Entries from June 2007 ↓

New Article: Computer Science Enrollment is Going Down, and Taking Software Jobs With It

From my new article Computer Science Enrollment is Going Down, and Taking Software Jobs With It:

“How many of us would kill to work with ultra-qualified, talented developers instead of whoever we can find that has a pulse and once wrote an Excel macro for a junior high class project? If Computer Science enrollment continues to drop people will eventually get hired, with or without degrees and regardless of how qualified they are, because companies will be desperate. And then we’ll be stuck working with folks who can’t find their text editor with two hands and an issue of Dr. Dobb’s Journal.”

Read the complete article here.

Why Good Developers are Promoted into Unhappiness

I once thought I had traveled a unique career path. Graduating from college with a degree in computer engineering and electrical engineering I was on fire to be a manager. My dad had worked for the same electrical contractor for 30-something years and I knew everyone from the Chairman of the Board down to the woman who worked the front desk. I had a major “in” and was quickly shuffled into a management training program, with my sights set on one day becoming CEO of the $600 million firm.

18 months later I left for a job writing software for a dot com in Sacramento, and within 3 months I was running multiple project teams (albeit, small ones). I was young, it was fast paced, and I loved it.

When that company experienced difficult times in 2001, I transitioned into contracting, which I did for about three years before taking a position as the Application Development and Database Supervisor at the City of Pasadena, directly responsible for the management and supervision of 10 developers and DBAs. The prestige? High. The paycheck? Fat. The job? Hated it.

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Computer Science Enrollment is Going Down, and Taking Software Jobs With It

You’ve heard it before: there’s a massive shortage of IT workers in the US (the stats are a few years old, but pick your number: 600,000, 578,711, or 425,000 excess jobs). Whether you’ve read the articles or experienced it first-hand, there is a noticeable lack of qualified programmers in the U.S. According to the US Department of Labor, 8 of the 10 fastest growing occupations between 2000 and 2010 will be computer related.

With programmers making up the single largest category of IT workers (around 21%), and somewhere around 60% of software developers having a bachelor’s degrees, a good way to increase the supply of domestic software developers would be to enroll more Computer Science (CS) students.

Are you with me so far? CS enrollment up = more programmers in four years. Easy enough.

But this is where it gets grim: the number of students listing Computer Science as their probable major while entering college has dropped 60% over the past 4 years (you can see this graphically on the first page of this document).

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Becoming a Better Developer Part 11: Get a Massage (and Get Your Boss to Pay For it)

This is part of an ongoing series centered on becoming a better software developer. For other posts in the series, see the Becoming a Better Developer heading in the right navigation.

Last Valentine’s Day my wife gave me a gift certificate for a massage. Nearly a year later (obviously a busy one) I finally redeemed it, and had the most productive day I’ve had in a while.

I’m a pretty healthy guy with no medical conditions or injuries, and I only occasionally eat my weight in carne asada. But I have aches and pains just like anyone else who sites in front of a computer all day.

My massage therapist (whom I mistakenly called a masseuse…oops!) gave me quite an education while I was there. She began by asking about my breathing; most people with desk jobs tend to have very shallow breathing while seated. She drew my attention to my breathing as she worked on my neck, chest, rib cage and, oh yes, the back! Anyone out there with neck aches? Rounded shoulders? Pain in wrists & forearms? Yeah, I thought so. You can have the best ergonomic workstation in the world, but our bodies need care to compensate for endless hours in a chair. Massage with an eye towards specific work in these problems areas can go a long way towards longevity in this field.

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The Numa Group Expands

As most of you know, I run a .NET consulting firm called The Numa Group. As of this week we are now a three-person operation, as we welcome Patty Torrey to the team.

I met Patty and her husband, who now live in the Bay Area, at UC Davis during our trek through the Computer Engineering program. She thinks we stayed in touch because of all the good times we had at Davis, but my hidden agenda was that one day I hoped to have her phenomenally talented programming mind at my disposal. If you’ve been sitting on some .NET / ASP.NET development work, now’s the time to drop me a line, because Patty will be booked in no time.

Welcome aboard, Patty!

[tags].net consulting, asp.net consulting, numa group[/tags]