Ah, come on, where are you doing?
I’ll immediately warn you: the article is emotional, controversial and very subjective - the view of one person who has been in the industry for only 11 years and has fallen into the waves of its evolution. It’s hard to structure such a text, but I’ll try to.
Chapter 1. Programmers
Cult of programming
Programmers are the astronauts of our time, literally everything wants to become them: the profession seems fashionable, promising and highly paid. The most interesting thing is that the cult extends not only to schoolchildren, students and their parents, but also to companies. Since 2015, an interesting trend has been forming since 2015: all companies strive to call themselves IT companies. Banks, retail, online stores and even pizzerias position themselves precisely as technological ones. Here, a substitution of concepts takes place: if a company is armed with cool technologies and provides technological services to its customers, this is not an IT company, but banks, retailers, restaurants, etc., advanced in terms of technical transformation. An IT company is all the same organizations that develop, implement, develop and support technologies: hosting, data centers, software developers, hardware manufacturers, system integrators, etc.
Nevertheless, "IT companies" sometimes have much greater capabilities and attract the best developers and engineers to form their own IT infrastructure.
In contrast to the best and most experienced specialists, an army of very strange personalities comes forward who consider themselves programmers, but strictly speaking they are not. Their species diversity is amazing, every time you discover something new in communication with these guys, but there are especially numerous and typical groups.
- "Web developers" of all stripes who make websites on their knees and on popular CMS and even know how to create CRM on order per month. It is clear that there is no question of quality or customization, and the guys themselves do not know either the algorithms, the refactoring rules, the patterns or the best practices - they’re shouting from the heart, and that’s all. It’s a dangerous group, since small companies often fly with them and, having burned themselves in milk, blow and don’t trust the IT industry in principle, they begin to deny automation.
- Just educators who don't care what to teach at the current moment in time - now there is a fashion for programming, which means programming. Programmers are rarely obtained from them, but worthy testers are found.
Educated and educated
With education in the IT field, what’s going on is that: mythology runs counter to practice and the output of the market varies from self-confident literate professionals to jerkers who have looked at the course and are ready to compete for the best positions in companies. This is such a painful part that I propose to consider the features of IT education directly on the points - each like a corn on the heart.
- Classical technical education in universities is still holding and provides a good basis for further engineering and development career. Recently, more and more practice has been attracted to teaching practices from companies, and the companies themselves are creating their own departments, schools on the basis of universities, and oversee areas. Hybrid directions appear such as information security, computer linguistics, biotechnology and medical technology, and these are very promising specializations. Of the drawbacks, there are still a large number of teachers who provide outdated and sometimes incorrect information and general subjects from the educational standard, which do not give anything at all (even ordinary erudition!), But take the clock away from the profile.
- "Substitutes for technical education" (applied informatics, business informatics, etc.) are weak faculties in non-technical universities that open for the purpose of recruiting a large number of students who have not passed to specialized ones. Education in most cases is frankly weak, teachers offer outdated programs. There are few exceptions, however, they are.
- Corporate universities and courses - a direction that has recently grown significantly in quality and approaches (there are free slots, narrow and comprehensive programs for development and management, there are even programs for children). The staff themselves teach, so a maximum of practice, a minimum of chatter. There are two tangible shortcomings: 1) the company trains according to its requirements and templates; 2) such an education cannot replace a higher education and is suitable for beginner "ready" specialists. In fact, this is an exclusively additional education.
- Integrated Commercial Universities are weak institutions for show-offs and fundraising. No comment. But the people are coming because they are accessible and illusory simply (read - about nothing).
- Online courses, schools, universities - a colossal part of the industry, which looks like a gentleman in a tailcoat who has not washed for three months. It seems decent, but upon closer acquaintance - damn it! Yes, good and even eminent teachers, distinct and phased programs, but this is a low level of training, not commensurate with the money spent. It’s better to spend the same time watching MIT courses and active self-study.
Despite the shortcomings, it is encouraging that almost anyone can find an education for their level of training and their needs. But, like in any training, most of the success depends on self-training, self-education and discipline.
