I found myself voicing these words while in the middle of a video interview.
Experience is all about learning and opportunities to apply the lessons.
In the field of technology, new tools, discovery or standards get released and adopted at a rapid rate, leaving us in a position of always learning. Unfortunately, from a business angle, we can't still be chasing after the new shiny. We also have a responsibility to our customers to continue rendering the services we promised them while exploring new tools, practices and technologies.
When applying for a job, there is usually a list of experiences your future employer is hoping you have to be considered qualified for a role. For a typical expectation of a Senior PHP Developer, outside the usual SOLID principle knowledge, Framework experience, you are also expected to have infrastructural knowledge like Docker and to work with a myriad of AWS services.
In reality, not all companies have the same structure. Most companies have dedicated teams to manage several aspects of the business. Unless you actively work with/in the operations team, your exposure to how these systems work is limited. Also, running the operations of a business is pretty much a field in its own and requires focus.
When looking at roles for DevOps engineer, I never see requirements asking about programming frameworks, preferably a few scripting languages and orchestration tools. A few AWS professionals I have met are okay developers. They can pretty much build projects in any programming language of their choosing and effectively scale it to handle billions of requests daily.
I am seeking answers on how to build capabilities for future or trending tech when you don't use it in house. Also, I realise that not actively working in a role that requires this future tech isn't considered experience and the term used is "commercial experience".
Since every business or company is different, the truth is the role of Senior Developer varies based on the business's needs. Some companies want a senior developer with a vast knowledge of tech, be a leader and be in a mentor to others - managerial skills. Other places want more technical skillset than administrative since they have a Technical Team Manager. As you can see, the market is varied and diverse.
The good thing about our tech industry is, as long as you are good at something, there is probably someone out there that needs your skillset. Just ensure to keep up with the times and don't lag.
Every tech is available to be learned, and as part of growing and gaining experiences, you will come across technical challenges that will require you to scale up your stack. The problems may also be process-driven, delivering projects with overlapping timelines and whatnot.
If you do have ideas on how one could learn a future tech and gain enough experiences that could be considered valid enough, do share if you please.