Nerves are already rattled over recent artificial intelligence advances in writing code. Tensions continue to rise alongside unending releases of new programming features. For example, ChatGPT recently went multimodal. ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise versions now have voice and image capabilities, which leads to "napkin developers," as NativeScripting founder and lead trainer Alex Ziskind called them in this video demo. This upgrade enables ChatGPT to write full code from nothing more than a basic idea scribbled on a napkin.
AI model upgrades like this one raise the bar considerably in the AI versus software developers job competition. But it still doesn't mean developers will lose to the machine.
"What's interesting about the impact AI has over engineering is that it's only replacing one skill — coding," says On Freund, an ex-WeWork VP of engineering and now CEO of Wilco, an immersive upskilling platform for software developers. "The job of a software engineer, however, requires so many other skills, whether hard skills, such as systems thinking, architecture and debugging, or soft skills, such as verbal and textual communication. These skills are now becoming even more important than ever."
But it's not just the skill set requirements that are changing in software development — it's the nature of the work, too.
"Generative AI's unique ability to understand language opens up an opportunity to finally migrate the enormous tech legacy that has been piling up for 40 years. Many of these old applications are not properly documented and hard to properly gauge. GenAI can help provide a report on the logic of these applications and accelerate the modernization and migration of them into more modern systems," says Thierry Bonfante, chief product officer at Unqork.
But shifts of that magnitude will also create some job casualties if developers aren't fast to change their game.
"This unique opportunity to finally migrate away from legacy 40-year-old code will impact people who have created a highly sought after niche market for themselves; for example, COBOL [Common Business Oriented Language] developers," Bonfante adds. …