Hot Jobs in Software Development, Try Specialization.

speak and write a lot about specialization in Information Technology and the idea of specialization relates to the original question by Sharon.  It turns out that software is like many other industries such as textiles, metal working, medicine and architecture.

During the past centuries the evolution of modern societies has moved vigorously in the direction of increasing specialization of labor, knowledge, and expertise. It would be quite astonishing if software development did not follow this same path.  The idea of specialization is nothing new, and it is not limited to a specific industry or a field of study.

Specialization in software development seems to be following a specialization along a specific phase.  There seems to be a clear divergence between technical skills (.net, COBOL, and other languages) and business acumen.

We saw technical jobs  either disappear like blacksmithing or be exported to Asia like textiles.  What remained in the USA were business, requirements and design jobs.

As the software development industries matures there will be more and more individuals that specialize in a specific business.   A problem is that many software developers have no desire to learn about core business.   For the most part software developers do not study their customers, the core business or their companies competition.  If software development does not understand the core business, how is it possible to understand what functionality needs to be included or not included in any project, upgrade, or release.

I could go on and on this subject.  I devote an entire chapter to this in my online book Reboot! Rethinking and Restarting Software Development.  The book is free and online at http://www.RebootRethink.Com.

David Longstreet
Software Economist

Published in: on June 25, 2009 at 08:44  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I enjoyed Reboot. There were many things that sounded just like our company.

    I would say one of the reasons why we developers don’t want to specialize is that we’re stuck working in very dull and boring sectors.

    We always hope that one day we’ll leave and get a job writing software for a really interesting subject.

    You’re probably right that you could make a killing as a developer with training in the sector.

    However, you’ve got to be careful.
    All the “developers” we’ve come across in our sector with accreditations in the core business area are people who have just decided to pick up Visual Basic.
    They’ve caused untold damage.

    You’ve got to be able to tell the difference between developers with business subject knowledge and cowboy coders.

  2. i am not certain that the disappearance of particular industries from american soil is a function of maturity or technology so much as it is a function of regulatory, tax, and monetary policy.

    a well reasoned case has been made that these events have occurred due to capital destructive laws, regulations, and policies particularly from the fed. one cannot overlook idiotic free trade policies which open americans needlessly to 3d world standards and decimate industries.

    one could adopt the strategy of the agilists and say that rather than attempting to address these defects we should simply accept them and adapt. i am not so sanguine.

    yet one person cannot move a mountain without faith and a lot of moxie. in such a case adaptation is probably the safest path. abandoning technology for business is a tough if not impossible road for a lot of people.

    yes specialization is definitely an implaccable trend which increases logarthmically with the increase in complexity and it is a verity that the computing environment has trebled in complexity. there must surely be a moore’s law equivalent to describe this phenomenon….

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