No job. Advice on getting back to speed on c#

Hi guys, after 23 years my print business has run its course and will close soon. I’ve used Xojo for all my in-house projects over the last 10 years. I used Visual Basic and asp classic before then.
When I hit .net I gave it a go before getting tired of its size and everygrowing base, plus always changing the way it would tackle database access. That’s why I ended up at Xojo.
At 58 I have to renter the job market which seems to be focused on c# java and JavaScript .
I’ve used them all over the years but need to relearn fast to be useful. Have to admit being a little intimidated have to compete with 20 and 30 somethings.
And wise words on how to tackle my retraining?


So sorry to hear of the end of your print business. The world is changing! Do you have to enter the job market? Or can you market your Xojo skills as an independent developer?

Looking at options but covering bases. Just in case. Finding contract jobs small yet big enough that they won’t care I’m using Xojo is the tricky part

Hi James, there’s some relevant info about re-entering the job market about two thirds into the latest episode of the Accidental Tech Podcast. Also, was there any of your in-house stuff that could be cleaned up and released for sale to the public? Just a thought.

Quite a few people on this forum use Xojo to serve clients. I’m sure they will be able to chime in to help direct you there. But, you already have business ownership experience - and after all that, do you really want to go to work for someone else? If you have good Xojo skills, the marketing and ownership are really the more challenging parts. In my experience in several software worlds, clients don’t care what you use as long as you solve their problem. If you need help in putting together a structure for your business or to set yourself up for subcontracting work, I’m happy to chat with you offline about it, but I know there is a market for Xojo beyond in-house use. I’m not a developer, so I can’t speak specifically to what types of clients you should be seeking, but I know some of the wise devs here will be able to point you in the right direction (or maybe even hire you!).

Cheers Gavin. I created an online advertisement creation and booking site for our property magazine. The end result was print ready PDFs.
I’m looking options again, but 10 year old tech is hard to maintain. Needs a rewrite. So need to find a market that has problems with document creation and flow. Still looking.

I wish you the best of luck. I was an IT professional in the Aerospace/Defense industry for 12 years, then the Healthcare industry for another 21 years… I was laid off in 2015, and thought with my skill set… finding a new job would be easy. Here it is 2018… and I finally gave up, and “retired”… I was either “over-qualified” or “too old” (although the latter was never explicity stated of course)

And for me, learning new things wasn’t the issue. I know more computer languages than the average IT person, and have/can/will teach myself more for as long as my mind still works… but that isn’t what today’s job market wants…

Yes Dave, that’s the feeling I’m getting after poking my nose into a few places. I’m afraid grey is not the new black.
But I see shortages stated in the news so I thought I should give it a shot. No stone left unturned and all that.

Susan, cheers for the offer, and no I thought I was unemployable and hated the idea of a job. But chasing my tail for options over the last 6 months makes you consider all options.
Yes I’m very proficient at running a business. The difficult part is finding the market in Christchurch NZ


You do not have time to lost (let away). Beware, the time ellapse very fast, never ever wait for anything.

Your concern is not everybody else and they tend to give you rendez-vous… in “n” months in the future.

Also: intelligent people does not care about your prefered tool, fear people want the tool they know, whatever it can be.

At last, be assured, give the impression you know what you do, how to do it (less details is best than plenty.

And if you go to the independent development business, never start a project before you signed a contract. There are jaws and crooks around the corner.

Beware of people asking your opinion: they can just try to validate their “plans”.

Sorry to not be more positive.

#emile cheers. All reminders and heads up are positive. Appreciate you taking the time.

What is the “bleeding neck” problem that people in the print industry have that you can help to solve? You know the print industry well.

I can’t imagine that New Zealand is different than Germany. People are getting older. But when you want a new job anything beyond 40 is “too old” for whatever reason.

have you considered a Xojo job or doing consulting as self employed?

maybe you could post here some details about your skills and maybe we can help you to find a job?
Sounds like you have experience and some companies may want to benefit from this.

Thanks Beatrix and Christian
Yes to the consulting work. Like Beatrix says it’s finding the pain to fix , is the key. Need to find clients with a need.
Cheers Christian

Maybe make a little website to say what you can do and offer.
Than I could for example email my plugin clients in New Zealand to let them know that you are available for hire.

and whether you would work outside New Zealand, e.g. in Australia.

Well you are not alone, I’m more or less in the same position and I know several others as well. I’m 56 now and I lost my job during the banking crisis in 2007. The bank let go 26,000 people go. The team I worked in went from 27 people to two, the most junior an cheapest. On the business side the department we supported went from just under 500 to zero: they discontinued all the products and closed everything down.

Now the object is to make it to 60 when I can access my pension funds. So far it has worked out OK, I keep landing 6 or 12 month contracts that extend my unemployment benefits:

  • Code reviews and project post-mortems
  • Moving a company of SVN and on to GIT
  • Agile project management
  • Database 3rd level support
  • Incident management
    It is not the kind of work I like to do, but it pays the bills.

Well I have been working with .Net since beta 1 and let me tell you it has only got bigger! At this stage I concentrate on middle tier and backend work in general, yes I have a working knowledge of the frontend stuff but no way near expert enough to complete with the kids who know all the latest javascript frameworks etc… .Net Core, does offer some opportunities because a lot of the Windows guys don’t have Linux experience.

[quote=415727:@Dave S]I was laid off in 2015, and thought with my skill set… finding a new job would be easy. Here it is 2018… and I finally gave up, and “retired”… I was either “over-qualified” or “too old” (although the latter was never explicity stated of course)

Yes I tend to agree with you. It really is not so much about the technical skills, but age unfortunately. And in a way I understand it, if you have a team of 20 somethings, it is going take a very special kind of 55+ year old to fit in. I have experienced it myself:

  • A colleague asked me if I’d been to a certain concert…, no but my daughter was
  • Where do you see yourself in the company in 10 years time… I don’t.
    and so on.

Well my advice is don’t compete, to do so is just playing to your disadvantages. Most of the work I do now is work that the 20 and 30 somethings can’t do because they don’t have the experience. For instance, I do a lot of incident management work for the big banks - a job that requires a lot of experience and knowledge of banking operations rather than technical stuff, the kind of knowledge that comes with experience. It is not regular work, but it pays well when it does come.

Good luck with your search.

Well the thing is that at 55+, winding down is what is on your mind not starting up! Most people I know in the IT industry at my age are trying to plan their escape… we have put our time in and want to have a chance to do other things in life before it is too late.

Of course it depends on the country and the pension system, but most people I know in my situation are just looking for something to plug the gap until they get to 60 and can access their pension funds.

The problem is that as you get older mobility becomes a big issue. In my experience, I’d say somewhere around say 45 to 55 is when most people have the biggest commitments. You still have kids in school/college and ageing parents need support too, just to mention a few.

I have known a few guys here who have tried to do it, but they all gave up in the end. Between family commitments and the travel every weekend it just became too much.

Well, I can tell @James Nicholson-Plank that I have 3 other Xojo users in Christchurch and if James offers consulting services around Xojo, I’d help by pointing those 3 people to his website.

Please tell people you are available. There is a need for development and I bet some companies may appreciate an experienced developer.

Agreed. You may find it frustrating first when you are inspecting the programmer’s job platforms, but there are a lot of Xojo solutions around, just not those that you find en masse in the app stores. So now you have a plus point: There are not that many experienced Xojo programmers on the market …

For one example: You are an expert in the printing business. Even if it is going down (I experienced it myself badly during the last years), it will not die. In the print business, every minute the machines don’t run means you’re losing money. Where could the workflow be optimized with a clever application?