Why do I think many software engineers are on drugs?

Why do I think many software engineers are on drugs?

By Rajesh Setty on Wed 06 Dec 2006, 12:36 AM – 4 Comments

I am sad. Actually, very sad!

I think an easy way to kill a software engineer is by overcompensating him or her for doing commodity work. With globalization in full force, this has become very common. Large scale software projects with a ton of commodity work are being shipped overseas and boatloads of software engineers are being paid ridiculous amounts of money to participate in them. This is excellent situation for both – the clients (who are still reaping the benefits of wage arbitrage) and the vendors (who are making hefty profits) but in the middle, the people engaged in this work (software engineers) are becoming vegetables.

The young software engineers of today have not seen a downturn and may not even understand what it means when there is a correction. It is almost like they are on drugs. They feel light (very little brain work needed to do commodity work) and are almost floating as they get paid heavily for work that requires very little use of brain. Experienced folks can clearly see that the youngsters are on drugs but they fail to make them understand that. Young software engineers won’t see it because 90% of the other software engineers are on drugs :( They think – “How can everyone be on drugs…it is impossible”)

Here is a simple scenario. When a correction does happen, there won’t be jobs for some seemingly specialized skills (eg: team member of load testing) as people will start wearing multiple hats.

Look around and see if you find any software engineer on drugs. It is your responsbility to at least alert them of the impending danger. After that, it is upto them. After all, if everyone wakes up and wants to use more of their brain, where will the companies go to find people for commodity work? :(


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4 Comments so far, Add Yours

Anonymous  on December 6th, 2006


I think that you have given an apt analogy to the present situation in the market.

Not many companies or individuals focus on training to ensure that their skills donot become obsolete. Today its about getting that bill rate/hr rather than thinking about long term prospects.

Also there is no dearth of graduates who are willing to take up these jobs even though they do not know the abc of software lifecycle – because they can get away with just knowing a part of SAS or SAP. And this is just in the US …

Anonymous  on December 6th, 2006

How about some examples of what is and isn’t software eng. commodity work?

Anonymous  on December 13th, 2006

I often see your posts saying software professionals are getting paid ridiculous amount of money, why do you think so? do you think they are not worth it? or …..?

Anonymous  on December 14th, 2006

My opinion is that the high pay is making people complacent and slowly pushing them towards knowledge degradation without the people being aware of it even.

(the drugged effect).

All software professionals should be expected to take some yearly ceritifications/exams/interviews to make sure that the skills have not been eroded.

Rajesh, we need a post from you along these lines ..

How can we identify commodity tasks and what are the signs to look for to see when task is getting reduced to a commodity.

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