've been told about and have discussed, for us to continue on with. It is supposedly fully funded, which I don't have any reason to doubt. The owner is a great guy, and has been up-front about everything going on, and I trust that this will work out. I've told him that so long as the paychecks don't bounce and I still have health coverage, I'll stick around. I really do like our team and environment. I also like the idea and concept of this new internal project.

But I've been doing this long enough that even that may not be enough. Things have a way of turning in business where at one point, things might seem ok, but then overnight a painful adjustment has to be made and you find yourself without a job. I've also told my boss as much, not to sacrifice his business on account of trying to keep us all employed, because I've seen in the past employers with similar small companies I've worked for completely implode because they kept trying to make things work and keep their people employed, when scaling back would have been the better option. It's noble and nice to know when an employer acts that way, but from a business perspective it really is the wrong decision at times. So I've let my boss know that I understand this, because he's that kind of guy - he doesn't want to lose us, we're a good team (talent-wise and such), but I don't want to see him lose the business either.

I'd rather he would stay in business, and maybe I could return in a few years or something when things are looking better.

But so far - there's nothing to indicate that anything like that is going to happen. We're all still employed by this client. The company I work for, itself, has other clients (I am part of a small team tasked to work with this singular client; there are other devs who work with other clients on other web application projects), and this new internal application could turn out to be something wonderful for the company, if we play our cards right.

But I worry because our team lead left for a new position, because he has a family and needed more stability. I worry that the remainder of the team may take that same option, due to similar reasons. I don't have to worry about such issues; I don't have kids - but I do need to be paid to pay my bills, and I need health coverage (more a necessity as I get older).

But there's the possibility - if the rest of my team leaves for "greener pastures" - that the internal project may be shelved, or that I can't work alone on bringing another foreign team up to speed on our current project, or whatever, and at that point, it may be more beneficial for my employer to let me go than to keep me (and, after all, I've told him that he should do as much, right?).

I wouldn't begrudge my employer making that decision, but it doesn't mean I don't worry about it, either. The one thing that keeps me from worrying too much, at least in the short term, is knowing that I am "debt free" (except a mortgage), I have plenty of savings (enough to cover 2-3 years of salary if needed), and that I don't have to provide for a family other than my wife and dogs. In short, I can make things work for a while, until I can find something else or do something else. But it doesn't mean I don't worry about the whole situation...




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