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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?

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