Do you want your child to be a programmer? Part 2.

I do. Earlier this year I ‘ve blogged on this subject , but this subject conserns me a lot and and this is a version 2.0 of that blog.

I had this conversation with my colleague who is one of the top IT professionals I ‘ve ever met. He does not want his kids to become programmers.

When my older son Yuri was senior in high school, he said that he want to study classical animation in college. What would you say? My wife (she “s also a programmer), and I said, rdquo;OK, not everyone has to be a programmer. We already have two in our family rdquo;.

Now he “s graduated with bachelor degree in Fine Arts majoring in classic animation. Now he draws cartoons for various TV shows and creates animations for commercial Web sites using hand-drawing and Adobe Flash.

Things could have been so much easier if he ‘d chosen the IT career ndash; I could have helped him with every step he “d make. I know the IT industry inside out, I know the rules of the game, I could have taught him how to write a resume and prepare for the technical job interview, I know how to set work priorities while working on a software development project… But he ‘s a talented kid, who “s not interested in learning all this, and we decided to let him do what he likes.

Once in a while I approach Yuri asking if he “d like me to re-train him to be a programmer so he could have doubled his income. He rejects. I respect this as long as he pays his bills.

My younger son is an eighth grader, and I hope that he “ll decide to become a programmer.

My colleague ‘s argument was that 10 years from now all programming will be done in India anyway, and there is no reason to send your kid to a CS school. I absolutely do not agree with this. Animation industry does not have these outsourcing issues yet, but my older son had really tough times finding his first job. His friends, who have graduated with CS degrees, did not have any problems finding well paid jobs right off the college.

In terms of return on investments, I do not think that there are too many professions that would pay annual salary of $50K to fresh graduates of a second-tier college. And if you hold BS in Computer Science from one of the well known schools, your first salary will be $70K or more.

No, the low cost labor from India will not change the IT landscape in ten years. In many cases low cost means low quality.

“Yakov, come on, we are paying only $30K for a team lead in Bangalore! rdquo;

“Mary, I “d love to check the damage to your budget by the end of the project. Most likely, it “ll run a lot longer than expected, and the cost will be A LOT higher than was expected. rdquo;

The real cost of the outsourced projects is the best kept secret. Good programmers in India are already demanding higher rates, and this trend will continue. We “ll talk about outsourcing a bit later in this book.

I won ‘t push my younger son into software engineering, but will be happy if he decides to become an IT professional.


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