meaning | This is the end of computer programming as we know it. (And I'm fine.) (2023)


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Farhada Manjoo

meaning | This is the end of computer programming as we know it. (And I'm fine.) (1)

vonFarhada Manjoo

opinion columnist

I was 5 or 6 years old when I first felt the joy of programming. It was the early 1980s when few people had computers. One day my father brought home a Sinclair ZX Spectrum, one of the first in the worldaffordable PCs for the mass market. The device looked like a clunky keyboard; had48 kilobytes of memory(My phone has about 125,000 times more RAM); and used your TV as a screen. The software, mostly games, came on cassettes that you inserted into your computer and plugged into a tape recorder—then a floppy disk drive.

But the games took forever to load, and while I waited, I often marveled at the amazing programmingCourse bookthat came from Spectrum. The book was full of simple programs written to be accessibleBASICA programming language. Most of it was over my head, but as I experimented with the examples, I started to noticeshudderwhat people who fall in love with computer programming often talk about - the discovery that with the right spells you can bring these otherwise slow machines to life and make them do your bidding.

By the time I got into high school, my passion for coding had deepened (I was very popular!) and a few weeks earlier in college I thought maybe coding could be something I could do for a living. Of course I did not insist on it; For me, writing words won out over writing code.


Although I found it fascinatinglearn to thinkAs with computers, there seemed to be something fundamentally backwards about computer programming that I just couldn't get over: isn't it strange that machines needed us humans to learn their insanely precise secret language to get the best out of it by them? them? ? If they are so smart, shouldn't they be trying to understand what we are saying instead of us learning to talk to them?

Now may finally be the time. In a poetic irony, software development appears to be one of the fields most likely to be transformed by artificial intelligence. Over the next few years, A.I. it can transform computer programming from a rare, high-paying profession to a widely available skill that people can easily learn and use in their jobs in various fields. It won't necessarily be terrible for computer programmers—the world will still need people with advanced programming skills—but it will be great for the rest of us. Computers that we can all "program", computers that do not require special training to adapt and improve their functionality, and that do not speak code: the future is fast becoming the present.

artificial intelligence Tools based on large language models – e.gOpenAI-Codex, from the company that brought you ChatGPT, or AlphaCode from Google's DeepMind division - have already begun to change the way many professional programmers do their jobs. So far, these tools are workingprimarily as assistants- You can find bugs, write explanations for poorly documented pieces of code, and make code suggestions for routine tasks (similar to how Gmail offers ideas for email replies - "Sounds good"; "Good").

But AI programmers are quickly getting smart enough to keep up with human programmers. DeepMind reported last yearin the journal Sciencethat when AlphaCode programs were evaluated based on responses submitted by human contestants in coding competitions, their results were "roughly equivalent to those of an inexperienced programmer with several months to a year of training."

"Coding will become obsolete," said Matt Welsh, a former engineer at Google and Apple.predictedlately. Welsh now runs artificial intelligence. A start-up, but its predictions, while perhaps egotistical, do not sound improbable:

I think the conventional idea of ​​"writing a program" is on the verge of dying out, and in fact most of the software we know is being replaced by AI for all but very specific applications. systems that areeducatedinsteadprogrammed.In situations where a "simple" program is needed, these programs are generated by the AI ​​itself. instead of hand coding.

Welsh's argument, presented earlier this year at the Association for Computing Machinery's house organ, was titled "The End of Programming," but there's also a way AI can mark itBeginninga new way of programming - one that doesn't require us to learn the code, but turns human language instructions into software. artificial intelligence "It doesn't matter how you program it - it will try to understand what you mean," says Jensen Huang, CEO of chipmaker Nvidiain a speech this weekat the Computex conference in Taiwan. He added: "We've closed the digital divide. Now everyone is a programmer - all you have to do is tell the computer something."

But wait a minute – shouldn't programming be one of the must-have careers in the digital age? In the decades since I tinkered with my Spectrum, computer programming has gone from a geeky hobby to an almost essential profession, the one skill you need to acquire to survive technological change, no matter how absurd or soulless the advice sounds. Joe Biden to miners:Learn to program!TwitterTrollsto dismissed journalists:Learn to program!Tim Cook for French children:Learn to program!

Programming can still be a valuable skill to learn, if only as an intellectual exercise, but it would be foolish to see it as an isolated endeavor from the automation that makes it possible. For much of computing history, coding has been moving toward greater and greater simplicity. In the past, only a small clergy of scientists who understood binary bits of 1s and 0s could manipulate computers. Over time, from developmentMontagestudieProgramming is enhanced with more readable languages ​​such as C, Python and Javaclimbed upwhat computer scientists call increasing valuesabstraction- With each step we move further away from the electronic guts of the computer and become more accessible to the people who use them.

AI can now enable the final level of abstraction: the level where you can ask a computer to do something in the same way you would ask another human to do it.

