Future of IT

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The age of expertise in one field is over. A developer must have knowledge of network. A network engineer must have knowledge of software development

Faheem Gundroo

SURVIVAL has been always been a matter of concern to mankind. From the age of foraging to scientific inventions humans have always been threatened by external elements. The existential threat has followed humans in their journey on earth. In its naivety if humans develop this notion of unerring, nature pulls them back. The case of current covid crisis which is possibly the biggest the world has had to deal with collectively in recent history, is primarily again that hidden force which has threatened life on earth since millions of years.

Charles Darwin in his theory of evolution states that it is not the strongest or the biggest who will survive — Dinosaurs and Mammoths would have never perished, but the one who adapts.

Scouring through the web in one of these days, I found this one picture where a photographer is flying in a helicopter, taking pictures of a beautiful valley beneath. In about 10 years both photographer and the pilot are jobless. Drones do this job much more efficiently and cost effectively.

There is this famous example of Kodak films. The company in 1998 had a revenue of 16 Billion dollars. In 2001 Kodak filed for bankruptcy; the advent of digital cameras within 2 years had left them useless. The company didn’t adapt in time to the changes in the industry.

Nowhere is adaptability more critical for survival than the IT industry. To imagine the changes, most of it are so well adapted into our lives that we don’t even realize them, that the IT industry has gone through, especially the surge of internet and its use in enterprise business- communication, applications, business models, is staggering. And to think, it is just the beginning. With data science and cloud computing coming into the picture, IT is something everyone would be using in few years. Just imagine this, with all the talk of high speed internet and cheap accessibility to it, there is still 40% of world population that doesn’t have access to it. That is insane amount of data and business ready out there for the industry.

Let me try to break this down. Companies have spent billions of dollars on cloud, digitalization, decomposing applications in trying to make their business agile. But if the network is not agile, the overall business will not be able to take advantage. That is where softerization of networks comes into the picture. It has number of advantages including better agility, automation, better security. The issue with traditional networks is that engineers cannot work fast enough in order to keep with digital trends.

Softerization of Networks

In telecom sector enterprise business always looks to secure its data, while using operator’s network. Which is why they opt for technologies like MPLS and private VPNs. This is how most of the networks operate currently. While that is fine, but MPLS is a very expensive service. Business houses have to chuck out thousands of dollars every month to keep running their livelihood. However, things are changing. Newer technologies which are software defined are blurring the lines between network and software. Programmable network is what an agile business needs. An enterprise can easily use internet as transport now with adequate security. The cost of the service is 10 times less. People can invest that money back into their own business growth. This is just one of the examples.

The next generation of mobile networks- 5G has so much better connectivity and better latency that it can provide connectivity to remotest of sites without having to invest in fiber.

Industry Trends

One of the ways to determine industry trends is look where the industry leaders are heading. Cisco Inc. is seriously looking at DevOps and automation. This means Engineers and specialists have to scale up. And in fact Cisco has a clear certification program too in place for DevOps. Industry experts regard what CCIE was in 1993, 2020 is for DevOps. Cisco launched its DevNet certification in February 2020, which has stressed on programming and APIs.

What does this mean for aspiring engineers and professionals in Kashmir? Look to diversify. You have your T’s to cross and I’s to dot. The age of expertise in one field is over. A developer must have knowledge of network. A network engineer must have knowledge of software development.

These are very strange times. World is going through massive changes. And this change will have a direct impact on our jobs. Especially in IT. Just think of this, if the world more or less managed to function in this pandemic, it was because of strong IT backbone. In our circles there is a funny saying , ‘Where there is WiFi, there is a way.’ People worked from home. Meetings happened online. If anything this gives us a prelude to coming times. Education for example can be revolutionized. With access to resources online, one can literally learn any skill from home. There are jobs online as well, where you can work remotely. A company in this age does not require a onsite engineer. With everything on Cloud you can work as a freelancer for any company from home. UpWork is a popular freelance website which offers range of jobs; hourly to fixed projects.

My advice to young graduates and those looking for IT as a career path is purely look to diversify. Remember it’s the early bird who gets the worm.

  • (For detailed expert advice and which career path to opt for youngsters can contact me at faheemjeelani@gmail.com)

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Faheem Gundroo

Faheem Jeelani Gundroo is an ICT Engineer based in Dubai, with interest in travel, history and current affairs. He can be reached at: faheemjeelani@gmail.com

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