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I have a good amount of experience (about 6 years) working on the Symbian platform. While I have learned a good deal about mobile application and framework development and about mobile computing in general in these six years, I understand that things have changed ever since. (It has been 3 years)

I moved to web development and cloud computing ever since and am at a verge where I am relocating to a different country and should look for a new job. Is it possible at all that recruiters will consider me for a mobile application developer job purely based on my Symbian experience?

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    If you could give 'em a strong portfolio, your experience will be considered. – Amar Duplantier Apr 16 '14 at 10:48
  • Would the portfolio for example have to include apps developed in some of the modern platforms? – user18811 Apr 16 '14 at 12:46
  • Can't you use what you have learned on the Symbian platform and learn the new platforms on your own? If you do that, you'll make a prospective employer's decision to hire awful easier. And you'll do yourself a huge favor by not falling on your face on the new job because you are unfamiliar with the new technologies and you are going through the learning curve on your new employer's dime You have learned what it takes to put a mobile app into production - that's not a small thing. Update your knowledge on your own, and you'll most probably be fine. – Vietnhi Phuvan Apr 16 '14 at 13:11
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    You don't have purely Symbian experience, you have 6 years of Java (or whatever language you used) experience. – GrandmasterB Apr 16 '14 at 16:20
  • Consider this: Employers who DO actually have a fixed requirement for a specific language are probably rather short sighted compared to employers who are looking for a more general (and transferable) skill set. In other words: If someone does hold your "old" platform against you, you may not want to work for them anyways. – dwizum Apr 3 '18 at 15:49
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Yes.

Even though you do not necessarily have an up-to-date/in demand skill set, you do have experience working in a professional environment which will come in handy. Technologies change all the time, it's a fast moving industry, that doesn't mean the past six years learning a now redundant technology was a waste.

The important thing isn't the specifics of your skills, its the transferable knowledge that is gained from experience. I could be the best in the world at using technology Y and fresh out of university, so I'm likely to start as a graduate. On the flip side, I could be the best in the world at technology X with 6 years experience, some minor exposure to technology Y, but not a great deal, and start as a developer who is probably paid more than a graduate and has a respected opinion.

You haven't picked up one skill in six years, you've picked up an array of transferable skills, that's what matters.

Of course, you will probably want to train yourself up on the technologies you're interested in working on, with proof that you have an understanding of what you'll be working on.

  • Would the proof have to include actual apps on the app store or equivalent, or would personal projects suffice? – user18811 Apr 16 '14 at 12:47
  • Depends on the company and what they're looking for. – Joe Apr 16 '14 at 12:48
  • Great answer. Transferable skills are huge in programming. The core concepts stay the same. The new frameworks are just building cooler things with the same Lego pieces. – bushell Mar 6 at 16:36
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There are lots of skills in software development which are completely independent from the technology being used:

  • How to properly plan and execute a project
  • How to communicate with other project members
  • How to write readable and maintainable code
  • How to design proper user interfaces
  • How to write proper documentation

It doesn't matter if you did projects in Java, Visual Basic, C++ or Fortran and if you did it for mainframes, desktops, phones or smart toasters. These skills are far harder to learn than a new technology.

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It definetely counts, include it even if you dont highlight it. If the company isn't looking for that tech, as long as you have the required one or it is similar there shouldn't be a problem. Put focus on the most valuable things for the target job but don't hide work years less 6 of them.

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In terms of selling yourself, if you can tell good stories and share a good laugh about legacy technologies with both technical and non-technical people, that can be much more beneficial than talking about some new technology just because it is on the job description. The mistake many people make is spreading themselves too thin by attempting to discuss every technology in the job description, rather than showing the in-depth understanding needed for debugging and troubleshooting.

There is no possible, imaginable correlation between people that know that particular piece of trivia and people that you want to hire. Who cares what the difference is? You can find out online in about fifteen seconds! Remember, smart does not mean "knows the answer to trivia questions." Anyway, software teams want to hire people with aptitude, not a particular skill set. Any skill set that people can bring to the job will be technologically obsolete in a couple of years, anyway, so it's better to hire people that are going to be able to learn any new technology rather than people who happen to know how to make JDBC talk to a MySQL database right this minute.

References

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