How to stay relevant while working in defense?
I work as a software developer for Raytheon in the DC/MD/VA area. Comp is OK, WLB is great, and I like the work I'm doing. However, comp increases are primarily limited by YOE (as opposed to performance), and while I'm happy now with my abilities, I won't deny that I'm concerned about stagnation -- not in coding ability, but in the use and understanding of new technology. My work centers around embedded technology / system-level OS interaction, and the main language we use is C (also some Python); my team has pretty good design practices, but our CI/CD pipeline is not great and I don't feel that I'd be able to effect meaningful change from my position as a contracted employee. How can I stay relevant in the "normal" SW industry (not defense)? What are some good embedded or similar SW companies to consider for the future? I've started practicing LC in my spare time in case I decide to jump ship.
If I decide to leave defense, my best chances seems to be:
If I want to stick with embedded/OS design (my current skill set):
If I want to work on shiny/new technology and maximize TC:
FAANG / Unicorn (?)
Glad to hear any thoughts from folks who have been in similar situations.
YOE: 4.5 (2 software, 2.5 analysis/IT)
YOE and TC (base + bonus) included as a courtesy since that is the standard practice here. I have not inflated any comp numbers. While I appreciate the discussion around my compensation, I'm primarily interested in answers to my questions. Thanks all