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2 years, 10 months ago

Today on the website Mashable the curious article "To Become the Guru of Programming in 2016, It Is Enough to Master Javascript and to Move to Utah" about labor market of software developers appeared. This material creates very perverse picture of reality, and therefore let's understand together.

Short background. I am software developer and on an extent of several last years I happened to conduct repeatedly interviews with persons interested to join ranks of my colleagues. Besides, I trained the JavaScript developers in skills thanks to which they got a smart job. I have a decent experience in the field of creation and consultation of promising design teams of various startups and 500 successful companies.

I also often cooperate with recruitment agencies thanks to what I know firsthand that is wanted by the most hi-tech companies in the world. Being guided by own experience and what is told by my students, I can declare with confidence that I perfectly understand structure of labor market of JavaScript both outside, and from within.

You need to study JavaScript

No, the article Mashable did not disprove my knowledge at all. "Master JavaScript" — worthy council. In the list of requirements imposed to candidates for a position of software developers, more than 1/3 vacancies assume a certain knowledge of JavaScript. Now JavaScript is the most popular programming language with perfectly developed ecosystem of OSS modules which, unlike other existing alternatives, it is really possible to call universal: "you write once, you use everywhere" — idea of which creators of Java dreamed. And here thanks to JavaScript it became reality.

Universal JavaScript is the application which works at servers, to a web platform and even on native devices (see React Native), and in the course of use of the logician of the application (and not just libraries) remains invariable for all target platforms. If you write applications in other programming language, I hurry to notice, this waste of time and money.

Number of modules

Increase in number of npm – Standard storage of packets OSS JavaScript

It is not Utah – demand for the software everywhere high

I know that the example was selected for drawing attention of readers. And yes, labor market of software developers of the State of Utah, really, promptly develops, but it is important to understand in what the reason of such growth. In scales of the state Utah represents quite small market reaching about 2000-3000 vacancies of software developers. It is, to put it mildly, not 12000-20000 in New York and not a stable demand for 10000-15000 specialists of this profile in San Francisco. And we gave examples not of the only cities, having read sentences of which will involuntarily think of hopelessness of work of the programmer in Salt Lake City.

And now is more detailed about modern labor market of JavaScript, I already have necessary data (for December, 2015):

  • Washington, District of Columbia, 5300
  • Auckland, California, 4700
  • San Jose, California 4000
  • Boston, Massachusetts, 3000
  • Los Angeles, California, 2000

In Salt Lake City about 500 vacancies of the JavaScript developers are usually opened. About 800 similar sentences in general are the share of the State of Utah. If you want to be a programmer, I do not think that it is worth listening to council "move to Utah".

You want to become the programmer?
Move, literally, anywhere.

Moreover, it is not obligatory to collect suitcases at all even if a situation in local labor market worse than ever. In different regions of the USA removed specialists JavaScript similar to vacancy constantly are required is, practically, worldwide, and therefore developers-freelancers have always a huge choice. If you are a good judge of programming, surely think of a possibility of remote employment. Yes, in this case the standing sentence and the competition very high are a little more difficult to find, but it is worth trying, definitely.

Lack of qualified personnel – a real problem. And serious.

It is impossible to eliminate shortage of talented specialists, just filling the market with beginners.

In the article Mashable was heard the formulation, having read which it is possible to think as if so many people study as programmers that as a result between them there is incredibly high competition. Here cruel truth:

Software development always was and remains very difficult specialization demanding various skills including sociability, readiness for cooperation and knowledge of technical documentation. Not for nothing the salary of programmers, as a rule, exceeds average twice: and everything is not so simple.

  • You have to have an explicit interest in this field of activity and sufficient motivation;
  • You have to be able to study quickly and with pleasure (technologies promptly change);
  • You have to be very sociable and ready to cooperation;
  • You have to be able to concentrate on parts (important on stages of start and debugging of software) and a picture in general (in development process);
  • You have to have practical knowledge of mathematics, logic, and also tendency to abstract thinking;
  • You have to be ready and have an opportunity to work overtime on improvement of skills.

If it about you, I think, you will cope. If is not present, studying of bases of programming all the same can do good, but in this case you nevertheless should select other profession. It is absolutely logical that one specialty cannot be ideally suited for all. And it is normal.

If it is impossible to find work, perhaps, it is necessary to tighten separate skills or to practise creation of samples of OSS to prove that you are suitable for this or that vacancy.

If it is not possible to find work, you do not hurry to blame for it a situation in labor market.

I will tell by experience, the company not to steel "select more carefully" at all (well, unless only if you compare present vacancies to sentences on JavaScript for 2008. JavaScript became the leading programming language of applications quite recently).

Actually, the companies just found effective mechanisms of determination of the valid level of proficiency in necessary skills, so far as concerns the specific candidate.

Yes, the problem of shortage of qualified personnel is not solved due to emergence in labor market of a huge number of beginners (and a lot of time was required that to understand it). Development of a software development sphere, unfortunately, still considerably advances increase in number of good specialists. In other words, if to speak on behalf of employers, it is much more vacancies, than suitable candidates.

The situation is so difficult that is frequent, without finding the necessary frames in the most promising cities, it is necessary to expand geography of searches up to the international level. If we speak about the most hi-tech companies of the world, the number of the foreign citizens occupied in the corresponding startups, on average, reaches 29%. In the Silicon Valley — 45%.

