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Ask Slashdot: How to Avoid The Worst of a Tech Bubble? 135

An anonymous reader writes: I just reached a senior level in a tech career and I've been doing pretty much a bit of everything, e.g. software architecture, full stack dev, eng. related specific dev, consultancy, etc. So I'm at a point where I want to start focusing on something that has a good development path, i.e. I won't struggle finding a job, it'll be fairly paid and it'll allow me to move up in responsibility (bigger teams, more difficult projects) if I want to. It seems like we might be heading into a new tech bubble. Based on your experience of the .com collapse and your predictions for the current market, is there any path you wouldn't recommend (or strongly recommend) if this bubble goes pop? What were the roles most affected when the .com bubble burst back in 2000 and would it be any different this time? Is there anything you can do to be better prepared, such as focusing on broader techs rather than niche techs, etc.
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Ask Slashdot: How to Avoid The Worst of a Tech Bubble?

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  • Plumbing. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Saturday June 13, 2015 @01:05PM (#49904193) Homepage

    Works on bubbles, vacuums, what have you.

    Remember, plumbing is at the heart of civilization - the Romans figured that out for us. Without plumbing, we would be up shit creek.

    • by tantrum ( 261762 )

      so you're saying sysadmin for a traditional company?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Laugh all you like, but when the bubble collapsed and I lost my job, I fell back on plumbing and electrical and carpentry skills, ran my own handyman/construction business. People unable to sell their houses often renovate them, and that's where I came in. Honest day's work for an honest dollar. I'm sometimes sorry I closed up shop and went back to the paper pushing at the big defense contractor I had left.

      • No laugh at all. Here in Greece, where our economic crisis started to had its toll for good, a friend of mine, one of the best SCADA programmers in Greece (but old and reluctant to be employed abroad, e.g., Germany), lost his job and, while he is an electrical engineer, returned to his home village and started working in agriculture - honest day's work for an honest dollar (Euro actually, but...) - but i am afraid that knowing some other trade(s)... is a dying trade!
        • by fred911 ( 83970 )

          honest dollar (Euro actually,....

                Don't worry you'll be back to Drachmas soon.

    • Remember, plumbing is at the heart of civilization - the Romans figured that out for us. Without plumbing, we would be up shit creek.

      Hear ye.

      I now jet sewers, fix main breaks, drive dump trucks, operate backhoes and repair manholes for a small City in Southern Oklahoma. And I'm happy to report that some 35 years' computer and network experience from the days of Z80/S-100 CP/M to today, starting a BBS, starting a Freenet and running two ISPs with Cisco/OpenBSD/NT/Linux, running a printshop, doing programming at a telco and consulting since age 15... has not left me impaired physically or mentally.

      Though some times when we are jack-hammer

      • Austin has UT; an endless stream STEM grads that will work as intern. Companies will hire and flush year after year. It's *free* labor and the grads get experience before leaving the back to where they came from. For entry level work, just forget about it! Those jobs don't pay. In fact, in the future you might have to pay the company just for experience.

    • Without plumbing, we would be up shit creek.

      We ARE up shit creek - the question is, do you have a paddle?

      I think what you are saying is, there are certain skills that are always going to be in demand, and they have little to do with new, emerging, disruptive or whatever buzz-word industry, but are the same skills that have always been useful, the common theme being practical ability - that you are able figure out which end of the hammer you hold on to etc.

      I think the important thing here is to figure out what the future is likely to hold in store in

  • If you can finagle it, try getting into a management position. Sounds like you have plenty of experience to base your campaign off of. You'll be better compensated and have a lot more upwards mobility.
    • by Gorobei ( 127755 )

      If you can finagle it, try getting into a management position. Sounds like you have plenty of experience to base your campaign off of. You'll be better compensated and have a lot more upwards mobility.

      Too many people mistake experience for competence. The OP has "just reached a senior level in a tech career and I've been doing pretty much a bit of everything, e.g. software architecture, full stack dev, eng. related specific dev, consultancy, etc." The question should be: is he actually an expert at anything? If yes, then he has nothing to fear from downturns. If no, he's going to be out of a job in the next downturn.

      So should he try for management? Well, if he has no real skill at what he's been doing, a

  • If you're 'senior' anything, you should have been around long enough to know that slashdot is not the place to ask a question, especially since its a question only you or someone who knows you REALLY well can answer.

