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Is there still demand for developers who crate software without GUI's in the industry? Are jobs still in demand?

I only ask because I write a lot of software for myself in C. I mainly use FreeBSD without a GUI. My software is for data mining, automation and marketing purposes most of the time as this is the field I work in. I find that a GUI is not needed and I feel comfortable working within a console.

I've never worked for a company as a programmer, but in the industry do you have dedicated programmers who work exclusively on the GUI's and other who write the logic?

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Is there a need for people to write applications without UI? Absolutely. Is there a need for people who exclusively write such applications? That's much harder, flexibility is key - why try to pigeon hole yourself? –  Michael Jun 24 '13 at 12:39
To add - there's massive demand for developers who are willing to expand themselves - no-one knows everything, as long as you're happy to apply yourself to new problems then you'll be just fine. –  Michael Jun 24 '13 at 12:40
@Michael because I mainly code in C where UI programming is much harder and I've never had the need to write, or learn how to write, a UI. –  LOLKAT Jun 24 '13 at 12:41
@Michael so it's possible to get a job with my experience as a C developer without UI experience, so long as I have the mindset of wanting to learn and the employer accepts this? –  LOLKAT Jun 24 '13 at 12:42
In my experience, yes - an employee who is willing to learn is far more valuable than an employee who "knows everything"* today but doesn't want to learn. * - I don't think an employee who knows everything actually exists. –  Michael Jun 24 '13 at 13:16

4 Answers 4

up vote 25 down vote accepted

tl;dr Yes.

  1. Many companies produce software which requires no GUI - Drivers, hardware controllers, data storage and processing, etc.
  2. GUIs may be used to interact with non-GUI software, but the GUI part could be so simple or far removed that it makes no sense to make them part of the same package. In such cases it's unlikely that the original developer has to work on both.
  3. If the interface between GUI and non-GUI parts are well defined, either can ideally be traded for another software part upholding the same contract (consider for example Atom/RSS/JSON/RDF producers and consumers). It would be a rare case where a single developer would be the best to create all these products.

Even so, willingness to learn new skills is obviously useful.

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I have one friend who is a Unix sys-admin for a CAD software company. He is required to do C programming to maintain the workstations. I have another friend who is a mainframer. He does a lot of database work in C. So, Yes. There are some "no-UI" jobs out there.

In general, a lot of things are hard to do in C. The fact that you are proficient in C, indicates that you are able to learn and able to tackle hard tasks. That is much more significant than the individual skills that you already posess. Just be ready to learn new things and seem enthusiastic about any opportunity to do so.

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+1 for "The fact that you are proficient in C, indicates that you are able to learn and able to tackle hard tasks." The problem if you're looking for a new job is going to be getting past an HR resume keyword scan and to a manager who realizes this... –  dodgethesteamroller Jun 24 '13 at 17:22

For sure.

Take, for example, embedded software. That might run on set top boxes, or switches, or routers, and so on. Air traffic software. Radar. Even in web services, you have the GUI front-end, and then all the services, search, back-end stuff, database development work - so many areas that require zero GUI experience.

Inevitably, especially in web work, there are UX designers, and front end developers who take care of the GUI side of things. That'll then connect to APIs or other back-end stuff, and then you can take care of that side of the operation, never having to worry about what it looks like on the front.

source: I'm a developer/tester, and the only GUI work I've done is writing software that tests it (in C#). Most of my dev work has been embedded, air-traffic, network, services, or databases.

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Your question is bit ambiguous, seems you're actually asking two question in one:

Is there demand for developers who don't use GUI to create software?

Yes, to some extent. Most good software development companies do not impose what IDE (or lack of thereof) should you use to create your code. I've know people using VIM with numerous plugins as alternative to IDEs such as Eclipse. So basically no one will care if you use GUI or not, as long as it doesn't impair your productivity. Note however, that also no one will accept excuse like "I didn't read the documentation, because I can't open it in Lynx".

Is there demand for developers who don't create GUIs?

Most definitely yes, more than ever. There is very high demand for people working with (sub)systems which communicate with other layers or (sub)systems via well defined APIs. Be it RESTful web service, a server back end for mobile app, server for a video game, OS driver, hardware firmawere or anything else.

Also in the case of application that have GUIs, front end developers are other specialization than people working with business logic.

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