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Will Low-Code steal your job?

Whether or not Low-Code is your nemesis or your saviour is entirely up to you, and your attitude about it.

600 years ago if you walked into a monastery, you would see dozens of monks copywriting the Bible. Their jobs was to manually copy one page at the time by hand. It was a terrible job, full of stress, and they literally risked being burned at the stake if they did something wrong. 60 years ago if you walked into a car factory, you would see thousands of employees, manually assembling cars. They worked with dangerous chemicals and machines, and accidents were frequent. They also had terrible working hours, and were underpaid, barely able to sustain their families on whatever they were paid for the job.

None of these jobs exists today, because they have been replaced with automation. An interesting question therefor becomes as follows …

How many people lost their jobs because of automation?

The answer of course is; “All but none!” To understand that answer, realise that the knowledge these monks and factory workers had is worth zilch today. However, 600 years ago, 0.3% of the population knew how to read and write, and maybe some 5 to 10 percent of these worked with copywriting. As books and literacy became a commodity available for the masses, the number of people working with publishing exploded. When Henry Ford started automating car manufacturing, only 1% of the richest could afford a car. Today having a car is almost considered a “basic human right” in some parts of the world. The number of people having their jobs indirectly originating from automation of car manufacturing is probably 100 times the number of people having car manufacturing as their primary income some 6 decades ago. In fact, the number of taxi drivers in London alone is probably higher than the number of people working in car factories world wide 100 years ago!

When an industry goes through revolutions based upon automation, it always produces the same effect, because the market grows. The same will happen with software development as a consequence of automation. The number of available jobs will explode. Of course, your existing knowledge will be close to useless, but if you have an open mind towards software development automation, you will have a better job, you will make more money, and your life will be in general more pleasant. Don’t believe me? Try debugging a stack overflow error, 4AM in the morning, for some software system that went into production 3 weeks ago … :/

For those open minded about Low-Code and software development automation, the future is literally so bright you need to buy shades. For those refusing to embrace the future, insisting upon manually writing their own pivot function to their GoLang QuickSort algorithm, it won’t be quite as bright I’ll confess. I can’t say I feel for you either. Software development as a profession has literally been the IT industry’s equivalent of the “monks in their ivory towers”, with monopoly on knowledge, resulting in 10x salaries, with enough arrogance to circle the world, several times. I don’t mean to blame software developers here – They’ve for the most parts tried their best. But entering into a mental war, with a machine, trying to figure out why some comma in the wrong place results in that your employer is losing 4 million dollars per hour, until the bug is fixed, – When it’s 2AM in the morning, and you’d rather spend your time sleeping – IS exhausting, and leads to a dark place admittedly …

That time will pass, just like the monks copywriting Bibles, and the blue collar workers assembling cars – And it is a good thing …

Will Low-Code steal your job? My answer is; “It depends! And it depends exclusively on you!” – However, who wants to seriously sit awake 2AM in the morning, debugging some QuickSort pivot function? In order to answer the question in the header I will need to ask you one question, and it is as follows …

Will you embrace the future, or be left in the past?

That’s what it comes down to really. I of course have stakes in Low-Code, and you probably shouldn’t take my advice alone. However, I suspect everybody else will give you the same advice. As a final conclusion, I’d like to finish by paraphrasing a social media meme that was popular some 5 to 10 years ago …

If having a job was such a great thing, the rich would keep all their jobs to themselves …