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Your Future As A Software Developer - Programming - Nairaland

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Your Future As A Software Developer by Nobody: 1:23am On Jan 29, 2013
Software Development is awesome and fun. However, if you raise your heard from the keyboard just a little bit and look at everything holistically with some far-sight, you may soon come to realize that if you really want to move on to higher salaries...you can't be stuck just doing Software Development...or "programming".

Think about it, the entirety of your job can mostly be shipped off to India or China. Granted, there will always be benefits to a company having it's own inbred software developers and some companies actually have smart enough people at the helm who realize and value these advantages, the fact is this, companies are often run by "business people" who are most likely technologically inept. The type of people who, if they even try, would classify HTML as a programming language undecided

They don't understand what you do. All they know is that you make stuff that they sell. So seriously, what makes you think they won't grapple with the idea of getting (from their perspective) the same result, at a much cheaper price from freaking India? I assure you, they've grappled with it. Circumstances need only push them to such a situation where they deem that the only way forward.

That means, you really need to start diversifying/grooming yourself, not just as a "Coder" but as a "Solutionist" (Solution-focused Consultant)" or improve on your "Business-awareness" as you progress.
Someone who has actual physical value, or "presence value" as I like to call it. Some of you are already doing this, but be more actively mindful of this need, or you might easily stray and be led off to believe in some mythic "corporate loyalty" fantasy. E.g. Personal note: I personally have been contemplating going for an MBA instead of an MSc. There is really nothing new an MSc would teach me that I can't learn from picking up a book on the subject, because I am already attuned to the technical, but not so much the business.


An older gentleman friend of mine and I were discussing about how he knew a guy who worked with a company from small beginnings as a Software developer all the way to them becoming much bigger.
He was one of the founding employees, a brilliant Software guy, and even gave technical advice and ideas that were used...but all he ever rose to was Senior Software Developer/Architect.
The CTO position was given to some other new guy, who always asked him for advice on top. The business guys didn't want him involved in the makings of any sort of executive decision.

Why? My friend caught one of the "Business guys" saying the guy was just too technical.
Now personally I don't care much for executive decisions, but I would feel very vulnerable when I put 2 and 2 together knowing that if some slick indian salesman finally talks them into it and they decide to offshore all their software work outside, you will be gone as well.

To a business person, all they see is profit and loss. Numbers. How they can increase their profit margin so their investors can smile at them. A lot of them see Software Development as mere grunt work to that end, and it usually gets to a point, depending on the company, where this opinion has a bit of truth in it. Putting myself in their shoes (ignorance et al), that slick indian salesman may actually convince me to do it, because the math makes a crapload of sense.

Anyway, just thought I'd share my mind with the up and comers.
Be mindful of and take control of your career path. Don't leave everything to the wind.

Cheers and feel free to add or subtract from this.

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Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by Nobody: 1:29am On Jan 29, 2013
ALSO, you are blessed to be in what I would say is the ONLY profession that allows you to start things up with little to no cost except your free time (which you would have probably spent playing video games anyway undecided).
Look out for ways to build something and establish somewhat of an independence (or at least a supplementation) from just your everyday 9-to-5. As it grows, you may be surprised with the result. smiley

