Spot on. I’ve been writing computer software of one form or another with the expectation of being paid for very nearly 40 years now. In that time, I’ve gone from “the computer guy” to “the software guy” to “the Web guy” to “the Ruby and Elixir Web developer”. Early in my career, it was feasible for people to know things like operating systems, networking, and so on; they were large pieces of software for the time but, largely due to the constraints placed on them by minimal hardware, they were knowable. Four decades of Moore’s Law on, software development is now at least as specialised as medicine or law. Sure, people can learn new things and move around, but the piece they’re working with at any given time is now a tiny snowflake in the transcontentinental blizzard that is “software”.
Yet when people ask what I do, their response almost invariably is “oh, I see; you’re in ‘IT’. Can you help my brother fix his printer?”.
It’s easy to say “run away; run screaming away”, but when the public is actively encouraged to have this kind of view about something that impacts their lives in countless ways every single day, cui bono? The answer, of course, is as it was when the phrase was newly minted: follow the money.