A World Without Developers
Today, I'm creating a dystopia that may seem ridiculous: "What if we didn't train any more developers?" Let me explain.
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Why Wouldn't There Be Any More Developers to Train?
Didn't you notice several strange effects? Experienced developers with high salaries? Older developers are more common? Young developers who are very hard to find? Atypical profiles are being recruited more and more often? More and more bad developers who don't even know how to handle the HTTP verbs of REST? The need for developers is becoming more and more widespread, and, at the same time, they seem to be becoming more difficult to find. We even have this unpleasant impression that young people are less and less interested in pursuing software development. And we can understand that. When I was young, I went through two Amstrad computers at home before upgrading to a Pentium 60Mhz PC with 8 MB of RAM, which I used to tweak config files to be able to launch my games, and for which it was necessary to configure IRQs to install a new sound card.
My children, meanwhile get a tablet in their hands at a very young age (perhaps too young), and have no questions about installing a game, launching it, playing it, or watching videos on the Internet. In short, they don't ask questions! And they don't feel the need to understand how this can work. It was certainly very exciting to understand how a TV or radio works when it came out, but did you feel the need to know? The image of the "great technician" manipulating computers for everyday use has long since disappeared, leading to a loss of the desire to know more.
The case might be made that there are a number of new development opportunities that didn't previously exist, like artificial intelligence, but that begs another question. If developing artificial intelligence means ingesting data into a learning system, can it be called development? Not to mention that it generates a black box that cannot be predicted by a human, but which assures you of the (or its) truth. If artificial intelligence does it, why do it?
As a result, there is a risk that we will no longer have any developers! But what are the consequences of this? I see several of them.
One is that solutions providers may monopolize developers in order to offer applications that do everything a company could want. But the result of that is a much greater dependence on publishers, and a diminished culture of innovation. The only problem is that the developers are only a small portion of all the new workers required, even if they are the ones who keep the company running. If you can't hire developers, then your company may freeze, especially if your business is too specific for publishers to be interested in.
Do I also have to talk about the price of licenses? Do you see where this is going?
But Then What Should We Do?
You must be prepared for your IS to literally freeze overnight. More evolutions, more bug fixes, more new projects, half of the people working for your IT who have to start working on technical unemployment. And, of course, useful projects will not get done, bugs will never be fixed, and an application's evolution will take quite a while to be realized.
Until now, the cost/delay duo had dominated IT projects. Perhaps we should add 'zero remainder to be done' as a criterion?
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