Dear developer, are you one AI model away from being replaced? | by James Matson | September 2023


From nerdy excitement to existential dread, LLMs evoke so many emotions in developers. Are any of them scared? Should you be worried about your job?

The future software developer? Forgotten in an alley, writing JavaScript for change? Sitting among the graves of past careers? Credit:

My day job is as a software engineer.

I design and build software and lead a team of people who do exactly the same thing. I don’t work at a FAANG or one of the “big” banks, so I certainly don’t consider myself a subject matter expert on anything in particular. I’m just a guy who really, Really loves software.

As a child of the 80s, I grew up around what could be considered the first wave of personal computers. My childhood best friend was – for better or worse – a Commodore 64, then an Amiga 500 (followed by the incredibly powerful Amiga 2000HD – 52MB of hard drive storage! Pwhoar.)

I started experimenting with coding around the age of 10. At first it was C64 Basic which followed obscure instructions presented in magazines adorned with cassettes like ZZap64! and later on Amiga using long dead languages ​​like AMOS.

Yeah. I really was that young once, never far from a computer.

My early teenage nights were spent leaving my Amiga on all night to render frame after slow frame of seemingly impossible landscapes using View Fractal generators. Better than any alarm clock was the allure of waking up early in the morning to find that the measly 30 frames of animation had finished calculating, my reward being a 10-second “flyover” of a landscape of mountain.

Today? A blurry mess in low resolution. In 1992? Magic. Source:

I think I was destined to pursue a career in technology. From the moment a Commodore 64 appeared – with all the mystery of a childhood Christmas – under the tree, I was hooked.

I really enjoy my work. I’m one of those people who feels blessed because whatever I do in my day job, I would have a lot of fun doing it “just because.” It’s rare…


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