With the rise of AI, there are two conflicting opinions: one is that the demand for programmers will continue in the development field, and the other is that the demand will disappear.
The underlying argument that the future of programmers is in jeopardy is that the scope of what AI can do is expanding. AI can take over tasks that were previously performed by humans, especially tasks that require less individual skill, and contribute to the reduction of human resources and labor costs. Therefore, we believe that AI can replace the work of programmers who program according to design documents.
In the future, as AI will be used more and more in various places, how will the environment surrounding programmers change? We will introduce the environment surrounding programmers in the future, along with the image of programmers with future potential.
Do programmers have a future?
Does the profession of programmer have no future? Let’s organize the environment surrounding programmers while looking ahead to the future.
Demand for IT human resources (including programmers) is growing
A survey on the supply and demand of IT human resources conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in fiscal 2019 found that there is a gap between supply and demand for IT human resources, and it is expected that the gap will continue to widen in the future.
The scale of the IT market will gradually expand, and the number of IT human resources required will increase accordingly. It is thought that one of the reasons for this is not only the lack of education for engineers themselves but also the gradual decline in the population of young people in Japan.
The supply of human resources is also increasing.
While the demand for IT human resources is growing, the learning environment, such as online programming schools, is also improving. In addition, compulsory education now deals with programming, and the threshold for IT is becoming lower.
For these reasons, the number of IT human resources is expected to increase in the future, so competition will become fiercer than it is now.
We still need programmers
Today, programmers are a profession that is in high demand and increasing supply. Furthermore, it is expected that the need will grow even more, such as the expansion of the use of IoT and the spread of AI. Against this backdrop, the government and the industry are working together to develop and secure IT human resources, and have come up with various measures.
However, there is an undeniable shortage of IT personnel at present. Therefore, there are expectations for alternatives such as AI and offshore. On the other hand, if AI can replace humans, some programmers may lose their jobs.
[AI/offshore] Things that threaten the future of programmers
So, can AI replace the work of programmers? Here, I will introduce some reasons, including AI, why programmers are said to disappear.
Programming becomes more efficient with the rise of AI
One of the areas where AI excels is work that follows a flow without the need to think on the spot and make flexible decisions. Therefore, it is believed that tasks such as “monitoring,” “operation,” “testing,” and “programming” will be gradually replaced by AI.
It’s unclear at this point whether AI can be programmed, but it could be so much more efficient that the demand for programmers could be greatly reduced, if not eliminated.
In addition, since AI is expected to develop further in the future, we cannot deny the possibility that AI will eventually be able to replace tasks that are currently difficult, which means that programming will become possible.
Rise of overseas programmers by offshore
Not only AI but also offshore doing business abroad affects programmers.
Due to the development of telecommunications, the world is now connected by high-speed networks, so it is becoming possible to do development-related work even if you are not in Japan in the first place. Against this background, various companies are setting up offshore development laboratories to reduce labor costs and secure young and excellent engineers.
Young people aiming to work in the IT field overseas are highly motivated to learn and have a strong desire to improve themselves, so there are quite a few engineers who are enthusiastic about learning the latest technology. Compared to Japan, it is possible to hire energetic young engineers while keeping labor costs down, so offshore development is a great advantage for companies.
Due to offshoring, competition with overseas programmers is also emerging, and there is a possibility that the demand for Japanese programmers will decrease.
In addition, we cannot overlook the fact that the accuracy of translation has increased rapidly in recent years. If the speed and accuracy of real-time translation increase, communication gaps due to differences in languages will be reduced, and there is a possibility that the culture of offshore development will advance further.
The future of ordinary programmers looks grim
In this way, with the rise of AI and offshore competition with overseas programmers, it is expected that demand from the market will decrease and it will become difficult for ordinary programmers to survive in the IT industry.
However, looking at society as a whole, the demand for IT human resources continues to be high. In addition, although various measures have been taken to deal with the serious shortage of IT human resources, no decisive solution has been proposed. Therefore, it is quite possible to survive in the IT industry by improving the skills of programmers and acquiring skills that general programmers do not have.