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Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by kambo(m): 8:31pm On Jan 29, 2013
hmm... Thoughtful. I once read some write up sometime ago along the same lines. The essay generatd a flame war wth respondents affirming/disaffirmg tht software dev is a no future occupation. Theyre actually two sides to this issue. One side considers software dev as a calling,and decampment into management as treacherous infidelity. Like the man in your example, management may pay more (and management frwns on older employees still doing "grunt work" aka programming ) but if these folks really had their way programming wud be it. The other side, are more pragmatic, or more enterprenueral . They'll ditch programming for the next big thing (higher pay perks status) . To them its all abt wats in it for me?. Truth is it depends on ones priorities, financial incentives, job prospects, technical depth and so on. In a company that creates mundane typical software in an equally typical industry, that services a blase market innovation and research may b unwelcome the devs there will hav to move over to the busness side to hold down their jobs. This kind of companies are rife. On ther hand, those who work in the truly tech companies can retain and groom their passion with less fear of castigation. But this kinda companies are either elitist old concerns or raring juvenile startups. Think ibm,google, microsoft,fog creek,fb etc. Here industry changing machines are being created. A phd is a must have to work on the most interesting projects. Voracious intelligence and allegiance to the software cult is the currency for earning your colleagues respect. People at this level are self-actualized money aint the primary motivation, actually this bunch dont dream management. They consult, create startups to pursue an interest network with other geeks so they could stay employable or retire into teaching technology. Fact is this sets seem to shrinking and are threatened with extinction cuz as they automate more and more the less tech manpower the industry needs. Their efficient tools is leading to job losses. E.g the efficiency of wordpress and its likes created by uber geeks make professional website creation by novices possible threatening jobs/revenue of professional web designers. Similar trends are occuring in accounting etc. But IMO such companies arent here, naija, and most developers arent on that level here. There's no incentive to aspire so high if there's no industry demanding or appreciating ur skills. Mere "java/c++" programming is hard enuff wt no gaurantee of job security / stability so i guess most people ditch the idealism and go for the career security even if it means retiring from programming!

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Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by laykhorn(m): 8:58pm On Jan 29, 2013
2buff! Do u mind if I ask the course u studied at bachelor degree level?
Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by Nobody: 10:10pm On Jan 29, 2013
laykhorn: 2buff! Do u mind if I ask the course u studied at bachelor degree level?

Computer Engineering. Though I did that simply because I also wanted an education inlet into the hardware side of things as well as I wasn't familiar with it, otherwise I would have gone with Comp.Sci or Soft.Eng. I knew a lot about software before I even began my bachelors.

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Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by laykhorn(m): 8:27am On Jan 30, 2013
2buff:

Computer Engineering. Though I did that simply because I also wanted an education inlet into the hardware side of things as well as I wasn't familiar with it, otherwise I would have gone with Comp.Sci or Soft.Eng. I knew a lot about software before I even began my bachelors.

are u sayin ComputerSci makes much more sense than Comp. Engr?
Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by Nobody: 10:08am On Jan 30, 2013
Programmmers who are lost in scripts often always end up poor. My advise to all programmers is to code scripts that can solve present problems and generate income to your bank account. It should be about the money not about some fantasy that you have to keep convincing the populace to buy. Think about solving the millions of problems and the money comes non-stop. Problems are opportunities. There are more mobile phones than PC. Write an everyday problem solving applications for mobile phones and patent them and you must have engineered a line of credit from Apple, Microsoft and Google cos of their mobile OS.
Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by valdubem(m): 10:10am On Jan 30, 2013
laykhorn:
are u sayin ComputerSci makes much more sense than Comp. Engr?

Yes it is
Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by cmespeak: 10:15am On Jan 30, 2013
laykhorn:
are u sayin ComputerSci makes much more sense than Comp. Engr?

Oga can't u read,he would have preferred comp sci.for the d love and prior knowledge of software dev. but cause of the hardware aspect he did comp. eng.

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Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by bigx(m): 10:17am On Jan 30, 2013
Be more business aware.
Thats what I tell developers when the come to whine on nairaland.
Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by Nobody: 10:19am On Jan 30, 2013
cmespeak:

Oga can't u read,he would have preferred comp sci.for the d love and prior knowledge of software dev. but cause of the hardware aspect he did comp. eng.

Why would anyone study computer science or computer engineering at this age and time. These knowledge are all over the internet. I think the problem is that people study in order to work for other people, when you start studying courses because you wanna use it for personal financial growth then you will know better. How long can one work for anyone, anyfirm anyway. It pays to think outside the box.