Patches on the IT market are overheated - largely because non-IT companies have the resources to race the developers. A conditional bank is ready to pay much more for a ready-made backend programmer than a conditional search engine or software developer who prefers to grow a developer out of junior. Design companies and outsourcing companies (especially foreign ones) pay even more. Programmers feel like new rock stars, and now a jerk graduate after completing a mechmath with 0.5 year testing experience puts his foot in the foot and demands a “clean hundred”.
For some reason, both business and job seekers forget that wages are not an auction bid, but a fraction of the value that you created for the company. And if the june sits and govnokodit one function a week, actively tying pieces of code on all forums and sites, he does not deserve the desired cell, because the value created by him does not pull a dozen.
Accessibility of remote development also plays a significant role: why go to the office, communicate, build skills, if you can code “from now to now” remotely for a capital company, which is 100 thousand people - not a question. At the same time, a significant part of developers voluntarily fall into the trap with a low ceiling: creating code and getting a sufficient amount now, they do not develop outside the company, do not form software design skills, and remain specialists who can quickly write good code. Sooner or later, their personal ceiling comes, and in order to break through it, you need to change jobs and often go to lower wages.The same problem arises with some system administrators - DevOps and cloud technologies, together with the incredible remote capabilities, brought situations of "overheating" and "ceiling".
Black holes of the IT world
Among real IT companies there are black holes - they gather all the more or less intelligent developers, offering good wages and conditions. However, these are, as a rule, large companies that are engaged in project custom development and at any time return not only individual specialists to the labor market, but also entire teams. They are largely involved in the creation of the mentioned salary collider.
Such a situation is bad in that excellent specialists are pulled out of stable permanent projects due to material motivation, who are immersed in the project, have grown inside it and are useful. And then these experts jump from project to project, where they are wasting architectural skill and are essentially cool coders. There are two ways out: to play overbought or look for other methods of motivation. A small company can hardly cope with this.
Introvert, abominable character
Each community has its own culture: a set of characters, habits, characteristics that can be routinely distributed to each member of the community. Sometimes this takes the form of a stereotype: admins - with cats, bearded and in an old sweater, testers - all hackers, programmers - boring nerds with glasses with atrophied muscles, etc. This situation turns out to be rather harmful, especially for fanatical beginners who strive not only to correspond professionally, but also to enter the image - for example, to become a silent introvert and basically communicate only with a computer.
I had to attend one very large IT conference with a good young girl-programmer from our city. She was then a typical comic book programmer: zero hairstyles and haircuts, glasses, silence, a frown and a quick, quick confused speech when the conversation about development begins. She got used to this professional mask. What was her surprise when she saw completely different programmers lively: chatty, humorous, pumped up, chatting enthusiastically about dances and books, who love beer, cakes and chocolate and at the same time make powerful reports at sessions. But there were others like her - silent introverts who were just used to being them.
The profession always leaves its mark on the character and lifestyle of a person, there are almost no exceptions. But this does not mean that you need to bring yourself to some common denominator. Your character is your added value in the profession: if you are a chatty extrovert, you can work with clients and collect development requirements; if you are a workaholic - you will perform complex and painstaking work; if you are a disciplined diplomat, you will quickly move to team leaders, etc. I do not like this phrase, but here it is appropriate: to be yourself today is more valuable than ever.
Do you know the answers to these questions? People want to know :-)
Chapter 2. Business Environment
Of course, on the battlefield for IT specialists, an important role is given to HR specialists who have long outgrown the standard HR position and have turned into HR, HR specialists, DevRel (specialists in developer relations and internal HR PR), etc. Some companies even have separate HRs for recruitment at R & amp; D and separate ones for everything else. They do not disdain by any means, just to get their way and get a specialist, but... they often ruin their own business at interviews (requests to write the code on a piece of paper, "speak in English with me," questions from the first positions of issuing Google and psychological problems).
Hiring is conducted at conferences and rallies (do you think what they are arranged for?), In private chats, in communities on social networks, on specialized sites, etc. So if you are looking for work and suddenly all of a sudden you rang, you know - your HR is probably hiring you.Once you get a job in a company (especially a large one), you are immediately surrounded by care and attention not by the mentor who is necessary for a successful start, but by the internal PR specialist who conducts around the office, shows vases with sweets and fruits, gives slippers and draws attention that the company logo embroidered or applied on them as it alludes to involvement in the great.
