IT employment in Australia isn't improving

Graeme Philipson in The Age reports:

"Last week, the Australian Computer Society released its second annual survey of employment in the IT industry…  The ACS data shows unemployment in the IT industry at more than 10 per cent, around twice the national average of 5.7 per cent... There are many reasons for the decline in IT employment. There has been a bit of an economic downturn in recent years, which has been particularly strong in the IT industry. The dotcom bust reduced employment opportunities, particularly in web design. But that was cyclical. The real reasons are structural and go much deeper. The nature of the IT profession has changed. Few people do their own applications development any more. They buy more packages and outsource more functions, so they don't need as many programmers and project managers and support staff."


So this is a good thing, right? I was in the middle of the dot com thing. I knew web developers, straight out of school, earning six-figure incomes. Maybe it's sour grapes on my behalf, because it took me a decade out of school to earn those kinds of salaries, but c'mon, that isn't healthy or sustainable. So I would love to see IT employment figures from say 1994 and 2004 and see how they chart if you ignore the 1995-2000 bump. Has anyone got a chart like that?


Moore's Law works becausegreater portions of the process are mechanized.


For the IT industry to mature, should the same rule should apply to the way we use IT workers? Should they be diverted away from development as much as possible, and focused on higher-valued tasks, such as understanding business rules and helping convert them into process orchestrations?


We’ve already seen the advent of the enterprise application vendors, SAP, Peoplesoft, Oracle, Great Plains, etc. Companies rarely develop their own ERP or HR system these days. But what it the next paradigm that needs commoditization? Content Management? Business rules automation? System integration?