1 Like

Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by pak: 10:31am On Jan 30, 2013
2buff,

I wish every young programmer will read your article.

The story mirrors mine (infact, at some point, I thought you might have been talking about me).

At the end of the day, I had to quit the company and start my own establishment.

Also, that stuff about your course of study was exactly the same reason why I studied computer Engineering.

Before gaining admission, I almost had enough to function has a software developer in the Nigerian Market so I personnally felt that Comp. Eng. will at least give me a leg in the Engineering side of things. Which it did.

Though, I ended in software development, if not for funds and other limitations, I defo would have preferred to delve into embedded circuits

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Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by 1stknight(m): 10:35am On Jan 30, 2013
That was why I decided to study Mathematical science, I want to be relevant in science generally.

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Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by Nobody: 10:51am On Jan 30, 2013
pak: 2buff,

I wish every young programmer will read your article.

The story mirrors mine (infact, at some point, I thought you might have been talking about me).

At the end of the day, I had to quit the company and start my own establishment.

Also, that stuff about your course of study was exactly the same reason why I studied computer Engineering.

Before gaining admission, I almost had enough to function has a software developer in the Nigerian Market so I personnally felt that Comp. Eng. will at least give me a leg in the Engineering side of things. Which it did.

Though, I ended in software development, if not for funds and other limitations, I defo would have preferred to delve into embedded circuits
Please can you explain the embedded circuits thing more ?
Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by abbyode(m): 11:13am On Jan 30, 2013
Waoh!!!

This is the best thread so far in Programming section.
I laugh at times when i read about lots of topics here especially when they start talking about supremacy of software tools among Java, Ruby on rails, Php, VB, dotNet, Perl etc etc.
I just assume they enjoy the fallacy of feeling great inside having written 20 pages of codes without actually deriving any financial value from it. Well, I also think maybe there are probably no bill to pay anyway.

The truth is, you have to be solution focussed. Be a problem solver not a giant in coding. Solving problems would put food on your table not hours of CODING. The functionality that your 20-page codes achieved could as well be achieved with some few mouse clicks using some sophisticated tools now available without writing any line of code. So, why re-inventing the wheel? These new tools allow you to concentrate on solving business logic rather than wasting productive time on coding just to achieve "CRUD".

The other time there was a software contest here on nairaland, I saw the thread prior to a long-haul flight and finished the whole solution during the flight. It was a tug of war here just because the tool I used is not as famous as the likes of java, C++ etc.

Is it about Java or about providing a solution?


The future of software development is such that non-techies would be able to develop sophisticated business / mission-critical applications without writing a single line of code. The earlier you start positioning yourself the better. You dont have to believe it but that is the truth. You dont need to believe in gravity but it exerts on you by default.

Shalom!!!

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Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by legendprac(m): 11:25am On Jan 30, 2013
Wot shall it provide a man to gain to whole programming knowledge n die poor?

Am java-trained, but I don't spend my whole life coding.... Am using my knowledge and gathering more knowledge dat will help me solve problems and put some money in d bank....
Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by OmerianConsult: 11:41am On Jan 30, 2013
You can't really go far in life if all u have is IT knowledge. Generate great ideas and have some business sense too. A smart high school student can easily employ a professor of IT in this era. More importantly, entrepreneurship is the key in this millennium. Get smarter!

I run a business consulting firm that seeks, among other things, to transform IT guys into Technopreneurs. Interested Techies could contact me on 08132232989, 08188360168. My signature here is that of the clients I do business development for.
Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by OmerianConsult: 11:50am On Jan 30, 2013
blink182: Please can you explain the embedded circuits thing more ?

Embedded Systems (ES)is the future! It's all about digitalizing everything around us. It cuts across every field of life. And u can digitize anything - door, toothbrush, even your cloth. An ES is any device into which a programmed IC (brain) has been put. You have sure seen d migration to digital fuel pumps. Everything around us will soon be ES with web and mobile support.

