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Cover image for Will Low-Code steal your job?
Thomas Hansen
Thomas Hansen

Posted on • Originally published at aista.com

Will Low-Code steal your job?

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 ... ;)

Top comments (26)

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nikfp profile image
Nik F P

I agree with everything you have to say, and my take on this subject is that a proliferation of low code platforms will enable a generation of workers to be productive in technology in new and wildly original ways, not just an acceleration of the same things. My reasoning is that if you work in low level languages, in order to be productive you have to constrain your thinking to be closer to the way a computer thinks. People working with low code systems won't have that set of constraints trained into their minds, which means they will be pushing the expectations and limits of what low code and no code can do and coming up with new use cases and new problems to solve. Let's get these tools into the hands of our artists, musicians, visionaries, and thought leaders and we'll be amazed with the results.

Check out this drone light show for just one early example of what's coming. Simply stunning.

The future looks bright, but it certainly looks different.

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

Word! As to ...

productive in technology in new and wildly original ways

That is the exact thing that happened as a result of the printing press, and prices of cars dropping. New professions and opportunities came "popping out of the woodwork as mushrooms". Anticipating the creativity boost democratising software development might result in, is like trying to anticipate (duh! errh!) the future ...!!

New tools brings new solutions, to problems we didn't even realise we had, before somebody solved them!

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wyattdave profile image
david wyatt

I think LowCode is standing on the shoulders of giants, as in its built on Pro code. So although the job role might change, there still will be a need for Prob Devs, LowCode is growing the job market, not shrinking it

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

Bingo! And of course, obviously Low-Code tools have to be built by high-code developers ...

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adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett • Edited on

Make low code your job, no it won't, it will make scripting neiches like in our low code platform where we simply can't low code everything in a UI and there are scripting extension points to add some scripting, enough so that I have a whole job around it. There's also a large UI team writing low code UIs in ... code.

So no it's not a threat it's an enhancement (a sub optimal one)

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

You are confusing Low-Code with No-Code. You need ro read my latest article(s) about the subject ...

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adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett

Thank you for pointing that out I apologize

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

Nothing to apologise, most people confuse the terms ...

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kforp profile image
George Koval.

low/no code will lead to extremely unpleasant DX. When you're debugging a feature by random guessing not knowledge. Or when you're developing a feature that is an edge case for the "no code" platform you're on so you have to invent an ad hoc solution without proper access for the tools like a monkey inventing the wheel.
CEO and managers will spend billions of dollars parasitizing on the ideas of FOMO and getting rid of "expensive" developers (not expensive CEOs, which are paid 20 times for the same job in Japan or Germany, or US in 50-70s). When they finish playing with this dead-born idea and their budgets for that will be completely spent they will throw it away to use it only for prototyping.

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen • Edited on

Human beings have immense problems observing exponential growth, because our brains aren't equipped with the mental framework required to observe such things. Low-code is in exponential growth. It's nothing new either, it's just another step up the evolutionary ladder we've been on for the last 100 years as software developers (yes, the profession has arguably existed for 125 years, Ada Lovelace)

My father used punch cards. When Fortran came, most of his teachers laughed at it. I started with Assembly myself. When C and Pascal came, we laughed about it. I laughed another time as garbage collectors were becoming main stream, saying things echoing your words. Let me ask you a question ...

When did you last use a language with manual memory handling?

Low-code is just the incremental continuation of what we've been doing for decades already ...

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kforp profile image
George Koval. • Edited on

laughed at it

Yes, and 99 projects which are laughed at had failed. Only one in 100 survived.
Survival bias, never heard about it?
We already had hundreds if not thousands of "tech prophets". The same vague speak every time. "web 3.0", "disrupting financial system with bitcoin" (~ponzi scheme), "NFT", and so much more before.
Ain't buying it.
Not anymore.

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen • Edited on

and 99 projects which are laughed at had failed

Link? Reference?

