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Software Development and AI: How to Leverage AI to Your Advantage? Top 10 AI Tools for Software Developers

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Artificial intelligence (AI) has already penetrated nearly every aspect of society. And we bet software development is one of those industries that feel its impact the most. Whereas some argue that AI can substitute developers, others believe that AI has the potential to automate certain aspects of software development but never replace them. Instead, AI can augment and assist developers, streamlining their workflows and boosting productivity. Software Development and AI: How to Leverage AI to Your Advantage? Top 10 AI Tools for Software Developers - 1Let’s dive in and discover how AI tools can make life easier for developers and take their software development game to the next level!

What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a term first coined by John McCarthy, a professor at Stanford University, in 1955. He defined AI as the science of creating intelligent machines. Artificial Intelligence refers to the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, particularly computer systems. These processes include learning, reasoning, and self-correction. The brightest examples of “smart machines” are virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa that use AI to understand and respond to voice commands. Nowadays, AI incorporates various subfields, including machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP), computer vision, robotics, and expert systems. The AI is widely used for:
  • Software product and service development (coding, adaptation, testing)
  • Marketing (content and design creation, SEO optimization)
  • Business process automation (employee hiring, conducting meetings)
  • Education (learning foreign languages)
  • Scientific research (earthquake prediction, inventing new drugs) and many other areas
According to Grand View research, the global AI market is expected to grow 37.3% from 2023 to 2030. Of all fields, AI in software development will see some of the greatest investments. Actually, 31% of companies already leverage AI tools for code creation. With that, 70% of company executives believe that AI can help reduce the number of repetitive and mundane manual tasks. Other findings reveal that 70% of developers agree that AI tools boost their productivity. AI-based code review tools can analyze code changes, identify potential bugs, and suggest improvements, enhancing code quality and reducing development time. In addition, 4 out of 5 developers expect that AI-driven code creation tools will enhance collaboration within the team. AI also has the huge potential to facilitate collaboration among developers by automating tasks related to project management, version control, and communication. As a result, developers will be able to focus more on creative problem-solving and innovation.

Can AI replace software developers?

The quick answer is, “No, AI won’t replace software developers anytime soon”. AI can aid developers by automating code generation, testing, and debugging processes in certain routine and repetitive tasks. AI-powered tools can also help with tasks like code refactoring, where they can analyze existing codebases and suggest (or automatically implement) optimizations and improvements. However, AI cannot replace programmers because the essence of software development lies in problem-solving, creativity, decomposition, and effective communication. These are complex human skills that AI can’t replicate. So, AI can make programmers more productive but not less demandable.

How can AI enhance the developer experience?

As we already mentioned, the key benefits that software developers usually report when adopting AI are:
  • Increased productivity — developers write code more efficiently.
  • Improved code quality — AI helps identify bugs and code vulnerabilities and offers some excellent suggestions.
  • Time-saving. By streamlining routine development tasks, AI saves much time during the whole software development cycle.
So, what actually generative AI can help with? AI is great for repeated tasks, first drafts of code, and small updates to existing code. When selecting an AI tool for extra coding help, developers should look for the following features:
  • Code completion. Choose AI tools that provide code optimization and auto-completion.
  • Code review. Assess whether the AI tool offers features to review and analyze your code for quality, style, and issues.
  • Privacy and security. Make sure the selected tool is secure enough to protect your code from unauthorized access.
  • Function suggestions. It would be great if the AI tool could suggest functions and methods to enhance code efficiency.
  • Code testing. Look for tools that support automated code testing and unit testing.
  • Integration. If AI solutions can integrate with third-party apps, it would be an added benefit.
  • Language support. Check whether the chosen AI tool supports the programming language you work with.

Top 10 AI tools for developers

To make your choice less daunting, we’ve narrowed down the AI tools for developers to the ten best ones (in our humble opinion). GitHub Copilot is a tool created by GitHub and OpenAI that suggests entire lines of code and complete functions. This tool utilizes machine learning and leverages the vast array of code available in GitHub repositories. TensorFlow is an open-source machine learning framework created by the Google Brain Team. It offers high- and low-level APIs for extra flexibility. It can operate on either CPU or GPU, which makes it a versatile option for projects of any size. Tabnine offers deep learning-based code completion recommendations across various programming languages and platforms. It also seamlessly integrates with various IDEs. Amazon CodeWhisperer is another AI-based solution that works with different IDEs. It’s a collaborative programming tool that facilitates developer cooperation—it allows for pair programming and tracking code changes in real-time. Android Studio Bot is an intelligent assistant for Android developers. It seamlessly integrates with Android Studio to enhance code, debug, and optimize productivity. Deepcode AI is a smart platform for code analysis that uses machine learning to detect vulnerabilities and issues in your code. It rapidly scans large codebases and provides suggestions for improvement. Replit is a very user-friendly online code editor that allows programmers to code in their browsers without any extra setup. It can also be considered a learning platform for beginners and intermediate developers since it offers numerous coding lessons and challenges. Cody AI is an advanced AI coding assistant that can deeply analyze your existing code, documentation, and code graph. The tool can provide you with quick and insightful responses to queries about your code. Mutable AI is one of the newest tools yet one of the most performant ones that aim to eliminate repetitive boilerplate code. It ensures fast and efficient code delivery, making the life of developers much easier. Codium AI is a test-writing assistant that suggests tests right as you code to help you avoid pesky errors and bugs. Codium AI suggests intelligent test ideas when you code, and can even write them for you.

What skills do software developers need to possess to work with AI tools?

To effectively work with AI tools, a software developer needs to possess a combination of technical skills, domain knowledge, and problem-solving abilities. You should also be able to think critically since it makes developers indispensable and gives an advantage over AI. In addition, strong critical thinking abilities can help you understand complex problems and come up with appropriate solutions much better than AI does. Decision-making also remains within the realm of human competence, so it's important to refine this skill as well. Last but not least, soft skills really matter. Collaboration is the key, and developers need to possess good communication skills to work closely with a team.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, AI may act as a magic wand for software developers, enhancing their productivity and code quality and improving the overall development process. But while AI can automate certain tasks and provide assistance, developers need to possess strong technical skills and problem-solving abilities to leverage AI tools effectively. Critical thinking, decision-making, and such soft skills as collaboration and communication are also essential for developers to stay competitive and advance their careers in IT. Ultimately, AI can complement and empower developers, but it's the unique human skills and expertise that will always remain indispensable in software development.
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