Monday, October 8, 2018

Won’t coders working on automation put themselves out of business?

Won’t coders working on Automation put themselves out of business?

When I was a young programmer (more decades ago than I care to remember) my first job was writing compilers. Everyone said to me, “don’t you feel bad putting all those assembler programmers out of business?” Of course, I didn’t because, well, I was getting paid to create compilers, but more importantly those compilers would go on to help the next generation of developers create great sites like google and Facebook - which never would have been written in 8086 assembler!
In the early 90s I had a job writing CASE tools - an early form of code automation, and we developed “point-and-click” interfaces that “wrote” c code in the background. “Wrote” is a strong word given that it all came from a database of code we had written previously, but that’s what it seemed like, and it enabled the next generation to easily create solutions without having to write in c themselves.
People asked me the same question about putting c programmers out of business, but it was obvious that it would end up helping, not hurting, the industry.
Sure - new tools and languages needed to be learned, but it relieved developers from even more drudge work, and let them focus on the good stuff - creating solutions.
Today, people are asking the same thing about automation. Automation will cause another shift in skill sets, but someone has to create and maintain the infrastructure, and then someone will exploit the outcomes to create entirely new, in-imagined solutions to problems. And the good thing about that is, humans will always have problems to solve!
So, stay sharp. Keep up on your skills, and don’t fear the future! Good luck!

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