Monday, December 15, 2008

Future Economies

I completed the code for the next goal of the on-site programming work, but the code is unlikely to be tested until the new year because the plant will be closed. With the entire automotive industry in a tail spin, there is also a chance the plant may not reopen at all. Ontario's economy has always depended on manufacturing but it has been in steady decline for many years. From my point of view, the more interesting automation and control projects became fewer and fewer.

I read an interesting but somewhat pie-in-the-sky article in the Toronto Star about an ambitious plan to transform Ontario's economy. I'm skeptical since it will require politicians to make difficult, unpopular choices and that kind of determination is just not evident in our current crop. Anyway, the article describes a society which consists of a creative class and a service class. My first thought was: sounds like the Eloi and Morlocks. To be fair, the article also recognises the potential danger if the transition is handled badly, but it just adds to my skepticism.

But I also wondered: where do programmers fit into those groups? Naturally I think programmers belong the creative group. But, using outsourcing as evidence, it seems that some people believe that programmers belong in the service group. Is this trend inevitable, or can it be reversed?

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