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I've been a professional developer for over 25 years. However, the last 20 years have been with a single company creating line of business applications by myself.

I'm afraid that my company is about to be sold and that the buyers may not want to keep using our software but switch us to their platforms and that my services will not be needed anymore. A few years ago I saw this as a possibility and got a BS in Software Development to help jumpstart my impending job search.

My concern is that managers won’t want to hire me because I’ve never been a team player, which is fair because I don’t really know how to be a team player.

I've been reading up quite a bit on how to improve my soft skills to be a team player, but what I'm really concerened about is the actual technical aspects. I'm looking for specific suggestions on things like code reviews, pull requests, build tools and stuff like that.

Edits: My current project is a server side blazor application, so I'm currently using c#, sql, javascript, html, css. Previous projects have been WPF, MVC, webforms and classic asp.

I use visual studio, versions 2010 - 2019, and webstorm as my IDEs

I use git for my source control.

I'm looking for to move into a Sr. Dev. position somewhere.

So my actual question is "What skills do i need to learn on my own so that I can get hired as anything but a entry level developer?"

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    What is your question exactly? – Kupo Feb 21 at 16:49
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    Might help to edit that in at the end of the question to make it clear what your goal is. This seems to also depend greatly on what field you work in, and what kind of position you are aiming for. A Java developer will have different tools than a C# developer to a certain degree, and those are fairly similar languages compared to some others. – Kupo Feb 21 at 16:52
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    How is your knowledge of git things like merge, continuous integration systems like Jenkins, cloud technologies, Jira, bug tracking, etc? – Matthew Gaiser Feb 21 at 17:09
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    I don't know how to put this into an answer at this time: But from this post if I were a hiring person, and you were this open and frank: I'd probably be willing to give this sort of person a shot (assuming no other glaring things came out) on your soft skills! But, how do you feel about even mid-level vs sr? – AthomSfere Feb 21 at 17:45
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    This isn't much of an answer, but I think you may be selling yourself short. You have 20 years of experience running projects, building applications, and supporting the business. That means you have 20 years of experience making decisions and seeing the ramifications of those decisions. That is so much more valuable than 1 year of experience repeated 20 times over, like so many developers are doing these days. – Cypher Feb 21 at 20:12
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My concern is that managers won’t want to hire me because I’ve never been a team player, which is fair because I don’t really know how to be a team player.

Why is this a concern? Do you think your current management will tell any recruiters that you are not a team player? You have over 20 years of experience and this alone will go a long way to getting a job that is not entry level.

According to the skills you listed I am sure with your 20+ years of experience you will be able to successfully shop around for a decent job that fits your years of experience.

So my actual question is "What skills do i need to learn on my own so that I can get hired as anything but a entry level developer?"

This kinda depends. What is your goal? What do you want to be doing next? Depending on the answers to those question you will want to find out what the up and coming languages are or what is growing in popularity.

If you spent 20 years in the same place you are clearly performing. I would not be so worried if I were you. I think you have a small case of impostor syndrome and will be fine.

Just be honest with your interviews and all will fall into place with the right position for you.

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My concern is that managers won’t want to hire me because I’ve never been a team player, which is fair because I don’t really know how to be a team player.

There is a difference between not being a team player and not having an opportunity to work on a team. Working within a team is a skill that translates across multiple areas. You can also talk about examples of being a team player outside of work e.g. you play a club sport with friends, you organize volunteer events, etc.

I've been reading up quite a bit on how to improve my soft skills to be a team player, but what I'm really concerned about is the actual technical aspects. I'm looking for specific suggestions on things like code reviews, pull requests, build tools and stuff like that.

  • I would recommend you read up on agile as a way to manage your work. I would start with Kanban since it tends to be more approachable to new people.
  • If you're not familiar with build tools, pick a popular CI like Jenkins, Travis, CircleCI, Concourse, etc and figure how to "build" your code i.e. install/upgrade packages on the host, run automated tests, create build artifact, etc.

What skills do i need to learn on my own so that I can get hired as anything but an entry level developer?

For true entry level, you generally need:

  • basic knowledge of data structure and algorithms,
  • familiarity with writing automated whitebox tests (e.g. unit, integration)
  • comfortable in one mainstream programming language and the ability to pick up a new one
  • high potential in picking up new technology and a willingness to learn
  • good communication skills and a team player.

If you're willing to take a bit of a pay hit to start from the bottom and you have the baseline skills I mentioned above, I think a lot of companies would be willing to give you a shot.

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