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The rise and fall of software engineering


If you want to be an engineer today, its no longer a question of whether you have 1-2 years experience, or waiting in line, or even if you have a specialisation, its whether or not are you in demand.


To be in demand, is to be at the bleeding edge of the Internet. Think of AI strategies etc.. how you can chain one AI to another. Or take something to produce another.


The part of the web I most enjoyed is soon fleeting, with budgets getting tighter, no one is interested in whether there is any harmony between design and engineering. Obviously, there is a reason for this as well (explained further on).


In a company, stakeholders only care whether the software works or not. The processes, the things that make the software turn are of little or no consequence to the stakeholders, the investors of the software.


These are the smallest, insignificant details (Engineers dream).


Elon Musk like Steve Jobs are the pinnacle for where things change quickly. Steve Job's decision to block Adobe Flash from the iPhone, was an insight that both parties had different desires. Job's wasn't willing to compromise performance, and Adobe was trying to find a middle ground to bring Flash to Apple.


Sadly, after Flash was rejected from the Apple market, it was soon getting rejected everywhere. Adobe Flash developers (like myself) were out of a job, there was no middle ground, instead flash developers were forced to transfer their skills from one skill to another, e.g. ActionScript to JavaScript.


From the rise of Flash to the rise of JavaScript; React, AngularJS and VueJS.


As Apple arose, and the decline of flash, it changed the ambience of the internet, as Flash was a major player on the web front, there wasn't much that Adobe Flash could do, from highly interactive animations, & applications to ecommerce etc... it was an all-in-one software and it transcended anything else at the time.


Tech Giants were already on the rise, competing for dominance and as they did, they also helped pave the way for the IT industry, even providing a special atmosphere for engineers to thrive in and do well in. If that wasn't enough, like video game makers of the past, they offered special incentives so that engineers were motivated to increase learning and advance in highly specialised areas.


At the success of engineers, the rise of processes and automation also came about and with it the decline of engineers, because without realising the consequences of such or the desire to see how far IT could go, they are now being replaced by the process itself.


The web is mostly autonomous, a few clicks and everything is running...


And because of this new stance, less engineers are required. So looking at sites such as layoffs.fyi we can see there is a great decline in the engineering space, and seems like it will never be resolved as systems get smarter and smarter.


Power in the hands of a few.


So how can we attend to software engineering? Well, it is in the consideration similar to what I have experienced in the past which is subject to transferability, and knowing where to probe in the future. If you are not at the bleeding edge, than you are at the opposite end furtherest from where you need to be.


If there is a decline, then there is a rise somewhere else, and it is a matter of putting your thinking cap on and learning where that is. Toolify.ai gives us some hints as to what is on the rise, one of those is The Social Media Operating System.


"Rather than creating standalone apps or websites, entrepreneurs are now focusing on building a presence within the social media OS. The emphasis is on sales funnels and content creation, which have the potential to generate viral engagement and drive business growth."


As an engineer peering into the future, it doesn't have to look so gloomy. Companies will not stop spending money because there is a decline in software engineering, rather they will spend it where they think they will gain the best leverage.


Where their company can grow...


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