    My suggestion if you want some safety is to start with some introspection.

    • I wouldn't agree with that. A lot of the low numbered Slashdot members have been here since the 90's, and have probably seen their share of failed tech startups.

  • by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Saturday June 13, 2015 @01:14PM (#49904231)

    Don't be inside the bubble when it burst.

    • by davidwr ( 791652 )

      Don't be inside the bubble when it burst.

      Don't be standing too close on the outside either. The emotional impact of the your friend's and soon-to-be-former co-worker's careers go SPLAT is no fun either.

    • by bkmoore ( 1910118 ) on Saturday June 13, 2015 @01:26PM (#49904273)

      Don't be inside the bubble when it burst.

      That's the best advice of all. Make sure that whatever you're working on, it's continued existence does not dependent its short-term market valuation. Imho, most of the losers in the 2000- bust were businesses that needed to maintain high valuations in order to have access to capital to for day-to-day operations. In short, needed to constantly borrow money to cover operating expenses.

    • Don't be inside the bubble when it burst.

      Very much this. Don't work for a shiny company that is not profitable and is valued based on hype rather then cold hard cash in the bank.

      IT work at more traditional (and well-run) companies may not be sexy and flashy, but payroll is always on time.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I presume you're really saying, "How do I avoid being laid off."

    That's simple: be more valuable to your employer than your colleagues.

    There are many ways to do it, but I recommend the following:
    1) Stay up to date on the state of the art in your industry;
    2) Volunteer for roles of responsibility on interesting and valuable projects, and help them succeed;
    3) Deliver on your commitments;
    4) Don't act like an asshole, or a prima donna, and when asked to pitch in and help in other areas outside your specific

    • by davidwr ( 791652 )

      And for god's sake, stop whining about "impossible deadlines." Learn that if date is inflexible, scope and quality are the two metrics that must flex - and learn how to put that decision in front of your managers. Bonus points if you can demonstrate for them the financial impacts of those tradeoffs to assist in their decision making.

      Of course, sometimes a deadline really is impossible: Upper management may know good and well that the project will fail, but they've made the decision that it's better in the long run for the company to keep funding it past [some magic date] than to kill it now.

      I once knew of a company that had a 9- or 10-figure project that they knew would fail well before it shipped. It would have saved a lot of money in the very short term just to pull the plug. But they had contractual and/or customer-relationship-f

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Of course, sometimes a deadline really is impossible:

        Which underscores my point: if the date is inflexible, QUALITY or SCOPE (or both) must flex. In this case, management chose to stick to the deadline, but deliver a shoddy product that nobody wanted to buy.

        If you've made that case to your managers, and you see them choosing to do something you think will ultimately cause them to fail in the market, then you have a fair amount of lead time to start looking for something new. It does no good to bitch abo

        • by davidwr ( 791652 )

          I should have been more clearer:

          Sometimes upper management knows that the combined goals of being on time, on budget, and on quality can't be met, they know the project will fail, they don't really care which way it will fail and they certainly don't want to be seen as "taking ownership" of a doomed project when they can plausibly claim "that was Bob's (the project manager's) project," and they will ignore any information the project manager gives them and just smile a fake smile, and say, perhaps not in so

    • Still that won't help if the company you are working for goes out of business.

      Other things.
      5) Don't burn bridges: try to avoid making enemies. A bad reputation can hurt. Rumors, can spread. That guy who you hated and never gotten along with, may be the same guy who you will need to give you a decent review.

      6) Know your industry: Chances are most Technology professionals are not in the technology industry. We can be in Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail, Government, NGO, Finance... A pop in the tech bubble d

    • I presume you're really saying, "How do I avoid being laid off."

      That's simple: be more valuable to your employer than your colleagues.

      Strangely, that's not always enough. During the last crash, I got notice that I was being promoted and getting a raise since I was "more valuable to my employer than my colleagues". Unfortunately a full third of the organization got laid off the next week, including me since they eliminated my whole job function. This was despite glowing reviews from my manager and the director. *shrug* I suppose the real answer is just to make sure you have a significant emergency fund, which fortunately I did.

    • Wearing sophomoric rose coloured glasses.
  • I know this doesn't answer your question, but you, and for that matter everyone, should prepare for being caught in a career-derailing recession/squeeze/bubble/whatever while at the same time doing what you need to reach your personal career goals.

