Career crossroads…

I had a call from a recruiter Thursday at work about a job opportunity using C#. I wasn’t really interesting in jumping ship at this point, but I always like to return these type of phone calls, because you never know. I told her I didn’t have much experience in C#, most of what I’ve done for the past 11 years is using C++. She said the client wants C# experience, and even though C++ is similar in many ways, that doesn’t count.

Which immediatly started to worry me. My company tends to prefer old technologies and old way of doing things (jumping to Scrum being the only real diversion). Am I eventually going to take myself out of the job market, like the Cobol programmers who never picked up another skill after new languages surpassed it?
Sure, through my consulting efforts, I have done some PHP and Ruby on Rails, but that doesn’t match up to someone with 3-5 years experience. And .NET, which is really the market leader here, is something that I’ve only used to write things like test clients and other apps that are not meant to be shipped to customers. I’m now doing some Java for work, but I have about 2 months experience, not the 3-5 years that I would need to apply for a job in that space.
Talking to the recruiter, she said .NET jobs far outweigh Java and C++ in this area. She also said the Cleveland job market ‘sucks’ now for IT, which isn’t surprising since it was a shitty job market for IT even when we weren’t in a recession.
The big question is how do I fix this. Do I continue to push for change in my company, to move forward in technology? If I only keep working with the technology that my company wants, I will be pushed out of this job market. Do I try to do more consulting work where I can use these newer technologies? That seems like the logical choice, but it comes with a cost of personal time/family time, etc. Or do I just dig in, and prepare to be at my current company for the long haul (meaning learning new technology isn’t as important)?

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