Will Low-Code Make Developers Redundant?

I’m A Software Engineer, Will I Be Replaced By AI In The Future?

Damn, Github’s Copilot is good. But don’t panic. The chances of you being replaced by AI are quite slim.

Why AI Won’t Replace Software Developers Just Yet

Back in 2017, GitHub’s co-founder and then CEO Chris Wanstrath famously said:

“The future of coding is no coding at all.” - Chris Wanstrath

This was quite a controversial statement, especially coming from someone who oversaw 14 terabytes of code on the very platform they founded.

However, the reality is that the demand for software developers (and code) is increasing, rather than decreasing.

First of all, there aren’t nearly enough software developers. According to labour market statistics, there are only 20 million trained software developers worldwide.

More than half of all developers work at non-software businesses. Almost every business, regardless of size, industry or geography relies on software nowadays. And there’s not nearly enough engineering talent to satisfy the hiring needs of all those companies. According to Korn Ferry, a HR consultancy, there is a global tech talent shortage of 4.3 million workers.

Salaries of software developers also continue to rise. In some countries, such as Australia, “software developers and engineers are the biggest winners in the hot talent market where some technology salaries have increased by more than 45 percent”, according to the Australian Financial Review.

In short: labor market statistics seem to point just to the opposite conclusion. Software developers and engineers are in high demand and urgently needed, rather than a job that is at threat of becoming redundant soon.

Second, even amongst software developers, few think that no-code and low-code will result in fewer developer jobs. Only 33% of developers surveyed by TechRepublic said that low-code would result in fewer jobs. Most developers think that low-code tools increase productivity, reduce app development time and help automate manual processes. Even better, 42% of CIOs plan to increase headcount dedicated to low-code and no-code, according to Gartner.

“67% of developers surveyed by TechRepublic do not think that low-code or no-code platforms will result in fewer developer jobs.” 

So rather than being a threat, low-code & AI-driven development seems to create new opportunities for developers. Low-code development is a skill that software developers should add to their toolbox to boost their career prospects.

If the opinions of your software engineering peers aren’t convincing enough, let’s look elsewhere. Even the World Economic Forum, the organization behind the annual event of movers & shakers in Davos, says that “Technology Design and Programming”, together with “Technology Use, Monitoring and Control” are two of the top 10 skills of the future.

Their research also quantifies the gap in current skills vs future, required skills. According to the WEF, 50% of all employees worldwide need reskilling to keep up with the digital economy. Their research relies on insights derived from LinkedIn and Coursera.

Last, neither low-code, nor AI-supported development are at a level where they can carry out the work of a trained software engineer. Both low-code and AI-driven development are great, productivity-enhancing tools by providing prebuilt components or smart code completions. But neither low-code, nor AI-driven development, can build a system by itself.

Low-code and AI-driven development? Embrace it!

If you’d like to learn more about low-code software engineering or build your first app using low-code, why not download Five (for free!). Simply visit https://five.co.

Stay tuned for more topics related to no-code / low-code, such as:

  • Are low-code and no-code the same?
  • What are the limits of low-code and no-code?
  • And, is the low-code and no-code the future of software engineering?

Originally published at https://five.co/will-low-code-make-software-engineers-redundant/on August 23, 2022.