3

Here is my story:

By education I'm not a software engineer, however after graduation I got an offer to work as an iOS developer which I accepted right away. The reason behind it was that I was interested in software development in general and I knew I wanted to go to that direction, but had no idea back than what field/specialization should I choose, so I've chosen the first opportunity. That was 4 years ago, now as I have used other technologies as well - but still my main experience is iOS - it's clear to me that I'm not a mobile enthusiast and would like to change to another field.

Currently there is an opportunity at a company where they have an 8 week course about the field I'm interested in and I'm thinking about joining them.

Here are my questions:

  • As I'm 30 I am not sure how would it look like on my resume that I have changed my discipline completely. I am not sure that a recruiter would see this change in the future as "this person widened his knowledge, that's great" or "at 30 he had no idea what to do with his life? Huge red flag"
  • As I have a lot of experience with iOS I'm able to find a job more pretty easy as an iOS engineer, however not sure what are my chances after a few years if I would like to change workplaces with the new technology stack. I'm not sure if I would be a good candidate with let's say 2 years of experience at the age of 32 from a recruiters perspective given the age bias in IT.

closed as off-topic by gnat, OldPadawan, IDrinkandIKnowThings, mcknz, user59301 Jul 24 '18 at 15:38

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions asking for advice on a specific choice, such as what job to take or what skills to learn, are difficult to answer objectively and are rarely useful for anyone else. Instead of asking which decision to make, try asking how to make the decision, or for more specific details about one element of the decision. (More information)" – gnat, OldPadawan, IDrinkandIKnowThings, BgrWorker
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  • 5
    Seriously? I didn't start my current career until I was 29. You still have plenty of time and recruiters have no way of knowing how old you are as long as you don't tell them. Relax! – AffableAmbler Jul 22 '18 at 16:31
  • 5
    "A jungle gym scramble is the best description of my career. I could never have connected the dots from where I started to where I am today." - Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook), Lean In – jcmack Jul 23 '18 at 1:20
  • 3
    " it's clear to me that I'm not a mobile enthusiast and would like to change to another field" .. so, if you don't change, you are looking at 35+ years of something for which you are currently unenthusiastic, and that's unlikely to improve with the years. Do you honestly think that yo0u have a choice? – Mawg Jul 23 '18 at 7:53
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    Changinf rom doing software development with iOS to doing software development with something else is not changing one's field or discipline. – Brandin Jul 23 '18 at 10:23
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    "The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t." - Baz Luhrman – Seth R Jul 23 '18 at 15:21
29

From 2nd part of your question I figure you're switching to another IT field. I would say that this totally counts as staying in the business, even if this isn't iOS anymore.

So from this perspective: No. Changing technologies won't kill your career, in my opinion - quite the opposite.

Even if you would be interested in offer that isn't IT related - you need to decide what is more important: having a career or following your passion. Often they're not the same thing.

And being 30 means that you still have a lot of time to explore, that's not an issue.

3

Being in IT, you should always consider changing your specialization, regardless how much time you spent sharping the skill. Technologies come and technologies go, and it's quite pity to observe adepts of dying (or dead) technology and how they seek for a chance to get a new position for that obsolete technology instead of putting their best efforts to learn a new skill. For instance, xBase databases family, Symbian etc. - they were quite a perk several years ago, and they're hardly more than a historical record nova days.

Summary: You can't stop learning if you're in IT field. Period. This is not a sin.

  • right, unlike medicine, or law, or finance, or construction, where there has been no change ever and nobody needs to learn anything new. – bharal Jul 23 '18 at 10:19
  • @bharal, I agree you should learn daily in any field to stay sharp, however there you can stick with "tricks learned young" and just do the job. Surely, you couldn't be named a guru expert anyway, however that knowledge guarantees you a piece of bread up to the "day-last" (construction worker, financial clerk etc.). In fields like IT, old knowledge is mostly useless as nobody needs it. – Yury Schkatula Jul 23 '18 at 10:58
3

30 is not that old. You've got (on average) 35 more years of working. Might as well do what you would like to do.

I did not start in IT until I was 34. This was after 12 years in sales and sales management. The money was extremely good in my previous life but I hated (really hated) the entire sales and sales management career. Straight commission sucked. So I made an (early) mid-life career change. I went back to school and worked (4AM - noon) as an operator in a data center. Started my development career as a COBOL programmer at 36. I've now been in software development in one capacity or another for 25 years.

Your resume (iOS only) is not what gets you a new job. For a career change your soft skills and aptitude for new skills are what should be emphasized. Interpersonal skills, project management, business acumen - emphasize these.

The training program sounds like a great opportunity. Go for it and good luck!

2

In practical terms it's not your age (within reason) but whether or not you can actually land a job, and you find that out by applying.

Whether or not you meet a company or individual who is age-biased is a matter of chance. In which case you just apply elsewhere.

It's just another potential bias you cannot do anything about so best not to let it worry you and just move forwards. I'm a brown school dropkick, heavily tattooed (unhideable) and changed to white collar work in my mid 30's from an unskilled labouring and forestry background. You just keep trying until you get your foot in the door and then prove your worth.

1

Realistically speaking, the only way a career gets 'killed' is by the industry and/or the employer and even then, that is questionable. It's all up to the individual as to how far you will let someone else wreck your career/life. That being said, if you are not enthusiastic now with iOs, then I don't, quite frankly, know how you think you will be able to pull off continuing on that path for the next few decades. Unless, of course, you write the code for an amazing app that lets you make bank so that you need not ever have to worry about paying the bills ever again. Maybe that's you --I don't know but it could happen, right?

Bottom line: you need to do what you keeps you interested and moves you forward. iOs may be paying the bills at the moment, but I guarantee that if you dislike having to do it, you'll only burn out. Get out now and pursue your passion. The best job on the planet is the one that doesn't feel like one.

  • 1
    "continuing on that path for the next few decades" Well, I wouldn't bet on iOS (or its competitors) being around for decades. – Roland Jul 23 '18 at 11:21
  • @Roland LOL I'm sure Apple completely disagrees with you, but hey, arguing with a stranger for the sake of arguing never stopped any speshul induhviduals, did it. – Greensleeves Jul 24 '18 at 1:24

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