Typically I use this blog to write articles about Facebook, however after hosting the Social Developer Summit earlier this week, I thought I’d take this opportunity to get a single point across: developers are kings of the economy right now. While there are plenty of instances where developers don’t get credit for the work they do, developers are the ones driving innovation and its up to them to build us a new future. Here’s a quick synopsis of my thoughts on the developer kings.
Everybody Wants A Developer Ninja/King/Expert/….
There are a million words to describe a qualified developer. The most critical thing all companies want to avoid is a developer who will drag their feet or simply doesn’t know how to program efficiently. If you are a developer and you can’t program efficiently and keep churning out crappy code, don’t be too hard on yourself, just realize that the key aspect that separates the “developer geniuses” from the rest is that they are constantly learning, everyone else just sucks at life.
Granted, talent is important. If you aren’t the most logical (or intelligent) person on the block, you may want to try another profession and leverage your strengths. However if you are a curious individual, programming may be the profession for you. Best of all, developer salaries are rising quickly. Every company I know is looking to hire developers. Yes, you need experience. Don’t have experience? Sharpen those swords ninja!! Practice makes perfect so start building the “next hot app” and even if it doesn’t work out, you’ll at least improve your programming skills.
Who Wants You?
Facebook, Google, Apple, Twitter, are just a few companies looking for talented developers. Don’t want to work at a big name company or one with thousands of employees? Every single small startup is looking for you. I want you!! Qualified developers don’t need me to tell them this though because they’re too busy turning down job offers and not replying to half the emails in their inbox. Sounds pretty baller, right? Hell yeah! Learn how to code and you too can become a rockstar! Just make sure you keep learning, otherwise you suck at life (as previously mentioned).
Is There A Lack Of Smart People?
Let’s be honest, any developer that’s talented most likely already has a job and if they don’t, they think they are building the next Facebook, Google, YouTube, or [Insert successful internet startup name here] and turning down job offers left and right while they spend long nights programming. Your best bet is those programmers. While they may indeed come up with a great idea, most of them are going to run out of money eventually because 95 percent of startups fail in the first year. However if they were an early Google or Facebook employee, they are probably already funded, CTO of that next hot startup, and really are building the next Google. Sorry!
With so much demand for quality development talent, one has to wonder if there is a lack of logical and intelligent thinkers. Most of the time I find that the only startups that aren’t working or can’t find quality talent is that they have a lack of inspirational leadership. Mark Zuckerberg, for example, may not be the most sociable developer, however he did some bad ass shit in college by hacking into some computers and developers respect that.
He’s also a talented developer which is why he has been able to attract other world class software engineers like Bret Taylor, Paul Bucheit, Blake Ross, and Joe Hewitt, just to name a few.
The Whole Credit Thing
Want to be put on the front cover of Forbes for that sick product you just built (and your billion dollar bank account)? So do I! However programming talent alone will not get you there. Being sociable and confident is also critical. I’m not going to list all the personality traits that will make you attractive to others, however if you spend more time learning how to become a leader and not just a talented developer, you’ll have a chance to rise above the others. It all starts in one place though: learn how to code.
Steve Jobs may not be the best software engineer but he sure as hell tried his hand at it when starting Apple. He also focused heavily on leadership and building culture. Anyways, the bottom line is this: if you really want to build that next hot startup your best bet is to learn how to code, everything else will follow.
This public service announcement was brought to you by your friendly next door developer and entrepreneur!