I ve listed what I think are the best corporate business applications in which to become expert. You are likely to get the highest compensation in a company that is using (or getting) a premier , comprehensive, and widely installed vendor-supplied application software package and must keep it current. Look for a package that demands highly paid programmers to install or support it.
The estimates on the next page of the packages relative value to the programmer s job fortunes are my own; I ve based my estimates on the rates paid to independent programmers for working on these various packages. You can check my estimates by reviewing the vast numbers of programming jobs posted on the Internet.
Financial vendor-supplied software packages. Financial software is probably the software that is most universally installed. Because of this software s importance in financial reporting, working with these packages is probably the highest-paying corporate programming job. This big-bucks job expertise should be your ultimate target, particularly if you like accounting (at least a bit).
Warehouse and distribution vendor-supplied software packages. This software is probably the next most universally installed, and, because of its importance in the complete supply chain from manufacturer to consumer, is probably the next most highly compensated corporate programming job. If you like technical and physical applications, working on these packages should be your ultimate target.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) vendor-supplied software packages. These are next in terms of frequency of installation. While compensation for working on these packages varies by business, these are probably the next-best-paying programming job. If you like more customer- related and business-flow applications, aim for CRM.
Manufacturing vendor-supplied software packages. These packages are probably installed less often than those above, because manufacturing companies tend to have more varied manufacturing processes, and tend to be larger than other kinds of companies. Still, your knowledge of manufacturing software packages can be big- bucks job expertise if you stick to the vendor-supplied function and do not get involved in the unique company enhancements and modifications to the supplied software.
Above all, avoid unique applications!
I strongly recommend that after your first two company programming application assignments, or after several years at most, you avoid working on programming applications that are unique to your company. When your job goes, as it eventually will, you will have a hard time finding another one; your expertise in dealing with an application unique to one company will have little value in the job market.
A willingness to do, amiably, whatever your manager assigns you to do is a crucial credential for a beginning programmer. After you have paid your dues for while ”a year or two, perhaps ”you must reach higher and ask for more challenging work. Reducing your risks by sticking to maintenance projects will keep you unnoticed and probably under-appreciated by upper management. The smart programmer pushes for more complex projects and chooses to work on applications that are transferrable from company to company.