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Mac Player
Jan 28, 2007, 06:57 PM
Im sure some programmers visit this board so i want to ask them if they think computing (programming) is a dead end job.

TIA



toddburch
Jan 28, 2007, 08:06 PM
Is this a joke?

Certainly not. If you're programming in the right language on the right platform, it pays big bucks too.

Eric5h5
Jan 28, 2007, 08:32 PM
Is this a joke?


Of course not. Everyone knows these "computer" things are just a fad. Why spend all that time and effort on something that'll be gone by next year? So yeah, programming is a dead end job all right. Hot tip: abacus operators are going to be the in thing by 2008!

--Eric

SMM
Jan 28, 2007, 08:35 PM
Im sure some programmers visit this board so i want to ask them if they think computing (programming) is a dead end job.

TIA

The FORTRAN programming language was first introduced in the late 50's. The lead program manager (IBM) was John Backus. He was credited with stating, "Every program that will have to be written, will be written in the next 5 years". Others have also been given credit for this statement, but the message is clear. There is no current end in sight for the need to develop program code. Will it always be this way? Probably not at the level it is today. However, there will always be a need for creative people to design SW systems. The need for creativity never goes away.

macman2790
Jan 29, 2007, 01:19 AM
edit: sarcasm filter not working properly, sorry.

jhande
Jan 29, 2007, 01:21 AM
Every few years the 'programming is dead' meme resurfaces. I remember when CASE tools were supposed to put us out of a job (programs creating programs). Was that in the eighties or nineties??

'Programming never dies, it just moves to a higher level'. I can't remember who said that, but he was absolutely right.

While programming itself is getting easier, due to libraries, tools, updated methodologies (when done right), the scope is also increasing so that what you do as a programmer often has to do 'more' than before.

Where I can see 'dead-end' programming, is in the case of spending your life slavishly creating procedure/methods on spec, without having any idea of what the program/object is you are programming to.

I had a brief stint doing that kind of programming many years ago, and that truly sucks.

aLoC
Jan 29, 2007, 02:42 AM
It's not a job that will go away. But it is what it is: sitting at a desk writing programs, and a lot of companies want quite boring programs written.

But if by "dead end" you mean there's not much prospect of promotion, there is some truth to that. People from accounting or marketing are more likely to be promoted up to CEO level than someone from the programming dept.

Amuraivel
Jan 29, 2007, 02:59 AM
I read the comment to mean:

Does programming offer many opportunities in the way of advancement as compared to other jobs; do you constantly stay the tekki?


-not-

Will the demand for programmers dry up.

gavd
Jan 29, 2007, 03:07 AM
you should be a little more open minded before posting this on the forums. Why do we have computers? What makes software run? Who develops software? Why are you even using a computer if you think programming is a dead end job because they would be useless if nobody engineeered the software that runs on them? I'm a newbie to programming but i know that programming principles from the 1970's still apply. C++, the most widely known language to develop operating systems was created in the 1970s from an older programming language called c. Guess what mr. righteous programming job know it all, C++ is still used today with many updates, but it is still the same language. Java is one of the newest ones. Try browsing the internet without it, go ahead uninstall it, or disable it. Java made the internet what it is today and it was introduced in 1996 and is still being developed.

So why don't you even look up the bureau of labor statistics for the united states and see how much they make, and also look around and you'll see that a programmer/software engineer is one of the best jobs you can get in america. Also according to fortune magazine, Google is the #1 company to work for. Guess what Eric, they program computers. And seriously eric, your post is the joke, not the guy's your commenting on.

I could be wrong but I think Eric5h5 was being sarcastic...

rdowns
Jan 29, 2007, 04:36 AM
you should be a little more open minded before posting this on the forums. Why do we have computers? <snip rant>

Lighten up Francis.

http://www.dsfanboy.com/media/2006/02/Sarcasm.jpg

iW00t
Jan 29, 2007, 04:48 AM
Programming is not a dead end of course.

Just American programmers :rolleyes:

With all this outsourcing going on your jobs will go the way of the dodo :apple:

sushi
Jan 29, 2007, 04:59 AM
To the OP, one area that many folks forget to consider when thinking about programming is your everyday type items such as elevator control systems, your automatic coffee pot, microwave, dishwasher, fridge, VCR, DVD Player, etc. Also things like car emission and control systems. And of course power transmission systems.

