The New Software and IT Landscape

18 million Information Technology (IT) professionalsCurrently, there are some 18 million programmers worldwide. Add to that number another 18 million Information Technology (IT) professionals for a grand total of 36 million software and IT experts who are creating the amazing technology that is transforming a wide range of industries, according to recent figures from International Data Corporation.

This is why venture capitalists like Andreessen Horowitz now have three major investments in companies that serve the broad software and IT communities. For example, their recent investment in Stack Exchange, which runs a popular question and answer board for developers called Stack Overflow. Additionally they invested:

a) $100 million in GitHub, which is an open-source code-sharing platform

b) $37 million in Digital Ocean, Inc., which is a Web-hosting startup focused on programmers.

One main reason for these investments is these companies reach tens of millions of software developers and IT professionals globally. By doing so, they are targeting the foundation of all cutting-edge software creation. This is important, especially with the systematic shift away from the early days of software engineering and IT. Then, programmers where siloed off in cubicles, working for their individual companies, communicating mostly with co-workers, relying on computers and machinery purchased by their company and only learning new software and IT trends supplied by company manuals.

mobile apps developmentNow, with the advent of open-source software, collaborations among software developers and IT professionals have grown exponentially! Two major catalysts are:

1) The popularity of mobile apps that can be built by an individual software programmer

2) Cloud-based software and services.

This has led to the launch of companies like Stack Exchange, which offer software and IT services that connect individual software engineers and IT professionals to each other as well as offering tools directly to them over The Cloud.

As a result, one IT job recruiter that I met at a recent engineering recruiting symposium said that, “software developers, acting on their own and connecting directly to other software engineers, have directly changed how software is purchased. Often software engineers hear from one another about the latest software and tools, start using them on their own and then persuade their larger organizations to place large orders. As a result, it’s now a bottoms-up landscape in software.

All of this has led to programmers emerging as a distinct market. Therefore, many executive recruitment agencies have shifted their technical recruiting focus from companies to individuals. This has led to certain software engineers and IT professionals becoming the “Rock Stars” of the new programming age. This is especially true for AI (Artificial Intelligence) programmers who are developing the algorithms for the latest expert systems.

What are your thoughts?