May 21, 2024

Balkan Travellers

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The New York Times: It’s the end of computer programming as we know it

Slashdot theodp wrote a long time ago: Writing for the masses in It is the end of computer programming as we know it. (And I feel fine.), New York Times opinion columnist Farhad Manju explains that while AI may not spell the end of programming (“The world will still need people with advanced coding skills”), it may mark the beginning of a new kind of programming—”software”. It doesn’t require us to learn to code but instead to convert human language instructions into programs. ”

“Wasn’t coding supposed to be one of the unmissable jobs in the digital age?” asks Manjoo. “In the decades since I’ve been touring with my country [ZX] DomainComputer programming has grown from an inherited hobby into an almost inevitable skill, the only skill that must be acquired to survive the technological disruption, no matter how silly or harsh the advice may be. Joe Biden told the coal miners: Learn to code! Twitter trolls told the laid-off reporters: Learn to code! Tim Cook told the French kids: Apprenez a programmer! Programming might still be a worthwhile skill to learn, even if it were just an intellectual exercise, but it would have been silly to think of it as an endeavor isolated from the very automation that enables it. For most of the history of computing, coding has been on the way to increasing simplicity.”

In conclusion, Mango notes that artificial intelligence has alleviated one of his fears (one that President Obama shared). “I tried to introduce my two kids to programming the way my parents did for me, but they both found it a snooze. Their lack of interest in programming was one of my disappointments as a parent, not to mention a worry that they might be far into the future. (I live in Silicon Valley, which is where kids seem to learn Programming before they even learn to read.) But now I’m less worried. By the time they’re looking for jobs, coding may be as old as their first computer.”

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BTW, there are plenty of comments – over 700 – on Manjoo’s column from Types of Programming and others on whether reports of programming death are greatly exaggerated.