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Technical Article => Programming =>  Programming

Is coding going to die?

  leezy_2000      2012-03-15 14:37:35      2,903    0    0

There is always a voice recent years saying that coding will gradually die, software development is more like an assembly job. i.e, programmer will be more and more like IT engineers. They seldom build something from scratch, instead they achieve the goal by assemble different components.

There are people who have similar views around me. From the book "Clean code" written by Robert C Martin--

"One might argue that a book about code is somehow behind the times—that code is no
longer the issue; that we should be concerned about models and requirements instead.
Indeed some have suggested that we are close to the end of code. That soon all code will
be generated instead of written. That programmers simply won’t be needed because business people will generate programs from specifications."

This paragraph tells us the statement "programming will gradually die“ is also accepted by developers around the world.

Assume this is true, then coders will finally disappear. Now the main question is whether this is true or not. To answer this question, we need to do some analysis on software development's fundamental characteristics.

Today we seldom develop a software product from scratch. Most of the time, we will choose some specific frameworks : to develop PC applications, we may choose .NET or MFC, to develop website , we may use LAMP and for huge data processing, we may use hadoop.

At the same time more and more commercial components or libraries are available : image processing libs, parallelism processing libs etc. We can use some open source projects hosted on code project or github.

The facts above indeed make us think that software development similar to component assembling. This means that it's not enough for programmers just concerning what they can do, but they need also to concern about what others have done, they need to think about whether they can reuse what others have developed or not.

Is coding going to die? No.

For all existing problems, we can always build abstract specific models to deal with them. If we only deal with these existing problems repeatedly, then assembly is all, no need to program anymore. But in fact, we need deal with new problems frequently, then coding will be necessary, assembly will only be a supporting component.

In commercial world, usually only if you just move one step faster than others, then you can get a good position in competition. So programming will be always the most important part in software companies. For example, if company A can use Hadoop, B can use Hadoop as well. But if you don't have any innovation, then these two companies will have the same product, neither of them will have a good future. Even you can survive, there will be company C,D,E or F emerging. To be different, innovation and coding will be the solution.

According to Robert C Martin, We will never be rid of code, because code represents the details of the requirements. At some level those details cannot be ignored or abstracted; they have to be specified. And specifying requirements in such detail that a machine can execute them is programming. Such a specification is code.

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