Software Engineering

A brief overview of the state of the industry

In 1995, the US Department of Commerce predicted that there would be a shortage of software developers and engineers through 2030. But predictions change the course of the history they purport to prophesy, and the software employment market has turned out very different from what was predicted a little over ten years ago.

Today, there is no great shortage of software engineers. It is more of a buyers market than anyone predicted, in fact. Many software engineering jobs are outsourced overseas, and there is a surplus of software engineers here. Many software engineers have become complacent due to the feeling they would always have a job and are under-qualified for work in todays market.

There has also been a consolidation across development platforms, with the majority of applications developed in two languages Java and .NET. In addition, deployment platforms have been consolidated, with the majority run on J2EE, Microsoft or open source. Many of the specialized languages rampant in the 1990s are no longer needed, so engineers who have not adjusted have become obsolete and it is now easier to become a software developer.

Finally, using the internet, it is much easier to find software engineers and developers from around the world. You are no longer restricted to waiting in line for time with your local software development firm. You can now use the internet to compare developers from New Yorkwith those from Hong Kong or Bangalore. And you can be quite sure that they will all be using the same compilers, engineering tools and networked resources.

And yes, we are aware that software engineering and software development are virtually synonymous. There is some debate whether the term engineering is right for this field. Still, that there are many kinds of software that certainly assume the need for engineering.

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