Should today’s developers worry about AI code generators taking their jobs?

At a high level, the answer is no.

Today’s COBOL developers maintain 60-year-old COBOL systems that capture the business domain knowledge accumulated over decades.

Today’s Java developers work on 20-year-old enterprise Java projects using libraries that have been around for 30 years and implementing business processes ironed out to the point of near perfection.

Today’s JavaScript developers will maintain 20-year-old Angular and React apps written in a transpiler language piled on top of another transpiler language piled on top of an interpreted language built upon another interpreted language and using 7673 abandoned npm modules 20 years from today. Mark my words.

While AI code generators are maturing, you are sitting there getting work done, writing lines of code. You, or someone like you, will maintain those lines of code for the next 20 years. 

Until AI can take a complex running system that integrates thousands of libraries, APIs, business rules, and domains, work with thousands of users and understand their needs, I think your job is safe.

On the other hand, you should be worried if your skills don’t extend beyond passing a simple code interview. You should be concerned if you lack personality and friendliness, can’t function in a team, and have no imagination. If large complex projects like I described in the above paragraph confuse and baffle you, you should also be worried.