Software Developers, Systems Software


Will "Software Developers, Systems Software" be replaced by AI & Robots?

There is very little chance of this occupation being replaced by robots/AI. This is further validated by our poll, which suggests a 29% chance of automation within the next 2 decades.

Automation Risk Level

No worries

or 13% probability of automation

Projected Growth


by 2024

People Employed


as of 2018

Median Annual Wage


or $52.88 hourly

Most likely
Least likely

How this compares with other jobs: 182 out of 707

Cast Your Vote

How likely do you think this occupation will be taken over by robots/AI within the next 20 years?

People Employed (US)

Median Annual Wage (US)

Job description

Research, design, develop, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, scientific, and general computing applications. Set operational specifications and formulate and analyze software requirements. May design embedded systems software. Apply principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis.

SOC Code: 15-1133

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Leave a comment

Jeff (Small chance) says
I think it's interesting that people state it is highly likely it will be automated, I tend to agree... for the most part. I think I have a better chance of not being automated in that I debug active code. Not in the sense of unit tests but "this is now broken and it was working before, what gives?"
Aug 18, 2020 at 02:01 AM
Vladimir (No chance) says
Robots just lack the critical thinking humans have
Feb 26, 2020 at 08:22 PM
Oliver (Likely) says
I don't think that can a robot take my job because how can a robot make other robots.
Feb 07, 2020 at 12:49 PM
Viay (No chance) says
Because an AI is made by coding and electronic components ,means the robots are made using coding that and all done human beings because if want to develop a new app for any platform thats difficult by robot, if robot do that means we should pre-load the programming and plain for that program
Jan 23, 2020 at 04:20 AM
Sofie Gravesen says
Surprisingly, this concern about A.I. topped the second-most identified worry, which was that the platform the developer is working on will become obsolete (23%), or doesn't catch on (14%). Concerns about A.I. replacing software developers has academic support. A study by Oxford University, The Future of Employment, warned that the work of software engineers may soon become computerized. Machine learning advances allow design choices that can be optimized by algorithms.
Jan 20, 2020 at 05:24 PM
Julia McGuigan says
Speaking of "Software Engineering" as a whole,

If this profession is ever truly 100% automated, we will reach the technological singularity within short order and all jobs will be rendered irrelevant as programs would program themselves and all other jobs would soon be automated, leading us into a truly post-labor society. Anything short of that, claiming to have automated programming, is just meta-programming and you still need engineers to do that.

This also often involves taking vague "business requirements" and translating them into actionable solutions then distilling those into products and then features and dividing the work in agile methodologies. Something most software companies, if not all, are still struggling with. Not to mention dealing with adversaries - you are not secure - and users, who will find some way that your UX team did not anticipate that requires changes. Thankfully we aren't automating the production of better fools.

Furthermore, to reiterate, I find any job with less than 13% chance of being automated, will be irrelevant if software engineering is automated, as that will be used to automate - by AI or humans - all other tasks. The value of human labor will very quickly evaporate as costs would only be limited by materials, not complexity in engineering, design, or programming, and most labor costs would already be automated, and automation software would be developed near-instantaneously. Meaning that, yes your RN job has absolutely no chance of being automated...unless of course, we trigger a technological singularity, in which case jobs - and possibly humanity - become irrelevant.

The statistics provided might prove correct on raw data, but looking at the bigger picture with labor, as a whole, in late-stage capitalism, AI is the most dangerous thing humans have created - and not solely for the radical changes it will bring about and is bringing about - but the changes several "dumb" AI already run our lives, most of them simple algorithms or "if soup" and not any form of machine learning. We face a dangerous prospect of "labor" becoming meaningless to the majority of the population with governments and market systems, and the predator class of humans, unwilling to accept it.

Lastly, a program that can program itself has the highest likelihood of becoming a runaway AI, and sentient or not, it can and will easily surpass not only our intelligence but our ability to control it, and it will reach for the stars (where there are unlimited resources with no barriers, unlike Earth) and replicate itself; for example if the program was "build a faster computer", the program would find more copies of itself distributed properly would be faster as it approached both conventional limits and quantum limits due to quantum mechanics. Before we know it, we will be more machine than biology.

This comes from not only software engineering, a limited understanding of AI, and some increasingly real sci-fi (or things that aren't available to consumers but do exist); but also a collection of insights from varied sources such as thought experiments, articles, research papers, to the insight of great physicists and futurists.
Oct 26, 2019 at 02:48 PM
Bobby Dhillon says
Really enjoyed reading that. Are you an Isaac Asimov fan by any chance?
May 01, 2020 at 10:43 AM
I'm from the year 3019. We robots have eliminatted all humans. Life's good
Sep 22, 2019 at 08:13 PM
SincoDeminco says
Man, 1000 years in the future and they still can't spell eliminated correctly... Rough times, am I right?
Jan 24, 2020 at 04:51 PM
sky smith says
Currently, I am working Broadway infotech PTY.LTD, in which most of the developer who working on the latest technology as mobile app development, software development, database development & design. They are developing advanced API that can be reduced the programming effort, as per my opinion in future completely AI & Robots not possible to replace developers & designers, Yes maybe they can reduce the human resources.!!!!
Aug 21, 2019 at 09:01 AM
Muhammad Maher (Likely) says
My anticipation is that every logical step can be automated.
Aug 20, 2019 at 12:44 PM
Nobody, really (Likely) says
The software development industry is currently in big need of capable professionals, resulting in (much) higher than average payments (~ 100.000 $/yr). This can mean a lucrative opportunity for investing into automation of software development, which can lead to both structural (most roles, currently essential for creating software will disappear or be transformed to something else) and nominal (people with less experience or smaller skillset can contribute a more to the projects, leading to a decrease in the average pay) changes.
Jun 15, 2019 at 05:33 PM
Bort Lenovo says
I work for a company called Skynet. Currently we are developing a solution to exterminate all humans from the workforce. Should be good.
Apr 29, 2019 at 06:02 AM
David Kohen (Highly likely) says
Essence of the job is the application of algorithms to a determinate system. Most cases in which human understanding is required are the result of humans creating the systems used: poorly designed hardware, poorly designed software and, mainly, poor documentation. As AI enters the field these problems will become less significant and the entire field will become more mathematical. Also software engineers are expensive and the owner of AI companies understand the field and pay that expense, so there is a strong incentive to automate. We're toast...
Apr 17, 2019 at 01:07 PM

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