    Yes, you should be asking your peers (us) "what mistakes should I avoid" and "what looks promising" but you shouldn't neglect the questions of "what will I do if I get squeezed out and am forced into a low-end job for several years and when the economy does recove

    • One way - perhaps the best way - to prepare for the worst is to live below your means as a lifestyle choice. This is a very realistic option for almost everyone employed full-time in a technical field in the United States. If you don't have an emergency fund of 1-3 months of current living expenses, aggressively save until you do. Then set aside enough extra each month so you have enough cash on hand to last 9-12 months on an "austerity budget" plus enough cash on hand to do a proper job-search and/or get re-trained. The 9-12 month cushion is over and above paying your bills and credit cards on time and contributing a responsible amount towards your retirement and your kids' college fund. Raise your kids so they won't be emotionally burdened if you have to move to a smaller house/cheaper neighborhood/give up cable TV/etc. or if you have to work 2 jobs for awhile. You get the idea.

      As a bonus, you never get to enjoy spending the money you're earning as there is always that nagging doubt that you should be saving more, so it becomes a positive feedback mechanism and by the age of fifty you are a rich, desperately unhappy miser.

      Without going totally YOLO, it is in fact more or less impossible for most people to save that much without continuing to live like a student into their Thirties/Forties. And that doesn't work once you have a family.

  • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Saturday June 13, 2015 @01:20PM (#49904251)

    The bubble isn't really tech. Its some aspect of tech. Just like the .com bust was caused by too much money in startups without legitamate ways of raising revenue and the 2008 collapse wasn't a banking collapse, it was a ssubprime mortgage collapse. Figure out what the cause will be, and find a company that is not in that subfield and has minimal reliance on it. This won't allow 100% avoidance, but will limit your exposure.

    FWIW I expect the eventual burst to be due to an advertising collapse- someone has to actually sell something at some point. Established companies that sell physical goods should be immune, firmware would be a good call.

    Also, the best way to be bubble immune- cash in the bank, so you can ride it out. I don't need to work this decade, so a few months without a job won't hurt me.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I don't need to work this decade, so a few months without a job won't hurt me.

      Get that out of your head. Being unemployed means being "no good". Unemployed == unemployable. There is this whole attitude that if 'he's any good, he'd have a job' mentality that is rampant in our economy; meaning, employers actively discriminate against unemployed people - especially in tech.

      • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

        I have a decade and a half of experience, I've been tech lead at 2 successful startups that sold for large profits and a principle at a 3rd. I have CEOs and VCs who would go to bat for me, so no I have 0 worries that I personally will be unemployable. Nobody with experience should have that worry- if you're any good you have former coworkers who will vouch for you.

        And your fear of gaps is overwrought. I've also had multi-month gaps in the past- in 2009 because I decided I'd rather not work for the assh

        • I've been tech lead at 2 successful startups that sold for large profits and a principle at a 3rd

          Which one? Peter? Pauli exclusion?

          • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

            I've avoided being the Peter one so far, one of the reasons why I'm still a coder and not a manager :)

    • by xizzi ( 837334 )

      There is definitely a bubble in China from reports as they lack safe investments. Prices have risen so much that companies are starting to talk of relocating manufacturing back in the US. This is contrary to decades of manufacturing offshoring; it is not like the US has gotten cheaper in the meanwhile. The Chinese are investing in every non-China asset they can get. So popping the China bubble eliminates that trend. Less interest in US manufacturing re-homing. Lower interest in London Flats by foreign owne

  • by namgge ( 777284 ) on Saturday June 13, 2015 @01:21PM (#49904255)
    You are looking for a job that requires skills and qualifications as a barrier to entry and that does not depend on discretionary spending by the client. Your choices boil down to 'undertaker' or 'COBOL maintenance'. C.
  • You're the first to go and the least likely to be treated with any respect.

  • Start a meth lab. The meth market really took off after the bubble burst. Probably because of all the developers being dejected after being ejected. Take advantage of the suffering of your fellow human beings. It's the epitome of capitalism.
  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Saturday June 13, 2015 @01:31PM (#49904289)

    Do some due diligence and make sure the company you work for has solid sales and real profits.

