Letter to a Young Software Developer
Reevaluate your career at the end of every year. After two years at the same company, if you are unhappy, not challenged, still doing the same thing, or doing nothing at all, then you owe it to yourself and your career to leave.
It is far too easy to fall into a comfort trap and before you know it, several years have passed you by and your skills are far behind the current level of those coming up behind you.
At larger companies it is typical for developers to work on one project for a while, usually in the first couple of years, then spend the next few years maintaining and enhancing the applications at the whim of customers. This soon becomes pointless work and is detrimental to your long term career (although not necessarily your bank balance). This is assuming that you care about your career.
If you do care, then get out. Work with new people. Hear new voices. Appreciate new ideas. Learn new skills. Don't spend too long thinking about it. Just do it.
Some people embrace the entropy that comes with working at many large companies. It's comforting doing the same thing every day and knowing that no more will ever be demanded of you. It's easy interacting with familiar faces who feel the same way. It's easy to fall through the cracks and spend a career doing very little at these places. If this sounds like your dream job then there are plenty of job openings. Start here.
However, if you strive to better yourself and become the best developer you can be, then reevaluate your career at the end of every year.
Originally published April 23, 2012blog comments powered by Disqus