Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

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#1 adn258  Icon User is offline

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Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:37 PM

So I'm in school for computer science and I do development related work etc. With technology going the way it is what keeps MOST software development from becoming mostly point and click? Websites may be done mostly the same way someday. Even complicated websites with custom logins etc. could be handled with point and click GUI's that auto-create MYSQL tables with secure queries etc. (sort of like Wordpress).

Programming has already changed radically of course in the past decade but at this point you still need to know some fundamentals of how to program and the basics haven't changed (nor will they ever likely change). A string is still a string. A memory address is still a memory address etc.

So I think you can safely say that programming will never be totally phased out because even if there are point and click tools that automate everything SOMEONE has to program those tools. That said though, I hate to say it but I have a feeling that many programming jobs might go by the wayside in the next few decades.

For example if a company needs and specific new piece of software instead of using their programming team they might be able to have a guy just click windows (without hardly ever typing a piece of code) and the rest will be taken care of. What this is means is that programmers/developers will have a much harder time getting a job or finding work!

Now I've also heard the other side of this argument too. Some people have told me that it's impossible to have a GUI automate the logistics of programs beyond simply like dragging and dropping components (there are too many variables). From what I've seen though we're getting closer and closer to almost exclusive drag and drop development.

Just look at all the cloud applications and many of the developer tools that drag and drop.


In any case I would love to hear what you wonderful people here think? Please fill me in on your opinion and details?

This post has been edited by adn258: 11 September 2013 - 02:39 PM


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Replies To: Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:45 PM

A few things.

First - if there is a start of job contraction 20-30 years off because of drag and drop interfaces then that's fine by me.

Second - to have a effective drag-and-drop apps creating apps for businesses that means there must be a massive homogenizing of business practices. Every company has their own spin on things and I doubt they will kowtow to some software package. Naw - there will always be a need for customization for the infinite ways of businesses to do.. well.. business. If a chunk of software wasn't customizable then the business will just get something that is more flexible and _not_ draw in the lines of the first package.

Third - the same was said for GameMaker (and the like) to the game industry and I haven't seen their downfall.

Fourth - the same was said for wordpress and the templates yet that's a booming market and not everyone uses it.

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#3 salazar  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

Posted 11 September 2013 - 03:26 PM

Yes, at the point of singularity. Fascinating stuff, I suggest you research it if you have not. It basically suggest that at some point, possible in the distant future, computers and machines in general will have reached human status in intelligence. The consequence relating to your question is that they will be able to program themselves, no longer needing obsolete humans to do it for them.

Edit:
I apologize for not reading the entire post. I've read it now. As modi123_1 states, customization is will always exist. No easy 'buildit yourself' software will have all the features that a complex software might need.

This post has been edited by salazar: 11 September 2013 - 03:32 PM

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#4 e_i_pi  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

Posted 11 September 2013 - 04:31 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 12 September 2013 - 08:45 AM, said:

Every company has their own spin on things and I doubt they will kowtow to some software package.

Some software package, like Microsoft Office for instance?

But in all honesty, I agree with you. Customisation is a key part of delivery of software solutions, and with the myriad problems that are faced by software developers, I can't see a "one size fits all" approach really delivering what the customer needs.

Take for instance an issue that we face at our workplace with a particular client. They have a large hierarchy structure that can be expanded node-by-node on screen. One problem we faced with this is that a particular node, that contained "Homeless" (i.e. - defunct) nodes had about 10000 nodes. This caused the load on that object to timeout and bring the server to a grinding halt, and it did this because we'd implemented a one size fits all approach. We have now altered the code so that it lazy loads in batches. Sure, this sort of thing can be implemented in a software development program, but this is but one of many particular problems. If you try to address all problems in a shrink-wrapped application, then you start suffering from code bloat.

In the foreseeable future, I think there is still a massive market for software design and development, but I think an emerging market is one of customisable shrink-wrapped solutions, such as Wordpress and Excel. That said, in order to have one of those packages, you need software developers to develop it...

This post has been edited by e_i_pi: 11 September 2013 - 04:32 PM

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#5 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

Posted 11 September 2013 - 05:02 PM

We'll still have specialists and tradesmen, akin to DIY. It hasn't destroyed the trades like builder, carpenter, electrician and plumber. I'd say most can't be arsed with it, its outside their comfort zone. How many times have you since code or project that have come from non-professional coders, and had to tearing it all down and start again.

We've had Graphical based programming languages in the past, they've never taken off. The layout of your project eventually becomes complex and confusing. Human have evolve to be good at reading and comprehending text.
Lightswitch is designed to make forms over data easier.

The Microsoft Office Suite has the ability for forms and programming (VBA). But isn't after utilised and people tend stick with complex spreadsheet equations. How often have you seen Spreadsheet being use as a Database?

This post has been edited by AdamSpeight2008: 11 September 2013 - 05:08 PM

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#6 adn258  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

Posted 17 September 2013 - 02:24 PM

What about App Inventor have you guys seen it? It's all pretty much drag and drop GUI interfaced 4th generation programming. Essentially the logic and everything can be controlled without typing a lot of code. What keeps this from becoming the standard?

If it does become the standard I would think that MANY programmers wouldn't be needed anymore that at one time were essential for languages like C C++ where these languages were complex but now someone with just a few months of a training could use AppInventor right?
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#7 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

Posted 17 September 2013 - 02:27 PM

Again - I doubt that app interfaces with any of my clients without the need for modification. They may be nice for cookie cutter apps, but in the end they only produce a finite number of variations when an actual developer is not that limited.
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#8 adn258  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:52 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 17 September 2013 - 02:27 PM, said:

Again - I doubt that app interfaces with any of my clients without the need for modification. They may be nice for cookie cutter apps, but in the end they only produce a finite number of variations when an actual developer is not that limited.