    • Do some due diligence and make sure the company you work for has solid sales and real profits.

      i.e. it's not a start-up

  • Switch industries (Score:4, Informative)

    by plopez ( 54068 ) on Saturday June 13, 2015 @01:47PM (#49904365) Journal

    I rode out the first collapse in oil and gas. Right now healthcare looks promising esp. with the push to records automation. Do some research to which industry would be least affected and then move on.

    • Re:Switch industries (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Saturday June 13, 2015 @02:15PM (#49904503) Homepage

      Healthcare is big IS business because of the push for electronic medical records. But. There is going to be a huge cull in the next couple of years as the literally thousands of small companies that tried to get a toe hold just fail. Especially in the small hospital sector, most of the vendors are not going to make it. They will outright fail or get bought out.

      Of course, there are zillions of man hours to be spent trying to reconcile the new acquisition into the legacy database ("But the sales guy PROMISED out data could be merged into the new system").

      • by plopez ( 54068 )

        Good to know. I actually want to get out of tech but I might pass on health care.

  • by Shados ( 741919 ) on Saturday June 13, 2015 @01:58PM (#49904401)

    There's a lot of companies that shouldn't exist, or some that are artificially inflated. The demand for engineers is absurd, so companies, even the big ones, are hiring countless pseudo-engineers with little experience, no degrees (not that you can't be good without one, but it sure as hell doesn't hurt... I myself am doing fine without), or just bad.

    They don't get fired because companies want every hands they can get.

    When things get back to reasonable levels, those people will be without jobs. Just be better than them and you'll be fine.

  • I survived the bust than happened right at the end of the Clinton administration/beginning of the Bush administration by being in my field in an unrelated industry. I did I.T. work at an oil company, the burst didn't touch me at all - initially. Until the oil industry took a major hit, and the I.T. industry hadn't recovered yet, but at least I got a well past the burst before I was thrown into the fray.

    Now that the I.T. industry is stronger and isn't exactly in a bubble, I'm still shielded by working for another industry. In fact a bit of an I.T. field bust can actually benefit my particular place in the industry as it forces vendors to beg for my business and cut better deals, and if I need to hire project help from the pool to select from is better stocked versus when the industry is thriving. Yes, that's cold and pragmatic, but it doesn't stop it from being a fact.

    On the other hand if the I.T. industry is thriving (I really miss those days) I have an easier time jumping ship and going to something better.

  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Saturday June 13, 2015 @02:05PM (#49904439)

    "The only constant is change" -- the late Robert Monroe

    There are no guarantees any tech is stable. That's the relative nature of tech -- it constantly changes (for better or worse).

    All you can do is stay current. If you want value then you be valuable. This means keeping up-to-date with popular skills. Fads such as some programming languages and management styles come and go, but good design, critical thinking, and communication are always relevant.

    If you truly want a "recession proof" job then work in real-estate or the military.

    • This means keeping up-to-date with popular skills.

      Up to date? You mean four years ahead of?

    • by spoot ( 104183 )

      "The only constant is change" -- the late Robert Monroe

      what an original thought!

      http://plato.stanford.edu/entr... [stanford.edu]

      • I don't believe he ever meant to take credit for coining the phrase, only popularizing it in a catchy way. The cliche / koan "You can never stand in the same river twice" is another alternative.

        Great link on Daoism BTW ! Having a blast reading this.

  • Have canaries (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MyFirstNameIsPaul ( 1552283 ) <myfirstnameispaul@gmail.com> on Saturday June 13, 2015 @02:19PM (#49904523) Homepage Journal

    I was selling trade show exhibits in Silicon Valley during the .com bust and I can tell you that the first department to cut their budget in an organization is marketing. We knew we were in a recession/local depression long before anyone else.

    Companies whose revenue comes primarily from venture capital may have certain requirements for promotion, as some investors want to see promotion for promotion's sake, vs. requiring an actual ROI on promotion efforts. Network out to some of your non-tech co-workers and vendors in the marketing arena. When they start to see a lot of companies holding back on hiring new positions, reducing trade show attendance and other marketing expenses, evaluate your current options. It may be that you have an opportunity to seek safety in a lower paying, but far more secure position in your current firm or a different firm. Management is often very insecure.

