Why coders love the AI that could put them out of a job

By Padraig Belton
Technology of Business reporter

"When you start coding, it makes you feel smart in itself like you're in the Matrix [film]," says Janine Luk, a 26 year-old software engineer who works in London.

Born in Hong Kong, she started her career in yacht marketing in the south of France but found it "a bit repetitive and superficial".

So, she started teaching herself to code after work, followed by a 15-week coding boot camp.

On the boot camp's last day, she applied for a job at a cyber-security software company, Avast.

And started there a week later.

"Two and a half years later, I really think it's the best decision I ever made," she reflects.

When she started at the company, she was the first woman developer working on her team. She now spends her spare time encouraging other women, people of colour, and LGBT people to try coding.

For programmers like her, she says the most interesting shift recently has been the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) tools which can bite off increasingly big chunks of programming all by themselves.

In June, GitHub, a San Francisco-based code-hosting platform with 56 million users, revealed a new AI tool called Copilot.

You start typing a few characters of code, and the AI suggests how to finish it.

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UAE's entry level coders' salaries will not remain at Dh15,000/m levels for long

Being a coder is turning out to be a sound career option in the UAE

Dubai: Entry-level salaries for coders are set to shoot past Dh15,000 month levels as UAE organizations compete to pick out the best talent and track record available in the market. If retail-focused businesses were the most active last year, it’s the banking and healthcare sectors that have their eyes on coders now.

Each new app or digital service launched by a bank in the UAE is feeding the demand for computer programmers, with senior UAE Government sources saying that 100 coder jobs will be created a day. If in the past, organizations were outsourcing most of their tech development, many are now bringing these skills in-house to ensure a tighter grip on cyber security.

“Working as a coder can be a lucrative and fulfilling career once you've gained experience in the field,” said Vijay Gandhi, Regional Director at the HR consultancy Korn Ferry. “One can continue to increase the earning potential through expertise in a particular specialization – software coder, computer and network security coder, web coder or app coder.

“The pay levels then tend to start around Dh27,000 a month.”

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When Coding Is Criminal

Opinion: Programmers whose code is used to commit a crime face new and perilous legal threats.

A federal district court in Illinois recently dismissed the US government’s case against Jitesh Thakkar, a computer programmer who was accused of writing code that someone else used to commit a crime. But programmers at large are hardly off the legal hook. Expect more cases against them in the not-too-distant future.

Thakkar was one of seven individuals whom the U.S. Justice Department last January charged with the crime of “spoofing”—that is, in this instance, using an algorithm to trick a market. Thakkar was accused of creating an algorithm that enabled a London trader to artificially overstate demand for stock market futures. Aided by another developer’s software, this tactic sparked the 2010 “flash crash” that saw the US stock market lose $1 trillion in value in just 36 minutes.

Consider Thakkar’s case a warning to programmers the world over. They might assume they’re protected by the First Amendment when writing code, but that might not be the case. Computer coders would also be wrong to think they face no potential liability if they’ve been employed by someone else to make decisions about how a product is used.

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Here’s our first look at Google Chrome’s new design for Windows 11

Google has finally started testing a new design for Chrome on Windows 10 and Windows 11, and more details on the visual overhaul are now available.

Google is apparently using Microsoft Edge-like Windows 11 menu to bring the browser in line with the new operating system. The first glimpse of what Google Chrome may look like on Windows 11 is provided in the latest build of Canary, but you’ll need to turn a new experimental flag to see the improvements.

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