Could Software Developers Become Obsolete?

What was once high-level technology is becoming far more accessible to the average person. Ten years ago, very few people were tech savvy or even interested in technology at all. Today, the average individual knows enough to maintain the security of their personal computer, run applications on their smartphone, and perform basic IT functions at work. But does that mean that tech-focused positions, such as software development, could become obsolete?

Making Things More Accessible for the General Public

There was a time when individuals simply weren’t interested in technology. In our modern world, the general public may be interested in creating their own website or even developing a small game or other app. Even if they don’t know programming, there are tool kits that are devised to make the process easy and simple for them.

With a little pointing and clicking, it seems as though anyone can become a website or software developer. But there are nuances that are lost throughout these creation kits that simply can’t be obtained without a knowledge and understanding of how these systems work, and ultimately there will always be a need for expertise. The question is whether this need will be significant, or whether software developers may become a rare necessity.

The Projected Job Growth for Software Development

Development programs and kits aren’t anything new. In fact, shortly after HTML (the most basic building block of the web) was created, the first WYSIWYG generator was developed. WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) was always a way for individuals to create websites without knowing code, but that didn’t make the profession of web development obsolete. At the very beginning days of the web, there were website generation tools that were comprehensive and complete, but still couldn’t reproduce the work of a professional.

The 10 year projected job growth for software development remains 22% through 2022, a much faster than average growth. As simple systems become more accessible to individuals (such as smartphones and websites), more complex systems such as the development of business analytics packages and enterprise suites become even more critical. True innovation cannot be driven by a simple editing system; it has to be driven by those who understand the technology behind it.

Software development isn’t becoming more obsolete: it’s becoming more advanced. When the first cars were introduced to the public, very few people could drive them and even fewer could fix them. Today, almost everyone has a car and can drive one, but that doesn’t mean that mechanics have become obsolete: on the contrary, mechanics are now highly experienced technicians with the knowledge of advanced computing systems. Likewise, while a hobbyist may be able to setup a simple website or even smartphone application, software development is moving towards large scale enterprise solutions, data warehousing infrastructures, and higher-level applications.

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