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There are paths and trade-offs.

a) Focus on technologies that have staying power. I don't think Java EE jobs will really ever disappear

b) instead of flavour of the month, focus on the flavour of the decade? i.e. Go and Kubernetes seems to be the trend :)

c) instead of resume-driven development, focus on having a network. Most of my jobs have merged because a former colleague, classmate or friend realized I knew some programming once, and they might want me to work for them :)

More in depth, I think you can make a trade-off between the tried and tested and the new-fangled thing, by introducing the new in your current job. Technologies that are not cutting edge, but slightly past the first peak on the hype-curve. I.e. if you do backend, you would probably try Go language (instead of Rust/Elixir/...), on frontend you could introduce Type-script (instead of other compile-to-js languages), you might try Kubernetes ... in general technoligies with following that are still new, but with more than five years in production at some places it puts them outside of the 'flavour of the month'

A) and now you’re competing in a commoditized market where they can easily hire someone cheaply. This would be the type of skillset I would keep up to date if I need a job/contract now and I wasn’t on the market by choice.

B) There are still a relatively few jobs in Go and they don’t seem to be paying more than your standard enterprise language. I’m not wasting my time learning a language/technology with both a smaller market and no pay premium.

But K8s while I think is overhyped and something being chased because of the ooh shiny effect, it is the type of technology I would jump on, insist on a pay premium and ride the hype curve.

C) you still need to do RDD. Who you know will only get you so far. Who you know gives you the inside scoop on opportunities but you get jobs based on what you know. No one is going to stick their neck out for someone who is objectively unqualified.

I'm curious, where do you find accurate and up-to-date data about market size, number of jobs, and average pay for programming languages? I could definitely use this information to better plan my next career move.

It’s more nuanced. It’s not the absolute “market size” it’s whether the market is large enough.

I can keep up with that from talking to former managers, former coworkers, my network of local recruiters, recruiters job listings, LinkedIn posts, Indeed job listings, etc.

For example. Let’s say from all over those sources I see the following trends.

Senior consultant positions (in my case AWS). There are relatively few jobs in my local market compared to everything else that pay enough to make me jump ship just for the money. But when they do become open. I’m building my resume and skillset to be qualified for these types of jobs. If I leave my company on my own terms, I can wait until the perfect position opens up. If I need to find a job now I can’t afford to wait and it’s too risky for me to over specialize in an area where local jobs aren’t plentiful.

On that same note, the only reason I am specializing in AWS instead of Azure is because that’s the job I ended up in. Even though the market for AWS is much larger than Azure, the Azure market is more than large enough so it doesn’t matter. GCP on the other hand...

If I take that same mentality to Java, C#, and Go, the same thing applies. Java is more popular in the enterprise, but C# is popular enough that you can quickly find a job, it’s hard to ask for above average compensation just for a developer job since there are plenty of people who can do it “well enough” to develop your bog standard SAAS CRUD app or bespoke internal app. But they pay well enough. The cost of living is relatively low in Atlanta.

On the other hand, I don’t see that many jobs for Go developers locally and when they do appear, the salary is the same as C# and Java. Why specialize in a language where the demand is lower and the compensation is the same - unlike AWS Consulting.

Learning Go would mean I am neither optimizing for salary or for optionality to find a job quickly.

Of course, it’s always good to have Javascript in your back pocket because of the web and it’s used for server side code, desktop apps, and cross platform mobile apps.

As far as my next career move, I am not sure. Extra money would always be nice, but cloud consulting/enterprise consulting doesn’t excite me. I have a decent work life balance and I enjoy my current stability.

On the other hand, I am getting bored with developing, a change of pace would be nice and increasing my savings and investments wouldn’t hurt.

Interesting w.r.t Go-lang. Where I live, we have RedHat working on kubernetes, and several startups in the "lets-turn-everything-to-golang-microservices-on-kubernetes" phase of hype-cycle, that pay premium, so my cost-benefit analysis looks different ;)

I kinda agree, that is why I was talking trade-offs.

In reality, you probably mix bit-of-collum-a/bit-of-collum-b.

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