Read this warning about the reality of the IT industry.

All of these coal miner programmers face a less certain future. Their programming skills may help them start their own businesses. It depends on how creative they are. But not everyone can be an entrepreneur. Moreover, the rate of startup failures is staggeringly high.

Beyond startups, will these coal miner programmers find employment in the general IT industry? Most enterprises are very picky about who they hire. They expect talented developers who can hit the ground running. They expect programmers who can deal with the really hard programming challenges, such as complex client/server applications, huge financial models, systems programming (device drivers, embedded software), critical real-time transaction systems, etc.

They expect people who can contribute meaningfully to groundbreaking areas such Artificial Intelligence, robotics, Big Data, cloud computing, Internet of Things, modelling and simulation, games, mobile, Virtual Reality, and so on. Are your coal miner programmers prepared to meet these challenges?

It’s one thing to learn how to whip up a website with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, PHP, etc., but it’s another thing entirely to use Java and C++ proficiently to handle the big problems in the IT industry. It takes years and years of experience and practice to achieve this level of proficiency. Do your coal miner programmers have what it takes, the stamina and perseverance, the patience and determination?

Programming is an engineering discipline. It’s very demanding. You’ve just barely scratched the surface of it with creating a few websites from online instructional videos and bootcamp courses. The whole thing would be amusing and risible, if it wasn’t so sad.

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