Have you been to Talent Mountain?

Talent Mountain is a magical place, filled with endless potential and possibilities.  Many incredible young people live on Talent Mountain, each draw to the promise of a bright future and limitless opportunity.  If you can find your way to Talent Mountain you can do anything.  Talent Mountain is a dream come true.

But Talent Mountain has a dark secret: it's actually an overpopulated ghetto on the outskirts of Software City.  The potential and the possibilities and the overflowing wells of opportunity are all inside the walls of Software City.  And in between Talent Mountain and Software City is the Desert of Experience.

Many people have been drawn to Talent Mountain by the promise of an easy and fulfilling life in Software City, only to find themselves lost trying to cross the Desert of Experience.  Some survive the journey, but far too many have to turn back, frustrated and lost.  Some who find their way to Software City then discover they don't speak the language, and the current residents offer them little to no support or understanding.  Others choose not to attempt the crossing at all, deterred by Software City's legendary Walls of Homogeneity and the Gates of Culture.

And here's the worst part: Software City needs people from Talent Mountain.  Desperately.  The city can scarcely keep the lights on, much less thrive and grow.  Many of the larger companies in Software City provide direct passage from Talent Mountain to Software City, but only for those who come from a few elite villages around the mountain such as Ivy Township and Brosville.  Meanwhile, the vast resources of Talent Mountain are left to lie fallow, some even choosing to leave the promise of milk and honey for other pastures.  Imagine their frustration.

We have to find a way to get more people from Talent Mountain, across the Desert of Experience, to Software City.  We have to tear down the walls and throw open the gates.

We at Groundwork Software have established a path through the desert, and -- more importantly -- we provide a guide to help people along that path.  But we can only help a few people along the path at a time.  We widen the path tiny bit by tiny bit, but the software industry needs a superhighway across the Desert of Experience, with road signs and rest stops and caravans of Talent Mountain recruits.

The alternative?  Eventually people are going to figure out the scam and stop coming to Talent Mountain.  And if Talent Mountain becomes a ghost town then Software City will die with it.

Cross-posted at medium.