Friday, July 29, 2005

where are the programmers ?

Lately I've been asked to find someone to expand our software department, and this turned out to be quite a difficult task. We'd be happy to find someone from our local area (we're looking for someone to become part of our team "forever", the focus has always been on people more than on processes) but apparently programmers are basically non-existent today at least around here. When I say programmers I'm talking about real code... of course it's easy to find someone that self-defines him/herself as a programmer, but for which the only "programming language" is HTML.
I find this quite disappointing, but even worse is the impression I get when looking at the projects made in high school; I keep bouncing in stupid "multimedia projects" that are just HTML and may be some form (wow!). The suspect then becomes that the problem is not that the good ones actually flew away from this place, but that they indeed never existed.

I keep seeing people doing their final thesis at university that in newsgroups about C / C++ ask questions or show code snippets that are by themselves a crystal clear proof they suck *horribly* at writing code. And when they get out of university way too many think that the key is to be able to draw an UML diagram, the rest are boring details for the bozos.

But seems to me that in this picture there's something wrong, high school guys will do the nice websites, and university guys will draw nice powerpoint slides about wonderful projects. But where's the meat ? Who is going to actually write the code ?


Davide Pasca said...

Where are the programmers ?!
Where are the offers ?!
Where are the programmers ?!

Partially, nowadays, there is so much software, that one can already do a lot of things with computers without the pain of programming.

But, mostly, the real problem is that offer is not where demand is not. It's a recursive issue that can't be solved easily. You can't just offer a job in your area and expect that someone is around there waiting for your specific offer.

As for incompetent programmers.. I think it works in every field. Good stuff is not common, otherwise it wouldn't be "good".

6502 said...

Probably the problem will fade away once the programmers will really start working from their place, if ever. For now having someone that already lives near the company that takes the job is sort of an insurance s/he won't leave as soon as learns enough to become productive.
This is important for a company like the one I work for that at this level has basically zero turnover.

Still to me looks like that there are less kids that develop a passion for programming now than in late 80s, when computers were scarce. As they say in italian... who has the bread doesn't have the teeth.

You were trying to emulating a silicongraphics using a 512x384 screen, now kids use workstations that could run circles around silicongraphics only to get viruses from the net.

Anonymous said...

This seems to be a worldwide problem. Even in California that is probably the center of computer games industry in the United States it is still impossible to find experienced computer game programmers unless you offer really high salary or a really famous title to work on. The demand for programmers outnumbers the supply now.

shinya said...

I think that here in italy is almost worthless talking about software development. We're simply in the jurassic era if professors teach pascal at the university.
Also, I think there's not an evolved environment for professional and wannabe-professional.
Some months ago, I've worked for a company involved in security (camera systems, etc), and I did programming (almost C, Perl and Java) and Linux administration tasks. It was a part-time job, and it was my first "real" job, and I was 23 at that time. The salary was 400€ every month. That means 5€/hour.
When I was youngest (about 14 years old), my friends and I were usual to work in some farms picking up some watermelon. The salary was bigger than 5€/hour, and the inflation was smaller than the current one.
I just did that job because I liked it and I had the possibility to learn new things, but at the first occasion I gave up!
And I'm NOT a good programmer I where are good programmers? Maybe they fly away from this shitting (for computer science) country!