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Ask HN: Is SWE a Dead Job?
6 points by izwasm on Feb 8, 2023 | hide | past | favorite | 14 comments
Seeing all the layoffs happening in the last months, looks like SWE is becoming a dead job for many people that want to start a career in the industry, i mean a junior dev won't compete with an ex Google engineer, ex microsoft, or ex zoom :). what's your opinion for the future of a SWE ? and what career paths that gonna get a high demand in the next 10 years ?



Generally, software engineers will have even more work in 10 years than they have today.

Demand will only increase as more and more systems built the previous decade become legacy and a nightmare to extend/maintain, with companies desperately looking for talent that will accept this kind of work.

And regarding this AI code generation hype... this will be a disaster that will result in extremely bad codebases full of subtle bugs. People will make a career out of fixing whatever the f chatgpt15 generated. Just wait and see xD.

And these layoffs... are just a cycle phase, and it's not even that bad compared to previous busts btw.


> a junior dev won't compete with an ex Google engineer, ex microsoft, or ex zoom

They are not applying for the same jobs.

Software is still eating the world and growing year on year. It’s one of the fastest growing sectors. Our economies globally are made up of tech companies where software development remains a profit centre for the business.

Nothing to worry about.


It’s important to understand how megacorps hire software engineers. They hire because they have money, not because they need people. They do this because hoarding talent stifles their competitors. If you’re making billions it’s better to pay a talented engineer to do nothing for you, than to let them build value for a competitor.

In an economic downturn, every company wants to save money, so they can safely let those people go because every company is doing the same thing.

But downturns don’t last forever. When the economy picks up, these companies will start hiring like crazy again.

This has happened before and it will happen again.


The gap between the needed software engineers and the available engineers if anything is growing.

There are jobs everywhere in the mid-level companies.

The actions of these giant monopolies are not a reflection on the career of software engineering. A large percentage of us will never work for them anyway by choice or by happenstance.


There are still a lot of SWE jobs which aren't filled. They just don't pay as well as the many eliminated jobs from the news.


But, they often still pay far better than just about any other career you can do.

I'm a fairly unremarkable developer who works for a no-name tech company, but still make twice as much as my friends my age who are in law or accounting, even finance.

Only ones who even come close are in non-white collar jobs with unions and access to lots of overtime hours that they pick up. Their base pay isn't even close.


>But, they often still pay far better than just about any other career you can do.

Yep, that's completely true.

>I'm a fairly unremarkable developer who works for a no-name tech company, but still make twice as much as my friends my age who are in law or accounting, even finance.

Yep.

>Only ones who even come close are in non-white collar jobs with unions and access to lots of overtime hours that they pick up. Their base pay isn't even close.

Yep. I would say that SWEs have even better working conditions than any union I have heard of.


There are roughly 26.9 million software jobs in the world right now and the long term trend is still growing. 100k layoffs is .3%


A junior dev isn't competing with those people. Teams don't only hire senior+. SWE is still a fine career.


Get out of the FAANG bubble, at small company/startup level in EU I have not heard of any layoffs.


Jr. Devs cost a third the price of ex-FAANG.


The job market for software engineers has for sure become increasingly competitive due to the pandemic and recent layoffs. However, the demand for skilled software engineers is not going away. There are tons of exciting career paths in tech that will continue to grow in the coming years, such as machine learning (ChatGPT!), data science (as long as there is a company, there is data being underused), and cloud computing (stuff's got to run somewhere).

And don't be discouraged by competition from more experienced engineers. Focus on your strengths and unique skills, and find a niche where you can excel. Don't worship these FAANG or w/e engineers; they're people firstly, and secondly they did just get laid off, so their generally applicable skills are almost certain to be rusty at least.


It's a local downturn, but I don't think the industry or career is dead. It's still a darn good job compared to most others, even if not quite as over the top.


I think it's not even downturn. I would call it rebalancing.




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