Will we need IT professionals pretty much indefinitely?

Discussion in 'education & employment' started by Slo-mo, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    No, but then a good degree in something computing-related probably means a career more towards software development or consultancy than it does, say, sysadmin or IT management. Not necessarily, by any means, but in terms of common jobs.

    I think the opposite to some extent. For example, security is now so multi-faceted and complex that it needs specialists. You either have an expert or you hire one (e.g. penetration testing). We may see the lowest level of coders made obsolete, like noddy app developers losing their jobs to app-generating machines, but higher up and I don't see the same happening. You're definitely right about the growing need for rounder skills rather than just programming resource - I mean, outsourcing SW dev to the cheapest labour has been and gone and is largely regarded as a failure - but I don't see that as being in technical terms, more about human competencies, to use a horrible HR phrase.
    paolo likes this.
  2. brixtonblade

    brixtonblade Well-Known Member

    You're absolutely right that there will always be a need for niche skills like security - my point was more that I know quite a lot of developers who are pretty one dimensional and dont really know much about say security, networks, infra etc and I dont think that model is going to work out well. People doing infra as code and using the cloud to deploy their apps really need to have a bit of all round knowledge and not just write their code whereas when other teams managed their infra / live etc they could get away with being fairly wilfuly clueless.
  3. alex_

    alex_ Well-Known Member

    I think security will become less and less niche.

    The rest of this, is part of the commoditisation which just takes place.

    But agreed the more of a generalist you are the more in demand you will be.

  4. marty21

    marty21 One on one? You're crazy.

    They introduced the Computer Science O 'Level when I was at school (1979 or so?) not many of us took it (it was optional) as we didn't think it would be of any use :facepalm:
  5. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Possibly counter-intuitive, but I think that one of the best ways of developing a broad base of skills is having a good general grounding but then specialising relatively narrowly once you start work. The point being that unless you're working at quite high levels you don't get the chance to see and work on the broader picture.

    For instance, personally I can do all sorts of shit but in my current job I specialise in Drupal backend development, particularly web services and data transformation between systems. Because of this I've been able to move to developing key modules on my own and so gained experience in application/data architecture and also the other technologies that I deal with all the time. If I'd just picked up any old thing then I'd still be stuck doing random tickets and have a much smaller base of things I could get experience in. People take advantage of generalists.
  6. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    BTW on the general subject of how secure dev work is, I think it's pretty secure but, at least in the web tech world, it's becoming much more divided between "architects" and "developers", in the same way that jobs in all automated areas are. IME jobs are much more split between poorly-paid "developer" roles where you're just expected to write what you're told to that's been planned out by somebody else, and "architect" roles where you get to design systems and write the specifications. Generally the latter jobs aren't advertised at all.

    I'm drawing a broader context here because web dev is increasingly automated; it's vastly easier to knock up a website or web app than it used to be, due to all the increasingly sophisticated frameworks out there. The labour value of individual developers has thus been increased hugely and as usual that doesn't mean they get paid more, it means there's more surplus value and they're actually penalised for it.

    Also most "SOTA" web dev tech these days is pointless masturbation anyway but that's a separate topic I guess.
    Artaxerxes and Slo-mo like this.
  7. WWWeed

    WWWeed Bandwidth Bandit

    I think the work is secure but its not just about that. While I have a tech/programming background I don't really use it regularly, and am concerned about skills going 'stale'. As many have said a lot of it is about concepts and ways of thinking/working that can be transferred between platforms. You can usually get your head around different platforms/languages with a bit of research/playing about.

    The issue I have is I am in a cushy job but feel like I am going nowhere - I'm scared to jump ship in case the place I join is worse (the problem is it is a gamble, and one you often don't find out about until you have been in the job for a while).

    The concern I have at the moment is with outsourcing and the attitude to development. While I do enjoy dev type stuff I do not enjoy the lack of respect I am seeing more and more of, especially if there is an outsourced agency in india or ukraine that will do things we wont (i.e work 100+ hour weeks, keeping smiling when scope creeps, skip QA to get it out on time, etc).
  8. Reiabuzz

    Reiabuzz Banned Banned

    Just read that article in full. And the comments, one of which points out that the entire article is framed by WP adverts. Not exactly impartial. Having used both this article is also completely full of shit, as the majority of the comments BTL also point to.
  9. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Wordpress remains far more popular and flexible though, so you'll potentially be able to attract a far bigger user base.

    Here's an article to get you going: 27 Reasons Why WordPress Crushes Squarespace Every Time

    This seems a pretty fair article: Squarespace vs WordPress: The Ultimate Comparison
  10. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Another advantage of becoming a software engineer is that you never have to give a fuck about WordPress vs Squarespace.
    paolo and alex_ like this.
  11. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Well, you won't make any money doing Squarespace customisation freelance unless you do an awful lot of it, and that's unlikely. On the other hand, these days setting up a WP site for most purposes isn't likely to be enough work to pay the bills either; it already does most of what most people want out of the box (that's the sort of thing I was talking about when I mentioned "automation" in web dev).

    If you want to do a site with custom elements of course you need to learn to code. Full stop. Drupal, which is my speciality as I mentioned, is good for hardcore custom sites but for most people WP does the job very well, and I work with teams who've turned WP into a whole custom multisite system pulling from multiple sources. Nowadays I advise anyone who wants to get into web development to learn WP.
  12. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    you say that, but the number of times I've said "oh fuck this why don't they just put everything on squarespace"

    actually, that conversation always goes to "why don't we just photocopy the site and post it out to anyone who wants to read it, zines are trendy"
  13. mauvais

    mauvais change has become unavoidable

    Yes, but for all the terrible things I've done professionally, like J2EE or recommending we use Adobe Flex or writing my own XML parser or building endless Swing GUIs, I think if I ended up doing anything involving WordPress that wasn't just installing it on my own personal server for my own personal benefit in my own spare time, and then very shortly afterwards installing it again on a new personal server because the first one had been hacked, you know, because I'd installed WordPress on it, I think I'd be trying to get some kind of refund on my career.
  14. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Oh I dunno. I get a lot of requests from people asking for help setting up/customising WP sites, as did Eme who took on a fair bit of paid work. I haven't much of a clue any more though.
  15. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    I am in the position where I want them to use Wordpress as much as possible rather than their appalling homebrew platform that is entirely composed of technical debt, simply because at least WP has some relation to the 21st century.

    People ask me why I hate computers and I write by hand with pencils and take pictures on film.

    Drupal is actually quite good btw.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
    Mr Smin and alex_ like this.
  16. DJWrongspeed

    DJWrongspeed radio eros

    I've dabbled in coding over the years and yes it can be rewarding. I'm thankful I didn't do it at Uni though. How boring would that be ?

    As a more general career tip I think only a small section of the population are really cut out to be full time 'programmers.' I'm glad that it's only been part of my job not all of my job. Luckily there are loads of jobs in IT that aren't doing raw coding all day so you can certainly find your niche.
  17. 8ball

    8ball Considerably more oppressed than yow

    Someone's got to be there to feed the dog.

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