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Pure tech jobs are sparse, branch out, times have changed

There as been seismic change in the technology profession.

Once we developers were king of the hill, we could demand perks, job hop for higher pay and change jobs just to work in the "hot technology" stack. Things have changed.

I would consider how you can leverage your other skills and knowledge to create new opportunities or side hustles. I would attend local networking groups, even local chamber of commerce meetings.'

I have stopped marketing to software related hiring managers and have started attending live networking meeting as well as creating content daily. I have a lifestyle blog as well as a tech related blog. I continue to work in tech but accepted a contract working with legacy code, something I would have never considered in the past. My feeling is that this down cycle in tech hiring is more than a blip on the radar. When it recovers I think things will look very different than it did 2 years ago.

I have been a software developer since 2000, I was a career changer and pretty much self taught, meaning (a mutt). I always was good at the business side fo things but my achilles heel was tech interviews. This has only worsened as the technology stack became more varied.

In the early years of tech hiring if you could describe past projects, describe the challenges and successes and described your technology stack, most interviews were merely pleasant conversations. Fast forward to present day, the interview process is well brutal. More panel interviews, tech trivia, live coding, take home projects. The hiring process is so painful that it is one of the main downsides that I point to when talking with those interested in moving toward a career in tech.

I see all the "green" banners on LinkedIn. I see many people trying harder to beat the interview game, the application game, and trying to stay afloat financially. I feel it is time for some to rethink. I see changes in the profession that are long term, not merely a rough patch.

Long term trends:

More outsourcing/near shoring - Working on international teams is becoming more common. Resources in South America, particularly Brazil only have a few hours difference in time son and the goverment of Brazil has heavily invested in technology education. Due to difference in currency developers can and will work for a fraction of the cost of a US "resource". There are many englisth speaking software developers world wide and cost-wise it is difficult to compete.

AI - My time coding is already monitored by AI (github co-pilot) that reports my use to management, my progress on stories is tracked. AI is hugely hyped, it is a vein of gold that will decrease labor cost and bring efficiency, at least that is the belief by decision makers in the industry.

Technical Complexity - As more frameworks were developed as well as an increase in the way technology is used, it is next to impossible to be fully prepared as a job seeker for any position. In the past if you knew 60% of the tech stack, someone would provide you the opportunity to prove yourself on the job but now you are competing with remote developers world wide who may have the desired skill set. The amount of frameworks and versions of frameworks has blossomed over the past 10 years. Too many choices has led to gridlock.

Investor Backed Ventures Have Fizzled-Due to higher interest rates investors are less likely to invest in startups or even longer term companies that have come to rely on investor capital. Labor costs has risen so the lure of "off shore/near shore" is strong. Consumers are financially strapped so the demand for goods and services has decreased. The companies that are still receiving backing need to reduce overhead in order to appear more lean to their investors. Laying off the most of the development team after a successful product launch is standard operating procedure.

The Everyone should code movement - I myself made a career change from school teacher to software in the mid 1990s. It was a good career move at that time. Now the field has been saturated with new software developers, all striving to learn the various code stacks. Over time desire and somtimes desperation have lead job seekers to endure long working hours, some unpaid and an interview process that borders on interrogation. I myself included would have benefited from more basic training in technology fundamentals rather than hopping from framework to framework.

Look at my Tech fellow techie - We spend too much time trying to impress peers rather than looking for problems to solve in the business world. Due to an over abundance of job seekers we are seen as order takers and a cost to the companies we are working for.

What can you do:

Network face to face whenever possible- Network with those in industries you find interesting. Perhaps you can combine your technical skills with your knowlege or interest in a particular industry.

Market toward business-In the past marketing our services toward a hiring manager or technical lead was our goal but times have changes now you also need to bring something to the business.

Start a Side Hustle-You will freshen your skills and start building a back up. As you age in this field being technical only, is not enough to remain employed.

Think Regional and Local-What can you bring to your area that is missing or could be improved. I live in and area with a rich Ag-tech and manufacturing sectors. One of my side hustles is job skills training for youth. Consider the region where you live and start learning about areas of opportunity. Attend your chamber of commerce at the city, county and state level.

Up your business skills-Being a techie guru is no longer enough. Learn to speak one on one, learn to present. Consider attending a local toast masters to gain speaking practice. Creating a podcast or other content. Create a blog and create some kind of content daily. I take comments I make on Linked In and convert them into blog topics. I like content by Jonathan Stark ("Business of Authority" and "Ditching Hourly") as a to help me break out to the mindest of being a "pair of hands" for hourly wages.

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