move up the value curve

Kanken J.

Mandarin - Mainland China
Hi there,

The following paragraph is excerpted from an FT editorial on coding:

Those who understand coding from scratch will still be needed — not least to oversee the AI and correct any machine-generated mistakes. But as the grunt work is automated away, their skills will have to move up the value curve. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects US employment among “programmers”, narrowly defined, will fall 10 per cent over the next decade, but sees the number of software developers, including those responsible for planning, quality assurance, testing and integration, rising by a quarter.

The sentence in bold confuses me a bit. "Value curve" sounds very technical and google told me it's "a diagram which can be used to show instantly where value is created within an organisation's products or services". A possible example of the curve looks like the graph below:

No alt text provided for this image

However, based on that explanation, I still can't figure out the sentence's meaning. I know the question is more of a technical one than a language one, but perhaps anybody can shed some light?

  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    Hello. This should mean that human programmers (or whatever you want to call them) will do more technically demanding work. Machines will increasingly do the simpler, more repetitive tasks (the grunt work).
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    UK English
    People who understand coding from scratch will still be needed - but not to do the initial coding . In this area, their skills are of little value (that basic work is mostly automated). These skills will have to be deployed in those areas (indicated in the text) where they're of more value to modern employers.