Have you looked at AppInventor? You might be surprised. That's what I thought too but you're wrong it can pretty much at least it seems to me do anything except complicated 3D games on the Android phone. Before you judge look at it yourself it's free. It's one mit.appinventor.mit.edu BEFORE YOU JUDGE LOOK AT THIS SCREEN BELOW

http://appinventor.m...MyCarBlocks.png

There's the program logic. You'll notice for example the button click. Conditionals Etc. are all dragged onto the screen as those bubbles. Our professor showed us this program today as a matter of fact and I have to say it scared me in terms of job safety :(
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#9 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

Posted 17 September 2013 - 11:52 PM

Yeah, I looked at it and I still stand by my conclusion. You have no idea what my current job's requirements are - let alone the beast that was my prior job. There is little to no way I would see a developer write the business logic I had to in some sort of coherent (and/or functional) way that would suffice in that setup. I mean, sure.. yeah.. tack on a few years (yes, years, and I am being generous).. to do the complex tasks I am required on either position.
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#10 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

Posted 18 September 2013 - 01:20 AM

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The original question seems to assume that the real difficulty of programming is the typing, and if we just had a different mode of expression for our programming, it would somehow become easy.

This is, I think, a popular assumption with novice programmers, but once you've solved difficult problems, you start to see things a little differently. First of all, you're shooting at the wrong target. The basic difficulty of general-purpose programming is not in the mode by which we enter our instructions, it's in knowing what instructions to issue. There are advances in programming language design which have helped to get the language out of the way of the programmer, allowing programmers to turn more of their attention to the problems they're really trying to solve, but solving those problems is still going to be difficult. Doesn't matter what you use to generate your object code, knowing how to tell the machine what to do is always going to require real thought.
Secondly, you seem to assume that there's some future where it'll be possible to make a gesture-based language. That is not the future, we have all of the technology we'd need to do that today. The thing is, it wouldn't actually serve any purpose, so nobody bothers.
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#11 adn258  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

Posted 18 September 2013 - 09:29 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 18 September 2013 - 01:20 AM, said:

The original question seems to assume that the real difficulty of programming is the typing, and if we just had a different mode of expression for our programming, it would somehow become easy.

This is, I think, a popular assumption with novice programmers, but once you've solved difficult problems, you start to see things a little differently. First of all, you're shooting at the wrong target. The basic difficulty of general-purpose programming is not in the mode by which we enter our instructions, it's in knowing what instructions to issue. There are advances in programming language design which have helped to get the language out of the way of the programmer, allowing programmers to turn more of their attention to the problems they're really trying to solve, but solving those problems is still going to be difficult. Doesn't matter what you use to generate your object code, knowing how to tell the machine what to do is always going to require real thought.
Secondly, you seem to assume that there's some future where it'll be possible to make a gesture-based language. That is not the future, we have all of the technology we'd need to do that today. The thing is, it wouldn't actually serve any purpose, so nobody bothers.


On that you're correct but it will be profoundly easier. Something like App Inventor takes care of almost ALL of the memory issues and complex programming issues etc. You won't have to free memory everything takes care of itself 100% EXCEPT for putting the right "logic" together to make a program work.

You're right that takes some know-how but it seems to me that a lot more people could easily learn something like App Inventor over say C++ . Am I wrong to think that?

This post has been edited by adn258: 18 September 2013 - 09:30 AM

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#12 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

Posted 18 September 2013 - 09:36 AM

Garbage collection is popular in quite a few programming language realms..

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On that you're correct but it will be profoundly easier. Something like App Inventor takes care of almost ALL of the memory issues and complex programming issues etc.

... but it doesn't take care of complex programming.

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but it seems to me that a lot more people could easily learn something like App Inventor over say C++ . Am I wrong to think that?

To what end? To make cookie cutter apps that duplicate some basic functionality? Not to mention knowing the theory of programming is not easily available to people outside the know. Loops? Objects? Variables? Why can't I simply add different data types? Scope? Etc.
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#13 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

Posted 18 September 2013 - 10:19 AM

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Something like App Inventor takes care of almost ALL of the memory issues and complex programming issues etc. You won't have to free memory everything takes care of itself 100% EXCEPT for putting the right "logic" together to make a program work.



You're missing the point. "Putting the right logic together" is exactly the hard part, and it's exactly thwere the "complex programming issues" reside. Yes, we've made great progress in language design over the decades, but all of that is simply getting the language out of the programmer's way so they can concentrate on the hard problems, and removing the booby traps built in to languages. So the progress of language design is essentially the process of making a language that doesn't blow up when used as directed - but eventually, you still have to understand what you're doing.
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#14 adn258  Icon User is offline

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Re: Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

Posted 18 September 2013 - 11:27 AM

Yep and I'm starting to see where you're coming from....our professor the brilliant is requiring us to make an app in App Inventor and I decided to make a "simple" calculator program...well it's not simple at all because I'm finding that it actually takes longer doing this crap Vs I could do a lot of these things in a minute in C#....it's actually driving me nuts lol and it's actually making it HARDER to work out the logic!

This post has been edited by adn258: 18 September 2013 - 11:27 AM

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#15 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Do You Think Programming Might Someday "Almost" Become Obsolet

Posted 18 September 2013 - 11:40 AM

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our professor the brilliant is requiring us to make an app in App Inventor

I swear no one, in the history of the mysteries of computer science, has ever had a good teacher except me.
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