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    Washed-up Oracle developer: try to find new niche in IT or pull up stakes?

    by peteredoutprinciple ·


    I’ve over 16 yrs’ experience as an Oracle database programmer and developer, last employed as such over 4 yrs ago. Indeed, but for a brief stint as a part-time associate in an Amazon Fresh warehouse, that would also describe when I last worked at all. During this extended absence from the workforce, my tech skills both atrophied and became obsolescent. Further, I’m over 50 and the only child of two octogenarian parents needing varying degrees of assistance, my two most recent regular employments didn’t exactly end in triumph, and my credit reports sport a personal bankruptcy filing from a little over 2 yrs ago.

    While I’d like to secure an occupational niche residing at least on the periphery of the IT field, I’ve steeled myself for the possibility that my time in IT may be up. Regardless of field, I’d prefer employment in an occupation having as many of the following attributes as possible:

    • No math beyond basic algebra or elementary stats.
    • Poor visuospatial and mechanical skills not a barrier.
    • Above average analytical skills potentially helpful.
    • Has relatively self-contained knowledge base, into which one could delve without first having to wade through and fathom layers of contextual prerequisites.
    • Requirements for entry level employment could be met through course of self-study taking no more than 6-8 months to complete.
    • Doesn’t require regular commitment of significant time off-hours toward re-credentialing and retraining to remain occupationally viable.
    • Low risk of galloping scope creep of the kind I experienced and failed to manage in most recent IT employment.
    • Unlikely to be rendered redundant in near or mid-term by either offshoring or advances in automation or artificial intelligence.
    • Likely to remain in relatively high demand for the next 2+ decades.
    • Age (early 50s) not a barrier to securing employment.
    • History of bankruptcy not a barrier to securing employment.
    • Work that one could do well into one’s 70s.
    • Ample opportunity to work independently.
    • Could be practiced mostly from home or location of one’s choosing.
    • Wide latitude w/r/t particular hours worked during any given period, provided that sufficient total hours were worked and/or benchmarks were met or exceeded.

    So…are there any IT occupations that could be good matches and worth researching? Or, might it be time to leave IT? Thank you for taking the time to read. Apologies for the length.

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