The challenge facing software developers with legacy programming skills is that that of spending the time or money it takes to learn a modern, object oriented programming language or that of marketing their existing legacy programming skills to a niche market!
In this issue, we will address the challenge facing a legacy Visual Basic programmer with more than 30 years of programming experience.
Question – I have more than 30 years of legacy programming experience in Visual Basic and Viual basic for Applications. In my last project, I was hired as a .NET Project Leader. What career track should I follow?
Answer – How To Re-Train or Upgrade Legacy Programming Skills
Are you looking to gain marketable skills or do you want to get back into project management or perhaps learn C# and .NET Framework?
What is the actual problem facing you … the challenge of marketing legacy programming skills or transitioning to a Microsoft .NET Framework Career?
- The Market for Legacy Programming Skills – If you are thinking of staying with your Visual Basic or Visual Basic for Application programming skills, you need to find clients with Visual Basic Projects and start a conversation with them. There are specialized markets where you can source or freelance or consult for clients who still need help with legacy programming projects.
- Upgrading Legacy Programming Skills -your other option is to upgrade your legacy programming skills by learning a modern object oriented programming language like C# or even Visual Basic .NET. Since you already know Visual Basic and Visual Basic for Applications, it may be better for you to start off learning Visual Basic .NET and then move to ASP.NET after wards. If you decide to upgrade your programming skills, you will be looking at learning Microsoft .NET Framework technologies for a span of six months to one year.
- Become a Project Manager – You may also decide that you don't like technology details or that you have spent so many years as a programmer and you are not willing to learn a new programming language. If that is the situation, you need to consider becoming a project manager for technology projects. This option may hold some really good promise for you, especially if you are tired of always learning new technologies. Your background in programming and technology can definitely come in handy for your new career, you just need to re-brand your resume and your career accordingly.
- Personal Branding for Legacy Programmers – look into starting a personal branding campaign. The goal of the personal branding campaign is to re-position you as a Project Manager with a strong programming / technology background or as a highly experienced Visual Basic for Applications programmer. The objectives of your personal branding campaign will be in-line your stated goal and it should include re-writing or re-branding your resume as well.
If you do, please let me know and also review these additional resources: