Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Best Job In America?

Money Magazine has declared Software Engineer to be the best job in America. Money is just wrong on this one. They overlooked that fact that software turns into a very poor career when you hit 40. They underrate the amount of stress. The stress factor depends on the company but unless you work for a very large shop, things tend to be stressful. They also overate creativiity. Sure there is some fun design work in most jobs but much of the time, software engineers spend their days adding boring check box features that no one will ever use because some product manager wants useless feature parity with the competitors. Money's methodology also heavily weights job growth which I believe they are dramatically overstating at 46% over the next ten years. The outlook for American software engineers has considerably dimmed as work moves to India and China. As such, I just don't believe 46% growth.

To add humor to their article, Money as says Release Engineer is the top job in the field. Clearly, these writers know zero about the industry. Just because their salary numbers inexplicably put release engineer at top of list does not make it true. Anyone with any experience in the industry will know that release engineer is neither at the top of the prestige ladder or the pay scales. Not the it's not a valuable function. I've really appreciated the talented release engineers I've worked with. The untalented ones just tend to get in the way.