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Is Now The Best Time Ever To Be A Software Developer?

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After all the hype in the news about FlipBoard yesterday, I downloaded the app to take a look at what it could do. Even though there were some issues with the service being over capacity, what I was able to use was very impressive. Indirectly, the app reminded me why now is such a great time to be a software developer.

The Devices Available To Us

For a start, the number of devices that we can deploy our software on has risen exponentially over the last 10 years. We've gone from mobile development being a specialist area, to one that almost anyone can create an app for the most popular smartphones. Without doubt, the rise of the tablet devices, in particular the iPad, is one of the most significant technology changes in the last year. When I was in college, I had a few ideas for applications that needed the tablet form factor; I was just missing the device. 10 years later, I'm in a position where the device is available, and it's even easier to program for the device.

The Tools & Technologies  

We have a huge number of technologies at our disposal now, and most are pretty easy to pick up. After all, once an initial programming language is learned, most software developers can easily switch to different languages. Even if we just stick to pure Java, no matter what you want to do, there's probably a library for that. On the web, technologies like GWT and HTML5 have opened up new possibilities for how we create websites.  Free IDEs with limitless plugins are taken for granted now.

All of these advances have made the role of the software developer much more exciting. Even if your day job doesn't involve the newer trends, there's nothing to stop you from exploring what is possible with all the latest advancements. With everything that is available to software developers right now, I think the rate of killer apps both on mobile devices and on the web, can only increase.


Andy Leung replied on Thu, 2010/07/22 - 7:16am

Thanks for the article.

I agree that this is definitely a great time to be a software developer. However, to further extent, I have never seen any bad time to be a software developer.

In our century, it looks like advance technologies are coming out every day so there are more opportunities for software development. In spite of that, the infrastructure and technology are not up to a level that does not require heavy lifting software development, contrary it requires more and more software development to make it more rounded. A good example would be: Without integration, is your little desktop application able to talk to another application even with just a simple data exchange in fixed schema? The answer is obvious.

Just my 2 cents.

Dean Schulze replied on Thu, 2010/07/22 - 11:02am

The thing that made me realize that software development is still a great field to be in was an article I read last year about Con Kolivas and why he had decided to give up Linux kernel development:


The article is about his frustrations, but reading it made me think about some things. When someone who has one of the best jobs in the world (Kolivas is an anesthesiologist) devotes his spare time to writing software I remembered why I got into software in the first place.  I've always loved solving the problems and the satisfaction that comes with writing software that works well.

In a lot of cases corporate management diminishes the intrinsic satisfaction that comes from writing software with their innanities, back-stabbing, and stupidity.  But that's just the setting in which some software is written.  Software development itself is still as exciting for me after 15 years in this profession as it ever was.

It's ironic that it took an article about Kolivas' frustrations to make me realize that this is still a great field to work in.  The new innovations that keep coming add to the excitement, but there is an intrinsic joy in writing software that doesn't depend on new gadgets.

I just needed to hear Kolivas story to remind me about it.

Guido Amabili replied on Thu, 2010/07/22 - 12:13pm

No, in a couple of month when JavaFX has gained traction...

Cloves Almeida replied on Thu, 2010/07/22 - 9:14pm


Yeah, but first we need to shoot down those annoying flying pigs!

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