So, from here, I will summarize “how programmers survive”.
What programmers need to survive as AI rises
Skill-up is important to survive as a programmer. By acquiring various skills required in the IT industry and drawing a career path, you can become an IT human resource that is in high demand in the job change market. What kind of career paths are there?
How to Become an AI human resource?
AI-related human resources are expected to be in high demand in the future. While AI has been adopted in various fields, there is a significant shortage of human resources with AI development technology, and there are abundant job offers. By aiming to become an AI human resource from a programmer, you can survive as a useful human resource according to the growing demand for jobs in the AI field.
What are the Skills required for AI human resources?
First of all, you need AI knowledge. As an AI human resource, it is necessary to deepen your knowledge and understanding of AI, such as deep learning and machine learning, and acquire knowledge about AI design.
You should also have data science skills. Knowledge of data science is important for analyzing the learned and accumulated data and utilizing big data. By learning statistics and mathematical analysis and aiming to become a data scientist, it is possible to become an important AI human resource.
Of course, AI language skills are also necessary. It is necessary to learn and acquire the Python and R language skills that are essential for AI development. If you are aiming for the IoT development field, the C language is also an option.
How to Become a full-stack engineer?
It is a good career path for survival to acquire not only programming but also front-end, cloud, OS, network, and other skills to become a full-stack engineer.
A full-stack engineer who has multiple specialties and can handle various projects by himself is also called a multi-engineer. A full-stack engineer can handle all development by himself, so it is possible to see and manage the entire development.
In addition, companies with a shortage of human resources, such as venture companies that have just started, often actively recruit full-stack engineers as members because all development is done in-house.
What are the Skills required for a full-stack engineer?
A full stack engineer needs a wide range of skills. Important skills include developing skills for cloud services. The use of cloud services is expanding regardless of the size of the company. Several companies provide cloud services, but we recommend that you mention Amazon Web Services (AWS), which currently has the top share, to some extent.
Knowledge of OS and middleware (Docker, Kubernetes, etc.) is also required. Originally, it is a skill required for infrastructure engineers, but if you aim to become a full-stack engineer, you need to learn it. There are many types of middleware, so let’s learn some typical middleware.
Of course, you also need to improve your programming skills. To handle various projects, it is better to have multiple languages that you are good at, and if possible, we recommend that you learn languages with different uses, such as Python and C#, or PHP and GO.
One of the things that AI cannot do is manage. Based on the skills of programmers, it is necessary to aim for a position where you can manage programmers, and to improve not only IT technology but also management skills to manage human assets and project quality.
The person responsible for overseeing the entire project as a project manager is one of the areas where there is a great demand for human resources, but supply has not kept pace. By becoming a project manager from a programmer, you have the advantage of being able to effectively manage the development department because you are strong in technical management.
Skills required for management
First and foremost is knowledge of project management. Acquisition of the project manager examination, which is a national qualification, is an objective indicator of management ability, so it is a qualification that you should consider obtaining if you want to study comprehensively. The Project Manager Exam is equivalent to skill level 4 of the Information Technology Engineer Examination and is included in the Advanced Information Technology Engineer Examination, so the difficulty level is high, but the level of knowledge that can be obtained by studying for the qualification tends to be high. is in
In addition, human resource development capabilities are also important in management. One of the expectations of management is the development of IT human resources who will participate in projects. By assessing the aptitude of human resources and nurturing the next generation of young human resources, the manager himself can become an indispensable human resource for the company.
In addition to this, knowledge such as quality control and risk management is also important. Knowledge and skills related to quality control and risk management of the project you are in charge of are important parts of a project manager who is responsible for the stable completion of the project.
Could programmers be in less demand? Learn new skills to survive!
Just the skill of writing programs may decrease the demand for a programmer. Therefore, you need to aim for a career path like the one introduced here and acquire the necessary skills.
The first step for a programmer to survive is to find out what skills are in demand in the market, keep an eye out for trends, and think about a career path plan.
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