ChatGPT has been making its way through our lives one day at a time and has changed the way we deal with problems – especially in the technology department. Now, it’s coming for the people behind the curtains – the developers.
In essence, ChatGPT is a large language model that is trained in massive amounts of data and is amazingly good at understanding user prompts and responding to them. Its capabilities are immense – from writing simple emails to letting your boss know you’re not going to make it to work up to solving critical math problems.
This makes you think – if ChatGPT is able to solve problems, will it replace developers?
Ooh, let’s ask ChatGPT!
Well, that was a waste of time. Okay, let’s do our own research and move further on.
Will ChatGPT replace developers?
A short answer is no – ChatGPT is not capable of entirely replacing developers no matter how good of a code it can write.
And apparently, its quality has been declining. A Reddit user claimed that its performance has been really poor lately in a thread:
I noticed the same thing but for Python. Really poor performance and unable to correct even when given guidance or when claiming to have fixed issues.
Being a developer is not just about memorizing the syntax of a said programming language and reusing that on a daily basis. They need more than just the knowledge of how the code is written to tackle tough problems. The majority of programming issues need human intuition that involves critical thinking, analyzing the problem, and only then coming up with creative solutions.
Problem-solving in the programming world often requires understanding the bigger picture – the big, complex system – that the part of code that’s a problem is not fitting on. By knowing what the code need to do and where it is going to fit, the developer will see outside the box and will find a solution way better than ChatGPT. A lot of problems are also related to real-world scenarios which as far as we know ChatGPT does not have access to.
Developers bring a unique set of skills and experience to the team that allows them to fully understand the specific needs of the industry. One of the advantages developers have over ChatGPT is to empathize with end-users and grasp their frustration or praise in the feedback they offer. This results in a more friendly and effective solution finding than simply asking ChatGPT to fix the code for us.
Furthermore, developers often collaborate in teams by tackling complex problems that leverage the collective knowledge of the group. Most of the issues are discussed in brainstorming sessions and code reviews, perfecting an environment of innovation and constant improvement. You can’t include ChatGPT in a brainstorm if it takes you more time to tell it what’s wrong instead of just asking your team to help, duh.
How to stay ahead
While yes, ChatGPT is not going to fully replace developers for now, who’s to say it won’t do that in the future? Can’t be too sure, right? Well, call me Mrs. Glass-half-empty but it’s never too bad to check the downside of a situation every once in a while.
Chances are that ChatGPT is going to replace you if what you do is easy to be replicated with a ChatGPT prompt.
This can be replaced by ChatGPT: “Write me HTML and CSS code to make a button that sparkles when I click it.”
This can not be replaced by ChatGPT: “Design and implement a high-performance, fault-tolerant, and scalable cloud-native system for real-time data processing and analytics on a large-scale dataset.”
Here’s how to protect your coding job from ChatGPT, besides doing complex work:
- Be a lifelong learner
- Focus on creativity
- Adapt to emerging trends
Staying up to date with the latest programming languages frameworks and technologies will keep you on the loop and on track. If you’re stuck in your comfort zone and don’t want to learn new things, you’re absolutely going to be one of ChatGPT’s scapegoats.
Or, you can specialize in a particular area of coding that will secure you a sweet spot in the company. By specializing I mean that there’s not a single problem in that area that you are not capable of solving.
While ChatGPT is awesome at finishing certain routine tasks, it’s still limited when it comes to creative problem-solving and innovation. Here’s where you come into play. Creativity and innovation will always be in high demand, so by making this your strong point you’re good to go.
As Darwin said: “Survival of the fittest” – you should be able to adapt to emerging trends and be able to go with the flow. Being adaptable and open to new opportunities will help you stay relevant in your field.
FAQs on ChatGPT vs developers
Is ChatGPT a threat to developers?
A threat, yes. A replacement, no.
ChatGPT poses a challenge to developers, but it’s not capable of completely replacing developers and taking over their responsibilities. What it can do is automate some mundane tasks that are easy to fix by code generation, but that’s about it.
It can’t replicate the human intuition, critical thinking, and deep understanding of complex systems that developers bring to the table.
What jobs can’t AI replace?
While AI has been amazing, there are just some shoes it can’t fill. Well, technically it can’t fill any shoes as it’s an AI but let’s not digress.
Here are some jobs that AI can’t replace:
- System Architect
- Ethical consultant
- User Experience (UX)
- Technical project manager
These are all jobs that are hard to replicate by ChatGPT as they require human intuition, critical thinking, and a deep understanding of complex systems. While AI can provide valuable support and automation in various aspects of these roles, the human element remains essential for their success. Chances are that ChatGPT will have a hard time replacing developers completely.
Will AI result in massive job loss?
Well, this is a rather heavily loaded question. Artificial intelligence contributed to nearly 4,000 job losses last month, according to data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
But while it’s replacing humans in some jobs, it’s also creating new job opportunities and often will just complement human work instead of replacing it entirely.
How does ChatGPT impact the job market for developers?
Similar to the question above, it has two coins.
The negative impact of ChatGPT is the potential for automation-related job loss. As ChatGPT alike options become more sophisticated, many positions that once required human intervention can now be performed by AI, leading to job displacement.
However, it also opens a lot of new positions that don’t exist yet as well. As AI technology progresses, there will be new job opportunities like “AI trainers” and “Explainability experts” that will be responsible for making sure these AI systems work well and follow ethical guidelines.
What are ChatGPT’s limitations in coding?
ChatGPT is great at generating code – especially ‘easy’ code.
Some of ChatGPT’s limitations in coding include:
- Limited real-world understanding
- Difficulty with complex programming problems
- Lack of creativity and innovation in solutions
- Challenges in grasping user requirements
- Limited scalability and specialization capabilities
Agnesa is crazy about math and has won lots of prizes. Although her main gig is being a full-stack developer, she also likes to write about topics she knows really well.
But, Agnesa isn’t just about numbers and algorithms.
When she’s not crunching code or weaving words, you’ll find her conquering mountains with her trusty hiking boots!