2019 was a year with many things happening at once, with the major change being that I had left my job of 7 years. This brought along fears of not being up-to-date with the current programming skill set. Up until my departure I have been working with C++03 and boost 1.61. While this allowed me to stay somewhat current with shared_ptr, recursive_mutex, and for_each loops. With my time freeing up and taking on new jobs, I was able to play a bit of catch-up with unique_ptr, move semantics, and lambdas with C++14/17.
In my previous post https://slewicki.com/wordpress/index.php/2018/03/05/does-having-a-senior-title-actually-mean-that-youre-a-senior/ I mentioned my worry about if my years as a developer actually meant anything since interviews would shut their doors at me. Some would state that I was behind in my programming knowledge, while others would ask complicated logic questions to be solved within a certain time frame. This led my morale hitting an all time low, but luckily I was able to get a chance and show what kind of an asset I can be.
If you find yourself in a similar situation where interviewers keep closing the door at your face, work making you feel stale, or just feel like you need a change but don’t know where to start. Try and find a few minutes a week to brush up on something to help advance your career. If a significant other or kids are involved then chances are that you will most likely be foregoing some sleep in order to push yourself, but there is always a way to help improve. Try a side project that helps solve an issue you have using a language or framework that is relevant to your career or interests and just keep pushing.
It’s rough out there, but there is always a little glimmer to help show that it can be better.