Should developers be scared of AI?

The world of software development is rapidly evolving, and artificial intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of this revolution. AI is poised to change the way developers work. However, there are concerns that AI will replace developers and make their jobs obsolete. In reality, AI will help developer efficiency, not replace it.

One of the most significant use cases I’ve found for AI in my development work is its ability to automate repetitive tasks, such as using a bunch of similarly named, grouped variables. For instance, I recently was creating a ‘Human’ class, and needed all body parts for variables. That was suggested and picked up almost immediately by Copilot after a couple lines, and the whole class was done in mere seconds vs a few minutes. This adds up and means that I can focus on more complex and creative tasks, such as developing new features and creating new UI ideas or focusing on user feedback. The result is increased productivity and faster software development.

I am quite excited for a future in which I can describe the architecture of my Android app in as much detail as possible and then go in and clean up the resulting code manually to my specific vision. Developers will be fast tracked to a more active management role, just like the revolution AI is currently having on art.

AI also helps developers predict outcomes and identify issues before they occur. For instance, AI can analyze code and provide suggestions for fixes based on a database of common knowledge. This can be incredibly beneficial, especially when dealing with complex codebases or navigating a plethora of different APIs, as it can save developers valuable time and effort. As someone who recently worked on an Android app after being away from the scene for a few years, I found AI invaluable in suggesting the different cases I needed for permissions and navigating the slew of Android versions. Without AI, it would have been extremely difficult if not impossible to be aware of and implement all the specific random edge cases, which vary per version of Android. I could have researched for every single permission I was needing, but it saved hours of time. This not only improves the quality of the software but also reduces time spent on bug fixes.

AI will help developer efficiency, not replace it. As a whole, it will enable developers to focus on more complex and creative tasks, leading to increased productivity and faster software development. While there are concerns about the implications of AI, I think it’s as important to recognize its potential to improve software development and embrace it as a tool to enhance the work of developers.

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Published 2023-05-17 01:05:41

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