Well, that is canonically why Sabrina Mustelidae works for Zig Zag.

(Or a close approximation of why, anyway. “What do we need a graphics designer for, when we just bought a collection of clip art?”)

Well, there is the burgeoning use of AI derived code/software which has already beaten the best human coders at their own game. I don’t think humans will always be better at coding, much like humans are no longer the best at playing Chess or Go or Shogi. At first, programmers will still be needed to program the algorithms that the AIs use, but eventually, the AIs will be used to improve themselves. Note: I am speaking as a former coder myself, having begun in the 80s and only stopped doing it as my job in 2019. Thought I was pretty good at it too!

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I think there is a confusion between programmers and coders. Programming is a much higher-level intellectual and artistic level activity than coding. Coding, by comparison, is fairly mechanical and much of it can be done mechanically. The first FORTRAN compiler, for example, could produce machine code for an IBM 704 by having the user write in what would have been called a higher-level language. And then the computer with a suitable program (the FORTRAN compiler) would translate the higher level language program into the actual machine-level program that a coder would formerly write.

Programming is done at a much higher level (at least, when it is done right, it is). Strangely enough, the best programmer I knew and worked with regularly, was an adequate, but not inspired, coder. His code worked correctly, but that is not what I meant. What he was especially good at was getting a group of coders together to produce a computer-based system that would be understandable, would work together, and where, when changes were needed in one part of the system they would not accidentally damage the rest of the system. A system of modules that could evolve in time as the needs evolved, without having to do it all over again from scratch. He called that aspect of system design the system architecture. And I do not think that can be mechanized in the same way that coding can be mechanized. Concepts of separation of concerns, information hiding, and related stuff matter at this level.


Your point is well taken, but I’d call someone who engages in “system architecture” a System Architect! For me, a programmer was always a synonym for a coder.

(Joke: in Soviet Russia, a programmer programs you!)