Will we truly see an end to software coding?

By Tamara Wilhite

Christopher Kahler’s article “Why Today’s Developers Might Be Programming Themselves Out of Tomorrow’s Jobs” reveals the democratization of software. The rise of software development platforms that use code libraries and easy to use interfaces allow those without software coding skills to create software. While today this is limited to phone apps, it can quickly evolve and spread into more complex and advanced software applications. But will coders still go extinct?

In such a world as this article predicts, you still need coders for:

  • Maintaining and supporting these platforms that the non-coding public uses.
  • Managing data exchanges between diverse platforms.
  • Creating translation apps between software languages.
  • Finding bugs and helping those without coding systems fix them.
  • Developing complex software applications.
  • Administrative work on servers, from managing servers to keeping software updated.
  • Filling security holes.
  • Improving the software platforms themselves.
  • Testing software for interoperability and fixing one application or the other or the OS.
  • Creating code to upgrade legacy software to modern software.
  • Creating custom code for upgrading old operating systems to new operating systems and platforms.
  • Creating, managing and troubleshooting software compilers.
  • Finding, fixing, and preventing malicious software code fed through innocuous looking apps.

Running a computer used to require a computer science degree, frequently a doctorate or master’s level in the 1950s. The slow devolution and democratization of computer usage now allows my five year old son, if left unsupervised, to go to a website and download a game from Nickelodeon Jr.’s website. He tried to then install it before the administrative limits scream that he isn’t allowed to run it. A cousin at the same age could install games on his father’s computer via CD; reading isn’t required, just click on the “OK” button. But it is the adults with computer skills, such as the mother with parental controls and restricted system admin rights, who prevented the possible disaster of malware infection or incompatible software installation. And software coders will still be needed to find and fix the problems the general non-coding public will encounter.