Confessions of a researchaholic

July 23, 2017

Where are the coders?

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:06 am

I saw this article (in Chinese) pondering why it is so hard to find good programmers for software companies in Taiwan given the large number of CS graduates every year. The answer is that the hardware industry, which dominated in Taiwan, has a stronger pull than the software industry for programmers. Specifically, with higher pay and lower challenge, programmers tend to pick the easy route for the short term gain (hardware), forgoing longer term benefits such as impact and growth (software).

Hubs such as Hong Kong where finance dominates also have a stronger pull for programmers than the software industry. The job conversations I heard from the HKU CS students are mostly about different sectors of finance, such as investment banks, commercial banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, rather than finance versus other industries.

Top programmers flock to the software industry only where it dominates, such as in the Bay Area and the internet companies (e.g. BAT) of China. Their formations were due to largely unique factors (e.g. geography and government policy) and thus hard to replicate elsewhere.
Instead, computer scientists, as well as top guys in other professions, cluster where they can continue to dominate.

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