Is the Tech Industry the New Coal Mine?

Is the Tech Industry the New Coal Mine?

Recently there has been a lot of talk about the working environment in the tech industry. Video game developers working 80 or more hours a week to keep their job. Collusion among big tech companies to keep the salaries down. The list goes on and on. There has even been talk of unions forming.

A few years ago, after feeling pushed around at a development job I was working, I realized that we were the workers. Yes, we were inside with the other people that worked for the company. Yes, we were wearing business casual and not Carhardt. Yes, we were on salary. But we were still workers. We were part of the working class. Yes, we got paid well. But that meant nothing when it came to social status.

At this point, you are wondering if I am trying to convince that programming is not a good job to have. I am not. It is the best career I have ever had. But as far as any company goes, you are the working class. There is no way that society is going to allow such a mass exodus of working class people up the ladder.

You may get treated like a king by recruiters. Big companies may court you with amazing benefits and six figure salaries. You may take a look at the corporate structure and see the CTO title there in your future. But don’t kid yourself. You are being hired for a working class job.

And what I say is, take advantage of that. If the powers that be want it to be a working class job, then treat it like that and stop seeing getting a job writing code as an impossible goal. It is very possible.

For years now, there have been more jobs in this industry that people to fill them. That means the pay is only going to go up. Every industry has software. And yes, robots may take over big parts of writing the lowest level code. But someone still has to write the code for the robots. Skynet is not happening any time soon.

So despite what you may think what a programming job entails, it is a working class job, but it is a lucrative, in demand working class job. And most companies are willing to take a chance on you even if you only know enough to get started. So there is no better time to get a job in this industry and help us fight for a better work/life balance.

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Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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