Generative AI Is Not Going To Build Your Engineering Team For You

Charity Majors makes some really interesting points about the consequences of “replacing” junior engineers with AI:

By not hiring and training up junior engineers, we are cannibalizing our own future. We need to stop doing that. People act like writing code is the hard part of software. It is not. It never has been, it never will be. Writing code is the easiest part of software engineering, and it’s getting easier by the day. The hard parts are what you do with that code—operating it, understanding it, extending it, and governing it over its entire lifecycle.


To state the supremely obvious: giving code review feedback to a junior engineer is not like editing generated code. Your effort is worth more when it is invested into someone else’s apprenticeship. It’s an opportunity to pass on the lessons you’ve learned in your own career. Even just the act of framing your feedback to explain and convey your message forces you to think through the problem in a more rigorous way, and has a way of helping you understand the material more deeply. And adding a junior engineer to your team will immediately change team dynamics. It creates an environment where asking questions is normalized and encouraged, where teaching as well as learning is a constant.

Lots more in the full article, it’s well worth a full read.