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Software Development Without AI: Our Guide For Skeptical Software Engineers
Software developers have been using automated tools for decades, but recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI) have left many wondering about the future of their jobs. Some software engineers have been panicking that AI will replace them, thanks mostly to the advances of creepily-human tools like ChatGPT. These tools are fast and can quickly produce convincing-looking code.
However, one of the main issues with tools like this is that, while it is good at pretending to be accurate and gives its answers confidently, it often makes mistakes when coding. As a result, the output might not be great, and users might have to put in several prompts and make multiple edits to get the solutions they want. Errors can make the code virtually unusable, so inexperienced coders might find that they can’t get the right output without having to fix a lot of issues themselves.
As a result, most industry experts agree that AI isn’t likely to replace experienced software producers anytime soon. That being said, these remain scary times for developers, who might be worried about the rise of AI-generated, low-quality code and poorly-functioning applications.Competing with these low-quality tools can be challenging, especially as people require time to sleep, eat and relax, unlike AI programmes. Dealing with the rise of poor quality but deeply-flawed code and showing potential clients that your service offers better quality can be tough.
Thankfully, for the pragmatics amongst us, there are plenty of approaches you can take to maximise your productivity without resorting to using AI tools. We’ve created this list to give you inspiration- we hope it helps!
Plan Every Project
Poor planning is a major issue for many software developers, who might not realise how long some aspects will take. As a result, you’ll end up spending too much time on certain tasks, which could hold up others, and lead to a blockage in your workflow. If you make a plan before you start, then you’ll know what needs to be done and when, and which elements will take the longest. Also, if there’s any tasks that need to be done before others can be started, then you’ll ensure that you do everything in the right order. Planning is a basic that you’re probably doing already, but if you’re not, now’s the time to start. You’ll then be able to see how much time everything will take, and where you can save it. Learning to plan can be vital for software engineers, particularly when you’re running an agency or dealing with multiple jobs at the same time. Managing multiple projects at once can be difficult, especially if you don’t have a process in place already.
Implement Agile Project Development
Having a plan is important, but sometimes, it’s not enough. If your current approach to planning and managing your software development projects isn’t working, then you should consider exploring a new approach. One tried-and-tested method that’s incredibly popular among software developers is Agile. This lean approach is designed to help you make the most of your resources throughout the project lifecycle. From conception to the end result, there’s a stage to fit everything, and the aim is to be accountable for your tasks and keep adapting to new feedback so that even post-launch, you can fix any bugs before they become serious issues. If you’re unfamiliar with Agile project management and how it could benefit you, then consider getting some Agile training for you and your employees. As a specialist provider dedicated to Agile and OKR training, 1ovmany can create a course that will meet your specific needs and teach you everything you need to know about implementing Agile techniques in your upcoming projects.
Delegate Small Admin Tasks
It’s probably not the coding that takes up most of your day as a software developer: it’s managing your team and running your business. All the admin and communications work you have to do can take its toll and carve out a major chunk of your day. Even seemingly simple jobs, like managing your email inbox or paying your employees, can take a lot of time and energy. To ensure that you make the most of your talents, try delegating or outsourcing basic tasks to save yourself some valuable time. If you have trusted colleagues who have more experience with admin, and more time to do it in, then try handing off more jobs to them. Alternatively, you can make the most of dedicated freelancers or outsourced agencies to help with more specialist jobs, such as payroll management. You’ll then be able to free up more of your time to focus on your software development projects. Hiring a freelancer or outsourced agency will cost money, but it can be worth it if it frees up your valuable time. Still, before you hire someone externally, you should see if any of your current team members have the time to take on additional work to free up some of your time.
Optimise Your Time
Even if you delegate some of your additional tasks, you still need to make sure that you’re using the time you have wisely. Time management can make a huge difference to your workload, particularly if you’re not making the most of the tools you already have at your disposal. Popular solutions such as Microsoft’s 365 suite of products or basic apps that come built into modern smartphones can help you to schedule your day and plan your hours, particularly any tasks that are especially time-consuming, such as hosting meetings. With the help of the tools you have on your phone or laptop, such as your calendar app and email account, you can schedule your time and make sure that you don’t double-book yourself. By ensuring that you know what you’re going to do, and when you’re going to do it, you can feel more confident and set aside time specifically for important tasks, such as coding, fixing bugs or reading articles about new techniques.
Look After Your Mental Health
It might sound lame to tell you to look after yourself, but this is probably the most important point on this list. It’s surprisingly easy to panic about the implications of AI tools, particularly when the news cycle is so saturated with information about it. While AI could potentially help software developers moving forward, particularly as it gets better, it’s still a long way away from taking your job away from you entirely, but that’s not reassuring if you’re truly frightened and unsure about what the future holds.
All you can do is try to work in the now and find ways to relax and unwind after a busy day at work. It might seem simple, but this approach can help you to avoid burning out or having to take time off to recuperate. Make the most of the tips above and try to find ways to cope with your panic about AI, and remember that if you were so easy to replace, it would already be done. Humans are still needed for a wide range of tasks, and these can’t be replicated by AI tools that don’t have an imagination or the ability to quickly assess a situation and make relevant changes.