LEE COUNTY — If you’ve ever used a personal computer, you most likely used software created by a developer.
Those developers attended a camp at Florida Gulf Coast University recently.
Though their work is still in high demand, some are feeling the impacts of a down economy.
For Ezra Walters, who has been out of work for 2 1/2 months, the event was an opportunity to land a job.
“Its cause for everyone to be concerned when your spending 2 1/2 months trying to get one interview and that interview has not yet manifest itself,” Walters said.
The code camp usually takes place once a year on a Saturday for the “dot net developer” community, said John Dunagan, an at-home software developer and event coordinator.
The camp hosted software developers who attended classes such as ORM smackdown, What’s new in ASP.net and SQL server integration.
Those in attendance walked away with more than some new terms to add to their computer lingo.
“I want them to walk away with more friends and contacts than they had when they came to code camp” said Dunagan, while stressing the importance of learning new skills, “When you enter this profession you never stop learning, and if you stop learning your career stalls.”
According to Damon Werwie, a recruiter and director of business operations for Tek systems, a technology staffing and service company, jobs are available, especially in the information technology industry.
“About one year ago IT employment in the United States reached four million jobs, which is an all-time high” Werwie said. “Last year, lots of companies were figuring out how to save money and how they can cut costs. Now, folks are trying to figure out how they can sustain the viability of their organization or now they’re being aggressive about growing their organization. So that usually involves some sort of investment and nowadays that investment is technology.”
Daryl Johnson, a software developer based out of St. Petersburg, claims that success in the IT world comes on your own terms.
“What you have to do is self education,” Johnson said. “You can’t depend on other people to educate yourself, going online at night, reading books, going to code camp.”
Technology is still about personal human innovation, and in the Microsoft world it always will be, Dunagan said. He’s convinced technology will never overthrow the need for human jobs in the growing world of computers and robots.
Software developer Terek Awan agrees.
“The software industry as a whole is in it’s infancy right now,” Awan said.
Words like this from Walters’ friends and colleagues keep him in high spirits.
“The good thing about today’s gathering here is that it ignites the hope again,” Walters said. “And it ignites that there are people out here that are trying to ensure that we get back to work and I’m hoping that today I can make a connection too.”
Even outsourcing is a challenge that can be overcome, Werwie said.
“You can choose to be concerned about work going offshore or you can choose to be optimistic about all that needs to be done relative to how we’re leveraging technology” he Werwie.