Being a software Engineer

The monumental changes coming to software this decade. Replit founder, Amjad Masad

I don’t think people understand the monumental changes coming to software this decade. Quick thread:
Last century making software got progressively easier going from machine code to assembly to higher-level and then scripting languages. The last major productivity boost in software was OSS. Each of those steps was 10-100x boost but then it stopped…
AI is the next 100x productivity boost. Copilot/Ghostwriter is just the early innings bringing 30-50% improvement. The next generation coding AI will not be mere text complete and will lead to rapid change in how we make software.
At Replit, we’re building an AI pair programmer that uses the IDE like a human does and has full access to all the tooling, open-source software, and the internet. In the next few years, programmers will operate at a higher level than mere code.
Crucially, it won’t be “prompting” — we believe that’s more a bug than a feature — it will be a combination of the AI predicting what task you want done next and doing it for you, plus a dialog-based agent that follows your commands.
Programmers will command armies of software agents to build increasingly complex software in insane record times. Non-programmers will also be able to use these agents to get software tasks done. Everyone in the world will be at least John Carmack-level software capable.
The other seismic shift will be coordination primitives for developers. Chief among them is payment primitives. Bitcoin Lightning, for example, bakes value right into the software supply chain and makes it easier to transact both human-to-human and machine-to-machine.
Driving the transaction cost and overhead in software down means that it will be a lot easier to bring developers into your codebase for one-off tasks. Lightning helps with coordination, where staking can keep participants honest and pay for the exact work.
One way to visualize this is that software will move from a stack to a network model. In the stack world, we assemble code in a repo and ship it somewhere to run and then monetization is bolted on. In a network model, code is fully monetized and running all the time.
Put these things together, one developer will have the power of an entire network of AIs, people, and services at their fingertips. I believe a 100x productivity boost is the lower bound here.
Appendix: how we’re building towards that future at Replit. Bounties:

Follow: @amasad



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