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I’m a 33 year old software engineer from Chile, and I’m also a professional rugby player (since 2020) and I’ve represented my country for the past 8 years and just recently competed in the Rugby World Cup in France this past September, which was a huge accomplishment for Chile since it was our first participation… for that reason I decided to quit my engineering job in March 2022 to pursue this goal and prepare myself the best I could. Now I plan to transition back into my SW career, part-time since I’m committed to end of June 2024 with my actual professional rugby club.

Previously I worked for 4 years at a startup, some of that time I worked part time alongside rugby, this is an excerpt from my CV:

Senior Software Engineer for Capta Hydro, working as a fullstack engineer with a focus in backend systems, IoT, databases, event-driven and real-time systems. I led the Capta Hydro software team for over 3 years, sometimes as the only developer. It has been a huge learning experience, with very varied experiences ranging from frontend development to IoT devices programming, and everything in between.

Currently due to my professional rugby gig, I am now supporting the team as a fullstack engineer with a focus in backend applications, databases and integrations.

Key technologies: AWS, Lambdas, Stepfunctions, Node.js, DynamoDB, InfluxData, MYSQL, Docker, React, PHP, Python.

I’m looking for advice on how to get back into it and also what new things I should learn that have become relevant during the time that I have been out. Also feel free to comment on how I could benefit the most out by my other work experience as a professional athletes.

Many thanks,

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    TBH, I don't see what your rugby life has anything to do with your programming career. Employers don't care. Leave all of that out of your Resume/CV.
    – joeqwerty
    Nov 9, 2023 at 19:51
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    @joeqwerty I would argue otherwise, that shows an excellent team working ability, for example... especially at such a professional level, and they're probably known in their own country, so removing that makes no sense
    – signed
    Nov 9, 2023 at 20:18
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    The universe doesn't change much in two years. You might want to try to make a point that rugby encouraged you to think in terms of coordinated teamwork or something of that sort, so the interviewer is left with a positive feeling about how those two years may have affected your focus.
    – keshlam
    Nov 9, 2023 at 20:39
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    Thanks for your comments, i plan on retiring on June and in the meantime look for time part-time jobs or as a freelancer. After my retirement my full focus will be on my career
    – tomasdussa
    Nov 9, 2023 at 20:43
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    @tomasdussa I think that you should make it more clear that you are retiring from rugby. in you CV.
    – Questor
    Nov 9, 2023 at 21:13

2 Answers 2

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I would add the rugby experience to my resume/CV as if it were a position within another company. That way you don't show any gap in your work history, and you can add a line or two showcasing your team building experience, etc. It seems to be as much of a "job" as any other job but just not something in tech.

A few examples...

I am a software engineer and was out of the tech field for almost 2 years due to layoff and a bad economy in the early 2000's so I used to list my job in general construction to fill the gap. I only had a single line explaining what I did since the specifics are not really relevant. It has been over 20 years now, so I no longer list that job or anything previous to it.

I am also a volunteer firefighter and EMT so I have a different section of my resume where I list that work. It shows my willingness to volunteer to help my community while doing valuable work to save lives. It is a great conversation piece in an interview.

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A number of once professional athletes have transitioned into the workplace and used their prior profession as a "door opener." Businesspeople are also often sports enthusiasts and will gladly welcome the chance to talk to someone they saw on the sports field. Thus, these athletes often find themselves in sales type positions.

If you don't want to transition into sales, the experiences of being on a well run team and having experienced good coaching can be used to help manage development teams. Rarely do development teams have the same rigor as professional sports teams and can use your experience to help them better function.

If you only want to be a developer, be aware that the technology is both changing rapidly, and each company will be at a different point in the technology path. What to learn will be different for each company that you interview with.

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