Continuing from the post here: https://www.jointaro.com/question/4EUkn87EKNpKRdFo0UjU/how-do-i-become-a-marketable-frontend-engineer/
Would the suggestions in that post be different for my scenario? I have added my details below.
I know that to get to the Senior level, I have to show influence at high levels. After reading the answer to some of the questions in the community, I am not able to decide whether I should focus on building web projects or should I start building an Android app. The advantage of choosing a web project is that I already have expertise in modern frontend frameworks. My initial years of experience is in legacy backend systems(mainframes) which I think is not of much use now in Silicon valley companies.
As far as my interest level goes, I am very much inclined toward the web. But I know that app development is definitely something that helps to attract users to your product. I am a bit lost on what I should invest my time on. Considering that I have 12+ years of experience, should I do both? Will doing both Android and web both open a lot more opportunities for me?
Should I focus on building something where I can show the impact with the number of users rather than thinking about the platform (android or web) for which I start building my side projects. Should I even care about doing side projects considering I have 10+ years of work experience?
Should I target full-stack roles instead of front-end roles?
Looking for suggestions. Apologies if this question comes out as too broad and not very clear. I am open for discussion if that can help to narrow down the response.
Current TC: 220 - 240K
This is a highly relevant, pragmatic question, but I think you're right it's too broad. Let me share some general principles that might help you, or others, depending on situation:
Though there's no way to debug your specific situation in a post, I'll leave you with this thought: remember that the question is never, "What is the right way for generic engineers to advance?" The relevant question is always, "What is the best way for me, in my situation, with my talents, with my interests, to advance?" The whole Temple-of-Apollo Know-Thyself business is really wise: you need to thread the needle between the principles above knowing your specific situation/talents/interests in order to make the right decision.
Lastly, also remember this — whenever a decision between two choices seems too hard to make:
At the end of the day, nothing can really beat true passion as the biggest motivator. If you love something so much that it doesn't even feel like work when you're doing it (this is the case for me when I build Android apps), you more or less have the ultimate productivity hack.
While the world has become mobile-first, web is still extremely important. There are still engineers who have incredible careers at "top tier" tech companies building websites. So a question to ask yourself is: What do you genuinely enjoy?
This makes this specific web vs. mobile decision tree fairly straightforward:
If you're going to go the Android route for mobile, we have a great thread about that here filled with tactical advice on how to become a master at it: "How can I get really good at Android?"
Here's some other resources that could help you with your career direction:
Should I even care about doing side projects considering I have 10+ years of work experience?
To be honest, you generally don't need to care about side projects when you have this much experience - I'm sure you could continue having a wonderful career without doing a single project from this point onward!
However, I do believe side projects serve a lot of different purposes that make them potentially very valuable at any stage in career for any kind of software engineer:
Since you seem to be an exploration phase, it seems like side projects can have a lot for value for you! One of the great things about side projects is that you're in complete control: If you spend a few weeks on them and you feel like it isn't working out, you can easily shelve them and invest your time in something more meaningful.
I have had so much fun building side projects, and I owe a huge part of my career success to them (they let me break into being a professional Android engineer!). I hope they can be helpful to you as well - Best of luck!
Thank you for all the suggestions.