I was once with an ES firm as a Business Development Manager. We did about 60 very unique projects.
ES experts in d house should contact me as I run a Business Consulting firm that seeks, among other things, to turn IT guys to technopreneurs.
Oludayo 08132232989, 08188360168
Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by elfico(m): 12:06pm On Jan 30, 2013
A very good thread that treats a disturbing trend in the software industry in this country. I support the idea that, as software developers, we should try to be solution oriented. In truth, many companies prefer to source for solution from outside the country particularly India, but the software developers in this country have little blame in that. We should instead try to solve the primary problems that is affecting not only software developers in the country, but also other professions, which is the reliance on foreign experts. Also, our academic standards in this country is not up to par. Tackling of these problems including corruption, will go a long way in helping us. But since we are not at the helm of affairs, and have little or nothing to do about it, I suggest we try to be versatile in other to survive in this land of ours.
Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by laykhorn(m): 12:10pm On Jan 30, 2013
cmespeak:

Oga can't u read,he would have preferred comp sci.for the d love and prior knowledge of software dev. but cause of the hardware aspect he did comp. eng.
I'll take that in good faith but when nxt you come across my username, dont EVER interfere when in such discussions except if they were directed to you... Now 2buff! Do u stil mind to answer my question?
Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by NET1(m): 1:25pm On Jan 30, 2013
Another nice thread.

.NET
Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by adexsimply(m): 1:27pm On Jan 30, 2013
WOAH..these thread Hit me like a thunderbolt... i'm one of those coders who believe in just coding and not minding the pay.. but i ve always tried to change, all to no avail.. i'd really need nice and straightforward advices from you guys...

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Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by newmaonza: 2:25pm On Jan 30, 2013
@ OP: This is the classic problem every techie faces, we r so in love with our jobs that we 4get dat we have to pay the bills.. . . As 4 d business side of things i have to concur with Micheal Gerber dat "TECHIES CAN NEVER MAKE GOOD BUSINESS MEN". . . . . I believe dat since d average techie is not interested in being d richest man in Nigeria, we leave business to the businessmen & focus more on doing the job without being exploited, I think the solution to this problem is 4 techies 2 form associations ("employers nightmare"wink & truely co-operate with one another( the average techie is selfish especially with knowledge) to solve our problems.
Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by adexsimply(m): 2:32pm On Jan 30, 2013
new maonza: @ OP: This is the classic problem every techie faces, we r so in love with our jobs that we 4get dat we have to pay the bills.. . . As 4 d business side of things i have to concur with Micheal Gerber dat "TECHIES CAN NEVER MAKE GOOD BUSINESS MEN". . . . . I believe dat since d average techie is not interested in being d richest man in Nigeria, we leave business to the businessmen & focus more on doing the job without being exploited, I think the solution to this problem is 4 techies 2 form associations ("employers nightmare"wink & truely co-operate with one another( the average techie is selfish especially with knowledge) to solve our problems.
like u read my mind
Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by lordZOUGA(m): 2:41pm On Jan 30, 2013
lets see... Hmmm... If you have been coding and coding and coding... And the stuffs or works you have done have not earned you money or reputation, then its either you have been solving exercises in programming textbooks or you have been playing at being a programmer and not being an actual programmer...

2 Likes

Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by Wallie(m): 3:45pm On Jan 30, 2013
In addition to OP’s comments, one has to be more than a "code monkey"! If all you know how to do is generate lines of code, you’re an endangered specie! Coding is getting to the point where it may be cheaper and expedient to generate automatically. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_programming

Try moving up the chain of software development because the people there are more immune to outsourcing. The people in India will not know the industry better than someone that lives and breathes the industry. They only do what you tell them to do. Try to be the person that tells them what to do.

