Throughout the history of technology, the introduction of new advancements has caused concern for job security in programming.
It’s no surprise considering the goal to simplify and eliminate interactions with coders drove software development to where it is today.
In the early days, most computing pioneers saw software as an afterthought and held hardware and systems architecture as true intellectual pursuits. John Backus, a computer scientist, considered calling coders “programmers” was equal to calling janitors, “custodians” to make them feel like their menial work was more important than it was.
The work was seen as secretarial due to most early programmers being women. But they were also taking on the coding, testing, and debugging for people like him so they could focus on the bigger projects.
FORTRAN, or “formula translation”, was developed by IBM and meant to give scientists the ability to write programs without the help of a programmer. It introduced features like efficient array handling and provided faster program execution. Much to the finance department’s dismay, the more complicated technology becomes, the more demand there is for programmers to maintain it.
Much to the finance department’s dismay, the more complicated technology becomes, the more demand there is for programmers to maintain it. Artificial intelligence is not immune to this, claims that Chat GPT will replace all software engineers are likely misplaced. Large language Models (LLMs) can help with tasks like auto complete suggestions, data sorting, and problem-solving discussions but cannot replace the understanding of feature requirements or codebase interactions.
LLMs can potentially eliminate routine coding tasks and increase productivity expectations, allowing developers to focus on architectural aspects. History shows that attempts made to reduce their presence or streamline their roles add complexity and make them more necessary. There were times that programmers were against these changes, but ultimately, they are the reason technology continues to improve so quickly.
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