Hi friends. Once again, I’m putting out the monthly issue at the very end of the month, but I’m excited to share a couple of things with you in this issue. First, you’ll find my advice on when it’s time to leave your current role. Then I’ll share some thoughts on programming language popularity, based on some data I learned about recently.
Every so often, I’ll have a conversation with someone about whether or not it’s time for them to move on to a new role. Sometimes they’re actively looking, sometimes they’re unsure if they should look, and occasionally they have an offer in hand.
I think there are a few signs that it’s time for you to move on. Let’s look at each one.
A few years back, I saw a quote from Garry Tan, a venture capitalist that said, “At every job, you should either learn or earn. Either is fine. Both is best. But if it’s neither, quit.”
I think it’s good advice to a point, but if you’re the kind of person who needs to be challenged, you’ll face a very frustrating kind of burnout if you’re getting paid well but have stopped growing professionally. You might soon find yourselves locked into a job because you don’t have up-to-date transferrable skills. As a result, you become locked in because of the pay. If you’ve run out of opportunities to grow professionally, it might be time to look for those opportunities in a new company.
Weekends are great, and everyone occasionally feels like they wish the weekend were longer, but if you dread starting the work week, this might be a sign that you’re not feeling connected to the work you’re doing or the company itself. Your motivation isn’t what it was. Explore why that is. Were you promised things that didn’t happen? Was there a “bait-and-switch” when you joined? Or do you have a new manager with new priorities? Either way, start looking for the “why” here and figure out if you might need a reset.
If you want to grow and move up the ladder into a more senior leadership role, you’re going to seek guidance from those who already have that role. Unfortunately, when you look to those people in your current company, you might discover that you don’t have people you look up to or aspire to be like. And if your company’s particular brand of politics leaves a bad taste in your mouth and you don’t feel good about who you’d have to be to move into a more senior role, it might be time to start looking for that promotion outside of the company instead. There are places that will value you for what you are, not who they want you to become.
Sometimes the people you work with, or the values the company exhibit daily affect you negatively. Perhaps you disagree with the company’s decisions, and it’s starting to make you feel hostile. Maybe you have coworkers who complain a lot, and you find yourself joining in, contributing to the negativity. Or worse, you find yourself going along to get along, keeping your real thoughts and feelings inside because you’re afraid of the repercussions. It’s so important to ensure that the values you hold align with the values of the people you work with, as well as the values the company demonstrates. If there’s a mismatch, there will be friction.
Every job has some moments where there’s some stress. But overly-stressful situations, caused by too much workload, too little psychological safety, or other factors, can be demanding on you both mentally and physically. Stress can cause you to be irritable, leading to rapid heart rates, upset stomachs, and more. Additionally, your general physical health can suffer if you’re working so much you can’t make time to get exercise, maintain a healthy diet, and keep to a good sleep schedule. A job that has you working all day without a chance for a walk and lunch is going to catch up with you quickly. You only get one life. Do your best to be there for the people who love you.
Ultimately, the decision to leave your job, or move to a new one, depends on many more factors, including financial situation, family situation, and options available to you. But if you find yourself facing situations like those on this list, it’s time to start polishing up the résumé and reaching out to your network for new opportunities.
Quick, without thinking, what are the top three in-demand programming languages right now?
This week at work I learned about DevJobsScanner and a recent survey they did. In the last 8 months, DevJobsScanner looked at over 7 million job postings and put together a list of the most in-demand languages of 2022. According to what they found, PHP, C#, C++, and Ruby are still more popular than Go when it comes to job postings. I found this fascinating because it tracked pretty closely with what I understand about the software development industry that exists beyond the new shiny tech we’re constantly hearing about.
It’s easy to get caught up in the Hacker News/Twitter/Startup Tech bubble, but it’s important to remember that software development is a vast field and a lot of software that powers the world is built to serve existing systems and products. Software powers banks, hospitals, insurance companies, and many other businesses where the software isn’t the product they use to make money. These companies post thousands of job openings yearly to maintain their software.
So what does this mean for you?
First, It’s one input you can use if you’re determining what kind of content you want to create. People need jobs, and to get those jobs, they need to learn the languages those jobs use. Focusing content on languages where there are lots of job openings is a way for you to create immediate value for a larger audience of learners.
Second, if you’re developing tooling, frameworks, or SDKs for your product, you have some new insights into what programming languages companies want their teams to use. You might personally think Elixir is great, but if you put effort into an Elixir SDK instead of a TypeScript SDK right now, you might be making the wrong move.
Another data point you might want to look at is the 2022 Stack Overflow developer survey results, particularly the section on the most wanted programming languages. These are the languages developers want to use, and this list is significantly different from the list of languages DevJobsScanner found in job postings.
I’m grateful to organizations like DevJobsScanner for collecting information like this that I can use to make decisions. It’s easy to get caught up with the tech communities you’re involved in and forget that millions of other programmers are paying their bills by solving problems differently.
That’s it for this month’s issue. I’ve already started issue 7, but until then, think about these things:
When you left a role, did you discover that you were dealing with any of the situations I listed in this issue? What did you do when you encountered them again? And what other signs tell you it’s time to move on?
Look at the Stack Overflow survey’s list of loved and dreaded programming languages. How many of the languages on the “Dreaded” side show up on the DevJobScanner list of top languages? What do you think the reasons are for those overlaps?
Thanks for reading. Take care of yourself and those around you.