About 'The Missing Future' in Software

I found Eric Kidd's article (via James Avery) about 'The Missing Future' in software both interesting and a little sad.

Eric seems to view the industry though a developer viewpoint that is increasingly common. One where he questions where he fits in a world dominated by huge software companies, a monolithic open source movement and small software companies with (sic) no apparent hope. I think he would like to make a BIG difference, but given this viewpoint - how?

To him I would answer, that rather than being powerless, he holds the key to what awaits him at 55. But in order to do so he needs to change his focus away from technology, platforms and the development community, to real world end-users and their requirements.

To make a real difference, he needs to develop specialized knowledge about a field or discipline to which he can address his skills.

We as programmers, lets face it, are a dime a dozen. Some are faster, some slower - some more efficient. But ultimately we are just another set of hours of available resource on a project plan.

But a programmer who has industry specific knowledge - now that's something different. Come to realize that the software industry is dominated NOT by companies like Microsoft or the open source movement. That's a developer-centric view of the industry.

Instead, realize that it is dominated by individuals and companies who simply use tools and technology as a vehicle to meet the requirements of the real world - and make a difference.


  • I was pretty depressed after reading that ( myself being 27 also ) but you have cheered me up.

  • I absolutely agree. I briefly worked in both the medical and water industries and was staggered to see what I would regard as substandard solutions, in daily usage. Once I looked into it, it was obvious the solutions were developed by industry insiders and worked exactly as the industry required, but perhaps lacked the bells and whistles of 'professional' development (which would have delivered a quality solution that noone could use).

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