Will IT jobs be taken over by intelligent systems in the future?

by Keyweb Redaktion
Last edited on: 2023-07-11

Perspectives of the programmer

From Antikythera to Artificial Intelligence - is this the end or the beginning of IT jobs in the future? We are right in the middle of it all, in the fast digital age. Programming goes back a long way and programmers are still more in demand than ever. But will that change in the age of artificial intelligence and automation? This is not so strange at all, because just as the occupation of assembly line workers changed through innovation in the industrial age, so may the meaning of the programming profession in the future. Will intelligent systems soon be doing the work of programmers? And does it even make sense to become a programmer? We will address these questions, travel to the origins of IT jobs and programming, and dare to look to the future.

Origin of IT jobs

You might be surprised, but the ancient greek Antikythera Mechanism (60 BC) is said to be the first programmed product (analog computer). With the help of which astronomical positions could be calculated exactly to the hour. Not until some time later the develop continued: The Jacquard loom operated by punched cards was the model for the first punched card-controlled calculating machine "Analytical Engine". In the middle of the 19th century it was even possible to use the "Analytical Engine" to develop an algorithm that was considered to be the world's first computer program. Wow, hard to believe that an antique device and a loom should actually have laid the foundation for the IT jobs of the programmer. And that long before the first purely electronic computers.

With the development of the first program-controlled computer, one can associate the 1940s with the beginning of digitization and the IT jobs, although nothing of it was to be seen at the time. What else can you do with a computer that resembles an oversized refrigerator? That would definitely not have worked with home office. ;) When it became possible for the first time in the 1980s, with home computers, to immerse oneself in the digital world from home, digitization got the first big impetus.

And now? If we look back 10 years from today's perspective, it is astonishing what enormous leaps digitization has made since then and what number of new IT professions have developed from it. If you had told someone at the beginning of the computer era in the 1980s that it would be possible in the future to use personal language assistants who follow your own wishes and that thanks to networking and future software you can work from anywhere without any problems, you would be crazy been declared. Yes, and now digitization is almost exploding.

A mountain full of work – just where are the programmers?

Everything that took decades back then is no longer an issue and a solid basis for the further development of digitization. The only technical challenge today is the rapid progress in IT, which is moving almost like an avalanche and is likely to lead to artificial intelligence. For the programmer, this means in the future: Don't let the avalanche run over you to keep up with automation. Easier said than done:

Technical development has advanced so rapidly in recent years that programmers and developers have more and more work in their jobs, but training centers cannot adequately meet demand. Only a few university places with long study periods lead to many open IT jobs. Programmers are more in demand than ever - but when the opportunities to qualify as a programmer according to current requirements are so limited, the current shortage must be addressed in other ways. The potential of digitization and technical progress are used for this.

Will intelligent systems soon take IT jobs away from us?

Some time ago, a lot of people wrote program codes themselves, because 20 to 30 years ago code libraries and frameworks were quite manageable. Although written software was still simpler in terms of functionality, performance and scalability, it was associated with greater programming effort due to the level of knowledge and tools at the time. With the increasing use of software and the Internet, the level of programming has become more and more demanding. In order to cope with the increasing complexity and to make the work of software or web development easier, many more ready-made libraries, tools, compilers and development environments can be used. Intelligent systems will continuously improve and develop using machine learning and will be able to relieve programmers and other IT jobs more and more tasks in the future. This is also necessary in order to face new challenges. Therefore, the programming required for software development will become less and less critical compared to older efforts.

For example, if web application software development is so advanced that users with no programming knowledge have a variety of ways to create websites, you may no longer need a web developer. In the future, more and more tasks in various IT jobs can be performed by machines. When technological progress leads to artificial intelligence at some point, the number of programmer bots will continue to increase and the technological singularity* will reach us. Will a programmer or software developer be superfluous in the future?

No, we can reassure you. Programmers and software developers are among the jobs of the future. They will be relevant for IT for a long time to come in order to lay the decisive foundations. From solving the actual core problems to coping with new individual requirements and wishes to developing, checking and adapting software - programmers will be needed for a long time to come. Software development is and will remain a complex process, and programming is only one part of the areas that contribute to modern software. In order to be able to develop software at all, creative processes are required at the beginning, which are created with agile methods such as Scrum, Design Thinking or Kan ban. And human creative processes are replaced so easily and, above all, not so quickly by the logical processes of automation.

Future job! - Why you should become a programmer right now

Just as other job descriptions have developed over time, the IT job of the programmer will take on a new, but also important role in the future. A role that could not be more exciting given the rapid digital development and opens up new career opportunities. The digital and technological future cannot be stopped, which is why it is all the more important to join it and actively shape it. To be prepared for this, specific and high qualifications are required. Because: The constant further training of programmers and software developers is the key to not being overwhelmed by digitization. But who wants to stand still in their professional career?

And if you are just at the beginning of your professional career: Each career is individual and can begin with vocational training as an IT specialist for application development, with a computer science degree or a combination of both in the form of a dual degree. With an ambitious vision and a lot of motivation, you can teach yourself programming at home using online courses or tutorials. However, many companies prefer an appropriate qualification with practical experience. Nevertheless, it is always good to prove that you are interested in programming on your own initiative and that you have implemented smaller projects in your free time. Regardless of whether it is web, game or app development - in the end it is important to show the company that you are really good at programming. Those who enjoy finding sustainable solutions, think analytically, but also work creatively and pragmatically, will continue to find their dream job as a programmer in the future.

Would you like to actively shape the digital future together with us? Then take a look at our careers page.

* Futurologist and inventor Ray Kurzweil predicts the year 2045 that this year the technical singularity will be reached. From this point onwards, it could be the case that machines will be more intelligent than humans for the first time.