The coming revolution in software development — from by Matt Bornstein


Amid the deep learning hype, though, many observers miss the biggest reason to be optimistic about its future: deep learning requires coders to write very little actual code. Rather than relying on preset rules or if-then statements, a deep learning system writes rules automatically based on past examples. A software developer only has to create a “rough skeleton,” to paraphrase Andrej Karpathy from Tesla, then let the computers do the rest.

In this new world, developers no longer need to design a unique algorithm for each problem. Most work focuses, instead, on generating datasets that reflect desired behavior and managing the training process. Pete Warden from Google’s TensorFlow team pointed this outas far back as 2014: “I used to be a coder,” he wrote. “Now I teach computers to write their own programs.”

Again: the programming model driving the most important advances in software today does not require a significant amount of actual programming.

What does this mean for the future of software development?