World Where All the Programmers Have Gone Away
October 12, 2023
Imagine waking up to an ordinary morning.
People brew their coffee and turn on the television, only to be greeted by a worried news presenter. An hour ago, mysterious incidents unfolded globally. Countless individuals vanished; security forces of nations are on high alert. The world is in confusion. The only certainty is that everyone with programming skills or a technical mindset has gone away.
Just a Little Fewer People on the Planet?
Most people switched the channel to morning shows.
Some were sorrowful about the absence of their relatives or friends, and there were those who celebrated the cancellation of classes in schools and universities. But in general, the world stayed the same.
Towards evening, numerous talk shows emerged, denying the fact that absolutely all programmers had disappeared. Individuals on screens insisted they are programmers still present in this world, delving into obscure terms like "margins" and "pixels." Hence, the world went on living its life.
Crisis in Education and Commerce
Initially, difficulties emerged in schools.
Students couldn't shift from arithmetic to algebra and geometry - there were no teachers to guide these lessons. Technical universities faced a crisis, losing nearly all their faculty and over half of their student body. Some time later, trade sounded the alarm bells. In the minds of seasoned marketers and economists, new brilliant ideas are born, but there's no one to bring them to the buyers.
As business owners reach out to existing performers, they receive attractive interfaces and vibrant website prototypes, but it’s merely a facade. These websites have functioning buttons and links that direct users to the correct pages. However, customer orders remain unprocessed, data isn't transmitted to the database, and no statistics are gathered.
Back to Paper and Waiting Lines
Then came the hurdles with online services.
Due to a lack of new apps and websites, the load on existing ones significantly increased. Systems couldn't handle the overwhelming influx of users, leading to constant glitches and data losses. This forced businesses to expand their call center teams, first for complaints, later for orders, as online processing became impossible.
Taxi and food delivery services have returned to accepting phone orders - a slight but noticeable regression. State entities, already used to handle a large volume of bureaucratic matters online, are now forced to enlarge their paper records and bring back waiting lines in the corridors of their establishments. The banking industry resisted the longest, but after a few years, it too reverted to paper checks and statements.
However, it all was bearable until airplanes, trains, and ships had to stop moving.
They held out longer because of a significant reliability cushion. Yet, as software glitches grew over time, people had to abandon this transportation. The internal combustion engine is now almost the only device left for moving goods and people around.
But the quantity of accidents and fatalities on the roads rose sharply. There are no more cameras to deter reckless drivers, and emergency braking and passenger rescue systems work slower and slower in critical situations.
Threat of Starvation?
The road problems aren't the most alarming. Agriculture has suffered a significant decline.
The majority of combines had long been navigating using satellite systems. Issues in the space industry, which heavily relied on tech professionals, resulted in less precise data. Combines made more mistakes, resulting in higher crop losses, and manual control of agricultural equipment slowed down operations. Hence, the sector's efficiency decreased, contributing to elevated global hunger levels.
But hunger was creeping closer to the world not just due to combines. All calculations in the research endeavors to enhance medicines, fertilizers, and metal alloys had to revert to paper, affecting trials speed and quality. More trials were needed, and results took a longer time to emerge.
It Has Gone Way Beyond Any Boundaries!
What truly shocked everyone - iPhone 15 now cost more than iPhone 16, and especially iPhone 17.
Advertising boards shifted from "New generation of that thing" to "Old generation of that thing." Human incapacity to invent new tech led them to cherish the old.
However, the devices are deteriorating, and we lack blueprints to create spare parts - they were all long stored in computers, converted into digital formats. And very few could reproduce the paper blueprints. Those who shine on TV, talking about "margins" and "pixels," don't exhibit the same brilliance when it comes to technical drawings.
Society is steadily regressing. There is simply no one to prepare new technical specialists.
Apocalypse? No, Let's Not Lose Faith in Humanity!
Humanity has set out on a new journey of progress.
There was a considerable regression in humanity's technological development, but it didn't reach a complete halt. The decline finally came to a stop, and people started to slowly and steadily amass knowledge and experience again.
We have a long and exciting path of accomplishments and discoveries ahead of us. Sooner or later, we will climb back to the stage we occupied before that strange morning when the whole world turned away from news about the mysterious disappearance of tech people to resume watching talk shows.