Veterans, COVID-19, and Software Development
by Greg Drobny
This originally published in Code Platoon on May 29, 2020. It is re-published here with the author’s permission.
At this point, I think we can safely say that COVID-19 is a major event in our history and, at the very least, one of the biggest things to happen in our lifetime. Where you fall on the question of response to this event is beside the point for this present topic—we can all agree that it is a really big deal.
The most obvious line of questions on everyone’s mind these days take the tone of where do we go from here? Given the current state of things, now what?
This is especially important in the realm of economic development and, specifically, employment therein. What is job-hunting going to be like in a post-COVID world? What kind of jobs are going to be in high demand and what type of skills will be more valued?
For the military veteran, this is all the more important. We raised our hand in response to crises in the past, and the desire to jump into them typically doesn’t go away in people who have already done it—so how do we put ourselves on the line now?
There are, of course, obvious and straightforward answers. Health care professionals, law enforcement, and food chain supply personnel probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and are all noble professions, to be sure. But what if none of those appeal to you or seem like they fall within your skill set—or maybe you were disabled in your time in service and cannot physically do certain jobs—then what?
Well, if you haven’t considered the world of software development and how it relates to our current reality, read on, my friends.
First, it’s important to get something out of the way on behalf of honest people everywhere: if anyone is telling you with certainty what is coming in the future—probably in general, but specifically related to the economy for the purposes here—there is a high degree of likelihood that they have no idea what they’re talking about and you should probably steer clear of any advice they give. Nobody has a firm grasp on what is going to happen now, so it’s worth being upfront about our lack of knowledge rather than making bold proclamations about the unknown.
That being said, there are a few things we can point towards that help us evaluate some possibilities. For starters, it’s worth noting where we are right now in order to understand what could be ahead.
For one thing, when a large percentage of our society went into quarantine, software developers did quite well with the transition due to the nature of their jobs. Speaking from our experience, Code Platoon was able to shift all of its classes to remote access with relative ease, especially given the suddenness of the whole situation. And speaking from a personal, anecdotal perspective, I have at least two family members who kept doing exactly what they were doing before, as they were already working from home in this very industry. They barely batted an eye at the changes occurring outside their home.
This is not the case with everyone in the tech industry, of course, as the massive reduction in travel and increase in social distancing had a decided impact on the trade shows that are used for networking and gaining an understanding of what’s “new” in the tech world. Like most areas of life, the COVID-19 reaction has thrown us a bit of a curveball.
That being said, however, there are areas in which it appears the tech industry may actually come out better than it was before. The push for technology is not slowing down, and it is, if anything, increasing in certain economic sectors.
For example, telehealth—visits, and correspondence with health care professionals—access has seen a monumental increase along with quarantine protocols. With this need comes the necessity for the technology to support the efforts, to include the platforms through which people are accessing these services and the ways doctors and nurses are sharing information.
Connected to these efforts of medical professionals to increase access is the desire for better tracking of the data they acquire. Augmented analytics and data management were already seen as increasing needs last year—all the more so in a world where the tracking of an infectious disease becomes paramount to public safety.
With increased needs that are primarily related to healthcare, there will inevitably be secondary and tertiary necessities that arise as a direct result of those very same demands. Low-code platforms designed to increase efficiency and speed of a program or service are likely to see a rise in popularity as service providers desire faster and cleaner access to their product.
Although there are far more developments going on right now that are worth investigating, the point is clear: technological development will continue, and those with the right skills will be at the forefront of those advancements.
To paraphrase a semi-famous quote, shallow thinkers only consider how an event or series of events affects a small group of people in the short-term; deep thinkers consider how they affect multiple people groups over larger expanses of time, and how they personally fit into that mix.
We are currently seeing a revolution in how we view our interconnectedness with other individuals, both on a personal and professional level. Where do you fit into that ever-changing dynamic? Do you want to gain the skills necessary to take advantage of these changes and answer the call to lead us into the future?
No matter what happens moving forward, there will be a continued and increasing need for technological development that helps answer questions, aid in research, and connect human beings one to another. If you are a veteran who sees themselves as one who can help make that happen, check out Code Platoon as a great place to start that journey.
Greg Drobny is a former Airborne Infantryman, PSYOP Team Chief, political consultant, professional mil blogger, and is Code Platoon’s Student Outreach Coordinator. He holds a BA in history, a Masters of Science in organizational psychology, and is currently pursuing an MA in history. He is married with four children who keep him more than slightly busy and is passionate about helping veterans find their paths in life and develop the skills needed to pursue their goals.
© 2020 The Havok Journal