I could go on an on but I think you get my point. Almost every type of industry that uses a microprocessor needs to have it programmed. Programming these types of items can be fun as well for those who are interested in programming.

Some have mentioned C++. Common language. But there are so many others. Ones that I have programmed in that I can remember of the top of my head are:

- Ada
- Basic (Many different versions. Most favorite was the one HP used on their HP-71.)
- C
- C++
- COBOL
- FORTAN IV (Done on punch cards!)
- FORTRAN 77
- Forth
- JCL (Job Control Language)
- Lisp
- Modula
- Pascal
- PL/1
- Smalltalk

And my all time favorite...Assembly language! :)

Edit: My point for listing all these languages is to illustrate that there are many paths to follow and opportunities can be had. Sure there is outsourcing going on these days. But a good programmer can make a decent living. Also, don't forget about VB and Excel Macros. I have friends who only do this and make a killing.

Eric5h5
Jan 29, 2007, 05:04 AM
And seriously eric, your post is the joke, not the guy's your commenting on.

LOL! I am a programmer. How you can read a comment that includes "abacus operators are going to be the in thing by 2008!" and not realize it's a joke is beyond me. Here, let me program you a new sarcasm filter; obviously yours is defective. ;)

--Eric

sushi
Jan 29, 2007, 05:06 AM
LOL! I am a programmer. How you can read a comment that includes "abacus operators are going to be the in thing by 2008!" and not realize it's a joke is beyond me. Here, let me program you a new sarcasm filter; obviously yours is defective. ;)
Oooh! ;)

Might have to pop his stack! ;) :p :D

bozigle
Jan 29, 2007, 05:06 AM
Programming is not a dead end of course.

Just American programmers :rolleyes:

With all this outsourcing going on your jobs will go the way of the dodo :apple:


Nope!...
Expensive coders are! here in Europe so much coding is outsourced to India and other similar places.
They have great education, seems to have more motivation, and are still cheaper... so outsourced it is.
But there is still a lot of design and architecture and higher qualification... jobs.
Funny enough people who ended in those place where people who have been doing some lower task before (like coding) ... so here some people are promoted without having their hand dirty before... i do suspect that the same previous outsources countries will soon (already) have the knowledge to have those higher positions filed too for still a lower price.

I wouldn't worry too much though... there is still a huge amount of job opening for every kind of position related to computer enginering (in Europe at least)
bozigle

aLoC
Jan 29, 2007, 05:22 AM
Programming is not a dead end of course.

Just American programmers :rolleyes:

With all this outsourcing going on your jobs will go the way of the dodo :apple:

That's old news. Outsourcing has been going on for years now and still everyone can find a job.

iW00t
Jan 29, 2007, 05:38 AM
That's old news. Outsourcing has been going on for years now and still everyone can find a job.

I guess those whinging Americans on /. are wrong :)

robbieduncan
Jan 29, 2007, 05:41 AM
I guess those whinging Americans on /. are wrong :)

Basically yes! We have lots of outsourced contractors in India. We also have lots of local programmers and are now moving to "near shoring". Basically the same as outsourcing but to a location in the same time zone line Belfast.

For some work outsourcing works well, for other work local contact is required so there will always be a place for the on-site programmer in large organisations.

iW00t
Jan 29, 2007, 05:43 AM
Basically yes! We have lots of outsourced contractors in India. We also have lots of local programmers and are now moving to "near shoring". Basically the same as outsourcing but to a location in the same time zone line Belfast.

For some work outsourcing works well, for other work local contact is required so there will always be a place for the on-site programmer in large organisations.

That is good news.

There is nothing more patently ******** than a major corporation starving out the livelihoods of local people while profiting out of the very same people.

aLoC
Jan 29, 2007, 05:58 AM
For some work outsourcing works well, for other work local contact is required so there will always be a place for the on-site programmer in large organisations.

That's my experience also (8 years commercial development). Some projects are done by an offshore subcontractor, some are done locally, some are done by a joint team. Depends on the specifics of the project.

There was a lot of hype about outsourcing, but in the end the Indians didn't replace the industry, they just became one more part of it. One more option in the manager's toolbox, but not the entire toolbox.

