Tom, the Shangri-La of programming that you paint is coming for sure. But not in our lifetime. It may take many decades longer.

Yes, there are certain classes of applications today that are ripe for automation. And researchers are working to make this happen. Web development is likely to be one of the first areas to benefit. (What will happen to all these bootcamp graduates who only know JavaScript???)

However, the field of IT is vast beyond belief, and growing rapidly. There are tons of unsolved programming problems that will defy automation, that will require talented software engineers. I’m talking about Artificial Intelligence, robotics, Big Data, cloud computing, Internet of Things, modelling and simulation, games, mobile, Virtual Reality, and so on. The people who work in these areas will continue with traditional software development methodologies using languages like Java, Python, C++, C#, Go, Scala, Haskell, Clojure, Smalltalk, and so on. Visual programming for these folks is a distant dream.

I will say, however, that higher levels of programming abstractions will inevitably arrive, probably when A.I. has advanced far enough to overcome the tremendous complexities of modern software engineering. It may not manifest in visual programming but in something we have yet to imagine.

Like I said, it won’t happen for a long, long time. Whatever vision Ms. Mendoza has for this, it is still too far ahead in the future. For the time being, software engineers like myself are in no danger of being redundant.

By the way, I wish these bootcamps would stop calling their graduates “software engineers.” That’s an insult to the rest of us who take this engineering discipline seriously.

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