We're all living through the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns. The massive disruption to life, work and business is affecting us all, and a new normal is going to emerge once this is over. In this video, Hans talks about what software development post-pandemic might be like.


The Situation

  • The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns has been fairly minimal for me (and many other software developers), because
    • I work from home
    • Software development can be done from anywhere with a computer and the internet
    • My business (Kea Sigma Delta) is online, and continues operating
  • However, hundreds of millions of others have had their livelihoods forcibly wiped out by lockdowns, as the world's governments try to stop the spread of the virus, and contain it. Their businesses have effectively been shutdown, or their jobs have been wiped out. Many don't know if they'll even have a job to go back to
  • The global economy has been delivered a knockout punch
  • This should have fully shattered the illusion of job security, and is generating a lot of stress and anxiety

There Will Be Future Pandemics

  • We've had swine flu, bird flu, ebola, etc. COVID-19 is just the latest nasty disease to spread around the globe. It will happen again
  • I hope that the world's governments will think long and hard about how to handle future pandemics without lockdowns that destroys people's livelihoods and gives the economy a gigantic knockout punch
  • There's got to be a better way to handle pandemics that doesn't create such high stress (especially for lower income families)

The Future of Software Development

  • The internet will become even more important, because a lot more people will want to have an online business
  • They'll want to either sell digital products & services, and/or offer delivery via courier (which will survive any future lockdowns)
  • Many newcomers will be much less tech savvy than us software developers are, and will need help
  • This is both an opportunity and responsibility for software developers, as we're well placed to help people get their businesses online (especially web and mobile app developers)
  • Setting up business online is still very intimidating for those who aren't tech savvy, despite how much better today's tools are. Here's why:
    • Adding plugins and integrating with other systems can be difficult (e.g., which WooCommerce plugins to use, and how to configure them can be difficult)
    • With easier to use services such as Shopify and Wix, the ongoing monthly cost can be scary when you have no money, and don't know when you'll be earning enough to cover the costs and feed your family
      • Would be good to see longer trial periods, or maybe an initial "pay-as-you-go" payment model, where the ecommerce platform takes a percentage of sales instead of having a monthly fee
    • Once you're online, your website needs to get visitors. Setting up Google & Bing local search, shopping, etc., is a real pain. Even I find it tedious and difficult, and I know what I'm doing
  • There's a lot of room for making it easier for people to get their business online, get setup, and get found

Think Creatively about What "Online" Means

  • I'm in Malaysia right now, and am impressed how much business is conducted via WhatsApp, with cash and/or bank-transfer payments, and word-of-mouth marketing
  • There could be software opportunities in the wider "online" world, to help people conduct business from their phones

Final Comments

  • If you are a software developer who has lost their job because their employer is scaling down because of the pandemic, then take this opportunity to learn a new programming language, or maybe web/app development. With new skills you're better placed to get a new job once the lockdowns are over
  • I'd love to hear your ideas, thoughts and views on what to do going forward. Please share them in the comments section below, or send me an email


P.S., My apologies for the video quality. It's the best my phone can do with the available lighting.