One of the perks of my job is I get to meet some really smart and interesting people. I am grateful that many of them keep in touch and challenge me to think differently. For years now I have had conversations with some of these people around our careers and the future of our industry. What follows are some thoughts from those conversations.
Over the two decades I have served many roles in IT. I have supported mainframe, linux, and windows systems, I have been a storage engineer, a DBA, an IT Architect, a technology consultant, and for a couple years in college, I tried my hand at software development. Those lessons were invaluable, and I am very thankful I was given those opportunities.
Looking at the landscape of IT, we are constantly asked to do more with less. The role of the IT Operator is becoming less and less relevant in favor of IT Administrators. There seems to be a push, as automation and management software becomes more efficient, to again up level those administrator functions, move them closer to the end user, eliminate more of the middle. With OpenStack, developers want, and often are getting more access to infrastructure, albeit virtual infrastructure.
Considering the Google and Facebook models, it becomes apparent that while we are not going to see the end of the IT Administrator/Engineer any time soon, it is a good time to increase our skills. I am not a developer, and I have no intention of changing that. I understand code, and I can write well enough for a few utility apps, but it is not my passion. As I look at the IT landscape though, the future of our profession, in my opinion, belongs to developers, and those who understand code well enough to talk to developers with some level of intelligence about platforms, and infrastructure in terms that matter to them.
I have no crystal ball, but I have been in the industry long enough to say for certain that software is the future. Darwin said, “It is not the strong who survive but the adaptable”. It is up to us to adapt, we are writing the future of our industry, it is time to join the movement and be a part of something bigger. That said, I am not a developer and I am ok with that.