Kent Beck suggests winter could come to the tech industry

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

Very interesting, especially since this is Kent Beck:

As a new millennium dawned, I was riding high. Extreme Programming was the flavor of the month, my price for consulting was crazy high and rising, XP Explained was a big hit. Two years later I was battling depression, I was burning through savings, and I couldn’t get a gig to save myself. In between I made bad decisions in a panic.
It’s not the bad times that wipe you out, it’s the bad decisions during bad times
The tech industry doesn’t collapse from any one thing. Smaug had to raise his wing and get hit with the black arrow. Tech needs to be vulnerable and suffer an external shock. Disaster results from the combination.
Vulnerability is here. Falling valuations. Layoffs. Shifting geography.
If nothing else nasty happens, then we’re probably okay. The folks who get laid off will find jobs elsewhere. Fewer companies will get funded but there won’t be macro effects. Eventually things will come back.
Combine a tech dip with a big external shock, though, and things could get ugly. A European banking crisis, invasion of the Balts, disruption of trade in the South China Sea, another US genital waving adventure, any of these combined with a dip could set off a positive feedback loop that would leave individual geeks in a bad position.

Post external references

  1. 1