Programming by Hand Will Remain Essential
Here is why old-fashioned programming by hand will not go away after the onset of AI-assisted programming. Think of programming by hand, unaided by AI, as something similar to walking. Walking is essential for getting us around and improving our health and general well-being. There is enough evidence (see here and here) for how walking improves creativity in any field, including art, math, science, or business. But in terms of helping us get around, walking is perhaps our last choice. We don’t walk to work except for the lucky few who live within walking distance from their workplace. We don’t walk to a vacation destination. We don’t walk to a business conference across the country or across continents. Depending on the distance you need to go, you may choose anything from biking, driving, taking a train, or flying. Yet, walking remains indispensable and we should and we do walk when we can. Transportation tech is advancing every day but we will never forego the ability to walk just because there are faster and more comfortable alternatives.
Similarly, in the new world of AI-assisted programming, the good old unaided programing will remain an essential skill for software developers. They will be hired, assessed, promoted, rewarded etc. based on this skill. Please remember this next time you are worried about low-code, no-code, or AI-assisted programming replacing a good programmer. If you like programming, keep practicing because it is not going away. At least not in our lifetime.