This weekend I read a relevant article from Information Week magazine entitled “Tech Jobs Show Surprising Strength”. The employment numbers were in from the last quarter. And the article reviewed the important stats affecting the IT community. Overall IT jobs were up 2% from the previous quarter which should be good. However there was worry that job growth may be slowing for the future. There appears to be a huge recent pressure to cut back on IT salary spending.
IT employment was hovering at a nice 2.2%. There was a lot of good news for managers. IT management jobs were up a whopping 16% from last year. Unfortunately programmer jobs fell 4% from the previous quarter. This last statistic was the one that I paid the most attention to. Now I did not get to see the raw statistics. I only viewed the article which summarized the high points from an IT industry perspective. But I usually fear any bad news for the software development profession.
You often head a lot of complaining about the outsourcing of software development jobs to other countries. Along with this there is grumbling about the import of programming talent under the H1-B visa program. I do not know whether any of these jobs contributed to the statistics being summarized in the article. Somehow I do not think so. Therefore, if the article has bad news for programmers, the effect may be compounded by a loss of jobs to foreign interests.
The one thing I am pretty confident about is that the programming job function will not go away. I seriously doubt there will be an automated bot that can do my job any time soon. And I do not think anybody can do the work I do. Yes you can train a non-programmer to slap some controls on a form. But when things go wrong with more complex systems, companies will always need an expert to step in and save the day. Maybe this is the way developers need to position themselves. Find out which functions cannot be replaced. Then gain expertise in those areas to keep your job safe.
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