    I can tell you that the nearly instantaneous elimination in the number of commuters in 2000/2001 here was mind-blowing. I knew if a prospect was worth pursuing by the evaluating the size of a building and how empty it's parking lot was. This all happens much faster than most people realize, so having a canary to tell you what is about to come is very important. It may be that you are in a very secure company, but they decided to purchase some large asset or make some other large investment that offsetting the cost due to reduced revenue requires those positions and even whole departments considered secure to be temporarily eliminated.

    Companies whose primary revenue comes from advertising will see some of the largest reductions in revenue. Stay away from them unless they are incredibly well established and you have a seriously critical position.

    • Companies whose primary revenue comes from advertising will see some of the largest reductions in revenue. Stay away from them unless they are incredibly well established and you have a seriously critical position.

      Translation: leave any firm with high advertising revenue, unless it's Google.

  • by hax4bux ( 209237 ) on Saturday June 13, 2015 @02:51PM (#49904685)

    There is no avoiding the boom/bust cycle. Ride the boom, extract all you can, be frugal. When the bust comes, use your cushion to ride it out.

    It is true that not everybody gets laid off in the bust. It is also true that smart, diligent and hardworking people are let go like everybody else. Don't plan to keep your job. Plan to have a nice vacation if you must.

    I practice what I preach. Made big bucks during the dot com boom. When the money dried up, I went home to build an airplane while other people were loosing everything and moving back in w/their parents.

    I am doing it again.

    Oh, and one final thing: strong engineers are welcome everywhere, managers not so much.

  • When a bubble bursts some industries will get hurt worse than others. Tech is really in just about all industries now and will be impacted but there are enough shortages that if you are good at your job in one industry you should be able to transition to another. The best things you can do to prepare for a bubble bursting is to have a financial cushion in case finding the next job takes some time and minimize your non-job related commitments. For example, if you think a bubble is coming make sure you can

  • Secure software development is something I've gotten into recently, and the growth potential there is excellent. Become familiar with BSIMM [bsimm.com] (Build Security In Maturity Model), in particular what they categorize as the SSG (Software Security Group). Here are some highlights from their document about the SSG:

    The best SSG members are software security people, but software security people are often impossible to find. If you must create software security types from scratch, start with developers and teach them

  • In the startup world right now, there's a lot of evidence of a bubble in privately funded companies, but less of one in the public markets. But there are two differences between now and the .com bubble. Specifically:

    - most companies have real cash flows this time
    - investors are smarter

    As valuations have gone up, investors have started transferring risk back to the founders and employees with things like liquidation preferences. What that means is that if you take funding at some ridiculous valuation, you'll

  • Have no debt, and have no rent/mortgage payment. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. Make sure you've got any health issues taken care of.

    Basically the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared.

    • by plopez ( 54068 )

      Well into my 30's was able to fit my important stuff into my van and I "rented" everything else from the Salvation Army. I was able to rapidly relocate several times for work..... then I got married......

  • by RR ( 64484 ) on Saturday June 13, 2015 @04:11PM (#49905123)

    Prudence requires you to be prepared for a certain amount of uncertainty, regardless of the economy. Budget carefully. Pay off your debts as quickly as you can. Keep at least 3 to 6 months of expenses in readily accessible savings. If you’re worried about your job disappearing (which it can at any time), then build up a good in-person social network.

    Don’t forget natural disasters, too. A lot of tech jobs are in places with earthquakes (West Coast) or hurricanes (East Coast). Create disaster plans, and maintain enough water and food (test if it’s palatable) to live 3 to 7 days without resupply. Maybe more, depending on how long it takes to rebuild infrastructure where you live. And keep and learn the appropriate tools to keep your house working for that time.

    But don’t get carried away, unless you want to make worrying into your hobby. During the last dot-com boom and bust, some people I know were calling for everybody to buy guns and prepare for the People’s Liberation Army to invade California or for the Red Army to drop a nuke on San Francisco. 15 years later, we’re in another tech boom, and I’m still hearing the same doomsday predictions. In truth, the land can’t support all of us as if we were 19th Century pioneers, so I think it’s best to prepare for reasonable disasters.

    • Don’t forget natural disasters, too. A lot of tech jobs are in places with earthquakes (West Coast) or hurricanes (East Coast). Create disaster plans, and maintain enough water and food (test if it’s palatable) to live 3 to 7 days without resupply. Maybe more, depending on how long it takes to rebuild infrastructure where you live. And keep and learn the appropriate tools to keep your house working for that time.

