Triin Kask: App developers vs bots – the end-game

What is your plan B when you’re going to be fired because a robot is replacing you as a software developer? Mobile app developers today need to start thinking how to improve their skill-set and be prepared for tomorrow, writes Triin Kask, a co-founder at Greenhouse CI.

Estonian startup GreenhouseCI, in co-operation with Microsoft Flux, is initiating a wider discussion about the opportunities and threats in the future of mobile app development.

We all know the world is changing – today’s cars are like yesterday’s spaceships, our mobile phones have more computing power than mainframes few decades back and the internet is, in fact, everywhere. It even seems unrealistic to think there were times when Google was not yet founded or Facebook was just an idea in a dorm room. Most of the changes happen as existing things evolve into smaller and smarter – smartphones replacing phone booths to cloud-based streaming replacing CDs, and so on.

Technology seems to makes things just simply harder, better, faster, stronger.

Is it so simple? The real change is already here and it will replace the core value of our industrial society – us, humans. It is called artificial intelligence; robots with the ability to learn.

You may think this is science fiction or, in a better case, it’s just something that doesn’t affect you at all. But this is, unfortunately, not true. Robots are here to stay – we are already seeing robot-judges predict trials of human rights, cars without drivers, robot doctors, robots fighting against cybersecurity, search and rescue robots and so on.

In China, 77% of jobs are to be replaced by robots. The US banking industry could lose 40% of jobs to robots. Just a few examples of what is going to happen in the near future.

As in every other industry, mobile app development is looking constantly to automate manual work as much as possible. There are many productivity tools available that make the development of mobile apps a much easier and quicker process. You can already read about ongoing scientific discussions about robots being able to write and evaluate the code for applications.

One of the most intriguing questions is whether automation by robots will be replacing human labour, or is it going to help humans work on more sophisticated and important tasks? What if our role will be of visionaries and creators that can use robots and AIs to make our dreams come true?

This is no longer a science fiction but a reality that soon seems so obvious that we can’t imagine our life without it. Thus, while we’re looking at the trend of mobile replacing web, we should be already thinking of the next technology shift. Mobile app developers today need to start thinking how to improve their skill-set and be prepared for tomorrow.


The opinions in this article are those of the author. The cover image is illustrative.

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