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How to decide what skills to focus on so as not to become obsolete in next 5 - 10 years?

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Mid-Level Software Engineer at Intuit16 days ago

I am a frontend focused full-stack engineer with 7 years of relevant experience in the frontend engineering space and a total of 12 years of experience. I am not able to decide where should I invest my time when working on side projects. Should I start picking up mobile(Android/iOS) or continue to sharpen my skills in the frontend development space? To put it another way, should I invest my time in going depth in my current domain or should I invest time learning mobile UI development as that has gained more traction and is viewed as more valuable skill?

I think I am unable to decide whether to go about developing my skills in breadth or depth.



  • Lee McKeeman
    Staff Eng @ Google, Ex-Meta SWE, Ex-Amazon SDM/SDE
    15 days ago

    You should invest in growing your ability to handle greater complexity and more ambiguity. You should invest in growing soft skills, decomposing work streams, mentorship, and other soft skills.

    In 5 years whatever tech you invest in will have changed dramatically. How you manage complexity, ambiguity and interpersonal communication won’t.

  • Rahul Pandey
    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    15 days ago

    I love Lee's answer. Focus on the skills that will never go out of style (that's what we built Taro for!). I promise that the next ML technique, JavaScript framework, and even mobile development space has a pretty short half-life.

    Instead of thinking about your career 10 years from now, I'd work forward from what you enjoy doing and where you have a unique insight for the next 6 months or year. The world will be very different in 10 years.

    See also this very relevant video about Why It Doesn’t Make Sense To Have a 5 Year Career Plan.

    Steve Huynh had some great advice about managing your career: https://www.jointaro.com/topic/steve-huynh/

  • Michael Lee
    Startup Engineer
    15 days ago

    @Rahul, I so much want to see the full interview with Steve... Someone suggested a Slack channel purely for videos/resources to share. Since that is only available for premium members, I would love to see the minimally edited version 🙏

  • Rahul Pandey
    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    15 days ago

    @Michael, the video with Steve is coming out on YouTube in ~6 hours!! (This is the highly edited / polished version.) And I'll also be adding that in Taro for an ad-free viewing experience.

    The ones you see on Taro with the Steve Huynh tag are minimally edited, and I'll add more here in the coming days.

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