What I think about the younger generation of software professionals


I have an opportunity to teach Software Project Management as a part of a University of Washington night class.

I’ve done this for 6 years. Each year, the class seems to be getting younger and younger, but I know its just me getting older. I’m 45, and most of the class looks 10-15 years younger than me.

I compare them to the way I was when I started out 20 years ago. I think it reflects a very healthy change in the industry.

  • I followed orders. They think more creatively.
  • I coded like heck. They use unit tests, code reviews, and in some cases, TDD.
  • I went into a cave, and came out with code 2 months later. They have sprints, and demos, and daily stand-ups.
  • I never thought of UI design. They are always thinking of it.
  • I always underestimated the work. They still underestimate the work 🙂

I think the software industry has come a long way. It’s good. It’s encouraging.

Here’s to looking forward to the future!

Comments (3)

  1. anutthara says:

    Some things never change 🙂

    Great post – struck a chord immediately!

  2. Sunny Nagpal says:

    Good observartion.Its very true that we,software engineers,always underestimate work 🙂

  3. Ryan Dorrell says:

    The habit of underestimation takes years to wean someone off.  The other day I heard an estimate of "in the neighborhood of 80 hours" from a more junior dev.  They probably felt bad when I said "Try more like a thousand hours" (I had seen that situation before and it never played out well)