There's no time like the present...unless you have a deadline. Then you find all types of time to do some other 'essential' things you've been meaning to get done. For instance, I had planned to write this newsletter earlier in the day, but then I saw all of the cables in my office that needed to be organized. Something I'd been putting off for a while.

For some reason, when I finish a short project before a different project I scheduled for the day, I get some sort of bizarre joy and sense of accomplishment. There should be some sort of study on this. It could be revolutionary...make some type of app that schedules all types of things, but gives you bonus points for accomplishing other things before the thing you scheduled.

Like if your boss says...I need this by the end of the day, you could track how many other things you could finish in addition to the thing you were assigned. I know, it seems dangerous, but organizing my cables into bags is going to pay off big in time saved.

There are lots of studies that show that setting your own deadlines, doesn't stop procrastination. Maybe it's just me, or it's a dumb idea...specially if your boss finds out you're using the app. At any rate, I did manage to finish writing this article today.

Your Developer Job is...Mostly Safe from the Great AI

Speaking of procrastination, I've been putting off thinking about how computers are going to get smart enough to take over developer jobs. I've been reading a lot of articles on No-code or Low-code or any number of things that are going to make developer jobs obsolete. I can assure you with a high level of confidence that your developer job is not going to go away.

The day computers become self-aware enough to program themselves, we're going to...have bigger fish to fry. But I'm not convinced we're smart enough to program something smarter than us. Most AI software are time saving devices that makes something we're already doing more efficient.

If anything, our hackers are getting so good at crashing things that they'll easily be able to take down even future computers. At least they'll be able to program computers that will hack the other computers and who knows, they'll all fry each other out. Maybe I should buy more camping equipment.

I love old science fiction movies and I'm often struck at how wrong they get things. Phones were still corded, there was no internet and the best thing people could think to use a computer for was keeping recipes. They've been scared about computers taking over their jobs for that long too.

The truth is that people have to be willing to make adjustments as time passes or risk losing their jobs. Thankfully people are extremely teachable. It's one of the great qualities that developers have learned to live with. Our jobs, specially on the web change all the time. JavaScript is so different today than 5 or 10 years ago that it would be unrecognizable to someone using a time machine from those times.

Technology Changes Things

In that way, technology hasn't been so good at making other things obsolete as much as changing how things are done. We didn't get rid of radio, phone, or TVs. Heck even print is still around. We're the pack rats of the universe.

I remember teaching a group of supermarket employees on how to use Desktop Publishing. I split the class into two parts and scheduled them about a month and a half in advance, so they would have time to practice the basics and I could approach more complex training later.

At the time, they had two focused on doing paste-up and one on the newer Desktop Publishing process. One of the ladies assigned to the training told me she did not want to be there, that she'd been doing paste-up the same way for over 10 years. She was only there because her boss assigned her to this class and she wasn't going to enjoy it. Well, I did my training as usual and left.

When I came back to teach the second part of the course, I remember the lady running out to the parking lot to give me a hug...telling me how much she loved what she was doing now. I guarantee you that a few years later some of the people that didn't adjust were out of a job.

Did the evil computers take away their It was their inability to adjust. That's what you need to watch out for. Develop a learning attitude and you'll be able to adjust with the times...even to the big scary AI.

The Great Github AI

GIthub Copilot

This week as Github announced a new tool called Github Copilot. It's an AI tool that generates code based on Github's publicly available code pool of billions of lines of code.

If you're a programmer, this is like autocompletion, but instead of a single line of code it's capable of writing entire functions for you. What's even cooler is that it can take comments you write and convert them to mostly usable code.

I did a livestream to demo this.

Some of the disadvantages I mention in the video are part of the reason I don't think AIs are taking over the world...or your job anytime soon. This tool is built as an aide to developers, not a replacement for them. The AI is smart, but not perfect. It can't make sure the code works, or that it's even modern code. Will it get better...sure. Will it take over your job. No.

Coming Soon

I did a poll asking people what type of livestreams they'd like me to do and there are two winners. One is a new show focused on tools I'm calling The Toolbox and another is a show that helps developers improve their LinkedIn Profiles. A review of your LinkedIn Profile, focused on developers. I'm in the process of developing graphics, music and other assets for the shows, so look for them soon.