Software Built to Replace a Human

5/26/2006 8:42:34 AM

Software Built to Replace a Human

I just noticed this blog post on “software built to replace a human” referred to by someone in Joel’s forms. That’s the whole raison d’etre for my software company, SoftPerson — hence the name.

Currently at work I'm writing some EDI (electronic data interchange) software that I know for a fact will perform a job currently done by a human being. Whether this person will be assigned to a new duty or laid-off I don't know, though it is a little disconcerting to think about the later.

There must be many, many developers out there working on software that will replace the job of a human being; how do they feel about it?

personally I'm not going to lose sleep over it (I don't get enough as it is!), though I can't help but feel a slight "moral twinge". I am firm believer in survival-of-the-fittest and I'm not about to give up my own job so someone can keep theirs, but at the same time I still have a sense of morality.

I don’t feel any moral twinge. If I do my job well, perhaps some people will lose their jobs, but many more people will be able to do things they never reasonably expected to before.

(Personally, in Excel, when I was helping develop new OLAP functionality into Excel PivotTables, I was well aware and feeling somewhat guilty knowing that many OLAP companies would lose business with free functionality that came with the combination of Excel 2000 and SQL Server Analysis Services. I am over it now, though.)

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Net Undocumented is a blog about the internals of .NET including Xamarin implementations. Other topics include managed and web languages (C#, C++, Javascript), computer science theory, software engineering and software entrepreneurship.

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