Over the years, a common theme in many of my discussions with other developers is: Despite the large number of open programming jobs, it is getting harder to build a career in software development. Unfortunately, I agree with much of that assessment. There is increased competition from overseas and a constant need to keep pace with technology or fall behind, which has made it very difficult for people to stay at their current level, let alone get ahead.
For the experienced developer, especially a self-starter who is willing and able to freelance or start his or her own company, this is a fantastic industry. And for the top-shelf folks, the sky is still the limit. But for developers who are outside the top 10% or 20%, or who lack experience, this industry is a dog-eat-dog world, with competition from overseas in particular being a concern. I love my personal career opportunities, but I would warn someone considering programming as a future path to be cautious.
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Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.