How to re-enter industry after a decade in academia?

I'm considering leaving academia and returning to industry. I have a side project that is coming along, but most likely I'll need at least a part-time job for another year and maybe indefinitely. I'd really like some advice on how best to make the transition, if it's even possible at this point.

I'm still undecided about leaving, so your advice may help me make up my mind. The main drivers for leaving are the ones you hear so much about in academia - politics, job insecurity, cynicism, lack of impact, etc.

Thing is, I've been in Computer Science research for nearly ten years since my PhD. I'd say I'm an 8/10 coder and am fluent in Python, JS+Vue.js, and Java. I've dabbled in half a dozen other languages. My sideproject is using Vue and it'd be advantageous for that project to learn more about front end dev. My CSS is mediocre and I've yet to master JS build tools. OTOH I've administered plenty of VPS installs and an SGE cluster. I've written a few REST APIs in Python.

What I'm really going to be rusty on is working in a dev team - using git properly rather than as a mostly solo dev, CI and testing frameworks, code reviews, agile working, and probably things I'm as yet unaware of. A bit like a junior dev in that sense, but then my programming skills are probably relatively strong.

I'm fairly settled geographically and live in a small city, with a larger one within an hour commute. Moving beyond the nearest big city isn't an option. Working remote is fine.

How best to get back into the industry? I'd prefer a startup over a big corp. I don't really want to be a junior dev as I'm a good hacker, but I don't have open source projects etc. that I can use to demonstrate my competence. A part-time role would enable me to push the side-project forward, but I'm also worried about income - I'm in the UK and local dev roles seem to be around £30K, which would make part-time difficult to afford.

Any thoughts on how best to proceed, please?


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