I am sad. Actually, very sad!
I think an easy way to kill a software engineer is by overcompensating him or her for doing commodity work. With globalization in full force, this has become very common. Large scale software projects with a ton of commodity work are being shipped overseas and boatloads of software engineers are being paid ridiculous amounts of money to participate in them. This is excellent situation for both – the clients (who are still reaping the benefits of wage arbitrage) and the vendors (who are making hefty profits) but in the middle, the people engaged in this work (software engineers) are becoming vegetables.
The young software engineers of today have not seen a downturn and may not even understand what it means when there is a correction. It is almost like they are on drugs. They feel light (very little brain work needed to do commodity work) and are almost floating as they get paid heavily for work that requires very little use of brain. Experienced folks can clearly see that the youngsters are on drugs but they fail to make them understand that. Young software engineers won’t see it because 90% of the other software engineers are on drugs 🙁 They think – “How can everyone be on drugs…it is impossible”)
Here is a simple scenario. When a correction does happen, there won’t be jobs for some seemingly specialized skills (eg: team member of load testing) as people will start wearing multiple hats.
Look around and see if you find any software engineer on drugs. It is your responsbility to at least alert them of the impending danger. After that, it is upto them. After all, if everyone wakes up and wants to use more of their brain, where will the companies go to find people for commodity work? 🙁