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Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by AjanleKoko: 4:54pm On Jan 30, 2013
Wallie: In addition to OP’s comments, one has to be more than a "code monkey"! If all you know how to do is generate lines of code, you’re an endangered specie! Coding is getting to the point where it may be cheaper and expedient to generate automatically. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_programming

Try moving up the chain of software development because the people there are more immune to outsourcing. The people in India will not know the industry better than someone that lives and breathes the industry. They only do what you tell them to do. Try to be the person that tells them what to do.

'The people in India' are not exactly code monkeys.
The level of work that they do there is top notch, comparable to anything you can find in the West. And the Indians know the business in and out. In fact, they dominate the industry, even in the States.

Outside India, you can only find top-class, cutting-edge software development work in Eastern Europe. Just ask the FBI, they will tell you. wink
Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by Nobody: 5:54pm On Jan 30, 2013
Aside from my job, I also run an incorporated entity (a 1-man software consulting company) and I get a ton of emails from indian sales people wanting to meet with me physically so they can discuss outsourcing.
I usually have to tell them I'm not interested, because as a hybrid between a business man and a techie, I believe I know enough to not need to share the income by outsourcing.
I also want to be in better control of what I am delivering to MY CLIENTS because I only have a few and don't have enough time to keep finding new ones.

That aside, I got to thinking.
It would make a lot of sense then, to be a business guy (who would probably be better than me at finding clients) who finds clients non-stop, and ships the work out to india or something to have a scalable and affordable workforce.
This is what a lot of them do.

1 Like

Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by Nobody: 6:01pm On Jan 30, 2013
new maonza: @ OP: This is the classic problem every techie faces, we r so in love with our jobs that we 4get dat we have to pay the bills.. . . As 4 d business side of things i have to concur with Micheal Gerber dat "TECHIES CAN NEVER MAKE GOOD BUSINESS MEN". . . . . I believe dat since d average techie is not interested in being d richest man in Nigeria, we leave business to the businessmen & focus more on doing the job without being exploited, I think the solution to this problem is 4 techies 2 form associations ("employers nightmare"wink & truely co-operate with one another( the average techie is selfish especially with knowledge) to solve our problems.

I agree with everything but the bolded. I think pure techies are the most generous when it comes to knowledge....that we know.
You just need to go online and ask a question in a tech forum to see what I mean. The love of the exchange of knowledge and information is what got us into this path to begin with.
We love being the guy who gives tech advice and we will give it totally, even if it means researching to answer the question....for FREE.

The more business-minded people tend to see knowledge and information as an asset, and so don't give it out as much or do so cryptically. It's all they have to go on.
They would rather everyone be kept in a state of ignorance so they can continue serving their purposes as minions. i.e. No "higher planes of thought" for you...lest you become a competitor tongue

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Re: Your Future As A Software Developer by Nobody: 6:17pm On Jan 30, 2013
AjanleKoko:

'The people in India' are not exactly code monkeys.
The level of work that they do there is top notch, comparable to anything you can find in the West. And the Indians know the business in and out. In fact, they dominate the industry, even in the States.

Outside India, you can only find top-class, cutting-edge software development work in Eastern Europe. Just ask the FBI, they will tell you. wink

I think what Wallie meant was different when he said industry.

The "software industry" (Industry X) is nothing but a tool that serves other prominent industries (Industry Y...e.g oil and gas, Energy, Healthcare, etc).
Seeing as X is easily outsourced, it is better to be more aligned and well versed in Y, so you are not expendible.

It is good to be true to your passion and start out with X so you are not totally lost (like a core business guy), but you would be doing yourself all kinds of favors if you 'step up' to Y.
By doing so, you may find yourself in more of an advantage than the simple-minded "business guy" if you play your cards right.
That is the stuff Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and The FaceBook guy (I forget his name) are made of.

When a business-minded TECHY (techie meaning anything practical, not just software) is at the helm of most organizations, that organization is in a better position to succeed.
E.g Less likely to make stupid promises to clients that really can't be done because you have an accurate idea already how long things will take, hence risking bad relations with the client etc.

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