I'm looking for people (or employers) experience and opinions if they (or have employed someone who) have either:

  1. Purposely quit their job with the idea to give themselves a window to learn / improve their knowledge of a programming technology and or language? How long did you give yourself? What was the reaction from employers when looking for a new job?

  2. Taken a break from programing full time for money and done something else for money then returned to programming? How did you find coming back to full time development work? Tough to get back up to speed? How much programming did you continue to do during your career break? During your job search how did you feel employers viewed your career break? How long was your career break?

Its something I’m obviously considering, hoping to reinvigorate myself and learn / progress into a new area.

It's called "burn out". If you work intensly at anything for long periods of time you will get so sick of it you won't want to do it ever again, or at least for awhile. I'm that way with catfish. I grew up on a farm which bordered a river. My parents loved to fish. One summer the fishing was so good we ate fish 3 times a day for months, not because we didn't have other food to eat but because my parents loved it. I got so sick of eating catfish I have not eaten one since then, which was well over 50 years ago. People get that way with computer programming and other occupations too. I've become burned out at specific jobs, but never programming in general.

Or you could have a conversation with your employer and indicate you'd like to get some training or spend some time investigating a new innovative use of technology. Give them a chance to respond. I did that with my employer and I'm now happily coming up to speed on programming for Android devices (it's Java, but fortunately I was already pretty good in Java).

It's really in their best interest to retain you because it costs a LOT to hire and orient new technical staff. And it's in your best interest to keep a job in the field if you plan on staying in the field. Returning might be problematic if some future prospective employer thinks you might "burn out" again. Also, it's probably wise to maintain an income unless you're of "independent means".

My $.02 worth. Good luck to you!

@AncientDragon. I think that is the case, I don't think I'd give up programming all together just change the balence for a while, only do it on the side.

@BitBit

Returning might be problematic if some future prospective employer thinks you might "burn out" again.
That is a good point, and kind of what I was worrying about, emloyiers thinking badly of someone who did something else for a while.

Also, it's probably wise to maintain an income unless you're of "independent means".

I'd keep work, just maybe do something diffrent, I've no dependents so that makes my fincial rewuirments less.