When properly understood and utilized, artificial intelligence can be a powerful tool to not only boost but also enhance software development and digital products. What AI software development tools are out there, why it’s a good idea to use them, and how our company is working with them to further product development?

How is AI being used by the developers?

Developers use multiple features of AI software. Some are more unorthodox than others but it all boils down to one thing: how can they benefit the project the engineers are working on? Here are major implementations:

  • Increased productivity – code suggestion and completion. Companies can minimize human errors and create opportunities for effective work. Teams can use AI for suggestions about code snippets, functions, and variables.
  • Code analysis and review. Tools can analyze code line by line and provide feedback. The code quality itself, as well as security features and performance issues, can be spotted and corrected via AI’s assessment. 
  • Enhanced security. Constant code monitoring functionalities can spot and report potential code vulnerabilities and threats to the application. Advanced machine learning features are now used to drive security support in real-time, further speeding the development time. 
  • Complex product simplification. By using natural language processing (NLP) AI can understand and generate human language. That allows for analyzing multi-layer, complex code structures, and project documentation. As a result, developers can get rid of unnecessary code, spot problematic fragments and comments, and even simplify the language documentation used to describe the app.
  • Predictive analytics. With insights about possible problems with the structure of the code, complexity, potential security issues, and other challenges, the team can spot performance issues before they happen. 
  • Enhanced software reliability – testing and debugging. Manual or automatic testing? Why not AI testing as a third and complementary option? Artificial intelligence can support the QA department with autonomous scans and suggestions on how to fix bugs.
  • Active maintenance. It’s important during and after the development cycle. Especially if the contract is signed also for post-launch support. With real-time application monitoring, AI can flag occurring issues before they can become product-breaking problems.

What features are important in AI tools for developers?

There are some aspects of software development that engineers always find difficult or at the very least, challenging. Anything that enables developers to automate repetitive tasks, streamline workflows, and generate code snippets, reducing manual effort and speeding up development cycles, they welcome with open arms.

Here are some features that present the highest value:

  • Enhanced decision-making. With AI, developers can identify patterns and trends with ease. Overlooking those can cost a company a lot of money. It’s especially important for human, not business-oriented trends and shifting market demands. The UI/UX trends are especially important since developing apps around user preferences and incorporating personalization is vital in fintech.

With the help of AI, developers can allocate resources, gather insights from data, and make more informed decisions about the scope and timeline of projects at hand.

  • Automation of repetitive tasks. The option of automating daily coding tasks is invaluable. Portions of code that are mundane, can be easily written with the use of AI, freeing developers’ time and shifting their attention. With newly found head space, they can focus on challenges, changes in project scope, and more.

AI tools can be also used for analyzing coding patterns and suggesting changes in code, providing feedback to developers and make them write more clear and commented lines. They can be also utilized to predict the following lines of code, making the process even faster. 

  • Personalized developer experience. AI-powered products can provide tailored recommendations for each developer. They can be fed with lines produced so far by a given specialist. As a result, they can learn the developer’s coding style, preferences, and past projects relations with the company’s goals. 

The ultimate product of that human-AI partnership can take the form of suggestions, sets of best practices and learning resources. This kind of personalized approach boosts productivity and enhances development skills. 

Limitations of AI for software developers

Not everything is fine and dandy. There are some challenges and limitations when working with AI:

  • Heavy dependency on data. Constant reliance on large amounts of data burdens the team and makes them question their choices. Everything is often consulted with an almighty, binary yes-no oracle. Sourcing, structuring, and maintaining data pools is often time-consuming and can be resource-heavy. 

Also, basing decisions only on humans can lead to bias and inaccurate product outcomes. Maintaining data quality and fairness in the decision-making process can be achieved with AI. If and only if, the data is there, structured and presented in a way suitable for AI.

  • Algorithm complexities. The complexity of algorithm design can create a barrier for developers. It requires a deep understanding of complex mathematical and statistical concepts, data, and patterns. Implementing neural network solutions and learning models requires expertise and computational resources.