Currently ~20% of projects are built with Low-Code, and within the end of 2024 roughly 65% of projects will be built with low-code and no-code according to Gartner. We built our entire infrastructure using low-code constructs. In fact, we started out with GoLang and Rust, and the project couldn't even deliver a registration form after 4.5 months, at which point I had to get rid of the entire project, and salvage it with low-code and Hyperlambda. 2.5 months later we had our MVP, and 4.5 months later we went into production. Today we're managing 5 Kubernetes clusters, implemented our support mechanism, CRM system, and entire infrastructure using low-code. In fact, we don't have a single line of middleware code that is not low-code.

I suspect you're confusing low-code with no-code ...

As to comparing low-code with NFTs and web3.0, that's something I am not even interested in commenting on. However, low-code has real underlying value - Comparing it to a Ponzi scheme, is a de facto error of association, and the equivalent of saying Edward Snowden is a member of Al Qaeda because he's critical towards mass surveillance ...

Let me ask you a question; Do you agree on that we should employ people? If you answer yes, I could in theory argue that you are pro NSDAP. I am not doing that however, because I realise that the world is more nuanced - So please do not associate me with Ponzi schemes either ...

If you want to discuss NFT, web3.0 and Ponzi schemes, feel free to discuss it as much as you want to, but do not discuss it or associate my tools with it in any ways ...

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kforp profile image
George Koval.
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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen • Edited on

In the introduction sentence he is saying "low-code and no-code programming". That's like saying "horses and lunchboxes". The constructs literally has nothing in common ...

Then he says; "Software is complicated stuff" - My reply is "rubbish, software is dead simple, if you're complicating it, please leave it to those who knows what they're doing, and do something else ..."

Then he says; "there's no difference between low-code and no-code" - That's like saying; "there's no difference between your lunch and a Volvo 740".

Later he says; "he's all in favour of making software development more available" - Believing that is saying something about low-code, is like believing you can have a Volvo for lunch.

However, let me finish with a low-code piece of code snippet, actually running in our systems to illustrate the point ...

.args
   foo:howdy
.result
if
   eq:x:@.args/*/foo
      .:howdy
   .lambda
      set-value:x:@.result
         .:foo
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Then please explain to me what's the difference between the above code, and whatever you're doing in your daily life as a software developer. Before you answer, let me enlighten you; The above is low-code - What you're doing is assembly software development - That's literally the only difference ...

Your reference is like asking a "WikiPedia self proclaimed expert about quantum mechanics" - Sorry, no offence, just a neutral observation ...

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elrubens profile image
elrubens

Currently ~20% of projects are built with Low-Code

As you were asking for links or references to the previous commenter I was expecting that you would add a reference yourself for this. I imagine you have several references handy, can you provide the ones from independent sources?

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

Well, I pulled that one out of the air - I suspect the real number is much larger though. However, the Gartner reference is real (65% at the end of 2024) ...

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yoursammich profile image
Wyatt Salisbury

low code won't steal my job, because I don't have a job.

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

I feel for you :/

The smartest way I know to get hired, is to polish your LinkedIn profile, mark yourself as available to work, and start contacting people and companies.

If you do, add me, and I'll share your profile with my network ...

Good luck :)

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borgrancher profile image
Shaun McDonald

If what we do can be replaced with an algorithm, we are officially adding sub-zero value to every project or organization we work in. Things we sweated for have always turned into checkboxes for folk who come after us. That's the point of good work. I don't see evil robots making us obsolete. I see synthetic angels freeing us from drudge work so that we can shine in the areas most important or exciting to us.

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

Can I quote you ...? :)

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whyu9 profile image
Wahyu.

A mind-opening post! Sometimes I wonder if low code will take my job as a software engineer or not, but your post gave me a new perspective.

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

I can only repeat my conclusion, which is; "It depends" (on your attitude towards it) ...

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techmaniacc profile image
Joseph Mania

I doubt...

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efe profile image
Efe Ertugrul

dream on

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sophieemmly profile image
Sophie Emmly • Edited on

Our work is officially worth zero if it can be replaced with an algorithm. In the end, the things we sweated for have always turned into checkboxes for future generations. Good work makes a difference. It doesn't seem to me that evil robots will make us obsolete. Does airsoft gun hurt. Synthetic angels can free us from drudge work so that we can focus on what truly matters to us.

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polterguy profile image
Thomas Hansen

the things we sweated for have always turned into checkboxes for future generations

This is a good thing! Thank you :)

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