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David Heinemeier Hansson

March 13, 2024  2024 年 3 月 13 日

Developers are on edge

It's a double whammy of anxiety for developers at the moment. On the one hand, the layoffs are dragging on. The industry has shed more jobs in a shorter period than any time since the dot-com bust over twenty years ago. Seasoned veterans who used to have recruiters banging on their door nonstop can suddenly barely get a callback. And now the threat of AI suddenly got even more urgent and imminent with the launch of Devin.
目前開發人員面臨著雙重焦慮。一方面,裁員仍在持續。自二十多年前的互聯網泡沫破裂以來,該行業在較短的時間內失去了比任何時候都更多的工作崗位。曾經被獵頭公司不停打擾的資深老手們突然間幾乎無法得到回電。現在,隨著 Devin 的推出,AI 的威脅變得更加迫切和即將到來。

If you zoom out, though, developers are still flying high on tailwinds that took them to the moon over the past decade. Yes, hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs in the tech industry, but the preceding hiring bonanza still leaves us with an enormous and wealthy industry. And the wage gains secured during the go-go days are still massive, despite what inflation has eroded over the last few years. Contrast the fortunes of premium programmers in 2024 with their situation from 2014 or 2008, and they're still looking mighty privileged.
如果你放大觀看,開發人員仍然在過去十年帶領他們飛向月球的順風中飛翔。是的,數十萬人在科技行業失去了工作,但之前的招聘狂歡仍然讓我們擁有一個龐大而富有的行業。盡管通脹在過去幾年中侵蝕了多少,但在繁榮時期獲得的工資增長仍然巨大。將 2024 年高級程序員的命運與 2014 年或 2008 年的情況作對比,他們仍然看起來非常特權。

But humans don't react to absolute status or wealth. All the anxiety or exhilaration is in the delta. Are we moving up or down? Forwards or backwards? And right now, except for a tiny group of gilded AI wizards, most programmers have either seen their prospects stalled or become more precarious. So yesterday's wins are quickly pushed aside by tomorrow's worries.
但人類對絕對地位或財富沒有反應。所有的焦慮或振奮都在變化中。我們是在上升還是下降?向前還是向後?而現在,除了一小群金光閃閃的 AI 巫師外,大多數程序員要麼看到自己的前景停滯不前,要麼變得更加不穩定。所以昨天的勝利很快就被明天的擔憂所取代。

There's some irony in this change of fortune. Programmers, as a group, have prospered tremendously by automating other people's jobs over the past half century. But when it's other people's livelihoods, we naturally have a much easier time seeing the big picture. That the aggregate prosperity of the world improves as productivity goes up. It's a little harder when it's your own profession feeling the pressure.

It's hard to tell how real that pressure actually is, though. Okay, the layoffs are indisputable, and the tough hiring environment an inevitable consequence. But the wreckage of the dot-com bust was cleared in a few short years, and then it was back to full steam ahead. And exuberant tech analysts told cabbies in 2017 that self-driving cars were going to put them all out of a job in a hot minute. That still hasn't happened either.
很難說這種壓力到底有多真實。好吧,裁員是無可爭辯的,嚴峻的招聘環境是不可避免的後果。但是,在幾年的時間裡,互聯網泡沫的殘骸被清理乾淨,然後又回到了全速前進。在 2017 年,狂熱的科技分析師告訴計程車司機,自動駕駛汽車將在一瞬間讓他們失業。這種情況仍然沒有發生。

That's the trouble with The Future. It's awfully difficult to predict when it'll actually arrive. All we're doing is making bets and taking guesses.

My guess would be that just like agriculture went from requiring the participation of 97% of the world's population in the age of subsistence farming to the mere 2% required for our industrial processes today, so too will go the way of the programmer.
我的猜測是,就像農業從在自給自足農業時代需要全球 97% 的人口參與,到如今我們工業過程僅需 2% 的參與者一樣,程式設計師的情況也將如此。

That is, I do think we've probably seen the high-water mark of the manual programmer. That maybe our industry and employment charts might look like the Tokyo stock market when we look back from the future. Sideways since the 90s.
這意味著,我認為我們可能已經看到手動編程師的巔峰。也許當我們從未來回顧時,我們的行業和就業圖表可能會看起來像東京股市。自 90 年代以來一直橫向。

Now that still leaves an enormous industry with plenty of prospects, of course. If anything, AI is likely going to make the tech industry even more integrated in society and thus more valuable. But we just might not need as many human programmers pounding code with their little meat fingers. Just like the aggregate value of the agricultural industry has gone up a lot since the pre-industrial era, even if the number of hands in the field have shrunk to almost nothing.

So while it's hard to do, it's useless to worry. The Future is out of your hands and out of your control. No profession has ever successfully resisted automation or redundancy in the face of technological advancement over the long term. Screaming at Devin will only distract you from enjoying the last glorious years of a golden run.
所以雖然很難做到,但擔心是沒有用的。未來不在你的掌握之中,也不在你的控制之下。在長期的科技進步面前,沒有任何職業能夠成功地抵抗自動化或冗餘。對 Devin 大喊只會讓你分心,無法享受最後幾年的黃金時光。

C'est la vie! 這就是生活!

About David Heinemeier Hansson

Made Basecamp and HEY for the underdogs as co-owner and CTO of 37signals. Created Ruby on Rails. Wrote REWORK, It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work, and REMOTE. Won at Le Mans as a racing driver. Fought the big tech monopolies as an antitrust advocate. Invested in Danish startups.
作為 37signals 的共同所有者和 CTO,為弱勢群體創建了 Basecamp 和 HEY。創建了 Ruby on Rails。撰寫了《REWORK》、《It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work》和《REMOTE》。作為賽車手在勒芒贏得了比賽。作為反壟斷倡導者與大型科技壟斷公司作鬥爭。投資了丹麥初創企業。