Software engineers can simplify algorithm design and improve the efficiency of the final, market-ready product. If the algorithms can be reasonably simplified, that is.

  • Edge cases and unpredictable scenarios. AI is good when it comes to predictability. Anything else is terra incognita. Developers must anticipate scenarios where results deviate from the training data. They must anticipate edge cases and prepare a plan where AI is no longer necessary or incapable of delivering sane results.

Top AI software development tools

Here are some great examples of AI-powered software development tools.

  1. Tabnine. Tabnine uses a machine learning algorithm to learn from the code and predict the next line of code a specialist will likely write. It can also suggest code snippets, complete functions, and even generate entire classes. 

The tool is useful, especially to JavaScript programmers – it allows them to write complex regular expressions and to navigate large codebases. JavaScript is a part of Code & Pepper’s tech stack. We use Tabnine daily. 

  1. Code Climate. It’s a tool dedicated for code analysis and review. It monitors the team’s performance, progress toward goals, on-time delivery, and developer retention.
  1. Applitools. It’s an AI-powered testing and automation platform. It offers unparalleled code test coverage, reduces test maintenance, increases test creation speed, and saves an immense amount of time on manual testing.
  1. Otter.ai. Something different for a change. Otter is gaining a lot of traction and for a reason. It’s a great tool for meeting with our clients and sending them AI-generated transcriptions of meetings. That way everybody is always on the same page.

Features include automated transcriptions, speaker identification, timestamps, and collaboration tools. Participants can also use the Search functionality to find a project or contract-related keywords.

  1. Rewind.ai. Do you know Scribe? You will love Rewind! The team behind the widely adopted and acclaimed Scribe tool (acquired by Google in 2020), came back with an even better project. It’s an AI-powered process documentation tool. It helps developers create clear and concise documentation for their code and processes.

Features like automatic documentation generation, natural language generation, and version control help developers track virtually everything.

  1. Grit. It’s an interesting software for code migration, dependency upgrades, and automation of technical debt tasks. It’s great for teams that need to juggle between legacy systems and deal with outdated code that “will have to do for another quarter”. 
  1. Cursor. It offers features like lint fixing, chatbot, code generation, and code editing directly within the editor window. It also supports advanced features like auto-debugging, bug-finding, and repo-wide understanding.

Although the freemium version is limited, Cursor can understand and respond to natural language questions, making it easy for developers to interact with the AI directly in their code editor. Engineers can ask it questions about your codebase, for code completions, or even to generate code snippets.

  1. Stepsize AI. Marketed as “Jira and linear dashboards that build themselves”, Stepsize’s marketing department is not exaggerating. It’s a collaborative tool designed to help developers stay updated on the product engineering team’s activities and achievements.

It serves as a project historian and task manager. It integrates with platforms like Slack, Jira, and GitHub. Its primary aim is to eliminate information overload and miscommunication while leading to higher productivity.

  1. Quack AI. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… then you can code with it! It’s a tool that analyzes code, pinpoints potential issues and suggests improvements. It also automates repetitive tasks like code reviews and testing, freeing up time for other tasks. It also has automated testing capabilities.
  1. Figstack. It’s an AI-powered code-reading tool that can help developers understand code written in any language. It utilizes various techniques, including machine learning and natural language processing, to understand code and generate accurate and easy-to-understand explanations.

Why Code & Pepper is a trusted partner?

We have 17 years of experience and hundreds of projects behind us. We hire only 1.6% of elite talents on the market. We walk the talk – we have a formula for finding the best people. At Code & Pepper, we use the term centaur developers to highlight the importance of using modern tools for exceptional results.

That’s why we urge our potential and current partners to search for a software development agency that is aware of current market possibilities. Poland is famous for quality software engineers but not all companies are as strict as ours. We have identified hard and soft skills that are needed to push development forward. To make it smoother, and more efficient.

Check for yourself. We are the missing ingredient in your digital dish.