That's definitely a good question! On the surface, it's tempting to think that programming might be dead, dying, or at least deprecated. A lot of programming work now involves getting pre-built software components to work with eachother, rather than coding everything from scratch.
Still, you're not going to be able to accomplish anything without skilled programmers. Getting those software components to work together is not as easy as snapping Legos together.
True, we can now accomplish tasks in perhaps 1/5 of the time as we would have in the old days, when we were doing everything from scratch. However, don't you think managers and clients know that?!? Since we can accomplish things 5x as fast, we only get 1/5 of the time to accomplish them in, so it all evens out. We're still being pushed just as hard, and we need to be just as skilled.
I have personally seen several companies go down in flames because they thought that making software was now "easy" and you could just snap together software now with no muss, no fuss.
For example, right now I'm working on a project where I'm coding piece of server software that talks to a number of point-of-sale devices, as well as out company's master database server over the Internet.
It seems like an easy job... I can talk to the point-of-sale devices via their manufacturer's API, and use an off-the-shelf Winsock TCP/IP API to talk to the database server. Minimal programming required. Right? Wrong!
It has still required a ton of work to complete this project. Most software is theoretically simple, but 99% of the work and aggravation lies in the details... dealing with the poorly-documented point-of-sale system's API... developing a fairly advanced polling routine so that the system performs well... developing caching techniques so that the system functions even when the link to the database server is down, etc, etc. Without good programmers on this job, absolutely nothing would have been accomplished.
Sure, programming has changed because of the great reliance on pre-built objects, but it hasn't gotten any easier or less important. Us programmers are just able to work more efficiently, and accomplish more in less time.
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