For some reason they don’t understand that the main stress of the new employee does not come from uncomfortable slippers or sad fish in the aquarium, but from the difficulty of entering the workflow, development rules, code style, features of projects, etc. An employee orientation (informing a novice) should include, first of all, familiarization with the duties, functional features of the position, with team employees (primarily related to work tasks). And at the first stage, the most valuable person is not a formal one, but an included colleague-mentor in specialized activities who will explain everything, teach everything, explain and painlessly include it in the development. And slippers from IKEA will come down.
In general, offices are a different story. Companies strive to build some incredible corporate Disneyland with gyms, etc., if only the employee would like to stay in the office for as long as possible and hold on to the situation. However, for example, I saw anything in three very large companies, including capsules for sleeping and massage chairs in SPA rooms, but the company has very limited medical services, both in terms of VHI and in-company medical care. That is, in an office on 4 floors, employees cannot rely on operational assistance - the ambulance solves issues of emergency health problems. And yes, many guys say that they are sorry to part with convenience, so they don’t go into a more interesting project for more interesting money.
In a separate squad, IT agencies are hunted by recruitment agencies that can sell their clients a not very high-quality employee as a super senior. In principle, the rule is simple: a good specialist in any field rarely becomes an object of relations with an agency, he is able to find a job independently. And the agents themselves are not discouraged - receiving a rejection from the next "target" developer, they ask for nothing more than to provide contacts of colleagues or friends who are looking for work or even "whom you would like to employ in another company" (this, I understand, the motivation is to find employment competitor and clear the career path!).
And by the way, there are many programmers on the labor market, and there is no one to close vacancies. The usual situation for the "fashionable" direction.
Well, if IT professionals make a lot of money, why not find three thousand ways to honestly withdraw this money. Accordingly, on the basis of universal IT fanaticism, an entire industry has emerged that offers paid and too paid services. I will list some of them.
- Professional conferences. How do you like the cost of a ticket of 20 or 40 thousand rubles? And this is not the first and not the only problem that is associated with conferences. Entire specialized companies organize huge conferences, real festivals, the purpose of which is to collect money for tickets and for seats from participating companies that will lure you to stands, and actually hunt in all possible ways (quests, tasks, contests, sweepstakes prizes, etc.). At the same time, employers often oppose participation in such events, as they are afraid of losing specialists for whom they paid dearly and who have already “accustomed” to the project.
Of course, it’s very cool to listen to good speakers, selected reports (program committees don’t fail here), to learn about other people's projects, but the problem is that it's just a hangout, it is rarely possible to make some kind of heard decision to drag into production or at least accept as an idea - the maximum that comes out is to look at the technology and speculatively try it on your project. Nevertheless, it is conferences and festivals that most of all aspire to part of your salary, because they position themselves partly as a practically valuable event, partly as an elite club. Although in fact, everything is much more prosaic.
Yes, and the cove made its own adjustments. Question, for how long?
- English schools. You want with a carrier, you want with a teacher, you want - in a mobile application without communication.There are a lot of language schools that focus specifically on IT specialists, rightly believing that in their professional activities without English anywhere - even according to Habr, this is very noticeable. Meanwhile, few people say that there is little use from such schools in the professional sphere; here, immersion in the environment, priority use of foreign at work and in correspondence, reading books and articles in English are more suitable. Schools will help you more relax and start talking, but the professional sphere is up to you and not as simple as it seems.
- programming courses. There are simply hundreds of them - in any city, online, with large companies and universities. Of these, strong and really useful are units and, as a rule, they are offline and related to real practice. An online course can guide you whether it’s worth going into this technology or not, to understand whether it’s going or not, but the final result will depend on your practice, books in front of your nose and the number of disassembled manuals. No money spent will help if you are just a listener - at most you will learn to distinguish the code in your language from all the others and learn cool design words. The cost of the annual course of popular online academies can be invested in yourself much more profitably.
