Can web developers find work after 20/30 years?

There are a lot of easy web development services out there. Are these people still needed? Should the computer engineering student head towards better fields?

Well, someone has to make those services, and those services can’t be used for most of the internet (just think of Netflix, Amazon, Google… there is a lot of smaller stuff with same level of complexity that can’t be done with those services)

Yes, developers are still needed, they just have less static websites to do

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Yes, definitely, a web developer can find work in the upcoming 20 to 30 years.
It’s a great career choice provided you’re an endless learner, a curious tinkerer,
and a keen creator. Web development as a career is still in demand as it is
currently. The web developer, as a career, has evolved a lot with time.

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“Web development” that you see are only the tip of an iceberg. My guess is that u are referring to the visual aspect of web or even ones that are for specific domain, which largely already replaced by tons of services like squarespace, shopify and so on. Which indeed there’s a on going trend of automating simple and trivial requirements with CMS, but may be the trend is slower or weaker than you thought.

However for any non-trivial applications, it goes far far beyond than a CMS could do. To really have an answer, it all depends on how you value “better” in a field, just to list out some perspective

  1. Job opputunity wise, list out the web applications could be done in with those big name “easy web services” out there and see what they offer. And think in reverse on what else business requirement, customizations that they can’t do. Chances are that the can’ts far out number the cans, and the requirement of new applications are continously evolving. What are the chances that the need of people implementing those become obsolete in a foreseeable future?
  2. Complexity/Skill wise, grab a piece of paper and put down what you thought you need know for web development, and do some research on what skillset and tech stacks are out there to have a full knowledge map of entire web development. I promise it would blow your mind on the spectrum of subjects and skills that are under web dev. And better yet, the complexity and variety with all these toolings are still building up and there are no sign of stopping anytime soon.
  3. True answer. Really try to give a deeper thought instead of scratching the surface with a general question that you might never find any satisfying answer. What are the other better fields in the domain of computer science? What do you even mean by better? Is it something quantifiable? How do you even see into the future of 20/30 years under the realm of CS? Each person with their own experience would give you their reason of why or why not, which might not even be what u are looking for. Let say find research report on popularity of software engineer expertise in different domain outlook or past summaries. Or find salary projection on different expertise if you are into that $$$life. Or what are the frontier areas in CS that is breaking through in next 10 years if you passion is in academic?
    Do your own research and spend time and give it more thought, on what kind of “better” fit into your passion, your life, and how you want to leave your mark in this world. Hope you find those better fields soon and dont forget to share them with the world.

Regardless of the level of automation/drag-and-drop sites offer there is one point that will keep developers relevant for the future.

People who want stuff built don’t usually know what they want.

So yes you can go onto a site like Wix and make a good looking static website. But what about more advance cases? If I wanted to automate some process within a buisness to save my people time and money I can’t use Wix. I could use a more advance software to help me build an app. However what if I start building the wrong thing because I don’t actually understand my own needs? This is where a human can come in and help build the right thing.

I personally believe the main thing to focus on is the “how does this solve people’s problems”, because people don’t go out of style. Its one thing to know how to do HTML/CSS/JS, its another knowing how to wield it to solve human problems. You gotta know the fundamentals to wield it, but the fundamentals are just a means to an end.

Keep learning, keep building and keep sticking with it, there is demand and will be demand. :slight_smile:

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The art of programming a computing device will always remain, unless computing devices evolve to produce conditional logic on their own. Even then, the computing devices will still need to be programmed to enable this type of evolution. Therefore, the chicken can never become its egg. A computer can never become its own programmer.