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Manoj Rao

Your Average Common Man

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Is today’s average software developer equivalent of the automotive industry worker from the 60’s 1? This is a thought I have had for a while. In terms of opportunity, very likely that we are in the middle of a massive spike in jobs for software development. As the industry matures, I think there are a ton of jobs increasingly becoming less applicable, in many cases, totally irrelevant. There were positions where people were solely responsible for feeding punch cards into massive computers. These have completely vanished. That was an extreme case because such jobs have been irrelevant for over 30 years. Positions for IT expert which was so rampantly available are fast disappearing thanks to the widespread preference of cloud based services to having the headache in-house 2.

This is true as a general rule for jobs that do not bring value in today’s industry. However, it would have been nearly impossible for a young fresh grad feeding punch cards into the massive machine to imagine that this machine would fit in their handbag by the time their children went to middle school. By extension, this will truer in the future. There’s nothing that is convincingly evident of its permanence or longevity from today’s perspective. To try and guess what sort of jobs will lose relevance we will need to list all the roles and responsibilities. Further, I will try and stick to job roles that are close to tech skills. There are other job families that belong in this discussion but not in the scope of this post ex: janitor, chef, barista etc.

With an infusion of intelligence into more software related domains, I think programming is the final frontier. Code writing Code, will be the final nail in the coffin of traditional jobs as we know today. However, the future is not all gloomy. Who would have thought Data Scientist would be such a high paying job today! Or niche domains like: audio editing outside of the film and broadcast industry would be a thing. So long as people are willing to pick up new skills it may not be such a big deal. As Naval Ravikant said, if we are automating away all the boring jobs then there will be room only for interesting and artistic jobs in the future which is better for people. Perhaps this includes programming to solve actual hard problems without the worry of having to get it to actually work and be useful? …

  1. Assuming this was when jobs were aplenty in the automotive industry, in America. 

  2. You can argue these positions are still relevant with Cloud providers in Data Centers which is true but they are increasingly looking like traditional software development positions. 

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