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Codepast people – programmers’ sunset

Reading time 5 min
Views 1.3K
Programming *Science fiction
Translation
Original author: Pavel Gurov

— Glitchy couch! — Anton exclaimed, yet another time crushing down his fingers by heavy coach he and Sergey were pulling for 14 storeys already.
— ‘Glitchy’? — Sergey asked — have you been coder in the past too?
They’ve been working almost a week together, but Sergey would have never suspected he was coder in the past. Lean and muscular Anton did not look the part at all.
— I had to in my student years, — Anton answered, abashed.
— Relax! One of us. Layout, three years and JS for every browser out there, — Sergey perked up, pushed the couch and pressed it a bit forcefully on Anton.


— Careful! This thing is heavy. I got only seven functional fingers left thanks to it. By the way, it is better not to talk about your codepast around here. If someone tells on you — they will kick you out in an instant.
— They do that? My last job — they did not fire anyone, it was just considered uneven to speak on the matter, — Sergey was surprised a bit and almost dropped couch, but collected himself at the last moment.
— Yes, our boss — he dislikes ex-coders great deal. He says: ‘those who think too much won’t work a lot’. There are about ten ex-coders around here and they work here only due to the fact they knew boss for a while — me included.
— You don’t say… And I thought I am only ex-coder around here, would have never guessed others too.
— Who’d want to tell about codepast now? They keep quiet about us and we are thankful for that. I have a friend — Vitaliy, at his workplace they invented a new trick to expose ex-coders. They tell story in a smoker room about some guy that developed a site faster than 14-coder team. Or tell that 9 years ago someone infiltrated coding contest and won it with mere phone beating best coders in a city. So they tell those stories and they watch if someone reacts and uncover himself. People with codepast can’t hear it for long, they expose themselves. Let’s rest… there are 12 more storeys left and I don’t feel my fingers, my grasp is weak.
— What passions. I heard about it, but I thought it’s all hearsay. Were there any smartphones that good 8 years ago? I thought technology is only 7 years old.
— They were. It was distributed as firmware for a phone at first. There was one fox who worked days an honest job in some company and pulled night shifts uploading that secret firmware to a restricted network. I remember earning my first apartment this way. Registered on a freelance site and was feeding jobs to that phone, he gave me clean and readable code. I could do 2-3 jobs a night. At that time you had to explain everything to the phone — it could not figure it out by itself. In a year it smarted up to a pocket web-server level, a year after coders became obsolete — even new code for those phones were written by other phones!
Anton hit coach’s leg in frustration, a thump sounded and smell of dust filled the air.
— How long are you going stall? — a voice above sounded.
— Four storeys left! — shouted Anton in ringing voice. He grasped couch, turned around and asked in quietly — how CodeSet dawned upon you?
— My mom called me. She informed in a voice most pleased that she made a site that I promised her for seven months. I checked — indeed: fine site layout, opens quickly, clean code. Not much info about her gardening yet, but I could tell there are articles added every day, everything is handy and structured. She told me that she saw in news report a story about making site of your own with phone. You just have to tell phone you want to make one and what you want to put there. She has been talking to her phone for half a day and it made everything the way she want. Sure thing I checked that too.
— You decided to check yourself? — Anton knew what Sergey will answer already.
— Yeah, the very same evening. I have never spoken to the phone before, had its AI switched off — using it for calls was handy, just ringer. — Sergey grabbed the couch more handy and continued — I switched it on and asked to make a HelloWorld page. A second later I’ve been looking at it on my rig’s display. Most amusingly the page was hosted on my phone. I had a chill down my spine. I asked phone to make a page with my resume and my project’s story. Then I gave it access to my computer. Two second later I saw my resume with actual data. Blasted phone found my old resume, updated the data, made a page and hosted it. As if it was reading my mind it found every successful project I made and added it to resume too. Most scary thing is that thing understood meaning of expression «play with fonts» and picked up design according to my preference. I understood how mom could accomplish what she had in mind so quickly. Now she adds content to her gardening site by simple talking to her phone, adds photos there and talk to other people. Her server is her phone in right pocket of hers.
That evening I’ve been fiddling with the phone for a long time making it program complex algorithms and sophisticated models. I’ve been desperately trying to find any advantage of living human coder over AI. It was like a bucket of cold water for me. I realized: they can replace me with a simple phone that could be bought in any store.
There just was resounding straining footsteps and coach shuffling off walls was heard for a while.
— And now am I thinking about script for a bot that could pull this coach instead of us.
— Me too, — said Anton.




Translated by Rolan Storm

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