Life of a Software Developer in 2028​

Life of a Software Developer in 2028

AI has had a significant impact on the way we work.  The rapid integration of AI into all aspects of society has been enormous. It has been a little over a year since OpenAI introduced ChatGPT to the masses and what a shift it has been.  In fact, for those who have integrated AI into their daily lives, many probably cannot imagine how you did it before.  It is like the world before cell phones (for voice, text, pictures, and navigation) and the world after.

However, what will the world of a software developer look like in 2028 ?  In just 4 years, the landscape of software development will definitely undergo more transformative changes.  A lot will be driven by advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI).  AI has revolutionized how we approach problem-solving and project management, but what impact will it have on the daily lives of software developers.


Not so long ago

I remember sitting at some technology conference about 15 years ago when a woman at my table asked me if programmers had much to do these days.  I asked her what she meant to which she replied, with all the code generation tools at the time, she figured that they could easily generate software with little effort.  At the time, I laughed and told her that there was much more to software development than using a few code generation tools.  Good programmers were really necessary at the time and that would be the case for the foreseeable future.  Well the foreseeable future is here!  So what about now. 

First of all, the reason for this article is to explore the anticipated work environment of software developers in 2028.  Will they be dinosaurs.  We have heard business leaders like Mark Cuban say for a few years that many software development jobs will be replaced by AI.  At a minimum, computer science degrees will not hold the same value as in years past.  Hmm, what will the world of programming look like in 4 years.  Well for one thing, 4 years in technology is a very long time. It can be like 20 years in some industries.  Many things will change, however, I am not ready to sound the demise of software developers.  But, there will be and has already been a change in their daily activities. The winners will be those who understand AI tools and use them too their benefit. 

Life of a Software Developer in 2028​

The impact of AI on software development

Years ago, software developers would build their own libraries of code and carry from job to job so they did not have to keep reinventing the wheel.  At some point, the libraries were integrated into company  repositories of code allowing developers to share code across the organization.  Then with the advent of open source driven by community contributions, developers had access to software code from all over the world, de-necessitating that they build everything from scratch.  However, technology kept evolving.  Now we are in a world where the integration of AI into development tools is well underway and has already had a significant boost in productivity and creativity.  Developers not only have immediate access to code, but efficient, scalable code written in line with best practices.  This is a huge advantage to developers.  


Superior Collaboration 

Many of you may remember the days of Extreme Programming usage of Paired programming.  This is when two developers would work together on a computer to design and build software.  Two minds are better than one you know.  This is the same concept, however, one of the minds is AI.  AI driven code assistants will be the standard, writing code, and offering real-time suggestions for code optimization.  Rather than manually typing out thousands of lines of code, developers in 2028 will be able to describe in plain language what they want the software to do and have sophisticated AI coding assistants generate full blocks of code.  But what is going to make the collaboration even better is that every software development opportunity will be a learning opportunity as well.  Imagine a world where virtual assistants evolve into avatars that speak in natural languages.  A world where Avatars have names and personalities.  Developers will have the ability to customize the names and other characteristics on the fly in settings of development platforms.  Not only will the Avatars guide developers in building applications, but as code is generated, they can provide detail explanations of code on demand.  In addition, no longer is there a need for massive sets of documentation maintained by developers that is out of date after the first software update.  AI can be used to generate beautiful documentation full of pictures and diagrams, and we all know that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Finally, think about a world where a personal avatar can serve as a tutor and customize learning paths for new technologies based upon the developer’s existing knowledge.  This is continuous learning at it’s best. 

Life of a Software Developer in 2028​

Testing and Deployment

One of the biggest advancements will be in Testing: unit testing, regression testing and full integration testing.  Testing has long been an issue in software development, especially for developers.  Developers are typically not great at testing their own code.  Automated debugging and testing will become much more sophisticated, with AI systems capable of identifying and fixing errors almost instantaneously.  By using AI to identify potential bugs and flaws in the code, this will save developers countless hours spent on manual testing.  Any developer can probably tell you a story of spending late nights and weekends trying to  track down a bug in software.  In addition to testing, AI will also handle much of the DevOps work, using infrastructure as code to streamline deployment across environments. These innovations will allow developers to focus less on testing, which they probably dislike anyway, and spend more time on understanding real-world usages of solutions and outcomes.  


New Way of Thinking  

With all the power and innovative technology included with new development platforms, it will require a change in thinking.  Developers will be more like conductors of a great orchestra.  They will need to evolve from execution-oriented coding tasks mindset to a problem solving or solutions-oriented mindset.  They will focus on improving user experiences, envisioning innovative solutions, and other big picture development work that captures the imagination.  Developers will have to have to be Agile, ready to use the best technology to build impactful solutions.  Much will shift from writing thousands of lines of code to obtaining an understanding of the problem and using AI tools to build a solution.  The net will be a shift in what developers actually spend their time doing. With the grunt work being automated, developers will have a real opportunity to become forward thinkers and improve their value to the organizations.


Remote Work

The trend of remote work, accelerated by the Pandemic in 2020, will evolve with AI’s help. Virtual collaboration environments will be much more advanced, more immersive and interactive, thanks to AI-driven virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) tools. These tools will enable developers to work together in virtual spaces that simulate a real office environment, making remote work more engaging and efficient.  There will be less of a need for developers to work from the office full time.  In addition, with language translation, companies can truly have a global workforce enabling developers from USA to communicate seamlessly with developers in Germany, each speaking in their native language and having technology translate for them.    


Data Management and Reporting 

Another key improvement will be around using and deriving value from data.  There was a time several  years ago when programmers would spend much of their time generating reports, often several versions with minor revisions.  However, with the advent of data visualization software like PowerBI and Tableau, they were able to place this power in the hands of business users.  As software continues to ingest more and more data, AI will help developers easily process, analyze, and activate those data stores. Building data pipelines will no longer be complex coding endeavors, instead, AI will handle the busywork allowing developers to zero in on asking the right questions of data and designing systems around meaningful insights.  Large Language Models (LLM) will be enhanced to include data from company repositories including Data Warehouses, Data Lakes, and Data Lake houses.  



In closing, most will agree that the world of a software developer in 2028 will look much different from today.  With AI and other new technology advances, software developers will be able to be more creative and solve problems that seemed impossible a few years ago.  Those that thrive will be ones that continuously learn, use their prior development experiences to their benefit and not to their detriment by doing things the way they have always been done.  They must remain Agile and take advantage of opportunities that are presented by new technology.  


#softwaredev #generativeai #ai #aiassistant 

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Life of a Software Developer in 2028​