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Ask Slashdot: Can an Aging Project Manager Return to Coding Unpopular Legacy Codebases?

Sunday March 26, 2023. 09:34 AM , from Slashdot
Anyone have career advice for this anonymous Slashdot reader?

I've had a great career from 1992 to today. I've been a front line coder for most of that, but also a team lead, a supervisor, a project manager, a scrum master, etc.. My career has been marked by expediency — I did whatever needed doing at the time, in whatever tools necessary.

However, now I'm 52, and I'm getting tired of leadership and project management, and I would like to return to that front line again. The legacy skills I have are no longer in demand. (They aren't Cobol.) Here's the rub: I am happy to do the work nobody else wants to do. Dead languages, abandoned codebases with little documentation, precariously built systems with rickety infrastructure... I've worked in them before, and I would be fine doing it again.

I'm afraid of nothing, but I don't want to keep climbing the bleeding edge of the technical mountain. I'd be happy to be silently, competently keeping things moving. By 55 I would like to make that move. It's either that or retire, which is an option... but I love the technical work.
They're soliciting suggestions from other Slashdot readers. ('Where to focus? How to prep?') So share your own best advice in the comments.
How can an aging project manager return to coding on unpopular legacy codebases?

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