Mac Player
Jan 29, 2007, 06:14 AM
Thanks everyone.

My biggest concern indeed is outsourcing. Every study i read keeps saying that programmers jobs will all go overseas, but the number jobs for software engineers will increase. What are the differences between a prgrammer and an SE?

bozigle
Jan 29, 2007, 06:23 AM
Thanks everyone.

My biggest concern indeed is outsourcing. Every study i read keeps saying that programmers jobs will all go overseas, but the number jobs for software engineers will increase. What are the differences between a prgrammer and an SE?

Well the vocabulary is quite flexible
a SE can be an architects (who see the overall of the program) then a lead designer (he is breaking up the tasks in smaller task) and the SE that is implementing the task. If there is no freedom left on the implementation, and the job is only converting the human language into programing language... then this is the job of a programmer.
Where i work we all have some freedom on the implementation and we contribute to the program by other means... so no one is a programmer in the strick way of the term but no one cares about being called programmer or coder...

bozigle

Sayer
Jan 29, 2007, 06:57 AM
That is good news.

There is nothing more patently ******** than a major corporation starving out the livelihoods of local people while profiting out of the very same people.

If the locals would get more than a basic education or stop demanding 100k/year for entry level positions then locals would get hired on.

And are you saying people in developing countries with worse conditions than in Europe or America are don't deserve better lives through high-tech work? Typical elitist hypocrisy; screw the rest of the (developing) world as long as your 4 month-long vacations and 4 day work weeks and perpetual employment are preserved.

whooleytoo
Jan 29, 2007, 07:01 AM
Just remember - programming will be the last job to be automated! (I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad - but certainly it's not a dead end job!)

caveman_uk
Jan 29, 2007, 07:23 AM
4 month-long vacations and 4 day work weeks and perpetual employment are preserved.
I think you're talking bollocks because I've never seen a job like that for a normal employee - where do these mythical dream jobs happen (except in the company boardroom of course)

robbieduncan
Jan 29, 2007, 07:25 AM
I think you're talking bollocks because I've never seen a job like that for a normal employee - where do these mythical dream jobs happen (except in the company boardroom of course)

Maybe in France?

bozigle
Jan 29, 2007, 07:25 AM
If the locals would get more than a basic education or stop demanding 100k/year for entry level positions then locals would get hired on.

And are you saying people in developing countries with worse conditions than in Europe or America are don't deserve better lives through high-tech work? Typical elitist hyperbole; screw the rest of the (developing) world as long as your 4 month-long vacations and 4 day work weeks and perpetual employment are preserved.

I don't see reasons to get that pissed.
The matter is a bit more complicated than the simple equation: education + experience = salary
Different places in the world called for different expenses.
the price of a living is different from let say Canada where you need to spend quite much in heating and food get emormous taxes since it's king of frozen all year round (before jumping on me... this is a joke... right) compare to say North of Brazil (for example... brazilian don't jump on me neither please).
The fact that some countries have a higher living cost is reflected in the salaries.
I do think that outsourcing has great benefits on the so called "Developing" countries, and that as a side effect of globalisation, some countries do get some "better" education and industries.

Now i also understand iwoot comment as follows:
"local people" are also the first customers... take away their "expensive" salary and not only they are not likely to buy the manufactured good (software) but they might end up not having money just to sustain themselve. So the company doesn't have customers anymore so the company can't employ outsource worker anymore... even the cheap ones.

So Who is the winner in such case?
Outsourcing has its benefits... to some extends.
So far i think there is still plenty of work in SE for everyone around, and it should be as such for many years (centuries??)


bozigle

Llywelyn
Jan 29, 2007, 10:38 PM
Im sure some programmers visit this board so i want to ask them if they think computing (programming) is a dead end job.

TIA

Speaking as a Software Engineer, I believe that eventually "programming" will be a skill like "typing": it is just expected that you know at least the basics of it.

But there will always always always be room for good SEs who can design and build software and who have domain expertise in algorithm design and analysis.

savar
Jan 30, 2007, 12:46 AM
Im sure some programmers visit this board so i want to ask them if they think computing (programming) is a dead end job.

