Hmmm, Darcy Burner takes on Jim Fawcette after he wrote that the increased programmer productivity that tools like Visual Studio brings is what is causing developers to get laid off.
I too disagree with my old boss. At Demo last week VCs were telling me that they are having trouble finding good programmers again that knew .NET (many of the new products/services shown there were done in .NET). As we get closer to Longhorn (yeah, it still is a long ways off) you'll see that economic pressure increase too on .NET sides of things.
The Almond/Pistachio processing factory I visited at Christmas time is a good example. The whole factory is run on .NET. They now employ more programmers than they did before. Why? Because the work is changing from one where manual labor does the tasks to one where programmers can squeeze more efficiencies out of new machines and processes (and offer new kinds of products and new quality levels).
Every CEO I talk to is planning on hiring more programmers, not fewer. Look at REI's CEO that I met on the plane. He has a team of programmers working on building a “store of the future.” That's for a sporting goods store. He thinks programmers will let him outrun his competition. And, the fact that he can get more productivity out of each programmer makes it MORE LIKELY he'll hire more programmers. [Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger]