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Stuck in a dead end programming job. Advice please. watch

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    I've been working for a company for a few years since uni, but i'm struggling to find job 2. The language I use day to day is outdated and I can't get another job with it. I don't have time to learn other stuff on evenings or weekends due to family/friend commitments, and me being completely exhausted from work most evenings anyway.

    I've applied to a handful of places, but only had 1 interview which went horribly, knocked my confidence which made me not want to apply anymore.

    I'm considering leaving to give myself time to re-skill and learn a relevant language, or leaving and retraining as a graphic designer, since creating icons and logos and such actually turned out to be one of the parts I started to look forward to when working on things, more than the programming.

    the problem is, I'm reluctant to leave because im worried it will be viewed very negatively by anyone who interviews me in the future, regardless of the fact I'm trapped in a dead end job right now and can't see another way around it.

    have you ever found yourself in a dead end job without time to retrain?
    how did you deal with it?
    have you ever known someone leaving with no job lined up, to retrain? how did it work out for them?
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    what's this "day to day" language that you think is outdated? I just came out of a similar situation
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    (Original post by shawn_o1)
    what's this "day to day" language that you think is outdated? I just came out of a similar situation
    i don't want to say because it's so obscure, if i write the name down this post will probably come up in google when you search for the languages name.

    I'll just say it's a 4GL language which is used primarily (but not limited to) making DBMS CRUD applications, which were popular for enterprise 20-25 years ago.

    these days it's kind of a dead duck, but when you're fresh out of uni, skint and need experience you tend to take what you can get...
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    Same, but I'm still very much keen on programming. My previous role also involved a 4GL with rapidly deteriorating support so I ended up asking for the boot
    Fortunately, I did gain experience with more relevant programming languages (VB.NET for example) so would be able to talk about this experience during interviews.
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    (Original post by shawn_o1)
    Same, but I'm still very much keen on programming. My previous role also involved a 4GL with rapidly deteriorating support so I ended up asking for the boot Fortunately, I did gain experience with more relevant programming languages (VB.NET for example) so would be able to talk about this experience during interviews.
    VB itself seems to be losing the fight to C#, but at least it's a known entity I suppose.

    are you saying you left of your own accord and when you went for interviews at other places they generally understood, or were they asking harsh questions/doubting your story a lot?

    what language(s) are you using now?
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    (Original post by Shoegazer92)
    VB itself seems to be losing the fight to C#, but at least it's a known entity I suppose.

    are you saying you left of your own accord and when you went for interviews at other places they generally understood, or were they asking harsh questions/doubting your story a lot?

    what language(s) are you using now?
    I just lost interest in the application written in the 4GL language that the (very small) company was marketing - and the decision of the higher-ups was made once they had training sessions with some clients which I didn't follow.
    I of course hid the fact that I was sacked; the company even offered to "pretend" I was employed by them on a contract, when asked for a reference.
    I'm open to C#, Java and VB roles as of now. Maybe some C++ if needed.
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    (Original post by shawn_o1)
    I just lost interest in the application written in the 4GL language that the (very small) company was marketing - and the decision of the higher-ups was made once they had training sessions with some clients which I didn't follow.
    I of course hid the fact that I was sacked; the company even offered to "pretend" I was employed by them on a contract, when asked for a reference.
    I'm open to C#, Java and VB roles as of now. Maybe some C++ if needed.
    well, best of luck to you, it's interesting to see another perspective on "voluntary redundancy". most of the people I have spoken to this about have suggested it's a dangerous thing to do because employers always assume the worst if you leave one job without another in place.

    I'm probably not the best guy to be giving advice, but unless you really badly need the pay check, you shouldn't think about VB, and certainly no more hardly known 4GLs, you take jobs like that and you end up struggling to find the next job when it's time to move on due to lack of marketable skills, essentially where I'm at now
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    Hmm, I appreciate your advice. Since VB is one of the .NET Framework languages it was incredibly easy to pick up using Visual Studio and my previous experience of C#. I had also initially learned VB to write Excel macros just in case that's needed anywhere
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    Good luck getting anywhere in software if you aren't interested in using your own time to learn new stuff.
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    Does the company not experiment with newer tech?
    Is there not a side project you could pursue at work that solves a business task using a more mainstream language?

    If the answer to both of those questions is "no" then IMO you should seriously consider leaving -
    provided of course than you have savings / other means to support yourself while you line up the
    next job.

    I have two gaps of a few months each listed on my CV that are basically marked up as
    "Worked on own projects". No tech manager I've ever met (15+ years) would turn someone down
    for leaving a job without having another one to go to. However, you should be able to justify the
    reason for the gap. Switching languages/technology stacks is a perfectly good reason.

    Out of curiosity, what would you consider to be a more relevant language?
    i.e. what would you want to re-skill to?
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    (Original post by jungle_ninja)
    Does the company not experiment with newer tech?
    Is there not a side project you could pursue at work that solves a business task using a more mainstream language?

    If the answer to both of those questions is "no" then IMO you should seriously consider leaving -
    provided of course than you have savings / other means to support yourself while you line up the
    next job.

    I have two gaps of a few months each listed on my CV that are basically marked up as
    "Worked on own projects". No tech manager I've ever met (15+ years) would turn someone down
    for leaving a job without having another one to go to. However, you should be able to justify the
    reason for the gap. Switching languages/technology stacks is a perfectly good reason.

