Of course, like many good ideas, the exact outcome of this current conversation will likely be a product of circumstance. The best online casinos that pay out in the quickest amount of time might not even be available to players who reside in certain countries, to make one example.
Just as the tech and software industries, dominated by men, changed over the course of the 80’s, and are still evolving, the modern world of freelance development has the potential to completely reshape the talent market, and turn conventional wisdom on its head.
Creating a non-scary path to success
The potential rewards of creating a successful freelance career have already been mentioned. Unbeknownst to most of the young, early adopters in today’s software economy, back in the 90’s, the computer industry had a tight grip on the very definitions of what success was. Remember how scared a lot of people were to even consider leaving school?
That’s not really the case any longer. From working full time at the local Blockbuster store to the joy of delivering Wi-Fi home connectivity to the cool girls, we now see an entire generation walking out of the proverbial geek closet.
It’s likely that in 10 years, people will barely know how the profession of software development was, let alone identify themselves by the job titles they chose, as it becomes a part of mainstream life, almost as mundane as going to the DMV.
Who can be blamed for letting the industries of software and technology maintain such tight control over the content of our reality? Is it really our fault that the next generation of software developers didn’t have the proper exposure to the very things that define the “real world”, of commerce and career development?
Now we have to find a way to give those budding developers a chance to pursue an advanced degree in software development, where the outcome is almost guaranteed to be a career that is no less financially rewarding, and no less intellectually fulfilling than creating apps for social networking and web-surfing, for the top tech companies.
Examining the options
My favorite solution would be to create some sort of certifying program to assure that all the graduates of those programs meet industry standards. Think of it like bar-code scanning. You go to your local store and take a bar-code scanning course. You get an exam, and the exam is more than likely the first time you’ve ever seen a bar-code scan. Now you can scan those items all day, and be confident of your ability to perform your work with all the accuracy and productivity that is necessary in this business.
Many companies already exist to offer this kind of certification, including Intel and SAP. Why do those two companies make such a good starting point for offering training for prospective software developers? Their very industries are the root of their need for skilled developers. For Intel, it would simply be taking advantage of a hugely successful trend that requires that we begin examining the knowledge of software developers from an entirely new perspective.