Where Have All The Software Developers & Programmers Gone?

by Aleksey Lazaryev, in Automation Strategy, posted 9/9/10
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Why is the USA’s DARPA agency allocating significant research dollars to stimulate interest in computer programming and related skills across the nation’s universities and colleges? If the Feds are worried, should you be?

What do we at Network Automation mean by “No Code, No Limits?” At its very core, the job of your computer is to make your life easier by delivering the power to do things that would take much more effort and time to accomplish without its use. But the computer hardware without its software is a rather large and bulky paperweight (notice how Intel is buying software companies of late?). The software requires developers and/or programmers to be created and maintained. But this from DARPA as part of a multi-sourced research initiative awarded in 2010 to avoid an upcoming crisis:

While computers and internet connectivity become daily fixtures in the lives of Americans, we are steadily losing the engineering talent to project these systems. According to the Computer Research Association, there were 43% fewer graduates and 45% fewer CS degree enrollments in 2006/2007 than in 2003/2004. … In addition, our systems are becoming more complex, requiring more people with the software engineering talent to manage and maintain them. Finding the right people with increasingly specialized talent is becoming more difficult and will continue to add risk…

We know that running our businesses without Information Technology (IT) resources on any given day is becoming increasingly impossible. But who has software developers sitting on the sidelines waiting to jump in on command? And if DARPA is correct, where will they come from in the future?

This is not a new problem. It’s why AutoMate was born in 2004, and its big cousin, AutoMate BPA Server, in 2008. Don’t get us wrong, we are not out to replace programmers. Far from it. We employ some of the best (IOHO) programmers around to deliver on the promise of No Code, No Limits. In fact, they are the first acid test, if they don’t find a particular planned capability in AutoMate useful, it doesn’t go to market. Outside of Network Automation, you might say that some of our best customers are programmers. We are routinely amazed (and proud) at the level of automation achieved by programmers wielding our Action Library. But, if you are an IT professional who is not a programmer per se, or a savvy business analyst looking to get things done NOW, and there are no spare programmers lying around, pick up Automate and create, test and put into production the kind of automation it takes a programmer (or your boss) to love.

Who does not love programmers?

Take a look at our recent whitepaper, Solving Scripting Problems with Technology, showing comparison of the development of a command line level script language (scripts are becoming more and more like full-powered software languages) to see how a few basic AutoMate drag-n-drops can replace a whole barn-full of script to do a simple FTP.

If you are a programmer with company peeps banging on your door for that latest script or SQL transform, do more with less (and quicker too) with AutoMate. If you're not a programmer, but are waiting on one...use AutoMate, you'll both be glad you did.