Just finished giving this tech talk:
It may sound grandiose, but it’s essentially true: developers have a superpower. We’re the inventors of the modern age. We have a unique power that is new to humanity: we can build useful things and instantly put a thousand eyeballs on it. All for about $0 and very little time investment.
(My startup company, BitShuva internet radio, was the product of about a weekend’s work, where I churned out a minimally viable product and published it in 2 days. The net result is several radio stations across the web and a few thousand dollars in the bank.)
The things we’re doing with software are diverse and jaw-dropping:
- Software is driving noodle-making robots in China.
- Software is printing weapons.
- Industrial scale 3d printers driven by software are churning out housing in 3rd world countries.
- Software and medicine are fusing; we can now print living tissue and human organs to actually save people’s lives.
- Software and biology are teaming up to modify DNA, the binary code of all living things, with net results spanning from glowing plants, to modifying, creating, and resurrecting species.
Software is doing that, and more: giving us turn-by-turn directions, driving our cars, winning Jeopardy!, challenging Chess champions, letting us communicate with anyone in the world at anytime…the list is staggering and is only increasing.
And we, software developers, are the ones who make it all happen. This bodes well for our careers.
Building software is a superpower that shouldn’t be wasted building CRUD apps for insurance companies. That may be necessary to pay the bills, but developers should build their side projects to advance their goals and tackle the things they want to tackle.
Build your side project, build what’s interesting to you, build what you think the world needs. If nothing else, you’ll expand your horizons. And if it works out, you might just have contributed something useful to the world and even made a little money on the side.