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The Impact of Generative AI on Software Team Productivity Is...Complicated

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AI initials encircled by binary code, illustration

Credit: Geekflare

Despite the potential for vast productivity gains from generative AI tools such as ChatGPT or GitHub Copilot, will technology professionals' jobs actually grow more complicated? 

People can now pump out code on demand in an abundance of languages, from Java to Python. along with helpful recommendations. Already, 95% of developers in a recent survey from Sourcegraph report they use Copilot, ChatGPT, and other gen AI tools this way.

But auto-generating new code only addresses part of the problem in enterprises that already maintain unwieldy codebases, and require high levels of cohesion, accountability, and security.

"Most of the code that is generated [by large language models] is security-vulnerable and might not pass enterprise-grade code," says Andy Thurai, analyst with Constellation Research.

Then there's code sprawl. The ease of generating code via AI will contribute to an ever-expanding codebase. A majority of the 500 developers in the Sourcegraph survey are concerned about managing all this new code, along with code sprawl, and its contribution to technical debt.

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