Software engineering may never die, but the demand for professional programmers will certainly diminish.

Reason 2. Programming tools will be intuitive and powerful. With a new JavaScript framework that comes out seemingly every week, you best believe the dev tools we use are becoming more powerful too.

Quantity does not imply quality. The reason there are so many frickin’ JS frameworks is that each and every one of these frameworks is found wanting. The JS community is perpetually trying to solve the messy state of web development. One attempt after another follows with no consensus on what is the best way to do things. None of these frameworks are more “powerful” than the other.

Reason 4. The job market will continue to adapt. But even if you’re a COBOL programmer, you can probably find a job because you realize that software systems can sometimes take a while to adapt.

Indeed, the market is adapting. More and more programming jobs are being offshored to Asia where labour is CHEAP. In time, our domestic programming job market will be decimated.

In a desperate attempt to cut costs, companies will turn to both offshoring and programming automation. The programming profession is practically the last “white collar” profession to face automation, which is inevitable.

Reason 5. Careers will require a basic level of coding literacy. Programming skills are relevant even if you’re not programming. Things like SQL, HTML/CSS, JavaScript frameworks can be relevant to know for marketers, designers, salespeople, and lots of other professions too.

You’re only half-right. At the present time, marketers, designers, and salespeople hardly do any traditional coding, i.e., programming with conventional languages like Java, Python, and JavaScript.

In the future, they may need to create applications for their job tasks, but it likely won’t involve traditional coding. Programming automation is making it easier and easier for end-users to create their own software without using traditional programming languages. End-users will specify software requirements as input and programming “bots” will automatically generate the application for them. They’ll have no need to know what an if statement is, or what object-oriented programming is all about, or how to debug software.

They won’t be programming in the usual sense of the word. And you teaching them JavaScript programming will matter squat.

Reason 6. Careers for experienced software engineers will always exist to solve complex problems. The best software in the world is made by teams, and teams will always need to have leadership.

That’s probably true. However, most of the programming jobs that exist today, done by mediocre developers working on mundane programming tasks, will disappear. The demand for online programming courses and coding bootcamps will drop like a rock. The best and the brightest who will be our future star developers will come from college CS programs.

Reason 7. Machine learning will never make programmers irrelevant. Some of the industries best implementations of AI and machine learning are done by Google. And by the way, they employ 30,000+ developers.

The last, desperate cry of a disappearing industry. Those fearful of losing their jobs and livelihood wallow in denial.

Machine learning and A.I. may not eliminate all programmers, but they may well eliminate most. I firmly believe this.

Reasons 3, 8, 9, 10, 11.

Legacy software will indeed require continuing support…until they don’t. “Forever” is absurd exaggeration.

As I said earlier, not all programming jobs will be eliminated. Specialists will always be needed.

If software engineering doesn’t die, at the very least, it will offer far fewer job opportunities. We’re probably safe in our profession for the next couple of decades. After that, all bets are off.



Mr. Smalltalk:

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