Technology is developing really fast and it is not a secret for anyone. Although the tech world is growing really fast, achieving more and more advances, we may not be too far from AI being a major part of the developing process which helps developers eliminate some of the more basic tasks of coding.
Chandra Kalle, who is VP of engineering at LeanTaaS, noted that much of software development is actually spent doing these everyday tasks, so handing those tasks over to a tool that can do it for them can free up an engineer to spend more time innovating. The mundane tasks Kalle is referring to can include installing third-party frameworks, writing test scripts, and other setup tasks required before coding. Kalle also added:
“We don’t need AI that will replace the developer. We don’t need AI that can really solve all the complex business logic problems that they go out to solve. But we could have AI that can keep the developer focused on working on the most important things. That will be huge.”
A Kryon’s 2021 Automation at Work survey says that 32% of employees admit they waste more than half of their day doing repetitive or mundane tasks. 79% report that those tasks take approximately up to 30% of their time.
According to this research, almost 96% of employees admit that all these tasks have a negative impact on their productivity. About 62% of them expressed their opinion that they do not have enough time for professional development. Almost 52% would like to have more time for creative thinking, and 38% wished they had more time for strategizing. Kalle commented:
“That is one manifestation of what’s possible with the new generation of AI, which is quite exciting, even though it’s very nascent. I expect more companies to leverage this approach to solve all the repetitive and mundane things that developers do,”
Ryan Jones, who is a VP of software engineering at Jobber – a company that provides business management tools, thinks that incorporating AI into the development process may be one of the most important developmental changes that we see over the next decade.
At this time, when a developer needs some help because he got stuck with a problem or a question, he is forced to leave their browser and open up Google where they have to search for information in order to come up with an idea or a solution for their question or a problem, which seems quite inconvenient.
New tools eliminate that step and accomplish the same thing all within the editor. One such tool is GitHub Copilot. It allows a developer to type what they need as a comment in the editor and it will create a code snippet that might help. Jones said:
“If you think of all the steps that it just removed, you’re no longer having to go to Google, you no longer have to go to Stack Overflow.” I had mentioned that sometimes you’ll take an answer from Stack Overflow, and you’ll make changes to it. And within your code, tools like GitHub Copilot will actually be context-aware and pull variables from your code right into the solution. In self-driving cars or assistive driving, at this point, you still have to keep both hands on the wheel as you’re driving. And I’d liken GitHub Copilot to a similar way where you still have to keep your hands on the wheel as you’re in your editor, and are making sure you understand what GitHub Copilot is giving you,”
Kalle, however, thinks that these AI tools need to learn from a wide range of similar applications in order to come up with better predictions and suggestions. As an example, if a developer wants to create a wrapper within their codebase in order to send an email, that piece of code could be auto-generated. Why? Well, because there is already a wide range of public use cases to learn from. On the other side, AI needs to develop more in order to understand the product and the problem a developer is trying to solve. Kalle said:
“We haven’t seen any product in both dimensions that we would use today and say, ‘Oh, wow, this has really made my life easier.’ I think the excitement for us, for me, is the art of what’s possible,”
Also, the cost plays a significant role in adoption. It is a barrier especially for small to medium businesses. According to Kalle, every step that a business takes in order to grow is very costly. He admits that his company has a sharp focus on where they invest their time in engineering efforts.