Any of you who casually browse Youtube might have seen an ongoing tendency – people with all sorts of backgrounds are pretending that programming is dead.
The well known youtuber, the ex-Google, ex-Facebook TechLead just recently came up with a spicy video that already has hundreds of thousands of views where he’s comparing software developers nowadays with the blue collar workers from the post-war years of the XX century.
Even though, as you might tell, the video has a title that aims to serve primarily as a clickbait, he makes some very reasonable (and exaggerated) statements. The point he makes in general is that you don’t actually need to roll your sleeves up and develop a game in order to earn money, whereas you could just stream how you play a game and earn money on top of your playing skills. This statement is a valid one – technology allows you to have a stage for no matter what you’re good at. But presented in this exaggerated way, it also presumes something extremely wrong – people don’t need to try to be good at creating products while they can be good at using products.
Let me break that up into two pieces: 1) creating a game on its own is a tough process which involves a lot of different skills combined and 2) playing a game like a pro is another hard to obtain skill (depends on how hard that game is and against whom are you playing it). But talking in general, those two activities are requiring skills that are horses of a different color.
When we’re talking about abilities and their monetization it’s always important to take into account the demand for each one. The game development market is evolving rapidly in many directions. E-sports, AI and web3 are some examples of segments within the gaming market niche, which are adding up new, highly compensating roles to the existing job market. Some old school positions as a backend developer for server-side logics or DB-related stuff are still in an extremely high demand as well. The better you are in one of them, the higher salary you’re going to be getting. But you need to be good. Additionally, if the entrepreneurial spirit lives in you as well, the variety of things you could come up with that can bring you additional income is enormous. It’s all about time.
What about playing a game like a pro? In order to get money out of that you need 1) to be able to play a game like a pro, and 2) to have a decent community that contributes to your charting. You will have to be a bit more than an ordinary player though. You will need to be some sort of a community manager in order to be able to gain proper traction and secure a justified amount of monthly income via one of the streaming platforms. The better you become at that, the higher income you’d get, that’s it. But the thing is that this won’t come as granted either. And it’s all about time, once again.
So in general, whatever you undertake, you will need time to get successful. Doesn’t matter what you pick, you can either earn nothing, secure a decent monthly income or become a blast billionaire. The first thing is easy, the second is not as easy, whereas to become a billionaire, you’d need to be smart, persistent, to show enormous commitment and a wide variety of different skills in the field you are trying to break through in.
If you manage to be good in the entertainment segment, that’s good. There are billions of people who are spending enormous time per day watching all sorts of entertaining programs, TV series, talk shows, streams, videos etc. This segment is extremely large on investments because of the huge demand. So if you are successful there, chances are, you are going to be much better paid than anywhere else. But it’s the same with everything – if you manage to find where does the demand in your niche hide, then you’ve found your cash cow.
My point is – yo, chill. Programming isn’t dead just because there are some streamers, who are streaming on top of programmed products. It all depends on what you’re interested in. It’s cool that technology has enabled people to earn by using a skill in something that used to be tough for monetizing, but that doesn’t mean by any way that programming is dead. It’s just that we, as a civilization, are starting to pick the fruits of the digital century, finally.🍊