Sunday, March 8, 2015

Education

On the days when I go to the office, I have an about 25 minutes walk from the train station. I had listened to music for a long time, but a few weeks ago I switched over to podcasts. I have heard great things about "This Developer's Life", and after listening to the first couple of episodes, I was hooked. About a week ago I listened to the session on "Education". I have two children, this topic is a very important one for me. I care a great deal about how my children are educated, what they like to learn, what they are interested in.

The podcast discusses the topic of "do you need formal education to be a good software engineer"? I am not going to give out the conclusion here, please listen to that episode if you have time. However, as I was listening to it, my mind started cruising.

I worked for one of the largest insurance companies in the US as a software engineer. I had a coworker there who was roughly 15 years older than me. He was burnt out, the 9-5 kinda' guy. We were expecting our first child at that time and I received one of life's big lessons from him. He said: "Attila, when your child goes to high school, you should discourage them from learning software engineering. All those jobs will be outsourced, they will be better off being a plumber, than a software engineer." I don't blame him for saying this. Indian contractors were imported to do QA and other tasks for us. They worked from dawn 'till dusk without a break, causing resentment among my fellow software engineers.

But I disagreed with him. I will do everything I possibly can to encourage my children to be software engineers. My dream is that they will love data and math. "Data is the new oil," - said the European Consumer Commissioner according to the book, Predictive Analytics. This profession has a bright future, the possibilities are endless in their lives. I read this somewhere: "No humans will be needed to collect tolls on the highway, but software engineers will have to write code to keep the system running."

Source: The Activist Post

Look at the job market after the great recession at the end of 2008. Corporations' profit is through the roof, Wall Street is flying high while the number of active workers remained at or close to what it was at the height of the downturn. Companies achieved this with increased level of automation. They had to tighten their belts, but money was pumped into automation. Who did they need to drive that growth? Software engineers. And now, when the market is doing better, corporations learned to live lean, being very efficient with fewer people through automation.

Hardware is cheap and getting cheaper. There is only one component they need to fuel the growth based on automation - Software Engineers. This is a great time to be one of them, tell your children to start coding!

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