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Lucy Oleschuk
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Why Won't ChatGPT Take Jobs Away From Developers? How Can It Help Instead?

Published in the Random group
As waves of new technologies, and AI in particular, crash over and take the IT world by storm, software engineers and developers begin to worry about losing their jobs to automation. Actually, since the creation of technological advancements in robotics, ML, and AI, a terrifying question has been looming in our mind “Will machines replace us one day?”. And this question became much more acute with the introduction of Microsoft’s ChatGPT in November 2022. For sure, ChatGPT has a huge potential to become a technological game-changer since it can hold human-like conversations, write articles, summarise reports, create images, and, yes, write code. So, will it replace humans and take your job? In this article, we’ll reveal whether ChatGPT is something you need to worry about or not. Why Won't ChatGPT Take Jobs Away From Developers? How Can It Help Instead? - 1

What is ChatGPT? Its Brief History

In a few words, ChatGPT is the breakthrough in the AI field. Using the deep learning technique, it can learn from large amounts of data and “understand” the relationship between words. As a result, it can generate human-like texts, provide translations, write goal-oriented articles or songs, paint pictures, solve maths questions, explain complex concepts, ask numerous questions, generate content ideas, write code, spot the origins of code errors, and many more. Simply put, jobs that involve repetitive tasks, data entry, marketing strategies, graphics, coding, and simple decision-making seem to be at a high risk of being replaced by ChatGPT. If we focus on its coding abilities, it’s worth mentioning that the bot is trained to understand programming languages and communicate with developers to help them debug their code. So far, the bot has proven itself successful in JavaScript and Python. But the developers are actively working on teaching it other languages like Java and C++.

The Main Concerns

ChatGPT has exploded incredibly in popularity in the last few months, and there are even some guesses that massive layoffs have something to do with the rise of the bot. For example, Microsoft announced huge investments into OpenAI right after a significant reduction of staff. Is it possible that a workforce will get replaced by AI? At a glance, ChatGPT may seem like a smart choice for companies since a computer doesn’t sleep, doesn’t eat, doesn’t burn out, doesn’t get sick, or requires leave days. A perfect worker! “At some point, it’s going to be something that is competing with you in the white-collar workforce,” said Varun Mayya, CEO of software company Avalon Scenes. And then she even added that “I don’t think it’s limited to just white collar, though. I think eventually it’s going to be everything.” Yet, not everyone is far so categorical. The thoughts are controversial, and Andrew Piper, a professor at McGill University, recently said that he didn’t see AI tools like ChatGPT would become job replacers in the future. Despite its growing popularity, ChatGPT still has some flaws, so it won’t be able to replace humans right away. Anyways, if we recall the times when Alexander Bell invented the telephone, it should be noted that his invention didn’t kill the art of writing letters… E-mail eventually did. Similar to substituting landline telephones with social media, ChatGPT has a high probability of penetrating all spheres of our life. But not in the foreseen future.

Why Is Your Job Safe?

As it’s often the case with new technologies that have a quick breakthrough, they also trigger prospects of doom and gloom. Many believe that ChatGPT will replace programmers, journalists, creative writers, managers, and even doctors. But agree that talking to a medical AI is like talking to an actor playing your healthcare provider. Of course, it can confidently answer a wide range of health-related questions and even offer the right treatment based on your records and laboratory tests, but AI lacks the human element of cadence and empathy. SEO copywriters also truly believe that writing good content requires them to put themselves in the shoes of their heroes. A thing that a bot can hardly ever replicate. Coders can rest easy as well. Why? The important aspect of coding is that programmers often need to analyze problems and develop solutions that require logical thinking and creativity. And the bot can’t boast of good critical thinking, at least on the human level. This means a developer can come up with a much more elegant and efficient solution than AI. Plus, programmers don’t just produce code. They fix bugs and keep improving their existing code while often working with a big development team to do this. ChatGPT, in its turn, just writes code. And its code is far from ideal — it can write simple code like “Hello, world!” in HTML, but complex ones are still an unbearable task for the bot since they require much reasoning and logical thinking. Moreover, Stack Overflow even banned ChatGPT after it answered some programming questions incorrectly. So, we believe developers shouldn't consider ChatGPT as a serious rival. Not yet.

ChatGPT Can Become a Valuable Asset

That’s not to say, ChatGPT won’t impact the programmers' work at all. It can lend a helping hand to developers and make their jobs a little simpler. In reality, ChatGPT is an excellent tool that can be used for code generation when it comes to mundane and trivial tasks, allowing coders to focus on more complicated architecture and the creative side that calls for human intelligence. In other words, developers will no longer have to concentrate on generic functions or write boilerplate code. They can simply delegate this to ChatGPT. Here are the main benefits of using ChatGPT for coders:
  • It can save you valuable time. For example, if you’re struggling with some programming task, ChatGPT can help you solve it faster. And by taking care of the basic work for you, the bot may free up your time for more important things.

  • ChatGPT can enhance your productivity. Naturally, by helping you with grunt programming tasks, the bot prevents you from burning out and allows you to focus on more complex code. Hence, an increase in your productivity and enhanced skills.

  • It can help you learn new things. When you’re struggling to understand a particular concept or solve an issue, most likely, ChatGPT can explain everything clearly to you or help you fix that boring bug. So, you’ll have an opportunity to learn new concepts faster and, eventually, become a better developer.

Besides the aforementioned points, Senior Java Developer and our mentor, Vadym Novakovskyi, further adds some arguments in favor of ChatGPT and tells us how it can make us better.

Why Won't ChatGPT Take Jobs Away From Developers? How Can It Help Instead? - 2
  • AI will compete with Juniors and keep them challenged.
    This means that the skill set of coders will upgrade, and only developers with solid knowledge will get a job. Why is this good? Because the quality of the developed code will be much higher.
  • Still, the demand for developers will only continue to grow.
    Again, as the number of Juniors is likely to decrease, there will eventually be fewer Middles and Seniors. Plus, many new industries requiring good developers will appear. And, anyways, someone has to maintain the AI.
  • Improvement in the quality of IT education.
    Since we will have to perform better than AI, we’ll need to teach future Juniors better. So IT schools, colleges, and courses will inevitably improve the quality of education.
  • Salary increase.
    As projects will become more and more complex, developers will have to be even more professional. To become a Senior, you’ll have to put more effort into your career. And, accordingly, your efforts will be evaluated higher. Hence, the salary increase.

As you can see, at first glance, ChatGPT may seem to create big problems for developers, but in reality, we can really benefit from it.

Summing Up

AI and ChatCPT promise to revolutionize many industries and the way many people work. But coders shouldn’t worry – you will be in demand for a long time. Programmers will still be needed to write complex code, debug errors, and manage software projects with a personal touch. Rather than replace your job, ChatGPT and similar AIs can make your work more efficient by eliminating mundane day-to-day tasks and allowing you to perform your role with greater efficiency and productivity. So, why shouldn’t we hope that ChatGPT will make our work lives easier? Because it will.