The history of software development as we know it is only a few decades old. Those years have been intense in the advancement of technology and innovation, with new languages created by the hundreds. The software development industry continues to evolve in life-changing ways, as do the opportunities for talented professionals who want to expand their horizons.
The Programmed World
Some call it the Internet of Things or Smart Things. Others call it the Industrial Internet. Regardless of what we name it, it is the future and it is here. In the programmed world, appliances and devices are interconnected, cars talk to traffic signals, and homes are equipped with sensors that control the lighting, temperature, and music. Dog collars let owners know if their pets leave the yard, and automatic sprinklers shut off when it starts to rain.
Software developers are integral to driving this trend forward, and the possibilities are endless. What was once the stuff of science fiction could be your next programming job.
Our open-source programming culture makes it easier for developers to create new applications and bring them to market. The learning curve has diminished and creativity has emerged as the most important skill set of all.
Traditional software developers who grew their careers writing and working with proprietary code actually have an advantage in this environment. That’s because they know how to look at a framework and understand how it works within the system as a whole. They also have valuable troubleshooting and debugging skills at the code level.
A developer who can leverage past experience, gain new knowledge, and embrace the fast-moving future can be of great value in today’s IT marketplace.
Technology disruption is a concept at the core of the continuing software development evolution. It explains how accelerated rates of change and constant introductions of “the next big thing” continuously reset the standards for innovation and ingenuity.
There is evidence of this concept in our lives every day, with mobile technology as a major disruptor of the way things were. We have become accustomed to working from anywhere, communicating our location as we travel, connecting with our social networks 24/7, and never losing a minute away from our favorite entertainment – be it e-books, streaming video, music, or news.
Mobile technology is just one example. Cloud computing is another. Smart homes are on our doorstep, and factories can operate on data feeds versus human decisions. It is an exciting time to be a software developer, who is helping to set the stage for the future of our world for years to come.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that occupations related to software development and application delivery will grow at 30 percent – a rate double the national average – through 2020.
U.S. News & World Report selected “software developer” as one of the best technology careers in terms of growth and earning potential. Median salary was calculated at $89,280 in 2011, with the highest-paid professionals earning a lucrative $136,490 in that same time period. The number of available positions is outpacing the supply of qualified professionals year after year.
Some of these positions are brand-new, such as avatar developer or augmented reality architect, and have been created in response to technological advancements. Other development jobs have emerged to help further the automation of our society. Software will ultimately take the place of people in functions such as healthcare diagnostics, financial transaction processing, legal research, and beyond.
It is a brave new world of opportunity, indeed.
Laura Mingo writes in the field of higher education. This article aims to offer career advice for university students in relation to IT and promotes the benefits of advanced study regarding an online master’s in computer information systems degree.