RedMonk has been making the case that developers are growing in influence, driven by the consumerisation of IT, the corporate realisation that competitive advantage is indeed instantiated in software, that everyone wants an API and or an app store, that outsourcing doesn’t solve development problems, the cloud, the web – all the macro trends lead to a need for good software developers. Craft over automation. Oh yeah don’t forget social.
We have plenty of evidence to make the case- not least the shape of our own business as we do more and more work in the Developer Experience and Developer Relations advisory spaces. But its important not to get too carried away. Sometimes enterprise developers pop up and say we’re missing the point, that cubicle computing and the nine to five being treated badly are still the norm. Work on your skills I’d tend to say – there are some amazing development jobs out there.
But Bernard Golden, CEO of Hyperstratus, asked me a great question. Is the New Kingmakers just a US phenomenon? What about Europe, Africa and Asia Pac?
It seems to me the rising salaries and standard of living of many Indian software engineers, and the return of many US-based Desis to their home nations is actually a pretty good indicator of new kingmaker status. In China we know engineering is better respected than in the West right now. As I understand it many, if not the majority, of senior Chinese politicians have an engineering background.
In the UK developers are certainly an increasingly hot property. The civil service is even hiring nerds again, to build stuff inhouse. See alphagov. What does that mean? The Cabinet Office is now using Amazon Web Services, Google Search, Github, Get Satisfaction – not your normal central government supplier list that. New Kingmakers, see.
But I am not going to claim RedMonk has a great bead on the global picture. I’d really like to know what you think. Got any evidence. Are software developers and engineers globally becoming more influential, and hopefully even better paid – ideally better appreciated.