Software developers will be the next victims of globalisation

Victor Ng: Eeek… India invades my space:

I just came face to face with a product (and a dev team) that I’ll most likely be competing with. I was also told that the entire team is located in Bombay India. [...] The demo today wasn’t some shoddy piece of work either – it was good – better than any of the stuff I saw from the UK, the US or Australia. I cringe when I think of what will happen once China gets it shit together and start churning out programmers.

While I know of several adequate programmers trained in China, all of them emigrated to the United States. Still, the deluge of programming jobs heading to China and India has already begun.

This threat to my livelihood has occupied my thoughts for the past couple of years. (For the record, my father raised this concern while I was still in university. Like a naive child, I shrugged off the threat saying that our developers would always be superior. Was I dumb kid or what?) As a result, I have decided not to work for companies which rely on a software product (off-the-shelf or otherwise) as their main source of revenue. I feel that working for companies which provide custom software “solutions” and services will partly shield me from the coming exodus. Perhaps I am in denial, but I believe that one cannot adequately manage custom software development when your developers are half a world and twelve time zones away. Here’s hoping.

In the meantime, Steven Schuldt has some good advice:

Since the future of professional dev work is very obviously headed to Bangalore and Beijing and wherever else poor saps are willing to sling Java or C# for $10 a week, and worse still that horrible, broken technologies like .Net and J2EE are going to be crammed down everyone’s throat, I would strongly suggest pursuing other interests. Become a teacher. Work for a social cause. Write.

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