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Developers should take advantage of the good times to discover what really makes them happy

Opinion

Developers should take advantage of the good times to discover what really makes them happy

“What happens when you reach the pinnacle of your professional aspirations and then realize that you have lost touch with the reason why you started the journey in the first place?” asks Leehee Yaron Gerti, Director of Marketing at CodeValue

Leehee Yaron Gerti | 09:50  18.10.2021

In recent years, with the eruption of the digital transformation revolution that has moved from the speed of a Formula 1 race car to the speed of a ballistic missile (thanks to Covid-19), the demand for skilled technological manpower is on the rise. And as new blood flows into the industry, those who are a little more experienced rise up the job ladder and become managers.

A double-edged sword

In the technological sphere, unlike perhaps other professional arenas, relevance is the name of the game. It is clear to all of us that nurturing a career means advancing in the job ladder with the ultimate goal being to reach a senior management position. Young developers often strive to become a team leader, then practice leader, and eventually lead an R&D department. It seems like the natural flow of things, only that in the high-tech industry, professional advancement can also be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have achieved the job of your dreams which is accompanied by a lot of respect and pampering benefits, but on the other hand, it distances you from engaging in the technology itself and comes at the expense of reading professional materials, attending events and conferences, and also just spending time for self-study and professional development. Soon, that same worker wakes up to find that the years have passed and while he/she has been “stuck” with the same technological stack – the world around moved way past it, and guess what? You are no longer at the top of the game!

 
 
Leehee Yaron Gerti, Director of Marketing at CodeValue. Photo: Courtesy
Leehee Yaron Gerti, Director of Marketing at CodeValue. Photo: Courtesy

Age bias is a real thing

Recently, we at CodeValue, conducted a survey which showed that 59% out of the 1,500 participants strongly believe that there is covert or overt discrimination against adults (45+) in the high-tech industry. This commonly shared presumption got validated last week when the media exposed the class action lawsuit against Facebook, which clarifies how major companies in the industry prefer to recruit young workers over the "veterans". Another interesting fact we’ve learned from this survey is that there is a clear correlation between the employee being an experienced professional (i.e., over 10 years of experience) and the understanding that what really matters in the workplace is the company’s technology practice, the professional challenge and maintaining professional and personal up-to-dateness.

Not all is lost – here come the experts

The combination of the two difficulties described above – ageism and managers distancing from tech - seem to make more and more true techies understand they need to do some reverse engineering. They feel they need to go back “deep down” inside the code, the software architecture, and leave the bureaucracies and paper shuffling behind. When that moment of enlightenment comes, it is also the moment to make a decision.

This is where project-based expert companies come into the picture. These companies are always at the forefront of technology, the “go-to” people when organizations of varied size and scale encounter a technological challenge, or a complicated problem that seems insoluble. Working for an expert company means the employee is always technologically relevant. And while it's true that there are usually no passion fruit or vending machines in their kitchens and also no foam parties in the Maldives, working in these companies provides the developers with a sense of satisfaction, an interest, and a professional challenge.

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Lately I’ve been talking to high profile developers who have made this transition. Tomer Karasik who was a co-founder and CTO in his own startup and VP R&D in another explained to me that while he was thankful about the choices and professional opportunities he embraced along his career, he had suddenly realized that he’s partially grown apart from the hands-on development process, which has always been his joy and true passion. And once that occurred to him, he started to look for the best possible way to jump back in and find a new professional home that allowed him to focus on what matters to him the most – practice software development at the highest levels.

We currently live in a market where power is in the hands of the worker, the great tech-job shortage opens up opportunities and expands the circle of possibilities. It is a great position to be in and it’s important to take advantage of the good times so that when the wheel turns again (and believe me, it will happen) employees will find themselves in the best situation to allow continuation of their professional and personal growth. But, and there is always a but, it is important to stop, smell the roses and think - what will really make me happy?

Leehee Yaron Gerti is Director of Marketing at CodeValue

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