The scenario(emergence of softicians) is nothing new. This is the phase/stage that every industry goes through in its industrial life cycle. In product life cycle, each and every product goes through introduction, growth, maturity and decline. Similarly this is an inevitable stage that will happen in every industry when the demand supply balance is tested.
Say automobile industry or electronic industry, in earlier stages only engineers were there. Later when there were more vehicles more mechanics are there. Still even in automobile industry there is a life for engineers. In their ecosystem too, there are top designers, who specialize in engine design, fuel etc. there are engineers who oversee the production in factories. There are diplomas and mechanics who do the grunt (brunt) work.
Is this scenario new for our software industry? No not at all. In few companies I personally know people who are at the extreme ends of salaries though their position or designation is more or less the same. The salary depends on the side of the business they work. Do you work in application development or maintenance services or high cutting R & D.? The reality is such a hierarchy already does exist!!
If the existence of the hierarchy was not visible or one was not aware of them earlier, please give a big hand to the HR and the appraisal system of the organization. (Thou shall bang his/her head for the ignorance)
While talking about non computer science scientists making a jump over to the software, there are ample examples in
To answer the question, who will be on the bottom of pyramid?(or should the existing software engineer be scared about being turned to a softician?) Not the strongest, but the smartest will be on the top. It will neither be softicians nor software engineers but either the best softician or the best software engineer.
To elobarate, being a good programmer with all the skills won’t be sufficient if a good application can’t emerge out of it.
Even if one is not a good programmer, one could build a successful application with the skills of a softician, and could be on top of the pryramid.
It is all about what you do with your skills rather than the type of the skill
To cut a long story short, IT industry is also similar to any other industry. Just it is in the infancy stages, we don’t realize it. (Just like we don’t see the birth and death of the non living things like mountains)
Tomorrow’s world is neither for the generalists nor for the specialists but for versatilists!
Thanks to vinay for kickstarting the train of thoughts!