Consider this quote from Greg Baugues’ post, Autoworkers of Our Generation:
No one’s got it better than developers right now. When the most frequent complaint you hear is “I wish recruiters would stop spamming me with six-figure job offers,” life’s gotten pretty good.
That’s an understatement.
What other comparable profession can you enter with no formal education and no certification today? Sure, being a good software developer takes a certain disposition and we must spend countless hours keeping pace with new technology, but the bar to entry is incredibly low compared to the potential reward.
I don’t agree with Greg’s premise that automation will replace us. The promise of that sort of automation has been present for decades, yet there’s only more manual work than ever. Often, full-time programmers are still needed to configure and support systems that promised automation so simple that non-technical users could “program” them. See also: The Expert System.
However, I couldn’t agree more with the overall sentiment of his post:
Don’t get too comfortable. Don’t get locked into a language. Don’t burn bridges for short term gain. Keep your tools sharp. Learn soft skills. Build an audience. Save some money. Network. Read.
It’s an obscenely good time to be a developer. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Nothing this good lasts forever
In my opinion, what Greg got most right is that nothing this good lasts forever. The current climate reminds me all too much of the hubris we saw in the late 90s, and who could forget the oversupply of developers sidelined after that ride came to an abrupt end.
Whether new talent sees how great we have it and floods the market, a bubble pops, the economy sours again, or Greg turns out to be correct about automation, you can bet that conditions won’t always be this favorable for us.
So, don’t be a jerk
What to do? Be kind, even when you don’t have to be. Treat people how you’d like to be treated if you were on the other end of this unbalanced equation. Don’t take for granted that we’ll always have this amazing position in the job market.
A recruiter that seems annoying today may just be your lifeline in the future. Do you want them to remember you as the jerk that went out of your way to broadcast a negative message, write a snarky post, or build an entire site shaming them for daring to vie for a few seconds of your attention?