The hype around AI has been undeniable. Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT have spread like wildfire as people saw firsthand how useful and applicable it could be. This isn’t the first time a new technology has disrupted the workplace. No-code technology provides the clearest comparison of how these emerging technologies can change how businesses and employees operate.
3 Generative AI Predictions
- Generative AI won’t replace the need for software developers.
- Generative AI will democratize software development.
- Generative AI will speed up digital transformations in traditional sectors.
The conversation surrounding AI is very reminiscent of what was said about no-code platforms when they first started gaining popularity.
How No-Code Platforms Changed the Way Businesses Work
The ability of low-code and no-code platforms to empower end-users to build their own solutions was thought to replace the need for developers. The idea that an individual with no-prior knowledge of application building can use no-code platforms to build complex solutions was also greatly exaggerated. In reality, no-code tools eased the relationship between developers and non-IT users by breaking down technical barriers. Basic training is still required to promote citizen development, but no-code tools have facilitated the necessary skill transfer.
As we know today, no-code platforms have spurred immense productivity across organizations and have helped free up the time of developers allowing them to focus on high-value work. By making it easier for non-technical domain experts to automate and integrate their workflows into connected systems, no-code platforms have enabled data and insights to travel across departments. Removing data silos between teams has also created a more collaborative environment that has led to more innovative work.
In a similar vein, software engineers and IT teams across the country are starting to deploy AI-powered tools that generate code in response to user-defined prompts. This means developers and non-IT end users are spending less time writing code, as the AI tools can produce code snippets in seconds. They’re also discovering that routine coding can be automated to expedite the whole process, find bugs and even explain the source of the problem. Users are also using AI tools to generate test cases and automatically update tests to changes in the source code.
Like no-code and low-code tools, AI promises to put coding in the hands of end-users and allows them to make significant code changes without a deep understanding of software development.
What Digital Transformations Can We Expect From Generative AI?
With AI being able to build simple and repetitive software and its potential to continue learning, it is easy to see why some developers are excited about the prospect of AI in the workplace. Some 66 percent of companies have already used generative AI to write code, according to a survey from Resume Builder. Furthermore, according to OpenAI’s own research, 80 percent of the US workforce could have 10 percent of their tasks automated by Chat GPT, and 19 percent of employees could see half of their tasks taken on by AI.
AI will certainly change how we work and interact with technology. Software engineering will be one of those sectors disrupted by AI developments as it functions within a rules-based system AI can learn and adapt to. There is uncertainty about how exactly AI will impact the jobs of software developers, and what it will look like to work alongside AI-powered tools.
Here are some of the lessons we have learned from no-code/low-code tools in the workplace which may indicate the impact of AI in the near future.
1. AI Won’t Replace the Need for Developers
One of the most common predictions following the rise of no-code and low-code tools was that it would replace the need for developers. Instead, developers became a primary user, deploying no-code platforms to speed up the software and app building process.
Likewise, AI won’t replace the need for developers. Instead it will push engineers to produce high-level valuable work. For example, developers use pre-build modules in no-code tools to avoid writing code from scratch. In a survey from /Data, 46 percent of developers they use no-code for some of their work.
AI will continue that trend, replacing routine, low-level tasks. Engineers will be able to work alongside AI to automate some of their existing processes, such as testing and debugging. But they will still be needed to create complex and creative software solutions that meet business needs. The main impact will be that they’ll have more time to do those tasks.
However, software engineers who do not embrace AI risk getting left behind.
2. AI Will Democratize Software Development
Low-code and no-code platforms are important because they open up the software development process to non-technical users. Thanks to pre-build modules and components, non-technical users can develop custom applications and solutions. This phenomenon didn’t result in developers being replaced, but rather it allowed for end users to fit solutions to their own needs without reliance on overworked IT teams.
AI will have a similar impact, as users can tell generative AI platforms what type of code they need generated and can integrate those desired features into existing solutions.
When end-users have the power and flexibility to customize existing applications to their needs, it spurs organizational productivity. It also promotes innovation as more people with different skills and backgrounds can provide input into building more innovative and better business-aligned solutions.
3. AI Will Speed up Digital Transformations in Traditional Sectors
Organizations in traditional sectors such as manufacturing may not have the necessary software developing resources to create complex digital solutions. Business leaders in these sectors employed no-code tools to push digitization forward by automating manual tasks.
We are likely to see AI technologies make the biggest impact in sectors that are lagging behind on digitization. Organizations can use AI tools to digitize day-to-day processes for significant productivity gains.
The Future With AI
While we are seeing rapid development in AI capabilities, it’s highly unlikely that certain jobs will become completely obsolete as a result of AI anytime soon. The impact of no-code tools on software development tells us that emerging technologies will enhance job roles while giving more power to non-technical users. We can even expect AI to be embedded in no-code tools to make them even more productive and powerful.
That being said, technologies such as no-code and AI are pushing developers to focus more on the problem-solving aspect of software development and less on mundane coding. Developers must adapt and learn to leverage such technologies to make them better prepared for the future.