It's not what you know that will necessarily get you a new job.
It's not who you know that will necessarily get you a new job.
It's both plus having the ability to communicate in a reasonable manner.
When you are "experienced" and have quite a few years of development behind you, a decent developer will have built up a list of friends from previous or current jobs. Hopefully, these friends respect your ability to develop. When it comes time to obtain a new job, hitting up those friends is an invaluable resource. I have hired several colleagues from previous encounters in this manner. I have even hired the same guy twice. Each time I moved jobs, I pulled him in behind me. I have also been hired twice thru personal references myself.
Just think about it. Do you think an interview is much more than a crapshoot? You are trying to judge the suitability of a candidate based upon a few hours of interaction. Wouldn't you rather judge someone based upon their past performance of which you (or a friend you trust) are familiar, having previously worked with them?
I'm not saying that an old dog shouldn't learn new tricks. Far from it. It's every developer's responsibility to maintain their skill set. I am extolling the virtues of building a network of past/current colleagues who might be of help to you in the future, just as you might be of help to them.