Artificial Intelligence, or AI, isn’t happening “someday in the near future.” It’s already here. Because of the nature of modern AI, such as ChatGPT, you may be wondering what this means in terms of a career in software development. And you’re right to consider the implications of generative AI in software development as it becomes part of everyday life – including coding careers.
So what is the future of software development now that AI is here to stay? Let’s take a look.
1. Improving Software Security
Security is one of the most essential features of any software program. With the help of AI in software development, developers can create programs that will automatically scan software for unusual activity, the presence of malware, and more. AI-powered security detection will significantly reduce the instances of false positives and delayed warnings that come from humans doing the same job. This doesn’t necessarily mean that humans will no longer be needed for software security, but rather that their jobs will evolve and change with the new use of AI.
2. Supporting the Project Management Process
Because AI works by analyzing what it’s already learned, it can be used to predict the cost and timeline for future projects. It can quickly analyze how long previous projects took, separate them by type or scope, and make accurate predictions for timelines. How can this help? By:
- Creating more accurate project quotes for clients based on the efforts needed for the project’s various deliverables
- Developing more realistic timelines and deadlines for both clients and teams
- Predicting problems that may arise during the project’s development so that teams can pre-emptively try to solve them
- Creating a shorthand for companies to decide whether or not to accept a project based on these criteria
This method of using AI in software development will enable companies to be more transparent with clients, more efficient with time spent on projects, and better able to meet deadlines.
3. Improving the Debugging Process
AI can help streamline the process of writing code by identifying common bugs while that code is being written. Software developers can program AI to detect problems in code like null pointer dereferences as soon as they pop up. Coders can also program AI to detect patterns that might lead to bugs further down the line. And though human oversight will still be needed to check for false positives, the AI will at least reduce the time spent sifting through code for bugs or running repetitive tests.
4. Streamlining the Software Testing Process
Time-based processes in software development can be sped up by programming and using AI, including software testing. While it’s not perfect, AI is faster and less prone to mistakes when running tests. As programs are modified, optimized, or enhanced, AI’s ability to run more rapid tests will shorten the entire development process, thereby giving coders the opportunity for more – and better – output that can be tested and released sooner.
5. Increasing the Speed and Scale of the Development Process
Simply put, AI can absorb, analyze, and report on data at many times the speed a human can. This will massively speed up the development process for coders and programmers. Programming AI to automate mundane, redundant, or repetitive tasks frees programmers to focus on bigger and more complex parts of a project, including those that simply cannot be done with AI. This will expand the speed and scale of software development across the globe to keep up with the increasing demand for new and better platforms and programs.
6. Improving the Accessibility of Coding
Two types of accessibility can be improved with AI.
Accessibility for Users With Disabilities
For the 430 million people worldwide with disabling hearing loss, 2.2 billion people with vision impairments, or 2.5 billion people who require assistive technology, AI is expected to improve their quality of life greatly. For people who are hard of hearing, this includes faster and more accurate closed captioning and speech-to-text software. For the visually impaired, this means improved image recognition and text-to-speech software (including assistance with filling out forms). And for others in the disabled community, AI can improve screen readers, app usage, and make online content more accessible to all.
Accessibility in Coding
Improving accessibility for members of the disabled community isn’t the only way AI will change software development. It will also increase access to coding itself. No-code technology lets anyone develop software and websites using visual interfaces and pre-built components. In other words: drag-and-drop with graphics or other pre-written code. This means that AI-powered features will help non-coders build sophisticated applications faster and easier, bringing the power of coding to more people around the globe.
7. Make Better Decisions
As we’ve established above, AI radically helps minimize human errors in coding. And developers can also feed project information – timelines and costs – into AI to better predict the cost and scope of new projects. But project estimations aren’t the only way that AI can help coders. AI remembers everything it’s fed. It can then use past mistakes to predict future successes, including what features in a program won’t work and how a project can come together more efficiently. Doing so will help developers make better decisions that won’t lead to wasted time and money on projects – or parts of projects – that are doomed to fail. No more repeating past mistakes.
8. Real-Time Feedback
Imagine being able to adjust and enhance your software’s code in real-time to keep up with user interaction. For AI in software development, this means implementing feedback almost as soon as developers receive it. Instead of a long lag time between customer complaints and UX improvement, coders can fix bugs, update systems, and optimize with record speed. Web developers will be able to close the gap between refreshed content and UI. Programming AI can catalog data as it’s collected, identify possible issues, and either fix it immediately or alert a human programmer to the problem.
9. Code Compiling
AI-managed code compilers will enhance the compilation process by incorporating machine learning techniques. Although some code compilers are already in use, future iterations are expected to bring even higher levels of optimization to code compilers. AI use in code compilers will be instrumental in the future of software development capabilities, thereby exponentially improving the quality and speed of software development.
10. AI in Gaming
As AI helps software developers in their jobs, it will also shape the future of gaming. Coders specializing in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) will find unique opportunities to connect AI to the gaming experience. For example, by automatically balancing multi-player games to maintain fairness, automatically fixing glitches, and producing in-game content for players as they progress. These software developers will be at the forefront of making the gaming experience more immersive and accessible.
11. Create Free Time
With all of these ways that AI can and will expedite the software development process, what will software developers do? They’ll focus on bigger tasks and the more creative aspects of development, those things that AI cannot do. No matter how efficient a system may be, it will always lack that touch of human emotional intelligence without a person involved in its creation. Humans know what other humans want and need, something developers can spend more time learning and implementing when they have an AI taking care of the mundane work.
12. New Jobs
Regardless of how much time and money AI can save software developers and companies, human beings are still needed. AI is far from perfect. Right now, all it can do is absorb the information that humans put into it, analyze it, and present it back based on the prompts it’s given. AI is fantastic at mimicking human speech patterns and coding languages. But that’s it.
AI is, at its core, code. And humans are still required to write, manage, and adapt that code as needed. What AI will do for developers is make their jobs much easier. Rather than spending time (and money) on mundane tasks, AI will let developers focus on more important things, like creativity and innovation – two things AI can’t do. As AI advances, there will be more opportunities for coders to find jobs that work with steering the future of AI.
Read More: Will AI Replace Programmers?
Start Developing Your Skills with App Academy
Take our online quiz to learn which program is right for you, sign up for a live online info session to learn more, schedule a 1:1 call with one of our team experts, or submit a request with our convenient online form. Start your software engineering career today with App Academy!
And, if you’re ready to dig in deeper, start exploring our programs to see which one might be a good fit for you!