Generally, software development is a dead-end job and though we can argue with few examples of programmers but it doesn’t happen to most of us.
Generally, software development is a dead-end job and though we can argue sighting examples of few awesome programmers coding even at the age of 60 but it doesn’t happen to most of us (the developers).
If you start your job at the age of 25, with 15 years of experience and at the age of 40 your salary will quadruple if each of your increment for 15 years is just 10% and it will be 8 times if all your increments are 15%.
In India, more than 15% increase in salary is quite normal. When I started in 2004 my CTC was ₹96k and it was 6 times when I left 4+ years in 2008. As your salary multiples, you have to make sure your productivity multiplies at the same rate as well.
How is software development a dead-end?
I am in touch with many of my old colleague and 4 of them I know were fired. All had awesome development and debugging skills and I looked up to them to become as good as them.
Few of my college friends foresee similar issue now.
Normally the reason is performance but there is nothing much that can be done about it either.
As your salary increases, you will not be allocated to projects to keep the cost of the project under control.
If you keep your salary under check, it is not possible either because if you don’t get satisfactory increments and remain under the same salary bracket for long, it can your performance is not good either.
In either case, you lose the job.
What could be possible solutions?
1. Switch Often
Keep switching jobs every few years. Move to a different technology. If you are doing the same job for the same company for 5 years, you should definitely consider switching because your learning curve has topped out and you are still trying to play it safe which can lead to disaster.
2. Quit Job
After a couple of years of experience as a developer any time is a good time to quit your job and become a self-employed freelancer but at 40, you aren’t too old either to be self-employed.
If you don’t quit your job, jobs can quit you.
If you want to quit your job here are 6 steps I used to quit my job.
3. Un-hike Salary
We always switch jobs for better pay but opt to move to a better technology even if it is at the cost of lower than your current salary. It can help many folds. You learn new technology but it also means your hikes are not making project cost sky rocket and with past development experience you can excel in new technology and can move from being a developer to business development where there is no dead-end.
If you can’t increase your productivity, with every salary hike you are increasing your risk of being fired. No company will be more than happy to pay you more for the same work that can be done by someone else at a lower cost.
Further Reading …