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The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Where to go from here? Mid-Career Anxiety.

omission9 writes: My software development career got started at about the same time as /. itself. I am happy that I have made it this far. The past 10-12 years have had some major bumps(.com implosion, two recessions)! A lot has been written about how to break into the IT biz but not much gets written here for people that are facing some mid-career anxiety. The options, based on that I have seen other do, are:
(1) becoming a contractor
(2) trying to start my own Micro-ISV
(3) Keep "playing the game" and tenaciously try to get a mid-level management position.
(4) Keep "playing the game" and work towards a "Principle" or "Architect" position.
The bottomline is that I find that the software business is quite cut-throat at this level. A great many people I started out with after college have completely left IT. As time goes on there are a variety of powerful selection forces at play, most of which are out of my control. IT is such a vast field I am not looking for specific advice but rather some case studies. For all of you out there with 10-15+ years in the software industry what is your story and what have you done specifically to survive this long? What has your career trajectory been like?

"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel