SAN FRANCISCO – Coding – at least as it’s traditionally done, by typing arcane commands on a keyboard – could soon become another job for the robots.
That was main idea behind GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath’s final keynote address on Wednesday, as he spoke to a room of programmers and developers at GitHub Universe, the popular development platform’s annual user conference.
“We think the future of coding is no coding at all,” said Wanstrath, who announced in August that he’d be stepping down as the company’s CEO as soon as he can find a replacement.
“Typing on a computer is such a low-fidelity way of exchanging information with a system,” he said, adding that sending verbal commands to a computer will someday be the normal way of creating software. “We’re really excited about seeing what this does for the future of software development.”
GitHub is, at its core, a business sustained by coders. But it’s long strived to make software development more accessible and efficient. With its extensive libraries of pre-written code and forums for troubleshooting, the company has been lauded as the “Facebook for programmers,” giving its developer audience a go-to hub to collaborate on software.
Moving forward, the fastest road to making coding easier is to just automate the whole processes, Wanstrath said. That way humans can focus on the higher-level strategy and design of software.
"Programming isn't about typing, it's about thinking," he said.
Despite Wanstrath's visionary forecast, GitHub didn't unveil any large-scale automation effort on Wednesday.
But the company did announce several data-driven updates to its developer platform. Among the new features is an automated security alert that will tell development teams when a piece of code in their software has a vulnerability. The feature will also alert users to known security fixes.
Additionally, GitHub is adding a newsfeed to help users find open-source projects to participate in and find out what's popular within the community. It's also updating its "explore" feature.