It costs dearer for tens of thousands of dollars, and quite often it is necessary to wait not for one month to employ residents of other countries according to the visa of H1-B. You think, it would be worth suffering so if qualification of local gurus conformed to requirements of employers?

If representatives of the whole industry, the government and the U.S. President note that we faced deficit of the qualified software developers, it sounds far more convincingly, than arguments from article in some unfortunate blog with a claim for sensation.

Why it is difficult to find work

It is possible to find a set of articles in which the problem of shortage of qualified personnel is not considered because their authors, you see heard that it is difficult to find work on technical specialty in a network. And now about the real situation: there is a number of other reasons for which your roommate cannot get a job. Here the most widespread of them:

  1. The companies usually are not interested in outstanding knowledge of popular, but absolutely useless methods, such as interactive electronic boards or situational tasks (if you concentrated on these tools, throw, while the getting is good. They do not work and, in addition, stand much). At such approach many potential specialists are eliminated. It is necessary to improve constantly the principles of search to find really outstanding candidates.
  2. The candidate is just not rather good. To master JavaScript it is difficult. 99 of 100 developers with whom I conducted interviews could not answer the elementary questions concerning two pillars of JavaScript: prototype and functional programming. And both programming styles are widely used in all serious JS applications which I ever faced. Practical knowledge of these aspects is vital to each JavaScript developer.
  3. The vacancies assuming a possibility of preliminary training are offered extremely seldom. Though in some cases in attempt to find outstanding developers the companies should agree and on the worst – to hire junior developers and to adjust training at production – where, actually, specialists and get the most valuable experience.

Why the companies do not hurry to employ junior developers who can be trained on site? If at the enterprise there are no suitable conditions, junior developers make the first feasible contribution to development of common cause only, approximately, in a year. Unfortunately, specialists of this class are not often delayed on one place more than a year. For this reason, employment is profitable to offer the companies to junior developers only if its command, really, is a good judge of selection of future star frames and their training, and also it is sure of loyalty of the trained employees.

Good news: the best candidates get to commands where they should study constantly. Promising development teams impart culture of training, employ outstanding mentors and accept those who are ready to improve the skills in the ranks. Such collectives not only achieve the best results, but also do not face a problem of routine of frames. In these conditions beginners quickly become trainers, obviously feel motivation and derive pleasure from work, and therefore remain in the company for a long time.

If you the weak candidate, you face certain difficulties in any market, but if you have a good portfolio and you understand that you do, remember:

It is the market of applicants to a position of software developers and soon it will not change.


Even all these convincing facts assume very narrow vision of perspectives of a profession of the programmer. Let's take a step back and we will look at a picture in general.


It would be desirable to share with you several slides from the presentation about value of programming in which it is explained why it is still important to train more specialists of this profile.

The software absorbs the world,
The Internet subordinates to itself the software,
And JavaScript governs the Internet.

In 2000 the profession of the driver was the most widespread almost in all states:

In 2000 labor market of drivers dominated over indicators of other professions

Programmers did not even get on the card. By 2014 in 4 states the position of software developer was the most widespread:

By 2014 software developers came to the forefront in 4 states

By 2045 at the person driving the car will look, how at a horse in a team.

Mercedes F 015 — Ars Electronica (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

For example, Uber already throws a monkey-wrench into the works of the world industry of services of a taxi. By 2020 the company is going to purchase half a million self-driving cars, and by 2020 the company intends to purchase 500 thousand pilotless vehicles.

By 2035 45% of modern professions will disappear, but at schools do not teach what is required for employment in the future.

In 4/5 schools of the USA do not teach programming

Changes happen more and more promptly

Under the influence of programming, practically, all spheres of the industry undergo improbable transformations if do not lose relevance at all. And, despite expressions concerning insolvency of the law of Moore – someone hurries to tell that it became obsolete (I repeatedly came up against such situations personally) – rates of technology conversions grow in geometrical progression.

Almost under each article it is possible to find the comment that Moore's law – the last century, and at the same time for any of them I can give examples of 3 technologies capable again to return this resolution to life. Here, for example, next heading:

"Google: Our quantum computer of 100 million times quicker, than normal system"

We enter an era of technology boom where both for us, and it will be obvious to our children that the technology progresses quicker, than the person manages to adapt to it. And nothing demonstrates possible decrease in so prompt rates. And hardly we or our children will live up to such times.

Here the small list of the technologies promoting true revolution and ready to fill up bank of vacancies with thousands of requests in 2016:

  • AI;
  • Drones;
  • Virtual reality;
  • Augmented reality;
  • 3D - printing and robotization of production;
  • Mobile payments;
  • Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin and Blockchain.

And now we will analyze the facts:

Computers – the new version of paper and ink, and programming – alternative of literacy.

Expressions that we can train "too many" programmers it is absurd. The more programmers, the there are more companies specializing in software development, and, so they will be always need new frames.

If to consolidate all text of article to one output to which it is worth paying attention let it sounds so:

Training in the field of development program providing represents an effective cycle which cannot be settled due to increase in number of programmers. Just there will be more Facebook-ov, Google and Tesla which will want to employ them.

So for what you wait?

Begin to study JavaScript right now.

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