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Will AI Replace Developers?

Hey there! Let’s chat about something that’s on everyone’s radar: AI. It’s big, it’s everywhere, and let’s face it – it can be pretty daunting. But here’s the big question hanging over us: Will AI make developers obsolete? My answer is yes, it certainly has the potential, but only if you allow it to. It’s fundamentally about embracing AI as an invaluable asset to enhance our skills rather than viewing it as an ominous force poised to take over.

You can learn more about this hot topic by viewing Dustin Usey’s workshop Will AI Replace Developers?

Learning from History

Let’s rewind to when calculators first hit the scene. Did they make math teachers obsolete? Far from it. They became a critical tool in teaching. This is the perspective we need to adopt with AI in the development world.

Debugging in the AI Era

Let me walk you through a real-life scenario. I was wrestling with a bug in a ChatGPT bot for Discord. In the fast-paced world where AI is zooming ahead, being quick and smart is the name of the game. The fear that AI might snatch our jobs is real, but it’s also a massive opportunity to speed up our work and cut down on costs.

Check out our workshop Debugging with ChatGPT to learn more!

Upgrading a ChatGPT Bot

Here’s the deal: I was adding a feature to our Discord bot to handle messages over 1,500 characters. Instead of losing hours searching for a fix, I turned to ChatGPT. The culprit? A simple typo – ‘star’ instead of ‘start’. ChatGPT didn’t just spot the error; it gave me the why and how, saving me tons of time.

Here is a screenshot of my code I asked ChatGPT to help debug.
Add here is the answer it provided. Pointing out ‘star’ should be ‘start’.

The Power of GitHub Copilot in Coding

Now, let’s talk about GitHub Copilot. Yes, it’s a paid tool, but it’s a game-changer for coding efficiency. During the same Discord bot project, I started coding a for loop, and Copilot chimed in with a slicker, shorter version. It’s not just about quick fixes; it’s about smarter, cleaner code.

In this screenshot, I’m enabling the GitHub Copilot plugin.
An example of GitHub Copliot providing a more optimized version of my code

Want to learn more about GitHub Copilot? Check out our Introduction to GitHub Copilot workshop.

Busting the Myth: AI Can’t Replace Skilled Developers

This brings us to an essential truth: AI tools like ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot are fantastic, but they don’t replace the need for us to understand and test our code. My JavaScript skills were key in making sense of Copilot’s suggestions. However, I often double-check with ChatGPT to ensure I’ve got a solid grasp of the code.

I requested ChatGPT clarify the new code I got from GitHub Copilot to confirm my understanding.
And ChatGPT explains the code snippet in detail.

Wrapping Up: AI as a Co-Pilot in Development

So here’s the takeaway: AI isn’t here to kick us to the curb. It’s here to lift us up, to make us better developers. By integrating AI tools into our workflow, we’re not just keeping up; we’re setting the pace.

Check out our free 7-day trial at Treehouse for more insights into AI and ChatGPT, and how to get started. The future of coding is bright, exciting, and AI-infused. So, stay sharp, stay curious, and above all, enjoy the coding journey!

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