- Further education courses (in IT, management, etc.) are another layer of online and offline education. Scrum, Agile, project management, product manager course - everything for you. I will not argue about what this gives, I will say this: it is written better in books. And for a career, an MBA will be much more useful (but this topic has a bunch of nuances).
- Exclusive employment services. Job search services are generally for suckers, as exclusive recruiters hinted at us and promise to employ Google, Apple and Microsoft with a half kick. But for this you will have to pay either to you or to the employer (who later reproaches you with this at the very first instance), take a paid course, pay for special registration and filling out a resume. By the way, almost no one gives a guarantee. I think you understand how this business works. Your experience in any resume is excellent, do not overpay where it is not necessary.
- Publishers of professional literature. There are awesome foreign and domestic publishers that publish cool books (I highlight Peter as the best of Russian), and there are publishers that do not very good translations, publish not the best domestic works, and at the same time actively promote themselves as the best helpers on the path to becoming team leader, project manager, lead developer. Only the internal filter helps here: leaf through a book, read reviews, evaluate the importance of content.
I even had to see separate blood test services and a health checkup for IT people. This, of course, is absolute marketing, but why not get into the trend. Any commercial company likes to fall into trends, because there are gold veins inside.
This is probably the most controversial item of all listed in this article. It concerns numerous hackathons, on which the task is set for developers to do something cool and solid. As a result, the organizers get a bunch of ideas, ready-made MVPs, prototypes and future employees. And these profits go to them at a very small cost, in fact - for nothing. When participating in a hackathon, you should always remember that your best ideas have already been sown and will certainly be used in one form or another.
However, I have already said that this is a controversial point. The fact is that hackathons are a useful thing for developers: you work quickly, efficiently, on a specific task, in a team of the same strong and interesting guys. At the start of a career, this is a necessary, interesting experience. And sometimes a hackathon becomes the only way to declare yourself out loud and even find an investor. In general, it is worth participating, not forgetting about the protection of ideas (there are lawyers for IT specialists for this).
Sharks in total
The existing industry “saved” a lot of specialists who, by virtue of their education, were doomed to a dubious future. Yes, I'm talking about our beloved antagonists - the humanities. I remember in 2002-2007. applicants already understood what was going on, and were afraid to go to the philology faculty, to foreign language, to pedagogical, believing that this promises them a hopeless future.But less than 10 years have passed and all these pen and language sharks found themselves in HR, in the IT translation environment (technical services, marketers, salespeople), in copywriting (content management, editing blogs and blogs on content sites), in event management (organizers numerous events), especially arrogant and self-confident, climbed into project management. And all this is the same IT sphere.
What is bad here, you ask? The guys perform important work tasks. That's right, it is. But among them there are a large number of those who do not even try to understand information technology and, for example, wrap up cool articles because of several tongue-tied sentences, make terrible technical translations, sell them without understanding the technical nuances and customer requirements “for good luck”, turn literate Agile and Scrum in a children's, but strictly obligatory game with a board and pieces of paper, takes time for various initiatives such as joint office meetings, quizzes and other garbage, which is arranged after work, but as mandatory as a Scrum-board. These guys compose complex questionnaires and initiate psychological and motivational certification of techies, talk about burnout and toxicity, but are not particularly ready to offer solutions. Where does the charge of this tumultuous activity come from? It's simple: each of them is active in order to demonstrate their activity, need and value for the company. Alas, often at the expense of professionals who administer, write the code, design, test and do not want to fill out 127 questions on the softness of chairs, the dining room and relationships with colleagues. Because the check mark on the certification project will be, but the chairs will remain uncomfortable, colleagues are in conflict, the dining room will be so-so.
I know very worthy devrels, eychars, technical recordings, editors, journalists, translators, and even specialists in internal PR, who not only entered the IT, they are in it with a head. But to count them, two fingers are enough for me.
Chapter 3. Log in to IT
It seems that working in the IT field is easy. In fact, what is so-and-so? In all programming languages, a very limited number of commands and a completely intelligible syntax, the tasks of the system administrator are also finite, not to mention testers - think about using the program and looking for bugs. That's exactly what you think when you go to your first year of university or a course at a corporate university to change your specialty. And after some time, you are lying on the keyboard and almost crying, because the compiler issued 314 Errors, the bash command does not exist, the PowerShell script does the wrong thing or does nothing, and to top it off, you assigned 127.0.0.1 via DHCP to the whole audience. And there is no turning back, and this is only the beginning.
