When will this bonanza end (and how)? - part I

These are great times to have a software developer career & I've written a lot about that already. There are tons or open positions available & they are all very well paid, when compared with other industries - we all know that. But the key question is - when will this bonanza end (and how)?

Demographics 101

"India is now producing almost one million new IT graduates a year (...). Contrast that with the UK, which struggles to release fifty thousand engineering graduates each year."

"The End of Jobs", Taylor Pearson

It's 20 : 1, if you didn't bother yourself to calc yet.

I admit I'm not keen on outsourcing, especially to off-shore locations in Far East. Frankly, there's a huge quality gap between the average level of dev from India & average level of dev in Europe - it's rarely written/said explicitly, because we live in times where one can very easily get accused of racism & such a mark has a tendency to stick for long ... But there's nothing easier than just to check some facts - I encourage you do to so (TL;DR - only ~7% of engineering graduates from India "employable").

Anyway, the numbers quoted by Pearson can't be neglected. Even if not more than ~10% of this million of Indians have sufficient skills & knowledge (and I expect this percentage to grow, as a response to the market feedback), these numbers can't be ignored. And don't forget about all the other high-population countries in the region: China, Indonesia, Pakistan, etc. ...

Next Google will be from ...

Honestly, I know that this business is barely predictable at all, but I believe in a strong shift towards Far East - not because of "traditional" offshoring renaissance, but due to expected outburst of successful Indian / Chinese IT entrepreneurship. It seems they've got all the advantages on their side:

  1. army of developers (in development ;>)
  2. huuuge playground to experiment within (forgiving as it's still virgin in so many areas)
  3. threshold of entry (required up-front investment) into IT business has never been so low
  4. low saturation (of the local market) with IT services

Whether you like it or not, your professional colleagues from Asia will quite likely play a major part in shaping the future of this industry.

When Indians / Chinese truly embrace end-to-end modern product development (achieve certain degree of practical industry maturity) - and this is what is undoubtedly already taking place (companies like Alibaba or Baidu are the best proof) - western investors' focus (& money) will move out from US / Europe.

Many endeavours (of this initial wave) will fail, but the first ones that succeed will form the forefront of Eastern offensive -> new generation of Googles & Facebooks with a potential to swipe out western plankton (possibly including your employer & your position) just with their sheer scale & unlimited manpower.

They won't even have to be really innovative (at least in the beginning) - copying western practices should be sufficient to get the glacier rollin'. And as IT services are global almost as definition, it will be damn hard to compete against them.

You can check the next part of this post here.