TIA

Software development is slowly becoming a commodity. There are still niches that are profitable, though. If you're interested in this industry, try to focus on things that really benefit from being done locally. E.g. maybe spend a few years as a developer and then work your way into a business analyst role. The BA jobs won't be shipped overseas so soon because they need to be in close contact.

Other good roles: designer, architect, project manager, and...? (add to this list)

bousozoku
Jan 30, 2007, 01:31 AM
That is good news.

There is nothing more patently ******** than a major corporation starving out the livelihoods of local people while profiting out of the very same people.

It does seem that way. The local phone companies and ISPs hire off shore workers and charge more for their services.

President Bush was pushing for a higher number of H-1B visas here so that they could import more people to fill positions that U.S. citizens can't fill. However, he didn't mention anything about education to make sure that the jobs can eventually be filled by citizens.

I don't see programming going away any time soon.

Years ago, CASE (Computer Aided Software Engineering) was a big deal but unfortunately, no one created Computer Aided Software Maintenance so the generated code was often more difficult to maintain that what it replaced.

When you see how much Mac users use Automator to do their own "programming", you have to believe that the world will always need programmers.

Axegrinder
Jan 30, 2007, 02:05 AM
I'm a programmer. This time last year my company made most of my colleagues redundant and shipped the work to India. They kept me on as a kind of consultant to provide the technical link between there and here.

They thought outsourcing would solve all their problems but all it did was trade one set for another. Now they struggle to get information exactly when they need it, and if any of our techincal support people need to resolve issues for our customers, well, they just have to wait until they can get an answer from them. Not ideal at all.

I've just applied for a new job. I've grown bored without some meaty development work to get stuck into. I've decided that I shouldn't soley focus on just design and programming (I use C# BTW). I'm going to get myself certified in SQL Server. That way I always have the option of being an SQL Server administrator should the programming jobs dry up around my way.

I can't see programming providing me a career through to retirement (another 30 years or so). Maybe I'm just a pessimist but that's how I feel.

pilotError
Jan 30, 2007, 09:15 AM
i want to ask them if they think computing (programming) is a dead end job.

Yep, its a dead end in and of itself. Your career will move along pretty quickly, but you'll top out pretty quickly too.

It is a stepping stone for the most part. You start your career as a programmer, work you way up into some other position, be it project management, architect, DBA, etc..

If you want to remain a programmer, you will have to be content at some salary level, depending on where you live and work.

You will need to constantly go to school and learn the new technologies as that is where the money is. If you stay anywhere for a long period of time, chances are your skills will stagnate, as most corporations tend to standardize on a handful of technologies. You WILL grow tired of this at some point. It gets harder the older you get.

President Bush was pushing for a higher number of H-1B visas here so that they could import more people to fill positions that U.S. citizens can't fill.

He's bowing to corporate political pressure. American Talent is expensive and companies can only do so much with offshore resources. Having them in-house gives them leverage to kill off their expensive American counterparts. Thats the reality. During the last 4 years, I know more people that have gone into different careers because they were effectively replaced by H1-B visa candidates. They stay for 5-7 years making very low wages and get their Green cards or go home. In the end, they are replaced by other H1-B visa candidates. I see it everyday. Anyone who says that there's too many open jobs is just full of crap!

IT isn't a bad career, I've done pretty well for all these years, just don't go into it blindly with unrealistic expectations. Set a goal or at least a 5 year plan for yourself and stick to it, or you just might find yourself dissapointed in 10 years.

Good luck,

Mike...

ChrisA
Jan 30, 2007, 11:46 AM
Im sure some programmers visit this board so i want to ask them if they think computing (programming) is a dead end job.

TIA

I figure as there are fewer and fewer computers made each year and with the trend to people going back to subsistence farming and hunting and gathering there will be less demand for software. Heck even here at work they are talking of removing computers from spacecraft and ground stations and replacing them all with trained monkeys We spent a year witting software to aim an antenna but now the monkey just moves it by hand. I'm thinking about becoming a homeless bagger and living under a freeway exit but then that field is getting crowded. Maybe I'll become a performance artist instead.

