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Steve Ballmer was ahead of his time. Well, maybe not always. Nevertheless, when he famously chanted this mantra at an undisclosed Microsoft event, he correctly identified the most important human resource that this millennium would require: Developers!
Speaking of developers, I recently wrote a piece for TechCrunch that looks at two economic problems and a hypothesis:
- Problem #1: The demand for software developers is exceeding the supply and the resulting gap is growing
- Problem #2: In the rest of the economy, job growth is flat
- Hypothesis: Both problems can be solved if the field of software engineering is made more accessible to a wider population of workers
In other words, the world needs more developers and we won’t be able to get there unless we make it easier for all people—creative people, mechanical people, communicative people, detailed people—to have a role in developing software.
I’ve issued a challenge to the software industry to help prove this hypothesis. Changes will need to be made in education and economic policy in order to create the conditions for a joint solution to the listed problems. But the ultimate shift in accessibility needs to come from within our industry. There are already some groundbreaking efforts taking place in software engineering accessibility, such as the Essence platform from Mindaptiv. However, all developer perspectives need to be addressed in order to make the required shift for the digital future.
I proposed a follow-on hypothesis in the article: that improvements in developer experience (DX) will lead to greater accessibility. With that in mind, Caroline Lewko—CEO of WIP—and I will be presenting a webinar on September 10 where we will be discussing ways that companies can improve the DX for their APIs. It’s a small step but a step in the right direction. Hope you can join us then!
Matt McLarty is an experienced software architect who leads the API Academy at CA Technologies. He helps organizations with their strategy and architecture for APIs, microservices and enterprise integration. Matt recently co-authored the book Microservice Architecture for O’Reilly, with his API Academy colleagues.