Will AI Replace Programmers in the Coming Years

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Will AI replace computer programmers in the near future say in 5 or 10 years? will ai soon replace developer? The short and simple answer is NO. It’s not going to happen. Human intelligence is Supreme. But ai can assist a developer for sure.

We faced similar questions in the past when computers were first introduced. But instead of replacing jobs, they actually created more opportunities.

Why you should not Worry?

Let’s talk about web development industry. WordPress was released in 2003. After that lots of other web content management tool came. On that time lots of developer used to work in this field. But did these tools take away jobs from web developers? It’s not a simple yes or no.

Today, developers are busy making more complicated web applications with coding. Going beyond what these tools can do. There are now over 1 billion websites globally as of June 2023.

People use tools without coding to make websites. But, the demand has grown a lot in terms of both numbers and complexity. Programmers are still in high demand for creating complex web applications with coding.

Similarly, you can compare it with Calculator. Many years ago, people invented the first calculators. They could perform basic arithmetic operations like addition and subtraction. But did these calculators take away the need for mathematicians? No right? Today almost everyone is using calculator for doing complex calculations. To do basic calculations, we rely on calculators.

Software engineering isn’t just about writing a function that takes input and produces output. It involves much more than simply writing code. It’s a creative process of translating a user’s needs into a format that the computer can understand and do the job as per requirements.

What I am trying to say is that, AI can write a code. But what that code will do AI do not know. You first need to understand the requirement and then explain it to AI what to write. So AI can not replace you as programmers or developer to understand the requirement.

Think of it like having a CNC machine that can produce precisely machined parts and designs. But to use a CNC, a human needs to select the product, identify the necessary parts, and create the model to be passed on to the CNC machine. In software engineering, the programmer plays a crucial role. They design and instruct the computer. The role is similar to a human creating plans for a CNC machine.

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Benefits of AI in Programming

Programmers can make their work easier by using AI tools. AI helps in programming by doing routine tasks automatically. You can use ai to get suggestions to improve your code. This makes projects finish faster and with fewer mistakes.

Nowadays almost all companies are talking about Generative AI to improve their productivity. That is good. You should go with that flow. That means if a coder can complete a certain task in one month. He is now able to finish it much faster with the help of AI tools.

You are the same person who was spending lots of time figuring out your complex code. And now using ai tools you are writing that complex code in seconds. So you are doing everything. That means you are still doing that job. Here AI is not replacing your job but you are replacing some portion of your task with the help of ai tools.

Limitations of AI in Programming

There are various Gen AI based coding platforms available now. Which can help you write code for almost any programming languages. ChatGPT is the most popular among them. Github and BingChat also started their GenAI based CoPilot which can write code.

But there are some limitations of using those tools. Main disadvantage of this ai coding tool is, it does not have current information.

For example, ChatGPT trained on 2022. So it has knowledge about until January 2022. Now let’s say you want to use a Python library that received on 2023. You want to use that updated function of that library. ChatGPT does not know about this and it will keep on generate bad codes.

Another disadvantage of using AI tool blindly is that let’s say you get a code from this Gen AI tool. Now you get some error in that code. It may take you hours to figureout the actual issue in the code while debugging.

Trust me I spent around 3 hours one day in ChatGPT to debug a code. ChatGPT kept on giving me different versions of codes. I was getting errors for each version of that code. Finally after Googling, I found out, that the function I was looking for do not actually exist in that Python library. Funny right?

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I know most of the time ChatGPT wins but sometimes it fails terribly. Now one another thing to note here that, you are the person who is giving prompt to ChatGPT. So as a computer programmers you are not getting replaced by these ai tools may be not will in coming future. Rather you are using these ai tools as your coding assistance.

Preparing for the Future

In the past, we used to learn any programming language in depth. Then try to do some projects to get confidence on that language. I know some developer started their career in .NET and still he is working in the same language. But nowadays I think we need to change the approach.

Now I guess you need to know little bit of all language. By knowing the language I want to say, you need to be familiar with basics of all programming languages. So that you can create complex code for any language using these AI tools.

Along with that niche is most important nowadays. Niche means the domain. I want to say what you are doing. For example, let’s say you are working in the telecom industry. You must know a complete picture of how towers and sim cards work. How broadband works and how you can improve its features and business.

So not only learning of codes. You should not be shy to adopt these ai code generation tools. Not only codes. Nowadays from making PPT presentations to making complex Excel sheets, AI tools are everywhere. You should learn those things to improve your productivity. Which your company is looking for.

If you do not do so, your organization may replace you with some other programmers who is fond of using ai tools. So be prepared for that. I would say this is the best time to learn prompt engineering to communicate much better with AI tools.

Final Thought

AI is an amazing technology that has the potential to revolutionize many aspects of our lives, including programming. However, we’re not quite at the point where AI can replace human computer programmers. Instead, we’re seeing the emergence of what some call the “augmented” developer movement.

Think of it like having a helpful assistant by your side. These tools will allow you to code more efficiently with fewer errors. AI tools can analyze code, spot bugs, and even generate code snippets to speed up your workflow. They’re like your trusty sidekick. They make your job easier and help you deliver better results.

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So, if you’re a software developer, there’s no need to worry about AI stealing your job. While some older tasks might become automated. The role of a skilled developer is irreplaceable, at least for the next decade or two. Your unique abilities, like problem-solving, creativity, and understanding the broader context of projects, are still essential in delivering successful software solutions. Reinforcement Learning is getting popularity but it will take so much time to get maturity (it may work or not that is another question).

It is important to stay up to date with the latest technologies and keep developing your skills. AI can be a powerful, but it’s not a substitute for your expertise. By learning new technologies and continuously expanding your knowledge, you’ll position yourself for success in this ever-evolving industry.

AI is here to assist us, not to replace us. Its impact on the world will undoubtedly be massive, but it’s up to us, the human programmers, to shape that impact and harness the potential of AI for the greater good.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any doubts or questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section before it gets flooded with robot comments (just kidding!) šŸ˜‚. Also, if you enjoyed this article, I would really appreciate it if you could share it. Your support will motivate me to create more useful content like this in the future.

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