    Out of curiosity, what would you consider to be a more relevant language?
    i.e. what would you want to re-skill to?
    thanks for the reply.

    The company doesn't experiment with new things, I don't want to go into detail, but we don't and we don't have time to even consider it.

    I've saved a fair bit of what I've earned, and I could go without a job for maybe a year or two at this point and it wouldn't impact my day to day life in any negative way, other than perhaps a lot less human contact which I think I'd miss.

    in terms of what I would leave to learn, that's another problem. I just want a quiet life. There is no clear language or framework which I think is "safe" to learn because of the speed new stuff is being created, and I've looked into it no end believe me, culminating in writing this post.

    to name languages, I'd like to learn Scala, GoLang, possibly Android, or pick up the whole M.E.A.N stack thing and get into those js libraries. but that's purely more to do with what I prefer than what I consider employable skills.

    Around where i live a big portion of what I see advertised is focused heavily on C#, but that's largely used in enterprise which I don't want to get sucked into again. And on a purely childish level, I just don't like C#, it's boring...even though I know it's a good solid language and there's nothing wrong with it really
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    (Original post by Shoegazer92)
    thanks for the reply.

    The company doesn't experiment with new things, I don't want to go into detail, but we don't and we don't have time to even consider it.

    I've saved a fair bit of what I've earned, and I could go without a job for maybe a year or two at this point and it wouldn't impact my day to day life in any negative way, other than perhaps a lot less human contact which I think I'd miss.

    in terms of what I would leave to learn, that's another problem. I just want a quiet life. There is no clear language or framework which I think is "safe" to learn because of the speed new stuff is being created, and I've looked into it no end believe me, culminating in writing this post.

    to name languages, I'd like to learn Scala, GoLang, possibly Android, or pick up the whole M.E.A.N stack thing and get into those js libraries. but that's purely more to do with what I prefer than what I consider employable skills.

    Around where i live a big portion of what I see advertised is focused heavily on C#, but that's largely used in enterprise which I don't want to get sucked into again. And on a purely childish level, I just don't like C#, it's boring...even though I know it's a good solid language and there's nothing wrong with it really
    I would say the time has come to move on, it doesn't sound like the kind of company that's going to advance your career...

    New stuff comes and goes all the time, what's hot one week/month/year isn't the next. Programming skills are largely transferable between languages - the core principles are the same. However, companies will want you to be able to "get stuff done" which pretty much translates to having experience in the language(s) they use.

    Maybe approach various companies for some work experience with the languages/tools you'd like to learn?
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    Yup OP I am in the same situation tbh, Ive thought about leaving and taking the time to train myself so I can get a better job but future employers will see this as a bad thing n tbh I cant afford to work part-time or be jobless so Ive had to bits the bullet and sacrifice the little free-time I get. The reality is you will have to make sacrifices.


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    (Original post by Shoegazer92)

    the problem is, I'm reluctant to leave because im worried it will be viewed very negatively by anyone who interviews me in the future, regardless of the fact I'm trapped in a dead end job right now and can't see another way around it.

    have you ever found yourself in a dead end job without time to retrain?
    how did you deal with it?
    have you ever known someone leaving with no job lined up, to retrain? how did it work out for them?
    Do it. How is bad to take time out to re skill? I spen 16 years as a developer. I am good at it but it doesn't float my boat. So I have just accepted a place on a teacher training course. I think it is probably the best thing I have ever done.
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    Hey Shoegazer92, will the company let you do any professional development or training as part of your role? They may let you if they know you aren't happy and have a skill set they need...

    Dave (Enquiries, Glyndwr University)
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    (Original post by Glyndŵr University)
    Hey Shoegazer92, will the company let you do any professional development or training as part of your role? They may let you if they know you aren't happy and have a skill set they need...

    Dave (Enquiries, Glyndwr University)
    There's a branch of professional development, but the stuff they offer is generally focussed more on the product the company is selling (e.g Accountancy and Finance certifications and such) rather than on the needs of employees in the IT department.

    in response to all the other posts, It's very reassuring to see a mix of good stories as well as perhaps more realistic advice.

    my current feeling is to leave in order to study another language/framework (to be determined as of yet, but I've a good idea), make an amazing portfolio of work (hopefully with some freelance stuff in there to show it's real world, real stuff which I got paid for), practice hard on interview technique and training to make sure I don't need to "settle" for a job like this again, and so I don't get completely thrown by a few curve balls.

    Absolute worst case that i can't get a permanent position again, I know myself that i'm good enough to work self employed making apps and such, or as a contractor once I've got my head around a stack, and once i get the body of work behind me to prove it, it shouldn't be too hard to get a contract job, leave when it's up and adapt to where the market has gone while I was doing the contract

    I'll probably update this thread again if I do decided to ultimately pull the plug and do it, with all of the above said, it still feels like a risk, but it's also a risk to stay still
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    (Original post by ByEeek)
    Do it. How is bad to take time out to re skill? I spen 16 years as a developer. I am good at it but it doesn't float my boat. So I have just accepted a place on a teacher training course. I think it is probably the best thing I have ever done.
    Thought u worked in support


    Posted from TSR Mobile
 
 
 
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