      A better alternative is to live somewhere sensible, like Belgium.

  • Ride the most extreme excesses of the bubble you can, pulling in ridiculous amounts of cash and equity. Convert it to reasonably safe (e.g. money markets) and counter-market (e.g. gold) investments. When the bubble pops, don't worry about being laid off: take some time off and live off your reserves. And invest some of them in those tech firms which have a solid business but whose stock prices were brought down in the general crash, to set you up for the recovery (or next bubble.)

  • by koan ( 80826 )

    Save your money, back up with supplies, gather and plan with like minded friends and family.
    My personal prediction is that within 2 years 40 million people in the OECD region alone will be out of work, if something like the immigration "reform" in TISA passes...
    It's going to be ugly.

  • I spent over 30 years specializing in relational database projects for Fortune 100 companies and government agencies. Ingres, Oracle, Postgres, System R, Sybase, M$ SQL Server, DB2 or whatever they call their products now; I didn't discriminate and worked on energy, telecom, finance, and manufacturing projects and my employers didn't give a hoot about my prior industry. It was all applied set theory to me and I always got offers after the overwhelming majority of my technical interviews.

    I passed into the

  • The guys that kept their jobs during the DotCon collapse were those that had "community organizers" that helped them negotiate big cuts in salary and finding shared housing in the area to cut living expenses.

    In practice what this means: Try to hook into the H-1b ethnic network somehow. Perhaps the best way to survive a collapse in employment is to get a tan, change your legal name to the moral equivalent of Sanjay Gupta and contact one of the many immigration law firms in the valley that aid and abet H-1

  • The thing I find amusing is how many people dream of days that never existed, when you could find a job at the drop of a hat. The people who found jobs were those who put as much work into their job hunt as they did actually working.

    I spent most of my career consulting. That meant keeping my ear to the ground, paying attention to rumours and meetings, and starting my job search before the shit hit the fan, refusing the three month renewals that inevitably came up near the end of a contract (instead of the usual six-twelve month contracts that those jobs started with.)

    Three months isn't a contract -- it's an insult. It's the writing on the wall that the project is almost over, and they want you to hang around to finish off the bits and pieces. As a contractor, you're under no obligation to take such a short contract, and if you do, you should do so knowing that it's going to be the last extension for the project.

    Despite those early searches, I sometimes went a month or two without work, living off my savings, and having to move hundreds or thousands of miles to the next job. One key thing I learned fairly early is not to be too greedy about my rates. If a company is willing to pay $100+ rates in the '90s, they expect you to work miracles that no human being can possibly deliver on. It's just not worth the stress. Take the lower paying fun and challenging job instead -- your blood pressure will thank you for it.

  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Saturday June 13, 2015 @11:17PM (#49906861) Journal

    When fuckedcompany.com switches back on, you know it's over.

  • You survive a tech bubble the same way with a lumber bubble, or an oil bubble, or a tourism bubble. You diversify your investments, and insure yourself against losses and unexpected events. Instead of relying on the government or a severance package, keep 6 months of living expenses stored up in an emergency fund in case you get laid off. Invest your income into a diversified portfolio, using something like Vanguard. Have adequate insurance on your property and health.

    As far as the meat of your question wit

  • "I just reached a senior level in a tech career and I've been doing pretty much a bit of everything, e.g. software architecture, full stack dev, eng. related specific dev, consultancy, etc .. Based on your experience of the .com collapse and your predictions for the current market, is there any path you wouldn't recommend (or strongly recommend)"

    You'll be forever playing catch-up, your best career route is to go into teaching or become a tech journalist.
  • Get into robotics, especially any of the companies working on space-bound robotics. There's several companies designing and testing robots right now for space missions that aren't currently feasible for humans to do. There's going to be a need for all sorts of software engineers and other IT specialists for this industry.

    (Also because so many industries are heading towards automation, it's good to get in on the ground floor, so to speak, especially in one that is going to do nothing but grow.)

  • How do you know it's a bubble? Have created a bubble before?
  • Idea: software dev / sys admin for Biomed. How old are you? When baby boomers stop forcing the healthcare industry bubble further up, do you still need a job? Also, maybe see a financial adviser, read some Forbes or Wall Street Journal; maybe you'll retire sooner; and if you hit the lottery, you don't want to know our answers to your question. Am I right or am I right?

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