Hi ranters. We need to talk.

I've been thinking, I'm lately getting tired of code everywhere. Suppose one is a software engineer / senior developer. What is one's career path from this point on?

Tech lead? Architect? And then what? Is that all? A dead end?

Management would be also a possibility I guess. But is that a horizontal career change or are there any spots in vertical plane?

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    I like writing code. I like automating tedious tasks. I like improving people's productivity. I like reducing MTTR. I like reducing overhead and operating costs. The road beyond this is... more of this, if I can manage it.

    But if you're unhappy with what you're doing, then try something else. Is that a scary thought?
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    Have you tried gone into consulting? It’s less of code and more of people skills and architecting applications and figuring out fuckups. Might have to look at code from time to time.
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    Startup? I at least hope for that path as soon as my experience suffices
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    I blame kubernetes for doing this to you.
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    @tits-r-us Truthing the truths
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    @bahua I like optimizing too! But there's this other thing.. I've looked at job market and almost all of the offers have nearly the same max salary limit. So when I reach it - there's not much room for improvement there.

    And I don't really like the idea of moving to another country with my fam.

    So I was wondering where could I grow further once I reach that level
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    @hatemyjob that sounds tempting. Challenges! Haven't seen any offers tho 😁
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    @TheCommoner282 that is on my //TODO list and a WIP. Until it's ready I still need € income, so I need a job. And I was wondering what are the vertical career possibilities if my startup failed.
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    @netikras it might be relatively hard to find. Based on industry and location. But I think you might like it. Worst case you get back to full time coding wirh some added experience. :)
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    @tits-r-us good one! 😁 although this thought had been lurking in my mind some time before my k8s adventures :)
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    It seems that you’re equating progression with salary. It’s something I’ve been thinking about recently. We all need to pay bills/eat/take care of our families but it seems like we’re set on a path of the more we earn/spend the more successful we feel.
    Might be worth thinking about progression in terms of the contribution you can make rather than the money you earn.
    Alternatively, if money is the most important thing,architecture, management or finding the next most fashionable tech buzzword is the next step.
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    @UnicornPoo thank you. I do care about the impact I can make, but making signifantly bigger impact through the years of my career for the same income doesn't sound like fun. And I'm wondering where/how should I pivot while it's still time, while I haven't reached the salary ceilings
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    I've been through some career changes myself, but I really love to code, so keep that in mind.

    After the company I was in tanked, I met some people and ended up as a startup co-founder. The project failed, but that process allowed me to expand my network and gain valuable experience that opened the door for the next two jobs I had, first as a senior dev & team lead, and then a return to the startup world as a CTO.

    If your startup fails, that experience will be valued by the right employer.

    As for the salary ceiling, keep looking at it and you'll likely see that it keeps going up.

    In a different direction, after several years as a startup CTO, I turned to remote freelance/contract work. Now I work for clients in countries that pay 2x to 5x more than my local market, so if the salary ceiling is an issue, remote working for clients in the US, UK, Germany, Scandinavia and other regions that pay above your local rates might be a good option.
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    Honestly, i would say take a 2 month vacation. Unpaid if you need.

    One month you do whatever you want. The second month you spend all your time on a creative interest, strictly artistic: making music, making movies, writing, etc...

    I find that the two things that rejuvenate me are nature and music. Two of the most opposite things from coding.

    And try to stay away from the computer while doing it.

    Best of luck to you, bud.
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    @poly remote work sounds interesting. And your story was very helpful, thank you
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    You shouldn't be worried about salary ceiling if you wish to continue to work as a professional. If you really wish to jump over, you should start building a personal capital (money, IPs). Freelance is a great place to start, because the capital will be the clientele, from which you start gaining a regular/passive income. Otherwise a competitive IP should be great second place to look.
    But I guess the hardest part of jumping over is that you have to think like a parasite, leech from your host, but be careful not to bleed him dry.
    Surprisingly enough, if you manage to jump over to sales team, and have the possibility to get a cash premium from a sales percentage, over time you can get quite an income going. (manipulating people is a must there)
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    @arcsector I don't think that's possible :) 1 toddler and 1 newborn at home. Not exactly the perfect company for "do whatever you like" ;) but that's a good idea. I would suit me if these were only my recent thoughts, which would indicate I'm tired or slowly burning out. Tired - probably. But I don't see the signs for burning out. Not to mention I'm currently on my parental leave for over a month already :)

    It's more like I'm getting fed up of controlling only the code. I'd like to boss some people around than be the one who's being bossed. I'd like to avoid mistakes I see most of the bosses around me making.

    I'm a bit confused myself :/

    Thanks anyway!
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    @netikras hmmm... ever thought about project manager? They usually manage the devs but not the code...
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    @HitWRight good thoughts. I like it! Thank you!
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    @arcsector yepp.. That's one of the roads I see written on a pole in the crossroads I find myself in :)
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    @poly how do you find remote positions abroad? How is it for you? Does it work out well? Any pitfalls to look for?
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    @netikras I started on Upwork, but you could also look at TopTal, I know people who've had good experiences there. And there's several other marketplaces for remote IT freelance or contract work. There's also places like Landing.jobs (EU tech recruitment marketplace) that might have remote full-time positions, if you prefer that over freelancing.

    The tricky bit of getting started on Upwork is having an empty profile, so you'll probably have to send a lot of proposals at first, and play a bit with the hourly rate until you get your first client. As you get more experience on your profile, it becomes easier to get prospective clients to take you seriously. For me, it took almost a month, and close to 30 proposals before I got some firm prospects.

    Apart from that, there's all the pros and cons of working from home. For me, it's been great so far.
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    @poly thank you.

    Took a month to get a first client or to build your profile? Sounds proper for the former and awfully fast for the latter
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    @netikras A month to get the first client, then it will gradually get easier.

    Upwork also has some gamification type of thing going on where you can get a "Rising Talent" status or other statuses that improves your profile visibility. Eventually you'll get clients inviting you to submit proposals for their jobs.
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