The Impact and Perception of AI Tools on Software Development

JJohn August 7, 2023 11:12 PM

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been changing various industries, and the world of software development is not left out. Our perception of AI affects how it impacts our work, and this article delves into developers' perspectives on AI tools and their influence on software development processes.

Perception and use of AI among developers

Artificial Intelligence's growing popularity in the software development landscape can't be ignored. Recent findings from a Stack Overflow survey indicated that a significant 70% of developers are either currently using AI tools or have plans to incorporate them into their workflow. However, the acceptance and application of these tools can vary based on factors such as the developer's profession, level of experience, and the country they are from.

AI as a utility tool in development tasks

AI tools serve various purposes for different developers. On one hand, they act as learning aids for those new to coding, helping them understand the codebase and write code. On the other hand, they significantly aid professional developers in the more advanced and complex tasks of code writing, debugging, testing, committing, and reviewing code. However, the use of AI for collaboration amongst team members is currently less prevalent.

AI tools improving productivity and learning speed

AI's benefits in the software development landscape are manifold. According to the developers surveyed, the promise of increased productivity is the most significant benefit, with 33% of respondents indicating this. AI tools like GitHub Copilot, which provide code suggestions, auto-completion, and error detection, are revolutionizing and speeding up the coding process. Additionally, beginners find that these tools enhance their learning speed. Yet it's worth noting that only a small percentage of developers see increased accuracy as a benefit of AI tools.

According to the Stack Overflow survey data, the AI tools that have captured the most developers' attention are ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot. ChatGPT has won popularity among developers as an AI search tool, with 79% of users planning to use it again. GitHub Copilot, on the other hand, has emerged as the most popular AI coding assistant. However, a general skepticism about AI accuracy seems to hinder wider adoption of a variety of AI tools. It's always prudent to verify the output of these tools due to occasional inaccuracies that could cause significant application damage.

Getting started with AI in the realm of software development can be as simple as incorporating AI-powered code generation and editing tools into your development process. Tools like GitHub Copilot and Tabnine can suggest appropriate code snippets based on context, significantly reducing development time. Additionally, ChatGPT proves useful for generating utility functions, UI components, and debugging code, even capable of creating web apps with the right prompts.

Building trust in AI for entire application development

While AI's impact on software development is largely appreciated, the complete trust in AI tools to code an entire application is yet to be fully embraced by many developers. However, AI is undeniably transforming the way developers build applications. By leveraging AI tools, developers can streamline various stages of the development process such as writing code, testing, debugging, and code review, thereby significantly optimizing the development life cycle.

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