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How AI is shaping the future of programming

Software development is an ever-evolving field, with new technologies and methodologies emerging at an astonishing rate.

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Research. July 2023

Software development is an ever-evolving field, with new technologies and methodologies emerging at an astonishing rate. In recent months, there has been a sudden surge of interest in AI, fueled by the release of ChatGPT. According to research, the popular chatbot reached an estimated 100 million monthly users just two months after its release. And it’s only been upward for ChatGPT and other AI tools ever since.

With businesses and organizations looking for ways to adapt to these changes, many are turning to AI as a way to increase efficiency and productivity.

And as it becomes more prevalent in various industries, its impact on software development cannot be ignored.

In this research, we explore the responses of developers from our community regarding their use of AI in their development work, the benefits and challenges they face, and their predictions for the future of AI in software development.

The survey was conducted with a sample of 100+ developers from the Proxify network, and it consisted of a series of questions aimed at understanding the use of AI in software development and the opinions of developers on its impact on the field.

Table of Contents

  1. A game-changing boost to productivity
  2. A growing appetite for greater use
  3. An accessible tool is unsurprisingly the most used one
  4. A hunger for better knowledge and access
  5. Proxify’s commitment to AI
  6. How our clients are putting AI to work in real-world scenarios

Table of Contents

    Key insight #1

    A game-changing boost to productivity

    The surveyed developers answered that they are increasingly using AI tools to help them with their day-to-day tasks, with reported time savings varying from half an hour to a staggering 12 hours per week.

    Some developers have seen a 20% boost in their productivity by utilising AI tools to streamline various aspects of their work. These tools are being employed by developers across different stages of the development process, indicating their wide-ranging benefits in enhancing productivity and efficiency in software development.

    Some of the use cases mentioned are creating boilerplate code, searching for best practices and design patterns when creating software architecture, and “translating” code into other technologies they aren’t familiar with. Developers even use AI tools outside of coding for practical uses, such as writing documentation for clients in English, letting the AI find resources for them, or brainstorming and validating ideas for very specific problems.

    up to
    boost in productivity documented by developers who use AI every day

    “It saves me around 70% of my time. It's great because it puts me in the shoes of an architect instead of someone who is blindly typing code.”


    Proxify commentary

    William Svedström

    Chief Commercial Officer

    We are witnessing a significant increase in the adoption of AI tools that complement developers' natural workflows without replacing them. This development has generated considerable excitement among industry professionals. Previously, developers worked on repetitive and tedious tasks like creating boilerplate code, creating unit tests, and commenting on their code. With these new AI tools like Copilot, Tabnine, and ChatGPT, engineers can automate a lot of that, and thus engineers become much more productive (and happy!).

    It is not surprising that some developers are reporting a notable 70% increase in productivity. Those who have embraced AI in their work are experiencing enhanced efficiency and effectiveness in coding, coupled with a more enjoyable work environment.

    Table of Contents

      Key insight #2

      A growing appetite for greater use

      The answers we got show a growing recognition of the value that AI tools can provide in streamlining development processes and increasing productivity.

      Our survey found that almost half (47%) of all respondents use AI tools regularly. They agree that AI tools have the potential to automate many of the repetitive, time-consuming tasks that are often part of the development process and help them identify and fix bugs more quickly and accurately, reducing the time and effort needed for testing and quality assurance.

      Are you using AI tools in your work regularly?

      100% / 2023 / AI use in development

      But what will the future bring? According to the answers of the surveyed developers, the vast majority of them (91%) plan to increase their use of AI tools in the future.

      They believe that these technologies will become more sophisticated and error-proof as they evolve, and at the same time, they are showing interest in learning the best practices in applying AI usage in their everyday work.

      Do you think you will be using AI tools more in the future?

      100% / 2023 / AI use in development


      Proxify commentary

      Anton Jarnheimer

      Chief Product Officer

      AI tools are transforming software development as we know it, making it more efficient, accurate, and creative. These tools extend human capability, automating repetitive tasks, predicting and fixing bugs, and even generating code. Increasing their usage in development teams is crucial for companies that want to keep pace with this changing landscape for several reasons.

      First, it allows developers to focus more on strategic, high-level problem-solving and less on mundane tasks. Second, it significantly reduces the likelihood of human error, ensuring a higher quality of software. Lastly, it fosters a culture of continuous learning and adaptation, keeping teams at the forefront of technological advancement. Integrating AI tools into development processes is not just a trend; it's a strategic move towards a smarter, more efficient, and innovative future in software creation.

      The question arises: when developers become more productive, what new products, enhancements, or even entirely new industries can we expect? What happens when developers can deliver superior solutions at scale? The possibilities that come from this accelerated progress are truly exciting, and I eagerly await to be a part of the new developments that will unfold as a result.

      Table of Contents

        Key insight #3

        An accessible tool is unsurprisingly the most used one

        Our survey revealed that 72% of respondents that use AI tools prefer to use ChatGPT over other AI tools. The main reason cited for this preference is that ChatGPT is available for free, while most of its competitors' similar or more advanced AI technologies are not offered for free.

        However, more than a quarter of respondents that use AI tools (26%) revealed that they regularly use GitHub Copilot, despite the fact that it is a paid tool. Tabnine was the least preferred tool for our surveyed developers, with only 3% of them choosing it as their AI tool of choice.

        prefer using ChatGPT as their AI tool of choice

        “I would ask Copilot to generate pieces I am sure exist, but I don’t know yet. I stopped using it since it's paid, but it would be so good to activate that license again. Sometimes, I use ChatGPT instead; it has become really helpful nowadays.”


