We’re living in a time when all conversational roads seem to lead back to artificial intelligence.
Personally, I can’t seem to stop talking about AI code generation. We’re absolutely in a hype phase, but it’s hard to ignore the savings in both time and effort for developers using these tools.
We’re still in the “wild west” days of AI code generation. Developers can easily access an AI chatbot, prompt it for code, and use that code at work without anyone looking over their shoulders. And they’re absolutely doing that. That’s not inherently bad, but companies might breathe better knowing that AI use in the workplace was confined to an approved development environment. That’s where AI coding assistants come in.
What is AI code generation?
AI code generation software combines artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to create code automatically based on a natural-language input. These offerings use massive datasets to produce industry and company standard code automatically.
Users prompt AI code generators with a description of the functionality they want to achieve, and AI code generators create or suggest code that achieves the desired function.
AI coding assistants are dedicated, full-featured development tools
As I write this, I could open a chatbot, prompt it for code using a natural language, and get functional code from it. There’s a ceiling to what I could depend on the chatbot to produce for me reliably, but doing this would significantly improve my productivity if I were a programmer.
Tedious, mundane, but necessary code becomes automated, while the programmer can focus their efforts on more complex tasks. That’s the draw of AI code generation.
AI coding assistants simply take the concept of AI code generation and make it part of the development process in real time. That means that, without leaving their development environment, users can prompt their AI assistant for code, accept the generated code, and keep coding.
In fact, developers don’t have to prompt coding assistants in the traditional sense. AI coding assistants will automatically suggest code as the developer writes it.
Think of it like auto-complete for developers, but much more robust.
The assistant is trained on general data, which helps it formulate the most useful code suggestions. It can also adapt to the developer’s programming patterns to predict commonly repeated code chunks.
Developers don’t have to leave their work environment to take advantage of integrated AI coding assistants, meaning there’s far less data privacy risk involved. If employees are using a company-approved coding assistant, that means they’re not going rogue and pasting parts of their org’s codebase into an online chatbot’s input box. AI coding assistants make life easier for developers and prevent data privacy headaches.
AI coding assistants are becoming the norm for AI code generation
Of the 29 AI code generation products on G2, 14 of those are full AI coding assistants. That’s about half of the category. The remaining products are largely prompt-based chatbots that can handle code generation.
However, companies looking to formalize the use of AI in their development processes will find that AI coding assistants offer a straightforward path to that goal. Using AI coding assistants allows companies not only to define but also to enforce best practices with AI. The assistant will take company policy into consideration when suggesting code, which makes for pain-free standardization.
With that in mind, we can only expect AI coding assistants to become the dominant tech in the realm of AI code generation.
Watch this space
The presence of so many full-fledged AI coding assistants within the AI code generation market is heartening for any company looking to take advantage of the tech.
Companies that adopt these advanced tools will benefit from increased development productivity while maintaining governance and enforcing best practices. Looking forward, it's evident that AI coding assistants will become a norm for developers.
Stay tuned as these tools add more and more features that seamlessly improve and automate the developer experience.
AI code completion is a rising trend. Learn more about the AI buzz in software development.
Adam is a research analyst focused on dev software. He started at G2 in July 2019 and leverages his background in comedy writing and coding to provide engaging, informative research content while building his software expertise. In his free time he enjoys cooking, playing video games, writing and performing comedy, and avoiding sports talk.
Make coding less tedious
Use natural language prompts to automatically generate fully functional, industry-standard code.
AI Coding Assistants Establish a Market PresenceAI code generation is evolving from chatbots to full AI coding assistants that streamline development.https://research.g2.com/insights/ai-coding-assistantshttps://learn.g2.com/hubfs/AI_Coding_Assistants.png2023-10-31 17:05:37Z
Adam CrivelloAdam is a research analyst focused on dev software. He started at G2 in July 2019 and leverages his background in comedy writing and coding to provide engaging, informative research content while building his software expertise. In his free time he enjoys cooking, playing video games, writing and performing comedy, and avoiding sports talk.https://research.g2.com/insights/author/adam-crivellohttps://learn.g2.com/hubfs/_Logos/adam-crivelloUpdated.jpeghttps://www.linkedin.com/in/adam-crivello-992b758a/