Quora on coding and will it be relevant in the future

Brilliant Quora answer about coding.

By Avi Flombaum.


Absolutely! I can only imagine programming becoming more and more important. There’s a great quote by Edsgar Dijkstra, a super famous programmer, about the nature of programming problems:

“The major cause [of the software crisis] is that the machines have become several orders of magnitude more powerful! To put it quite bluntly: as long as there were no machines, programming was no problem at all; when we had a few weak computers, programming became a mild problem, and now we have gigantic computers, programming has become an equally gigantic problem. In this sense the electronic industry has not solved a single problem, it has only created them, it has created the problem of using its products.”

When I read that quote I think about how much we as a civilization rely upon code. So much of our world is powered by programming. In this sense, we’ve created the problem of maintaining this software, which means we’ll always need more programmers. But also, as computing becomes more and more powerful, the software we write will be more and more powerful, creating a virtuous cycle of need. As long as we need software, which will never go away, we’ll need programmers. So I think code will not only still be relevant in 2025, it’ll be even more important. I think all estimates on the number of programmers needed in the next 10 years are low. Software is eating the world and every company that survives will be a technology company. We’re also seeing a diversification of the type of programmers, from Data Science to Virtual Reality, there are entirely new fields of code still being born today, why would that stop?

Additionally, I think code is a medium, it’s more than just a job, it’s new way we as a species communicate. We model the problems and phenomena of the world in code. In this sense, code is more about expression. And we’ll never stop expressing ourselves in this manner. So I think we’ll see a proliferation of the ways in which we use code – from outside the software vocation and into almost every field of study. I imagine in 25 years we’ll be teaching Math, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Geometry, most STEM topics, through code. You won’t learn to program so you can build applications, but rather you’ll learn to program so you can express ideas outside the realm of software. Code is the lingua-franca of the information age and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.


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