Reason – the salary gap between my c++ offers and java offers. I think the highest c++ offer was PIMCO, around $100/hr paid to agency (Huxley?). Most of the time, the java offers paid me (significantly) more than c++.
Reason — I also felt I could fairly easily crack the typical c++ interviews from then on. Now (2017) I doubt it.
Reason — some of the c++ jobs were not so “glamorous” less trading, less mainstream. Now (2017) I don’t care so much