Will AI Replace Coders?

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Of course, it will!

I doubt that there’s any job today that won’t be replaced by general AI. But even if you don’t believe in general AI, there will be specific AIs optimized to write cleaner code with fewer bugs (and don’t bitch about working conditions). Humans are inherently bad at coding. It’s even hard for them to write simple Boolean expressions without introducing a few bugs on the way. Many of them cannot even write Foobar and they have to google every other built-in programming function.

The question is not whether your job will be replaced but whether you can adapt to the changing environment for the international workforce.

Prof. Yuval Harari, the greatest thinker of our time, argues that the most important skill in the 21st century won’t be coding. Instead, it’ll be one’s mental and emotional flexibility to adapt to the rapid changes that lie ahead (source).

Having said this, there’s a long way to machines with this level of expertise. And who do you think will develop these machines?

Programmers will write the code of programming machines.

Programmers will be able to understand what they are doing and how to steer them into the desired directions.

Programmers will be positioned best to benefit most from the efficiency gains created by intelligent machines.

To conclude, programmers as you know them will be replaced by AI in the future. However, on a higher level, there will be programmers who specify exactly what the programming machines should program in the first place. This specification will be the new programming. Having learned programming skills will position you well as one of the few workers who benefit from the massive changes that lie ahead.

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