A lot of people say that “the future is now”. Some are excited about it, others – not so much. The rapid growth of technological innovations makes us wonder if scenarios from sci-fi movies could become a reality sooner than we expected, if at all.
In this article, we are exploring a couple of future predictions and how they can influence the profession of a software developer. Will robots replace us at work? Let’s find out!
How Fast is Technological Growth?
In 1965, Intel’s CEO Gordon Moore observed a thought-provoking phenomenon. Approximately every 18 to 24 months, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit would double. This rule was named Moore’s Law and it described other computer industry growths – hard drives’ capacity, RAM sizes, networks’ bandwidth and much more. Although this law doesn’t apply anymore, it explains well why we were experiencing rapid technological growth in recent decades.
Dynamic changes within the IT industry change the way we create and use digital products. Developers are an integral part of this universe, as they are responsible for programming machines we use daily – smartphones, TVs, even coffee makers. They also teach those things to learn, remember and understand stuff. Finding ourselves in a reality where AI replaces men in some aspects of life doesn’t seem that unlikely.
Devs vs. AI
Artificial Intelligence is already capable of writing code, but industry experts don’t think it will replace humans. They rather see it as cooperation instead of competition. Software developer’s skillset needs to evolve to achieve better results with the help of AI.
Why do we think AI won’t replace developers? Here are a couple of reasons:
- Providing base material – right now AI can generate code but it needs to learn how to do it first. To start this process, someone has to give it a resource it can analyze. This way developers can program AI in a way that it’s able to build certain products.
- Abstract thinking – as for now, AI doesn’t understand concepts like business values, demand for certain functions or marketing goals. Machines need to learn to think like a programmer. Until it happens, people will have to tell them what to do. This way dev houses will be able to deliver custom products compatible with their clients’ needs.
To put it simply, people know what they need to code and why. AI can make it faster and more efficient. Unless AI learns how to think like a human, we shouldn’t worry about our future as software developers.
And we will give it a try and work with it when the opportunity occurs.
The Era of DIY
Website generators and editors are considered another potential threat to the profession of software developers. Wix, GoDaddy, Squarespace, and others allow users to build their online products in a matter of seconds. They can set up landing pages, full websites, e-commerce stores, blogs and more – no technical knowledge required.
What might be tempting about using a generator instead of hiring a digital agency is a budget. Those tools usually charge a small monthly fee. With easy-to-use editors and ready-made templates with many customization options, it seems that the balance between quality and price is just fine.
But there are many drawbacks to these solutions:
- The website you create is not completely yours – it is owned by another party: the company that is the owner of the service. That means it can delete it without any reason, restrict advertising policy and much more.
- It has limited functions – website generators advertise their fully customizable templates but there is no way you can edit everything without any tech knowledge. Those drag-and-drop elements are built with code as well, which means they have a certain purpose and if you need something more, you need to change their source material.
- They still require some tech-savviness – to use page generators you need to learn the system first. In the beginning, you will probably spend hours trying to build websites that look the way you want them to. This time could be allocated towards other business-related activities.
Hiring a digital agency, even if more expensive, can be much more efficient. It will result in a high quality IT product that can be customized according to your business needs. Also, you will receive technological support every step of the process. Not to mention you will save all this time – and you can use it to promote your business, improve products and services or search for new clients.
So, will website generators replace seasoned software developers? Definitely not. Versatile knowledge, wide skillset and abstract thinking (again!) is what will help them keep the job in the long run.
Job Market Competition
Teaching programming at schools will probably become a standard, sooner than later. That’s because it is required more and more often, even at workplaces that are not considered a part of the IT industry. If coding will become an ordinary ability, just like reading, writing and math – we will have much more developers on the market.
There might be a slight concern that we will produce an overflow of software development specialists. It will result in more strict recruitment processes, lower salaries and fewer work benefits. If everyone can code, there’s nothing special about it, right?
That being said, it’s highly unlikely it will happen. The right balance will be preserved because of technological growth. The number of industry jobs will be constantly growing with mentioned AI, autonomous cars, smart homes and other IoT products to be programmed and controlled. So it seems that developers will be needed more than ever. And the experienced and skilled ones will have much more to offer.
At iteo, we are certain that dev houses with their seasoned employees are safe for upcoming years. Our goal is to always be on top of things so we invest in training, conferences and other sources of knowledge. All of that in order to be prepared for what the future holds. We are excited to be a part of it.