Assembly code, which is otherwise known as assembly language, is a method by which a large number of programmers used to have no choice but to operate when they wanted to design any sort of code. Whether it was an operating system, an executable or any other type of code, to program meant that you had to use the assembly language. The question is, have programmers in the modern age (when many do not use assembly language at all, and some do not even know it) gone “soft” because they no longer use assembly language, or have they actually gotten to be stronger as a profession because they no longer need such things? It can be very difficult to identify the answers to these types of questions, because it can be opinion based.
On the one hand, back when you had to program everything “by hand,” there was a definite art to making sure that everything went correctly. When you had to go in and check out every single line of code that you had written, just to make sure that it all worked correctly, it was definitely up there with old fashioned woodworking as far as crafts go. In this modern age, with assembly code largely being hidden within the guts of other programs which help you considerably, some of that art has definitely been lost.
But on the other hand, there is also something great to be said for the fact that now, programmers can take a more relatively aristocratic tack when it comes to deciding on their code. When you can simply outline an action and know that your code is going to compile properly (because the computer checks it for you), you can free yourself up to use some very powerful other types of languages. After all, a powerful programming language opens up all kinds of additional options, and it’s easier.