But wait -- The banana dispenser is computer controlled and needs software to determine if the monkey has correctly aimed the antenna. Looks like I've got a job for another year

ctango
Jan 30, 2007, 12:42 PM
While I am still self teaching myself programming, and am no where near where I want to be yet, I wanted to say that even low level programming pays and is not a dead end job.

Computer programming reminds me of the gold prospectors back during the gold rush. It can level the playing field because everyone starts out with the same thing. You could hit it big and become a giant, or you may get lucky and get bought out by a giant (Google). But the fact remains that you have as much of a shot as the next programmer. Granted someone else might have more experience, but they might not see a niche or market need that is unmet.

Bottom line. Programming mixed with creativity can always be lucrative.

Plus, there will always be teaching jobs for programmers.

gauchogolfer
Jan 30, 2007, 12:58 PM
I figure as there are fewer and fewer computers made each year and with the trend to people going back to subsistence farming and hunting and gathering there will be less demand for software. Heck even here at work they are talking of removing computers from spacecraft and ground stations and replacing them all with trained monkeys We spent a year witting software to aim an antenna but now the monkey just moves it by hand. I'm thinking about becoming a homeless bagger and living under a freeway exit but then that field is getting crowded. Maybe I'll become a performance artist instead.

But wait -- The banana dispenser is computer controlled and needs software to determine if the monkey has correctly aimed the antenna. Looks like I've got a job for another year

Based on all of the above, I'm going to guess you work at Northrop Grumman or TRW.

:p

jhande
Jan 30, 2007, 01:35 PM
At what point does abstraction change programming to design, though?

I work on projects with some pretty hot-shot types who really are wizards when it comes to the whole UML scene.

I remember a talk given at the last Ada conference (the video, I wasn't there), where Model Driven Architecture was one of the topics talked about.

If the UML can be used (not just UC, but the whole gamut), at what point will we be able to generate the abstract interfaces, and press 'compile'?

At that point I will consider 90% bread & butter programming to be under threat, and consider alternatives.

It's an interesting topic to follow, tho'

bobber205
Jan 30, 2007, 08:21 PM
I've got a great idea to make tons of money!

Bring porn to the internet! No. I'm not kidding. I'm that radical!
I'll make trillions.

(it hasn't been done yet has it? I've looked and found squat.)

Other news:
I see my future in programming as this:
Be a programmer for some many years. Show that I am creative, intelligent, and very hard working. Move up the ranks. Now that then I won't be doing that much actual "programming" I'll devote my talents (and any free time lol) to help other Open Source projects, make plugins/mods etc etc.)

:D

Grakkle
Jan 30, 2007, 10:03 PM
It's not a job that will go away. But it is what it is: sitting at a desk writing programs, and a lot of companies want quite boring programs written.

But if by "dead end" you mean there's not much prospect of promotion, there is some truth to that. People from accounting or marketing are more likely to be promoted up to CEO level than someone from the programming dept.

One of my uncles was a programmer, and that's how it was with him - I know he views it as pretty much a dead-end job.

Now he's getting his MBA. So that's at least one programmer who doesn't think there's much future in programming.

mbcracken
Feb 2, 2007, 02:13 PM
I used to be a code slinger in for a couple different corporations doing software development on ancient systems (Cobol & C). The staffing was primarily made up of young hotshots that were trying to just enter the market, middle aged managers and middle age-to-near-retirement lifer programmers.

IMHO, the lifers where the ones that enjoyed doing mundane repetitive programming & support. In other words, they probably would have been just as happy doing automotive assembly work if it paid the same. Boy, did they hang on to there programs and code, making it appear that no one could ever replace them.

I quickly discovered that I was either going to end up with the lifers or I needed to continue to learn the latest greatest acronym (otherwise known as the new programming language-insert sarcasm). The companies that I was in then left it up to the individual to train themselves on their own time. So, the off hours were spent supporting these systems as they failed batch runs each night and doing homework...Where was the time for spending with family?

I bailed! farewell! Maybe I watched one too many reruns of Office Space, but I woke up and realized that I wanted to do something more with my life. Solution? Stay-at-Home Dad! I still look at code from time to time and talk some with folks in XP (extreme programming) but it is just idol fascination.

Why do you care about all reading this short snip of my life? Just be aware what programming jobs you go after. The corporate world can offer some safety benefits but can also be dead boring.

Cheers,
Mike