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Building Apps: The Next Blue Collar Job Boom

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Building Apps: The Next Blue Collar Job Boom

While most of use picture an Ivy League genius bent over a keyboard when we think of programmers the fact is it's easier and cheaper than ever to become a developer.

· Mobile Zone ·
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Think of the prototypical mobile developer, and you might imagine a Starbucks-swilling hipster building apps and living the good life in Silicon Valley. Someone white collar and highly educated, or who dropped out of an Ivy League college to make a fortune.

But according to a Wired article, The Next Big Blue-Collar Job Is Coding, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the article says, Silicon Valley is home to only eight percent of the country’s coders. Many of the rest of them do work that’s more akin to blue-collar work,  learning more basic skills, like JavaScript, for building apps.

The article points to a coder named Devon, who works maintaining a security-software service in Portland, Oregon, as being a perfect example of this. His father was a blue-collar worker, and to a certain extent, Devon is as well, working a regular, 40-hour-a-week job and getting paid a reasonable wage for it.

The profile of people building apps is changing.

The author of the article, Clive Thompson, notes that politicians constantly complain about the loss of blue collar jobs.  He then asks, “What if the next big blue-collar job category is already here—and it’s programming? What if we regarded code not as a high-stakes, sexy affair, but the equivalent of skilled work at a Chrysler plant?”

Thompson adds that students can get coding training at inexpensive community colleges rather than expensive four-year schools. Workers in mid-career can attend training programs that last several months, such as Dev Bootcamp. He writes, “These sorts of coders won’t have the deep knowledge to craft wild new algorithms for flash trading or neural networks. Why would they need to? That level of expertise is rarely necessary at a job.”

Thompson says that more and more people are getting this kind of training, especially in areas of the U.S. that have been hit hard by deindustrialization. In Kentucky, for example, former coal miner Rusty Justice co-founded Bit Source, a development company that gets its developer staff by retraining coal miners to become programmers.

Topics:
mobile ,application development ,trends in technology

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