Not so dead an end. I have 35 years as a "coder" and am still loving it. I make good money by anyone's standards, and look forward to each new challenge. The field is always evolving. I'll be speaking at my daughter's school next week to share my perspective with middle school kids. Bottom line? Figure out what you love and do it. It just might be programming.
Talent is what you are born with. Skill is what you work to develop. It seems obvious that a talented person can reach higher skill levels than a lesser talented person.... If they work at it. Ah! There's the rub.