How to Keep Your Job - From Dave Thomas, one of the Pragmatic Programmers. In brief, he sees the following threats:
- Half-life of technology is shorter than ever, and it's still diminishing
- Young people with fewer "problems" than you can be more attractive to your company. (This echoed a bit for me having recently turned 33, which weirdly sounds old in this industry.)
- Many people rely on a single technology (Java, .NET, OO) or large employer
- Offshore programmers (cheaper, but also potentially smarter with CMM backing)
What to do?
- ...protectionism doesn't work
- ...companies are too fickle
- ...so invest in yourself. Not just looking around at new websites, but create a plan with concrete goals. Speak at conferences, become a known expert. Diversify.
I thought it interesting that many of the action items centered around getting yourself known, including contributing to open-source projects. Not just for the sake of getting your name out there, but to further your own knowledge in a more dynamic environment than learning by yourself. With the nice side-benefit of getting your name out there :-)