[If I get enough experienced developers responding, I hope to interview some about their stories and synthesize useful information for beginners!]
I want to talk about career longevity in the software industry. There are so many new developers entering the industry and that is awesome. But I also see people with years of experience leaving the industry. My sense is that when people with so much experience leave development (for other industries or for other roles), we as an industry loose wisdom and forward progress.
If your goal is to write code and build products for the rest of your career (as a job or as an entrepreneur or using it as a tool to solve problems) and beyond retirement, how will you make that happen?
Yes there are certainty challenges - there are new tools and technologies to learn frequently, and this industry is still working on improving the -ism (including ageism).
There are certainty opportunities too - the sense of achieving mastery, for using software as a powerful tool to yield outcomes, for understanding history and recognizing patterns, for bringing others (apprentice) along the path you've traveled.
Are there dev.to readers who've been in the industry for more than 15 to 20 years. What practices did you use to build a career of that length? Can you see yourself staying the industry for the next 15 to 20 years (or until retirement age)? What challenges do you see, what opportunities do you look forward to?
And I hope this thread is useful for beginners. Because when you're on a journey sometimes it helps to see the path ahead not just a few steps but a several miles ahead.