I am an expert in an obsolete technology which is still being used at few places. I would like to learn something new and change my career path. How to make sure all my years of experience in developing enterprise application is respected in the market while going for a new technology where I don't have much hands-on experience in.

Respect: In my current position people look upto me for solutions and have the confidence that I can solve their issues. I can't be replaced by some junior someday. The fact that I can contribute in my workplace makes people respect me there.This is the definition of "is respected" for me. Thought this was quite obvious, but clarifying for those who raised a concern.

  • Are there any transferable skills that could be demonstrated or improved upon if you move to something more modern? Have you a shortlist of possible career moves where your prior knowledge could be useful? – user34587 Aug 27 '18 at 10:43
  • @Kozaky I do have all the relevant transferrable skills for a developer like good communication, leadership, teamwork etc. But i believe being a respectable coder needs more than these skills. It demands clear technical expertise. – RBz Aug 27 '18 at 12:49
  • @RBz I didn't down-vote, but I think you could reverse the trend by explaining what you mean by "is respected", as Joe asked, and go into a bit more detail. Right now, your question is a bit vague. – Old_Lamplighter Aug 27 '18 at 15:40

I am an expert in an obsolete technology

You are in a tough spot.

Part of being a developer\engineer is to stay on top of current technologies. As Kilisi points out, certifications are one method to help, but in my experience as a developer your best bet is to simply dive into one of the technology stacks and learn it inside out.

There are many choices: .Net Core, Angular, Python, React, etc. All of these are popular right now, and expertise in any of these along with your experience should take you a long way.

Demonstration of this can be done by either your own pet project, or with an open source contributions. Perhaps you could even find a way to work some more modern technologies into your current gig.

The last thought I would leave you with is this: Don't let this happen to you again. Stay up on a technology stack and keep current. It is way easier than trying to figure it all out at once.

  • 2
    This answer makes much more sense. Since it says there are no easy ways here, but to get the expertise in the new technology to match what I have in my current one. I am interested in Python Scripting and ML. Looks pretty vast to conquer at once. – RBz Aug 27 '18 at 12:40
  • Python is a good choice, and there are tons of resources for this. developers.google.com/edu/python – Neo Aug 27 '18 at 12:47

IMHO, it is not an issue, being on the top of your game in one thing doesn't preclude you from learning something new.

Obvious choice wold be developing yourself in technological paths adjacent or derived from your current knowledge base.

You may need to jump a few, if the technology you work with is completely outdated.

Being not junior in your current field, technological conferences would be a great place to start looking for a new path without completely leaving current one.


The obvious answer is to get certified. That way it looks like a progression or sideways move rather than a total change.

Certification shows commitment and a recognised level of proficiency an employer can rely on.

If starting something from scratch with nothing your previous experience in something totally different is not going to gain as much respect, because it's not very relevant.

  • How is getting certified in the new technology going to help? I will still look like a fresher with a certification. – RBz Aug 27 '18 at 12:33
  • it looks more like a progression in your career and shows commitment, without certification it looks like nothing. – Kilisi Aug 27 '18 at 12:35
  • I understand the significance. – RBz Aug 27 '18 at 12:41

I don't see an issue here.
In fact I think it would be wise to broaden your horizon and to make sure not to become obsolete once the old technology is completely gone.

At that point your mind may not be as agile as today and your learning curve may be much steeper.

In nearly all fields there are advancements and new technologies coming (and going) regularly.

I also think it is almost your duty, especially as a senior in your profession to embrace new and improved technology and gain as much understanding and proficiency as possible.

This would also benefit you in the event of job changes.

I'm not saying to ditch the old technology you're most familiar with as long as it is still being used an in need of your (now rare) expertise though but keep your options aplenty.


The ideal way to transition is to start doing open source work, charity work, and freelance work in the technology to which you want to shift your career.

If you want respect, you will need to earn it and the way to do so is to have a steady stream of "CAR" stories (CAR = Challenge, Action, Result) and use these stories to demonstrate your relevance in the new technology.

Absolutely avoid buzzwords and buzzphrases like "good communication", "hard worker", "quick study", "teamwork", "leadership", et cetera. As professional writers say SHOW, DON'T TELL

Instead of saying "I'm a fast study", say

"Our C++ programmer gave two weeks notice, and I stepped in, studied C++ so I was able to maintain her code after she left"

Instead of "Good communication", tell a story about how you resolved a conflict, helped others, clarified something, et cetera.

Instead of saying "leadership", say something like

"Well, our widget-tronic, model 86 broke down and we faced a work stoppage, I instructed 3 coworkers to get our old model 79 out of storage, demonstrated it's usage, and got production back up, and we made our deadline because of it."

Become familiar enough with the new technology so that you can show how your skills translate.

Well, I started out in COBOL, but my structured technique, meaningful variable names... (more jargon here) easily translate into good programming in C# because....

NOBODY is going to take your word for it, be able to demonstrate your talents and skills

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