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Is Automation eating Programming?

By | Vish Mavathur | SVP & Digital Consulting Head

Writing software code includes many tasks that are repetitive and predictable. The past decade has seen significant advancement of Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation methods. Are we heading to a future where software applications are mostly designed with AI & Automation Tools, rather than fully written by human programmers?

If the above is true, how does this impact skills that private and public enterprises, and their service providers, need in the future? Extending that theme, will human programming become more creative than it is now, as a result of growing automation of logic?

The chart above the headline is from OECD, the international organisation that tracks and analyses economic development and jobs. It shows that the greatest risk of job replacement is, in general, seen in countries that have lower per capita GDP. However, this is a very broad generalisation across industries, and we must go several layers deeper to understand the implications on software as we know it today.

Artificial Intelligence and Software Automation have been evolving for many decades. They have been increasingly capable of augmenting human programmers in writing application code, in technologies generally known as “low code/no code development”. Low code tools and technologies essentially use blocks of commonly used code in a predefined way to achieve typical compute outcomes. Other Digital advancements are improving our ability to build, deliver and maintain software. Superlative user experience which was once a secondary outcome, is now a prime objective for application development. Similarly, we now see different kinds of software testing being replaced by agile-friendly methods that ensure better first time build and easier routes to testing. Automation has multiplied the speed and accuracy of software testing. 

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