Macro Trend: Code becoming user interface

by williamldennis

It increasingly takes less code to build things on the consumer web and I think the importance of this macro trend is being significantly underestimated.

As engineering salaries remain high, I hear a lot of people advocating for web programming education. A few examples are sites for instruction online like codecademy and in-person courses like hackerschool and devbootcamp.

More engineers are absolutely necessary, useful, and crucial to a start up’s success as well as the general ecosystem. But for how many more years will engineering be a key competitive advantage? At what point will I be able to create a website using solely a graphical user interface (GUI)? I’m not talking about wordpress sites or blogs, but actual model-view-controller architecture that scales.

Programming languages almost reference this possibility implicitly: object oriented programming. It implies the web architecture exists in space and can be moved, touched, manipulated.

You can see some interesting progress being made with sites like newhive and moonbase. These aren’t just cookie cutter site generators, this is user generated web. The user is the programmer.

Programming started as ones and zeros and has become more and more abstracted, more and more user friendly. In a few years I think Ruby on Rails (or the equivalent in power) will be as user friendly and visual as Photoshop.

From there, the web is truly a sandbox.

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