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The author is missing the fact that good developers can actually automate away a lot of those "lower on the totem pole" roles, or at least reduce the amount of repetitive stuff down to the point where the remaining work is quite abstract and basically just more programming.

This isn't counter to specialization -- in a big organization, people are certainly still going to specialize. But the "DBA" equivalent people are just programmers who have fresh expertise on the storage layer, and the "QA" people are just programmers who have expertise on the automated build and test systems.

The dentist analogy doesn't hold in software. A dentist handling secretarial work is just an expensive waste of time, due to comparative advantage. But a programmer replacing secretarial work with automation often reaps big long-term dividends.




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