Yes, it’s relatively easy to learn how to rivet websites on CMS, to make simple mobile applications, but ask yourself the question - how much is it demanded by the market and what will be the competition among such craftsmen on freelance?
Demanded and classy specialists go a long and difficult way: every topic, every programming language, any administrative objects are fraught with thousands of nuances, the understanding of which sometimes comes after many years of training and work. At the same time, the only way to advance in your specialty is daily practice, working with code, with hardware, with networks. Even after reading all the books, from Shildt to Tanenbaum, you cannot become a professional if you just read and do nothing with your hands, don’t “feel” the compiler, settings of the operating system, or understand algorithms, patterns, etc.
Who wants to be a millionaire?
Yes, there are developers who receive 200, 300 and even 500 thousand per month. As a rule, these are guys with some unique combination of skills - for example, specialists in computer vision, mathematicians who develop neural networks, cool specialists in relatively rare programming languages, enterprise gurus, etc. But there are not many of them. For middle-level positions it is often “more profitable” for money to be a project manager, sales manager, etc., that is, to occupy managerial positions.
Yes, programmers receive a higher salary than the average for the market, but such a profession requires incomparably more labor and ability. In fact, it is a continuous, intense intellectual work. Otherwise, it will not work out well, it will turn out below average in all senses. Relatively speaking, if you are 35 now, you get 60-80 thousand rubles, working as a manager for something, a line manager or an engineer, and you decide to go into IT (development), then you will come to your wage level in 2 year minimum. And these two years you will study and train as a regular junior.
In addition, there is nothing romantic in the profession of a programmer, tester, or system administrator (here, DevOps, networkers, etc.). As soon as you immerse yourself in work, you will notice that everywhere the same routine as everywhere else, it only applies to other processes. And you still need to grow up to the diverse and interesting position of team leader, system architect, software designer, and that subject to your desire and ability to do this.
Startup, this is a false start
IT startups are a separate story that also shapes the industry. Almost any newly opened company is ranked among them. That's what they are.
- Real IT startups are companies created by small teams that offer innovative technology products and developments (for example, applications for the visually impaired, unique travel guides, medical devices, etc.). They are in the minority, but interesting to everyone: both consumers and investors, and sometimes even the state. structures.
- New IT companies that are not really startups are ordinary developers of office software, games, and mobile applications. Nothing particularly innovative and interesting, but they find their place in the market. There are more of them, but still not very many.
- "Children" of large corporations and integrators that are created to attract investment, share risks, reduce the impact of the existing image, sell to an investor, etc. Each such company has its own goals and good financing.
- Office-dealers of various vendors of office software, CRM-systems, CMS, etc. - partner organizations that take the finished product, methods of promotion and try to survive in the market. Among these, there is absolutely exotic: stretching and fitness studios sell CRM systems, a store for goods for children cuts sites on the well-known CMS, etc. This, of course, is not startups or IT, but they call themselves that :-)
So, these startups are very specific to hiring personnel: for example, in the phase of actively attracting investments, they can “take away” the developer for a lot of money, and after half a year close or just get rid of 90% of the staff, because the investments have dried up, and the product does not take off. Moreover, it happens that programmers work on the lowest conditions in anticipation of an early conquest of the market and, as a result, are forced to leave with nothing to look for work.
Chapter 4. What will happen next?
Where the industry will grow
Contrary to horror stories about robots, the IT sphere will not collapse and will not disappear (someone needs to design and program robots!), But on the contrary, it will occupy even more space in our life.However, just being a developer will be more boring and financially sadder - there will be a growing demand for “chimeras” in the market, that is, for specialists who combine the ability to create good code and specialization skills (for example, commerce and advertising need developers with an understanding of marketing and programmatics, in medicine - biotechnology specialists, medical cybernetics and just programmers with biological, chemical or medical education, linguistics does not need philologists, but programmers with an understanding and knowledge of linguistics, etc.).
