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Closing Keynote: The future of development: Are our jobs getting harder or easier?

March 15, 2024

In the early days of computing, software developers had to encode their programs on punch cards, and carry the bits around by hand. By the 1970s they had the joy of keyboards and displays. Sadly, those oppressed developers had to wear flare trousers, work in C, and manage their own memory. By 2000 the memory thing was sorted out, but the trousers were arguably worse, and developers had to maintain their own hardware. Now, our hardware is someone else’s problem, everything is open source, AI can write our code, and we have a choice whether to work in Java, Kotlin, Javascript, Ruby, Go, Python, Rust, or Typescript. On the other hand, now we have yaml.

And many of us find we have to work in ALL of Java, Kotlin, Javascript, Ruby, Go, Python, Rust, or Typescript, all while managing a cloud, becoming security experts, learning CSS, and debugging the code our AI “helper” wrote. And we’re supposed to be full-stack, and shifting left, and building up open source in our free time. Are we living the dream or sinking under cognitive overload? And is open source helping or hurting?