How AI Will Affect Software Development Trends in 2022
December 22, 2021 / Katarina Rudela
Reading Time: 10 minutes
While there are plenty of technologies poised to have a substantial impact on our world in the coming years, few technologies look to be more impactful than artificial intelligence. While AI has been and will continue to be a game-changer in a wide range of ways, one area where AI is positioned to have an especially meaningful impact is in the field of software development. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about AI in software development and how it is poised to affect software development trends in 2022 and beyond.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
When most people think of AI, films such as The Terminator or Ex Machina are often the first thing that comes to mind. While there are plenty of AI developers focused on creating AI that replicates the human mind, the practical purposes of AI are far more wide-ranging than replicating human intelligence.
In a 2007 paper, famed computer scientist John McCarthy defines AI as, "the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. It is related to the similar task of using computers to understand human intelligence, but AI does not have to confine itself to methods that are biologically observable."
Today, AI is used across a broad range of industries to perform an equally broad range of tasks. Data analysis, language translation, cybersecurity, and logistics planning are just a few such tasks that AI has come to play a prominent role in completing. Of course, another area where AI is having a major impact in the field of enterprise software development, and AI tools are now empowering developers to create high-quality applications and software solutions faster and easier than ever before.
AI's Affect on Development Trends
Automatic Code Generation
Manually writing the code for a new application can be an incredibly difficult and time-consuming process. AI, however, works to make the code writing process far less time-consuming and costly through automatic code generation. While automatic code generation is still in its relative infancy, software developers are beyond encouraged by the benefits that it promises. By utilizing language processing software, automatic code generation tools that are powered by AI are able to take natural language commands and convert them into code. In other words, these tools allow developers to explain in English, for example, the task they are trying to execute then have that natural language description automatically converted into the necessary code. As mentioned, automatic code generation is still a new and largely underutilized technology. In the coming years, though, AI-powered automatic code generation is positioned to substantially reduce how much time it takes to write the code for a new application.
Bug and Error Identification
While not quite as time-consuming as writing the code in the first place, identifying and fixing the bugs in an application can still be quite a headache for software developers. AI software solutions, though, can allow developers to automatically detect the bugs and errors in an application. In addition to detecting the bugs that are keeping the application from functioning correctly, many of these tools are also able to automatically correct the problem without requiring any intervention on behalf of the developer.
Improved Data Security
With the frequency of cybercrime and data breaches continuing to rise exponentially, data security is a serious concern for software developers heading into 2022. Thankfully, AI technologies are now enabling developers to create applications that are more secure than ever before. With the right AI integrations, developers are able to create applications that utilize machine learning in order to automatically detect irregularities that could present a security concern for the data that is stored on the application. In addition to helping ensure that no such irregularities go unnoticed, these tools are also able to help eliminate false notifications and alerts that would otherwise lead to a waste of time and resources.
More Accurate Project Estimates
Anytime a company decides to develop a new software solution, it is essential for them to carefully consider how much time and money it will cost to create. With that said, estimating the cost and timeline of a new development project is often easier said than done, and even an experienced software development team may sometimes struggle to provide an accurate estimate. Thanks to AI, though, software developers are now able to formulate a much more accurate understanding of how much it will cost and how long it will take to develop a new application.
Through predictive analytics that analyzes historical data from past, comparable projects, AI tools are able to provide developers with a highly reliable estimate regarding a project's cost and timeline based only on a brief, natural language description of the project's requirements. This allows companies to enter into the process of creating a new application with a complete and reliable understanding of how much time and money will be needed in the end.
Improved Testing Services
Once the development of a new application is complete, it is vital for developers to thoroughly test it across a variety of different cases to ensure its quality. Since this testing process needs to be repeated every time the application's source code is changed, the process of testing and quality control in application development can quickly become quite time-consuming. Once again, though, AI is helping to make this process of testing applications far more efficient.
AI testing tools work to automate the testing process by automatically creating a broad range of test cases and performing regression testing. By automatically testing every aspect of an application's performance and quality, these tools are able to dramatically reduce how much time it takes to ensure the quality of a new application. In addition to improving the efficiency of this process, AI is also able to help improve the quality of testing as well, helping eliminate bugs and errors that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Connecting Developers With User Feedback
When designing or updating a software application, it is essential for software engineers to carefully consider feedback from the application's end users. However, collecting and analyzing data from an application's users is often easier said than done. Once again, this is an area where AI in software development can be especially beneficial.
AI tools that are complete with machine learning algorithms will allow an application to learn how its users behave before recommending improvements based on the user data that it collects. By connecting developers with real-time data from an app's end users, AI is able to provide developers with incredibly valuable feedback regarding how users respond to the app's various features and designs, empowering a process of continuous feedback and improvement that will go a long way toward helping developers design better apps.
Informing Decision Makers
AI in software development goes far beyond simply assisting with the development process. In addition to helping developers create code, identity and fix bugs, gather user feedback, and all of the other ways in which AI is able to streamline the development of a new application, AI can also be used to inform big-picture decisions regarding an application.
We've already discussed how AI can be used to formulate accurate estimates of how much time and money it will take to develop a new application. Beyond this, though, AI and machine learning can be leveraged to gather and analyze data that will inform a broad range of other big-picture decisions as well, including the app's design, its features, and beyond.
In the past, a company's decision makers were often forced to rely on little more than gut instinct when it comes to making decisions regarding the design and release of new applications. By analyzing millions or even billions of points of data, AI tools are able to take a lot of the guesswork out of such decisions. In fact, it is expected that AI will soon redefine what it means to be a leader within a company, with leaders largely delegating decision-making responsibilities to AI tools and putting more of their focus on the human and cultural side of running a business.
Will AI Replace Software Developers?
Given all of the ways in which AI technologies are currently able to streamline the software development process, it is fair to wonder whether AI may someday soon replace software developers entirely. This is certainly not a concern that is unique to the software development field, with professionals in almost every field forced to consider if they might someday be replaced by machines. With that said, however, our current AI technologies are still a long ways away from making human software developers obsolete.
While we wouldn't go as far as to say that AI will never reach the point that it is able to replace software developers entirely, as history has not been kind to those who try to predict the limitations of technology, this doesn't seem like a problem that developers will have to face anytime soon. Rather than replacing the role of software developers, our current AI software development tools exist to empower developers to make more informed decisions and streamline otherwise time-consuming processes. With that said, AI in software development is something that should be embraced by developers and end users alike and is certainly not something to be feared.
To see the industries that are currently most at risk of being replaced by AI and automation, check out the graph below:
How Baytech Consulting Leverages AI for Exceptional Enterprise App Development
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