coding is dead
AI is better than you
AIs like Github Copilot will replace the need for general purpose software developers very soon. Already Copilot is alot more useful to me than a junior. It writes entire methods from a tiny comment and usually writes decent code at that. As soon as you figure out how to talk to it, it will tell you pretty much anything you want to know. This is just the beginning. Copilot is the first AI to write code. Other AIs already create Art that wins competitions, we have Video generation AI, we have speech synthesis, even AIs that write entire blog posts on major news sites. The rate of improvement is ridiculous. All of those AIs created utter shit two years ago and today they are almost on the level of a human.
In the future, people will just descibe what software they want and the AI will write it for them. For free, in a few seconds. We won’t be able to compete with that. That future is maybe - optimistically - 5 years away.
Webdevs will be the first to fall victim to it I predict. No matter how highly you think about yourself as a webdev, especially the frontend, its doesnt take more than a few weeks to learn the basics and more than room-temperature IQ. Already most companies outsource frontend stuff to 1$/hr indians. There’s already some AIs that can create entire websites from a few screenshots and prompts. They existed before Copilot and they will be better than you in a few years.
Next in line will be mobile app developers who are not much more than glorified webdevs. They will be replaced by AIs that can write apps for all platforms at the same time in a few seconds.
REST APIs are very trivial too, especially if you use microservices or something else with a very strict architecture and flow. AI will write better SQL queries than you, too.
general purpose software developers
Unit Testing will be done by AIs too. They will write the tests for you and run them. You will just have to tell them what to test. UIs will be generated by AIs too. You will just have to tell them what to show and how to show it. They will even write the code for you. Utilities, Scripts, DevOps, everything will be done by AIs. Those things are trivial and usually passed to juniors anyway.
specialized software developers
If you’re working on something that is very specific and non trivial, like low level networking code, optimization, … you’re safe for a couple more years. But even then, AIs will be able to write code that is better than you in a few years.
copilot & others
They do not sleep. They are not limited by typing speed, they dont take breaks and they are extremely cheap to run. Yes, you might need a 100$/m subscription for some serious stuff, or run it on a server that costs you a few 1000$ a month, but that’s still orders of magnitude cheaper than a team of developers.
Hardware acceleration of AI just started a few years ago. Initially we had GPUs do the heavy lifting, but now we have FPGAs, ASICs, TPUs, … that are orders of magnitude faster than GPUs. They are also orders of magnitude cheaper and more power efficient. Supercomputer clusters have been built with AI accelerators for years now and they train AIs 24/7/365. They are already better than humans at many things. You are training AIs everytime you solve captchas, play games, use google, … and you are training them to be better than you. Well, you are classifying training data for them, but you get the point.
Eventually I think people will get really good at describing things to AIs and get hired just for that. You won’t hire a programmer but an computer-linguist to “develop” your software. A person that is intrinsically good at describing things to AIs, with a good understanding of the domain, the problem, and maybe a bit above Junior level programming skills to be able to write the glue code if needed.
We took our jobs.
update 7th Dec 2022