        Proxify commentary

        William Svedström

        Chief Commercial Officer

        The release of ChatGPT has undoubtedly taken the industry by surprise, thanks to its impressive power and remarkable accessibility. The recent advancements and rollout of GPT-4 have further enhanced its usefulness for developers. However, one drawback that has been identified is the need for a certain level of skill in crafting effective prompts to obtain practical answers to specific programming queries. To become a trusted tool for developers, it is crucial for ChatGPT to exhibit greater consistency and reliability. While our respondents have expressed a preference for ChatGPT, it is worth noting that its popularity is partly driven by the availability of a free version.

        This is where other tools, particularly premium solutions like GitHub Co-Pilot, come into play. Designed with developers in mind, these tools are specifically optimized for coding workflows. Both ChatGPT and GitHub Co-Pilot are rapidly evolving into indispensable resources for developers, capable of solving low-complexity problems such as providing documentation or explaining code, as well as generating complete code rewrites and functional solutions within minutes.

        Table of Contents

          Key insight #4

          A hunger for better knowledge and access

          The Proxify network has a significant number of AI enthusiasts who are interested in enhancing their skills even further. According to their responses, 66% of our surveyed developers believe that courses, self-paced seminars, and workshops can provide them with more knowledge, which can be applied effectively to AI tools in their daily work.

          There is also high interest in getting access to paid-for tools: 76% of all respondents expressed an interest in obtaining licenses from Proxify.

          Additionally, 36.4% indicated that they would like to receive individual coaching for AI tools. These findings demonstrate a strong desire among the Proxify community to improve their AI skill set and stay ahead in this rapidly evolving field.

          How do you think Proxify can help you in terms of AI use?

          • Courses 66.1%
          • Licenses 76%
          • Individual coaching 36.4%

 / 2023 / AI use in development


          Proxify commentary

          Stoyan Merdzhanov

          VP Assessment

          To ensure the provision of accurate and dependable guidance, we maintain a constant dialogue with our Proxify network and consult experts and industry leaders. In light of the tremendous interest in AI tools, we have identified various avenues through which we can fulfill this objective. Our primary focus is to facilitate access to the finest AI tools by acquiring licenses and partnerships. Additionally, we are dedicated to offering training courses tailored to both self-paced learning and one-on-one interactions. Our commitment is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to access the most exceptional AI training and courses available.

          Recognizing the paramount importance of continuous learning for developers, we are actively developing real-world examples and solutions that can be implemented immediately. The combination of cutting-edge AI tools and comprehensive support for their utilization is a source of immense pride for us. We are continuously innovating to devise novel methods of assisting developers in their learning journey and fostering their growth.

          Empowering business with AI augmented engineers

          Proxify’s commitment

          Proxify x GitHub Copilot

          We are continuously building an innovative tools ecosystem that enables our developers to perform at their best. GitHub Copilot is designed as an assistant for today's developers aiming to increase productivity, speed up their development, and improve overall satisfaction. Proxify encourages developers to go beyond witnessing the evolution of AI pair programming tools, experience it firsthand and become early adopters by supporting them with paid licenses and organizing best practice webinars where they can learn from and interact with like-minded people.

          GitHub Copilot use cases include suggesting code snippets for multiple programming languages like Python, JavaScript, and Ruby, spending less time on repetitive code patterns, turning natural language prompts into coding suggestions, or completing code syntax and function arguments with the goal of freeing up space for the developers to focus on what they are doing best: building great working software for our clients.

          "Proactive energy management and focus are two of the most underestimated challenges of remote work settings. Introducing AI-powered tools like GitHub Copilot in the daily workflow is a great opportunity to enhance productivity and safeguard cognitive energy."

          Catalina Butnaru

          Catalina Daniela Istrate

          Developer Success Lead

          Real-world uses of AI

          Artificial intelligence has become a game-changer for businesses across various industries, providing them with the tools they need to optimize operations, improve decision-making, and enhance customer experiences. But what does AI look like in action? Let's take a closer look at how our clients are leveraging this powerful technology to drive results in real-world scenarios.
          • Code refactoring

            Code refactoring

            AI can analyze existing codebases and suggest improvements based on modern best practices and design patterns. For example, an AI system can analyze a codebase and suggest migrating from an outdated framework to a newer one, updating syntax to conform to the latest standards, or refactoring code to improve readability and maintainability.

          • Multi-language support in apps

            Multi-language support in apps

            AI can be used in multilanguage support in apps to help developers streamline the process of translating and localizing their applications. By automating some of the tasks involved in multilingual support, AI can help reduce the time and effort required to make an app available in multiple languages.

          • Project documentation

            Project documentation

            AI can be applied in project documentation to assist software developers in automatically generating and managing documentation for their software projects. This can help improve the quality of documentation, reduce errors, and save time and effort in the documentation process and onboarding of new team members.

          • Cross-language translation

            Cross-language translation

            AI can be used to translate code from one language to another automatically in no time, and help developers learn and understand that new language better. For example, an AI system could convert a legacy system written in a language such as COBOL to a more modern language such as Python or Java.

          • Debugging


            AI can be used in debugging to assist software developers in identifying and resolving errors in their code more efficiently. By automating some of the tasks involved in debugging, AI can help reduce the time and effort required to find and fix bugs in software applications.


          Proxify commentary

          Nabil Chiheb

          Client Engineering Manager & Software Engineer

          AI tools like GitHub Copilot have the potential to revolutionize the way we write and develop software. By automating routine tasks and offering intelligent suggestions, these tools can greatly enhance our productivity and allow us to focus on more creative and high-level tasks. The ability to leverage the collective knowledge of the programming community through machine learning models can lead to faster, more efficient development cycles and ultimately better software.

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