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Is Software Engineering a 'Career Dead-End'?

  • April 26, 2012
  • By Developer.com Staff

A recent Bloomberg article by UC Davis computer science professor Norman Matloff leads with the provocative headline "Software Engineers Will Work One Day for English Majors." Matloff argues that while software development is intellectually stimulating and initially lucrative, the field is ultimately a "career dead-end" because job opportunities begin to fade once you turn 35.

According to Matloff, "Statistics show that most software developers are out of the field by age 40." For whatever reason, development managers seem to be biased in favor of younger workers. Former Intel CEO Craig Barrett once noted, "the half-life of an engineer, software or hardware, is only a few years." And Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg once admitted he believes younger developers are superior.

Matloff concludes, "If you choose a software-engineering career, just keep in mind that you could end up working for one of those lowly humanities majors someday."

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Tags: programmers, developers, career, software engineering
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