The ‘Infectious’ Dave Lemphers (you only need to see him present once to see how infectious and passionate this guy is) wrote (a few weeks ago) about ‘Why you should get a degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering’.
In principle I strongly agree with him.
There’s a few problems we face however. One is that post-dot-com there has been a shift in the consumer mind to what they should pay for decent software. The amount of free stuff out there is extra-ordinary and with it comes an expectation that software development is a reasonably easy endeavour. Now, we ‘proper’ developers know there is a significant cost to provide good design and development, but we have trouble convincing our clients of such.
No one expects an architect to design their house for free, but they will often expect a software ‘quote’ to be free, despite the overhead we have of investigating, requirements gathering and initially designing their solution.
A simple (and tired) example ofcourse, but indicative of some of the problem.
And if you have trained your clients to always pay for the design, then fantastic – I wish we were all in your position.
Dave suggests that the Government (or an industry body) should enforce programs that require developers to have proper qualifications. With this I whole heartedly agree. As long (as Dave also suggests) they also ensure consumers are aware of the costs they should expect to pay to get a job done right.