My specific question is given all my background, is this the kind of work experience that's typical/expected in the industry, and I'm just slow? Never worked another job other than this so want to get other views.

I have a Bachelor's in Computer Science, 8 years experience, all working at the same large company.

I've been working most these 8 years in a small software group (20 people) of a larger engineering department. We have to do a lot and support legacy products, it's hard to replace people or cross-train.

Early on, I inherited our group's internal web application from someone who got laid off. I'm essentially the sole full stack developer + dba + sysadmin, but it's not my background (I'm more desktop applications). Most of it has been maintaining and updating the existing codebase, adding new functionality as needed, and managing pretty much everything to do with the app.

Currently I'm managing the existing web app (ASP), project managing two developers in India to create a new UI with modern languages and tools (Angular frontend + .NET Web API + entity framework), some code review + QA (learning the new tech on a surface level to do this), maintaining a plan to co-host both UI's for a phased transition (the old UI is quite large and multi-function so we can't do it all at once), and creating configuration guides and documentation to host the app on new servers that I've miraculously acquired to update our aging ones.

This has got me thinking about my career so far and if it is unreasonable to feel stressed out about it. I had a year or two of experience directly related to my background that I feel confident in, but the rest of the time has been filled with this web app stuff. I don't feel confident about it and not feeling like making it my career.

I wanted to see if there's some consensus that this the typical amount of progress most would see in the industry of a software professional at this stage.

  • 4
    There's no "typical" career path - some people want to make money working on legacy stacks, some people want to always be cutting edge, some people want to specialise in one particular language / stack, some want to be broader, some want to keep coding, others fast-track to management, etc. - I'd suggest adding a little about your career goals here and what you're interested in, that'll enable us to give a much less subjective answer.
    – berry120
    Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 19:43
  • 2
    Hi OP. right now your quesiton sounds like a rant. Please edit to make it shorter, remove irrelevant details. I suggest you phrase it along the lines "I want to do X with my life. I am doing Y now. How can I ensure I will get to X?" Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 0:21
  • 1
    So you have been doing Y for a while now (to keep @aaaaasaysreinstateMonica logic). What I don't completely get yet. Do you not want to do Y anymore? Or do you still not feel confident enough to be doing Y? (or both)
    – user180146
    Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 14:07

1 Answer 1


When this type of question comes up, the most important part is to reflect and be as precise as possible answering:

  1. What are you doing right now?
  2. What do you want to do?
  3. What is the time frame/resources you have available?

You say:

I have a Bachelor's in Computer Science [...] I'm managing the existing web app [...] not feeling like making it my career

The current job offers you specific challenges, if you are not happy, you should seek different challenges, either from your management or other employers. When talking to these two sources of jobs, present the answers to the list above and ask: how can you get to have (#2, "what you want to do") solved?

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