I have over 13 years of experience in system software domain (Writing firmware/validation software in Assembly and C). From the college time I am interested in Application software development like enterprise applications/ Web developments but I choose system software due to higher pays and job security (Used to be back then when I finished college). I never liked my job but I continued 13 years for one or the other reasons.

Now that I have decided to switch the domain. How do I convince employers to hire me for totally new profile?

My passion for application development is more then the hardship that switch may cause. So my decision is firm. I like to work on Java/C++ or similar high level languages and where I need to write code on daily basis. In my current job I hardly write 1000-2000 lines of code(C/Assembly) per project(3/4 months).

I can't afford to start fresh(mortgage). How can I make this switch seamless.

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    VTC. You seem to be after personalised career advice or a discussion with people in a similar situation which is not what this site is for. Edit your question if you have a question with practical answers. Check the help center for further info. – Lilienthal Dec 7 '16 at 14:01
  • I have stayed with this job for higher pay. I am learning Java. Java script, AngularJs are in my list of things to learn. I have plans to do selfstudy and do some personal/open source projects. But will these help and can I be able to compete with someone over 10 years of experience in the same field. – Shiv V. Dec 7 '16 at 14:02
  • “But will these help and can I be able to compete with someone over 10 years of experience in the same field.” Yes, no, maybe… I have a varied skill set and 20+ years of experience and I have found the reasons given for me not being chosen for a position—as well as being chosen of a position—is arbitrary at best. – Giacomo1968 Dec 7 '16 at 14:38
  • If you're doing it to code in Java, you might want to check the available jobs, as my impression is that the bulk of web development, at least, is now done using Javascript or similar, which is something quite separate from Java. – Gwyn Evans Dec 7 '16 at 22:11
  • @Lilienthal Thanks for your input, I have edited. I am only asking now how do I make this switch seamless. – Shiv V. Dec 9 '16 at 14:04

As a manager / employer, I'm looking for the best fit for the position I have open. The best fit is usually the person who convinces me they're more likely to be successful in that role than any of the other applicants.

The easiest way to convince me is to have a track record of doing similar work previously, but with room for growth in the new position. If I'm looking for a head chef, I might hire a solid almost-a-head-chef. She'll see it as a promotion, and I'll get someone with years of experience.

It's tougher with people making a career change. If there's absolutely no overlap between the positions (you were formerly a world champion flamenco dancer but I'm hiring a head chef), I'll have to consider you a newbie with zero relevant experience.

Here's the cool part - If you can somehow convince me that having a head chef with significant flamenco experience (hey, it could happen) is a good thing, you'll go from the bottom of the resume pile all the way to the top in a heartbeat.

Most of the time people don't make that kind of radical change. They'll go from one field (software dev in firmware / validation) to another (software dev in user-level applications). The trick is to convince the hiring manager that your experience is at least relevant if not downright attractive. The better you are at making that case, the better your chances for getting a good job with pay near what you're making now.

On a side note, it's often easier to get contracting gigs than full time jobs - it might be worth exploring for a few months to get your feet wet and pad your resume.

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  • I agree except for the contracting part in this case; its a very risky patch to take on contracting on something you've never really done before. Minor training might be needed, preferably by a senior in a company, to be able to complete the tasks assigned. If one is not able to afford a few months of unemployment while learning the traits, that is. – Jonast92 Dec 7 '16 at 15:46

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