For example, at one of the conferences an interesting request from the market was voiced: up to now no normal, high-quality software translators have been created for business purposes and working with technical documentation. It is clear that a team with a deep understanding of all the facets of this issue will cope with this task: from the theory of translation to the actual development tasks.
Industries need everything
Oddly enough, the industry really needs everything: super developers with strong mathematics, algorithmization and programming skills, and plow web designers, monkey coders, testers of all levels, and sysadmins of all kinds. Another thing is that the growth conditions, objectives, prospects and income are very different. And this gap in opportunities will continue to grow.
What **** made this request ?!
Education must change
The IT education that exists now will have to change, otherwise it will completely lose its popularity and relevance (and even the army will not save). In education, there should be an emphasis on practical exercises, on training in working with sources, on programs at the intersection of specialties — lectures on manuals from the 90s, “quasi” computer science departments and short-term courses should gradually become a thing of the past.
It is believed that in the near future the importance of corporate universities will grow great. Today, many companies train specialists for free in order to select the best for themselves. But you need to understand that the "not the best" will also receive skills and be able to change their career paths or understand that a particular technology is not theirs. This is a very cool opportunity and a direct threat to classical education (so far almost imperceptible, but time goes on).
Technology will change little
Today, there is technology for almost everything - any of your ideas will easily find their own technological stack. It is unlikely that something will actively change in the environment of programming languages, it will fundamentally move in the network infrastructure, on the web, in enterprise. Programmers trained today with a relatively stable interest in developing their stack will be in demand both in 5 years and in 10 years. In addition, many products will require support and maintenance for a long time (and yes, today's modern, cool and clean code will most likely be legacy hemorrhoids in 10 years ;-) Just think!).
Technology will change explosively
Everything related to mobile development, neural networks, artificial intelligence, VR/AR and IoT will change at a tremendous speed. Many modern implementations are imperfect and it is clear that development is looking for new ways to solve the complex tasks of each of these technologies. The development of mobile development will be determined by a change in the form factors of gadgets: flexible screens will require innovation. Thus, in a short time we are waiting for a turning point in the usual stack. To be one of the first in mastering new techniques is truly promising, interesting and undoubtedly profitable.
IT will become a poppin
If 3-4 years ago the IT sphere was a new rock and formed just such an industry subculture, today it is almost pop. This evolution occurred due to the fact that the culture for IT people is less and less formed by IT people themselves, more and more connected are masters of events, shows, cult-mass work and so on. It is these guys who will create the outer shell of our complex and intellectual industry, and it is very possible that the industry will look as if Einstein’s brain was stuck in a concert clown costume and put to work.This is neither good nor bad, the only consequence of this situation is the external attractiveness of the industry for the masses who want to enter the IT after a two-month online course will be even greater, which means that wage gaps will worsen, the quality of management will fall and new difficulties will arise when working with customers. Well, we don’t get used to it.
The cycle will resume
Sooner or later, a critical mass of the described problems will accumulate and the industry will come to level out some of the mistakes made. Requirements for professionals will change, the value of practical experience will grow, employers will reject all those who came not to form value, but to take resources. As a result, the IT industry will qualitatively change and form as a broad professional community, not ready to accept weak and unprepared “newcomers” (it will be something like a model of medicine, where it’s not so easy to enter). And this is in every sense an interesting evolution.
I read the text - it turned out darkly... In principle, I look with great optimism into the future of IT in particular and high technology in general. In any scenario, the development of world politics and economics (except the destruction of the world - science fiction is so fantastic even as of June 2020), a technological step backward is already impossible: more and more elements of our daily life and work will be based on ever more advanced technologies. Iron will need to be designed, interfaces designed, code written - in one form or another. Therefore, there will be an interesting labor market, there will be different salaries, there will be requests and there will be a demand for everything that has been done. We live and live in the IT sphere, and I will not say pathos about what it should be, we define. We are all human and the eternal Maslow pyramid works for us, so changing something for an idea will not work - only if it is very local. But we can do something else - to do our job with dignity and honesty. This will really determine the state of the industry. And those who make pop reality shows from the industry will remain tinsel. They just do their job too.
Let's discuss ?.