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I'm just looking for some feedback and some good advice. I'm currently a software engineer with some experience in C# and .net but unfortunately I'm 45 at a junior level(Yikes) reason why: all my other pass employment with other employers I was placed on some crappy projecct

I'm currently working at a software company and recently I was told that I wasn't performing at my level of an intermediate programmer. This was told to me and my coworker. I have received good reviews for the past year until a new manager was hired. I'm assuming at this point I have pretty much have a few month lefts once they give me an improvement plan at most... It has been very difficult because my manager told me I suck at my job right before Christmas and has not given me any advice on how to improve. Now even if I try very hard to improve I feel I already tainted.

So instead of getting depressed at this situation and my age I decided if I focus in studying heavily in C# and MVC/ API and get my hands into some python with a little of dev op, I should be able to re-bound eventually. I know the market is fierce and very competitive but I need to keep trying and in the mean time get me a job to get over the hump. I'm single with no kids and debt so I'm flexible in moving out of the detroit market that is limited...

As anyone experienced something similar... Just looking for some positive feedback...

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    What is your question? I fear just wanting words of encouragement is off-topic here. – Tymoteusz Paul Jan 11 at 17:01
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    My question what should I do at best in that situation.. Keep trying as a software developer in focusing what I know or.some advidce on that situation – Steve Jan 11 at 17:03
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    It sounds like you struggle to understand what you want for yourself. Unfortunately we can’t tell you that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I think you lack motivation. Proof of this is you being on the latter half of your career still at a junior level, being told that you’re not ready for intermediate level, being placed as a gambit in project development, failing to take initiative to talk to your manager about performance, and expecting advice to come to you at work. So my question for you is what are your plans to change this? You’ve listed your concerns but no solutions. – KingDuken Jan 11 at 17:38
  • Yes KingDuken I think I need to be more outgoing and motivated in what I'm doing and focusing on what I already know. Hopefully I still have some hope due to my age in this field....I need to have a change of attitude that will greatly help me. – Steve Jan 11 at 17:58
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    How long have you been in the industry? What do you mean by "pass employment with other employers I was placed on some crappy projecct"? If the projects with your past employers have failed what was the reason for it? What did you learn from those projects? Some people told you that you aren't performing to the level, what do they mean by that? Ask for feedback from them, listen and write down their concerns without any emotion or arguing. Then sit down and go through the list and figure out how to improve and work on it. – AlexanderM Jan 11 at 21:32
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  1. If you're on a performance improvement plan, then your best plan of action is to immediately start looking for another job. Look hard, you're going to be unemployed soon.
  2. Everyone gets assigned crappy projects. What separates the seniors from the juniors is what they do with the project. If you can go into some scary old spaghetti code and make the requested changes without breaking anything, you're valuable. If you can make the code better, you're a hero.
  3. Treat your experience as an asset, not a liability. There are plenty of shops running old-school .NET without MVC. They probably have a hard time finding help these days because younger developers won't touch them. Even COBOL programmers find jobs.

Would a reasonable manager consider you an asset or a pain in the rear?

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The problem is most likely not your technical knowledge. Usually job levels come with a list of characteristics you're supposed to have at that level, and usually where you're at on each of those characteristics is written down in your annual review. Typically for intermediate software engineers it's things like:

  • Completes work on time.
  • Starting to get involved in more complex areas of the software.
  • Works without hand-holding, with occasional direction from management providing well-defined tasks.
  • Code generally works, with input on bigger concerns like architecture and maintainability from senior engineers.

Dig up your written copy of your annual review, and work on those things.

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