NEW TECH JOBS: Is the Blue Collar Coder the Future?

Image Credit: Zohar Lazar

Brilliant article in Wired on how the next big blue-collar job just might be coding. Here are the highlights:

  • Only 8% of the nation’s coders are in Silicon Valley. The rest work in big and small cities around the country for every type of business from banking to retail to healthcare to insurance.
  • Politicians bemoan the loss of good blue-collar jobs but coding is the equivalent of skilled work at a Chrysler plant.
  • Instead of urging kids to enroll in expensive four-year computer-­science degree programs, let’s introduce more code at the vocational level in high school.
  • The national average salary for IT jobs is about $81,000 (more than double the national average for all jobs), and the field is set to expand by 12% thru 2024, faster than most other occupations.
  • There are 7MM job openings in occupations that required coding skills.
  • In Kentucky, mining veteran Rusty Justice decided that code could replace coal. He cofounded Bit Source, a code shop that builds its workforce by retraining coal miners as programmers. Enthusiasm is sky high: Justice got 950 applications for his first 11 positions. Miners, it turns out, are accustomed to deep focus, team play, and working with complex engineering tech. “Coal miners are really technology workers who get dirty,” Justice says.

Read on below for more on the emergence of social media videographers and why some analysts believe the tech industry is “primed for a significant reset” (i.e. layoffs).


Gary Vaynerchuk of Vayner Media has millions of followers across his various social media platforms. But like most social media superstars, he does not produce his own content. For that, he turns to David Rock, a millennial, who is the video mastermind always at Gary’s side to document and edit all of Gary’s insights for Instagram and Snapchat (and who decides what platform Gary will show up on).

They’ve worked together since 2014, when David Rock created the film “Between The Clouds And Dirt” for Vaynerchuck. Shortly thereafter, he became Gary’s videographer for his shows “Daily Vee” and “#AskGaryVee.”



Global Equities Research’s Trip Chowdhry believes the tech industry is “primed for a significant reset.”

Chowdhry estimates that a total of 369,000 employees will be laid off over the next 12 months. IBM, Cisco Systems, Oracle, Microsoft, Yahoo, Yelp are all making cuts.

The shift to cloud native and mobile native applications is occurring. Since those have helped boost employee productivity “exponentially,” fewer employees are needed. IT efficiency has improved. People who configure middleware, work on databases, manage and integrate backend processes, in particular, are losing their jobs.

Not to mention consumer sentiment is shifting. “Something that was cool yesterday is not cool anymore,” wrote Chowdhry. LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Yelp are some examples.


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