Hi guys, we are well into the third week of 2018. I know you have some questions concerning the title of this article and I will be answering them later on. It’s the new year! Some of us are continuing with their jobs, some started startups, others building solo SaaS apps, some freelancing, some have no job and others are still trying to figure out things.
Life is different that way and we all have our different journeys in life. The unifying factor is we are human and we love learning and building new things. It comes a time where every human asks themselves, “What is the direction for my life?”. It is not a simple question and as a software developer, this question seems to always recur throughout one’s career. Of course it’s easier to just choose one area, one tool, one IDE, one niche etc. and stick to it to the death. You turn your head whenever that new framework, new language, new IDE or new way of doing things starts trending.
This second decade of the 21st Century has been interesting for technology and the tools and programming languages used. The world is moving to an AI-first approach in everything, no matter the field. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 was this January and AI dominated the space from Robots to TVs, you name it. This field is of course coupled by many other fields since it adds a lot of value so easily. The next decade we’ll have advanced AI everywhere we go from our homes to our vehicles. This is of course driven by consumers and therefore demanding a lot of mental shift in developers globally.
The other emerging field that is also growing and improving on a fast pace is Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). At CES 2018,a lot of new devices were introduced. They were very practical implementations of these technologies in our day to day lives and at institutions, factories, schools etc. Once of the coolest and best AR glasses were the VUZIX Blade:
Why Shift then?
If you haven’t figured it out by now, let me tell you. The world is changing fast and technology is changing with it. From finance, agriculture, home living to transportation, nothing is being left behind. The IoT will be a thing. You better believe it. This means new skills are already being required, new tools are being adopted, jobs being re-defined, processes re-engineered and personal lives including interactions are being affected (positively and negatively).
The main point here is we must all adopt and learn to relearn. Break the bondage of short-term comfort and strive to understand and gain new knowledge and skills in this upcoming fields.
Are you supposed to Shift, how do i know?
The simple and quick answer is simply YES & NO!! Not everyone will be required to shift the way you are thinking of it right now. I know you are thinking job losses, robots taking over, AI ruling the world, Crypto etc. Stop thinking of those scenarios for a minute.
Everyone will have to change something, some drastic and some subtle. Software developers will definitely need to carry out some drastic changes from the way they code to the tools they use. That awesome language you now use may be “useless” in the coming years. I know this because I am one of the guys using the language being replaced.
The worry we always have is, what if I waste my time changing my core competencies then find that I am still useless and irrelevant. The secret is to plan and be alert. If you are learning blindly, you will end up in the irrelevant bucket while the guys who researched what they want to be in the future and planned on how to get there won’t.
Plan and be Alert
What am I shifting?
You may fall in one of these categories of people reading this article:
- Seasoned software developer/engineer (CTO, Senior or Lead Dev etc.)
- Junior/Entry-level software developer/engineer
- Product Manager or Owner
- Tech Enthusiast
Note: All the above are assumptions!
I am also assuming that you are primarily interested or already involved in software development for fun or profit.
There are some things that I can think off that you will need to think about and in some cases shift in:
- Programming language you use
- Programming methodology you use
- Software & Infrastructure Architecture for scalable apps
- Software & Infrastructure Security
- UI/UX & other Human Computer Interaction elements for the new web, VR/AR, Wearables, Driverless vehicles and IoT
- Blockchain technology and smart contracts implementation in new and existing solutions
- Plus many more not forgetting how AI fits into all of these areas
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