Digital transformation changes the nature of work in all branches of industry. It is true that new jobs have been created and old ones have faded away even before, but now the pace has accelerated. Digitalisation is a hard competition based on the ‘first come, first served’ method. Soon, there will no longer be need for cash register personnel in stores, the entire transportation industry changes as self-driving cars become more common, and so forth. There are plenty of examples, and new ones are constantly emerging. In the future, there will be enough jobs for those who are capable of renewing themselves. For those who do not yearn wistfully for the past but build new upon their existing skills. The same applies to the software business, a stooge for digital transformation.
We have a desperate shortage of IT professionals, implementers of digital transformation. The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (TIVIA) estimated in the spring that the shortfall may be as many as 15,000 persons in 2020. However, quantity does not mean quality. Competition over the jobs of digital transformation implementers will also increase. There will not be enough jobs for unskilled employees no matter how much there would be need. In this branch of industry, there will always be both job vacancies and unemployed job seekers.
The era of code creators is over
As a profession, “code creator” has originally meant a professional who converts technical descriptions (specs) written by designers to a code, a form that can be processed by computers. In turn, the designer has drawn up specs based on the requirements set by the business. Code creators were required to possess mathematical perceptive skills, have understanding of computer operation and, of course, technical skills for producing programme code. Instead, the representatives of this professional group were not expected to understand or know the business or the end user, it was merely sufficient to “know how to write code”. This is no longer enough.
The professional community of traditional code creators is endangered, since this work is increasingly being performed by computers. Programming environments, frameworks and platforms perform the major part of the traditional code creator duties and responsibilities. It is no longer worthwhile to start anything from scratch. Action has moved to a higher level, closer to the business. While code is still being written, IT software solution professionals must also understand both business and end users. Job profiles are transforming and changing patterns, there is a great diversity among business card titles, including even such as ‘software gardener’ and ‘power eagle’. To the outside world, understanding the entire business and profession was completely impossible already at that time, and still is.
Take care of your competitiveness
To maintain one’s competitive edge in the job market, digitalisation professionals must continuously update their own knowledge and skills. The most hard-working extend their working days at home working on hobby projects for which no-one else selects technologies on their behalf. At the same time, their skills increase and competitiveness in the job market improves. The time at which employers were expected to train their employees on all technologies and tools is now gone. Experts are required to maintain and develop their own areas of expertise. In the future, job losers in digitalisation will also include those IT experts who do not update their own skills and knowledge.
The time at which employers were expected to train their employees on all technologies and tools is now gone.
Lucky are those who are employed in places where upgrading skills is embedded in the working culture. The best conditions for success are offered to those who can combine their hobbies and passions in their everyday life for the benefit of the employer. They are those to whom continuous learning of new is not a compulsory evil but an empowering and stimulating activity. Those with burning enthusiasm.