So far, the developers seem fine with how the A.I. changing jobs. GitHub, Microsoft's encoder repository,2,000 programmers were surveyedLast year on how they use GitHub's artificial intelligence. Coding assistant, co-pilot. Most said Copilot helped them feel less frustrated and more satisfied at work; 88 percent said it improved their productivity. Google researchers found that among the developers of A.I.reduced"Encoding iteration time" med 6 procent.

I tried to introduce my two kids to programming like my dad did for me, but they both found it easy. Their lack of interest in programming was one of my frustrations as a father, not to mention the fear that they might not be able to keep up in the future. (I live in Silicon Valley, where kids learn to code before they learn to read.) But now I'm a little less worried. If you're looking for a job, programming may be as outdated as my first computer.

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Farhad Manjoo became a columnist for The Times in 2018. before it wasAfter thatwrote itstate of the artDivision. De er forfatterne til True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society. @fmanjoo Facebook

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What is the meaning of the word code as used in a book about computer programming? ›

In computer programming, computer code refers to the set of instructions, or a system of rules, written in a particular programming language (i.e., the source code).

Is programming dying 2023? ›

Today's coders are the architects of our digital world, crafting the very foundation of our everyday lives. ii — Are Coders Still in Demand? “But is coding still in demand in 2023?” you ask. The answer is a resounding yes.

What do you mean by the term computer programming and programmer who wrote the first computer program? ›

Mathematician Anna Siffert from the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics on why Ada Lovelace is considered the world's first computer programmer. Computer Science Mathematics. Alongside a scientific career, Ada Lovelace (right) had three children.

What is the meaning of computer programmer in dictionary? ›

programmer. / (ˈprəʊɡræmə) / noun. a person who writes a program so that data may be processed by a computer.

What is the difference between coding and programming? ›

Key Differences

Coding is the act of changing and writing code from one language to another, whereas programming is the process of constructing executable software that can be used to create machine-specific error-free outputs. Because it simply works with codes, the coding process is less demanding and daunting.

How can we use programming in our daily life? ›

Programming helps in speeding up the input and output processes in a machine. It is important to automate, collect, manage, calculate, and analyze the processing of data and information accurately. Programming helps create software and applications that help computer and mobile users in daily life.

Should I learn Python in 2023? ›

Python is considered one of the most popular and in-demand programming languages and here are the top 10 reasons why python is necessary for IT in 2023 have been around for a long time and each decade sees the introduction of a new language that sweeps coders off their feet.

Will AI replace programmers? ›

AI has not yet reached the level of being able to replace programmers and human intelligence. Currently, it is part of the "augmented" developer movement, which allows users to write code faster and with fewer bugs. Furthermore, it can help a lot of people break into the tech industry.

Is Python still in demand 2023? ›

Yes, Python is a programming language worth learning in 2023. Python is an easy-to-learn and versatile language that boosts the coding skills of developers.

What is the oldest programming language still in use? ›

What old computer languages are still in use today? Created in 1957 by John Backus, Fortran (short for Formula Translation) is possibly the oldest programming language that's still in use today. It's designed to do complex statistical, mathematical, and scientific work.

What is the first programming language in the world? ›

1883: Algorithm for the Analytical Engine: Created by Ada Lovelace for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine to compute Bernoulli numbers, it's considered to be the first computer programming language.

Who coded the first code? ›

Who was the first computer programmer? In the 1840s, Ada Lovelace became the first computer programmer, inspite of the fact that the Analytical Engine (the computer that she designed the programs for) wasn't ever manufactured.

What is the difference between a programmer and a developer? ›

Differences between a computer programmer and a software developer. Generally speaking, a developer is responsible for discussing goals with users and then designing a plan for how to accomplish those goals. One programmer, or a team, interprets the plan and writes programs to accomplish the tasks it outlines.

What computer programmers do? ›

They are responsible for writing code for computer programs or mobile apps. Update existing programs. Programmers also create and implement updates for existing programs to improve them. These updates can be used to debug software, change programming languages, improve coding based on new standards, and more.

Is computer coding a language? ›

A programming language is a system of notation for writing computer programs. Most programming languages are text-based formal languages, but they may also be graphical. They are a kind of computer language.

Is learning coding worth it in 2023? ›

The demand for programming skills is only increasing. As the world adapts to being digital-first, there is a constant need for developers. If you're looking for a stable career, learning to code is a solid option.

Are developers still in demand 2023? ›

Hiring developers took the top spot in both 2022 and 2023 as the biggest staffing challenge for companies. With 58% of companies looking to bolster IT investment and facilitate digital transformations, according to The Gartner 2021-2023 Emerging Technology Roadmap, the demand for skilled developers is outpacing supply.

Is software engineering worth it in 2023? ›

Job Market Growth for Software Engineers

The future of software development is experiencing exponential growth across the world. Software engineers have one of the highest placement rates in India, which is 93.5% and have witnessed an enormous salary hike of 120% from 2021 to 2023.

Are coding bootcamps worth it 2023? ›

Yes! Coding Bootcamps are worth it since you can earn well over $62,000 after completing the Bootcamp. At your second job as a graduate, you can reach around $86,400 salary mark, which increases as you gain experience in coding.


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