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CUSEC day 1: Chad Fowler Keynote

CUSEC opened on thursday morning with a very interesting keynote from Chad Fowler, author of “My Job Went To India”, titled “Fight the Traffic”. He first went through his career from computer support to CTO for a year and half in India. Doom is responsible for his passion for computer. He recently decided he wanted to be a ruby programmer and seems to be hapy with his decision, doing what he loves.

He then explained his view on software development, how he views it as a craft (he doesn’t like the term engineer). But no matter if you define it as art, science or else, software development is a business. But if you see things that way, your job will go to India. Business people see software development as a commodity. Chad however doesn’t feel it’s a bad thing, as only the boring jobs are moving, the ones you wouldn’t want anyway.

There are a lot of opportunities if you are passionate about software, if you want to craft something. He then gave suggestions on how to enhance your career: practice, know your audience, blog (to improve your writing skills), start a project. He also mentioned the long tail, how there are many opportunities for applications that target a specific audience. He finished by saying that the path is greater than the destination

This talk has given me a lot of food for thoughts. I cringed when I first heard him talk of software development as an art, a craft. I still have fundamental issues with that view, but he made a strong argument against the engineering view. The problem with it is that it makes it easy to outsource your job. However, as a crafstman, there are still a lot of opportunities for me to develop something cool, have fun and make a decent living.

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