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Ask HN: Where do you see the most value for writing code
10 points by syldor 5 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 1 comment
When companies are conducting internal data projects, either to help decision making or automate processes, they require a number of technical skills, modulated by the amount of custom tools vs on-the shelf solutions that are chosen. On top of the pure software development, we see a need for more devops, databases, distributed file system knowledge, UX design, etc...

My question is: where in this whole ecosystem or data lifecycle software development (= actually writing code) has the most value or is the most present? That would be the place to focus specialisation for a freelance software developer like me.

I think your question depends on whose perspective. From the perspective of a company whose core business model is not software, there is little value in writing code. A CEO sees danger in every major software implementation: they're expensive, takes forever, often fail, expensive to maintain and may get him fired. A CEO wants to customize a little as possible, so he can upgrade and maintain his very expensive capital expense.

On the other hand, from the perspective of consulting company or large software vendor, the consultant wants to lock-in his customer to a long term contract as long as possible. This means he wants to implement a be-spoke customized solution with infinite levels of complexity that will make it easier for his customer to move mountains than switch to a different vendor.

If you are trying to determine which data technology you should specialize in, personally, I take great interest in the stock market valuation of those companies. It's not foolproof but I would argue is a better indicator than most. For example, recently the Dow Jones industrial average replaced Exxon with Salesforce. Salesforce is more than a CRM; it really is cloud platform that many business base their IT strategy on. Similarly, Snowflake's recent IPO of $3 billion was reported to be the largest ever for a software company.

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