Coding Is Over

People have been clamoring for drag and drop programming for decades. People have been saying that software developers wont be needed for as long as they’ve existed. 4G programming, Hypercard, even Visual Basic, drag and drop programming has been discussed forever. COBOL even was created with a similar mindset — in 1959. It just hasn’t happened, and it really won’t happen any time soon, for some fundamental reasons.

The thing is, when I was new to software, I could have said the same thing said here. But the more you learn, the more you see what you didn’t know you didn’t know when you started. I’m hoping that with more experience, you read your own essay here and admire how far you’ve grown.

You’re not wrong, there’s a lot of redundancy in software. And there are tools and libraries that have emerged to deal with it. Perhaps even the first editors and compilers can be considered tools to deal with redundancy. But they enrich development, not eliminate it. Code reuse and efficient management of human time are staples of good software development, and that’s been preached for ages.

In the web’s infancy, FrontPage and Dreamweaver emerged to eliminate the nasty ‘coding’ bits of the web, but they’ve fallen out of favor for very good reasons. The analog today would perhaps be maintaining simple Wordpress sites. Only the simplest of development jobs require no programming skills. They not hard to get right, but they’re easy to get wrong, and even that skillset commands a reasonable salary. Companies *do* have an incredible desire to make development as simple as possible in an effort to push wages downward. The fact that it hasn’t really happened, despite that incentive, is evidence to how challenging that is.

But anything deeper than that involves code — because it’s beneath everything we do. That’s the building block to software. You can’t abstract it, you can’t obscure it, you can’t escape it. The trivial stuff gets automated, but that frees us up to do the more complex stuff, and we need code for that. You’ll need lots of code to make your React-based drag and drop CRUD creator. That tool may be exactly what people need, and you’ll learn a lot in the process.

Worth mentioning also that Software Engineer has been used since the IBM days, and I’ve rarely heard it conflated with IT Person. Reason was awesome, VR is indeed dope, and I’ll check out Moneyball.

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