February 03, 2003

Presentation on how to keep your job

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) </ul>

    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. </ul>

      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 :-)

Next: Commercial versus open-source and productivity
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