Original question from Quora:

Why isn’t there a glut of software engineers?

The salaries are so high according to market rules, why isn’t there a glut of software engineers?

My Answer:

For the same reason there isn’t a glut of doctors or brain surgeons. It is hard to be good enough to make a really high salary.

The majority of developers who are not in the really hot tech areas are not making six figure salaries with huge bonuses, stock options, etc. In the midwest, or maybe just outside of Silicon Valley, Boston, or New York, a lot of developers make $50-75k a year. That’s good money, but it’s not nearly as high as you might think.

Also, jobs get filled quickly when there are a lot of people trained to do them. 15 years ago when I was in high school, computers were not nearly as cool or ubiquitous as they are now. People still used phones that were plugged into walls. Weird right?

Huge shifts in education or career goals take time. Too many kids grew up being told to be an accountant, teacher, doctor, or lawyer when they grow up. Not many got told to be software developers. Heck, 15 years ago a lot of people didn’t use the internet outside of AOL or checking their email. Broadband had jus started to take hold in many places around 2000.

Give it more time, and software jobs will be much more established and advised career paths. Education system tends to be anywhere from 5-15 years behind the curve on where the world is. It just takes time for some ideas and realities to filter into the mainstream thought processes.


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