The main compelling thing about the new version is the weight reduction. The new ones are significantly lighter than the models they replace, which is nice if you carry it all day.
But software developers are getting the shaft here. Taking away the Escape key is a big deal, because two of the most popular editors used for coding have UIs that depend heavily on that key. And the lack of a 32GB option is a problem.
Developers who write software for Mac OS or iOS are stuck; they have no real alternative to a Mac. But I think that most developers who aren’t writing for the Apple ecosystem will look elsewhere.
And what is Apple going to do about the higher education market? (K-12 is already out the window; they’re now buying Chromebooks, not Macs.) The big seller there is the MacBook Air, mostly because of the price point. Apple hasn’t had anything new at the $1000 level for years, and students aren’t going to pony up another $500 or more to buy the new Pro.