The article today was about the importance of software developers, and the economics of nurturing and keeping top talent. The writer, a contributor named Venkatesh Rao, argues - very convincingly - that there is no better place to put your money these days than software developers:
Unless you are a professional investor (and probably even then), places to store surplus capital today where it will even be safe and/or not depreciate too fast (let alone generate a return) are getting incredibly hard to find.... But there is one safe haven, if you know how to invest in it: software developers.
Is it true? Can developers really be that much in demand? As I read the article, I thought about all of my friends who have worked in IT consutling and software development - and the ups and downs they have experiencecd, particularly here in NY. The banking industry turmoil and competition from offhsore outsourcing has taken a toll.
Yet, most if not all of these people are working today. I also thought back to the NY Tech Meetup event that I wrote about yesterday - nearly every company that demo'd closed with an appeal for developer talent.
No doubt, one of drivers of software developer demand - and the reason that every company is turning into a software company - is because of the growth of mobile apps.
Indeed, Venkatesh cites the following example:
Perhaps you are a baker with a small business — you are effectively useless, not because bread isn’t important, but because surviving in the bread business is now a matter of having developers on your side who can help you win in a game that Yelp, Groupon and other software companies are running to their advantage. If your bakery doesn’t have an iPhone app, it will soon be at the mercy of outfits like Yelp.
Mobile apps need not just developers but marketing - and, on that note, I'd like to point out a post that I wrote for the Handshake 2.0 blog: Getting Your Apps in Gear. The topic, and title (a play on the phrase from the desktop software world, getting hindquarters, or a synonym for this, in seats) grew out of conversations with Anne Giles Clelland (who runs the site) about app marketing and PR. It is about how to drive downloads and usage for your apps.
I encourage you to visit Forbes and Handshake 2.0 and read these articles.