A close friend of mine who works as a developer in a geographically distributed team, recently told me, with extreme frustration, that our profession is doomed and it won’t be long before we will all lose our jobs.
“We just translate user requirements into code”, he said. “Companies see IT as just a cost, we just can’t compete with India and China on a price basis”, he added.
Almost every time I travel to the US I hear stories of IT projects outsourced to India or to some other country abroad. Despite the reported mixed results, the trend is set to continue and it is beginning to extend to Western Europe as well.
Are we going to lose our jobs in the foreseeable future? I seriously doubt. Call me naïve, but I never regarded my job as an expense, although admittedly our financial department may beg to differ 😉
My friend is right about one thing though: we can’t compete on a price basis. To survive, we need to get hungry again and learn how to deliberately think better, since creating new value is the only basis for competition left to us.
Besides, developers who are not cheap but consistently create opportunities that make or save their employers lots of money are, indeed, an investment. Furthermore, if we consider how hard it is to bring projects to success, investing on people who simply can’t fail is actually a fantastic investment.
But who and where are those talented few? Are you exceptional? Am I? Silence in our head. Let’s contemplate this possibility together for a moment… LOL, nice try! Perhaps we can work on refining our skills and try harder though 🙂