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Why Coders Will Rule the World

Steven Blum

Despite the downgrading of the U.S. economy, rising unemployment across America and the disasterous effects of the Tea Party on congressional decision-making, Silicon Valley is still hiring.

If you're a coder, that is.

Unemployment remains at a staggering 12% nationwide, but for coders in Silicon Valley, the world is still a gleaming oyster. You can work at Google, Facebook, Zynga, Groupon or start your own company. Every entrepreneur in the Valley still says that finding talent is the single hardest challenge they're facing right now.

And the market for software engineers is growing. On Saturday, author Marc Andreesen wrote an essay in the Wall Street Journal entitled "Why Software is Eating the World." In the essay, Andreesen argues that more companies these days are "disrupting" the real world than ever before. Think Airbnb replacing hotels, Groupon replacing newspaper coupons or Amazon replacing Borders (literally, since Borders is now dead). 

"Six decades into the computer revolution, four decades since the invention of microprocessor and two decades into the rise of modern Internet, all of the technology required to transofrm industries through software finally works and can be widely delivered at a global scale," writes Andreesen.

Photography (Flickr, Snapfish), entertainment (Pixar, video games), phones (Skype)...what can't software replace? And now software is used to manage everything from airline flights to deliveries. Up next? According to Andreessen, "healthcare and education".

But educating the next generation of coders remains a problem. How many people graduate these days with degrees that have nothing to do with the jobs they want? Tons. If Obama wants to get people back to work, he should tell them to start coding – and teach them how to do so, quick.


Write new comment:
  • Georg Wiese Aug 22, 2011 Link

    I think, Obama needs to do a little more than just tell everyone to become programmers ;)

  • Sam-Droid Aug 22, 2011 Link

    I studied computer science at University of Washington. Amazing education for very little money. And very prestigious.

  • Di Tao Aug 22, 2011 Link

    Coding just sounds soo boring...

  • DroidLover Aug 22, 2011 Link

    This article is so true. Even in my home state of Kentucky, companies like Lexmark are hiring devs like mad. It's not just the Valley...

  • Anette West Aug 22, 2011 Link

    Let's also teach kids other languages. We can't expect the entire global economy to run on English. I'm sorry, but Chinese will be key in the coming years.

  • Bob Hart Aug 22, 2011 Link

    Good piece. But it's not just the internet and mobile services that run on software. Our cars, airplanes, medical equipment and radiology systems also can't work without well-programmed software.

  • Marvin Cleaver Aug 22, 2011 Link

    You forgot to mention--many of the new jobs this will create will be unstable. There's a boom bust cycle to Silicon Valley start-ups. Timing is key.