How ChatGPT Is Changing Software Development

Dave Erickson, Thursday, April 23, 2023

“Even a manically depressed robot is better to talk to than nobody.”

‒ Douglas Adams – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

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ChatGPT has become the next hottest thing in town since blockchain technology, Metaverse headsets and the latest TikTok dance craze. Since OpenAI launched, more and more people worldwide have been using ChatGPT for all kinds of different tasks. There are many things this chatbot can do, including writing blog post, generating code snippets and conducting research. There is no doubt that the advent of ChatGPT is changing how many industries, including the software industry, are now running. Check out our podcast on ChatGPT!

On the one hand, developers are excited about this development; on the other hand, they worry that things will change too much. ChatGPT is an exciting innovation because the software world is witnessing the bleeding edge of the potential of artificial intelligence.

Conversely, it is worrisome and daunting because if this expensive chatbot delivers on its promise, it can disrupt things. Let’s see how ChatGPT is changing software development, if developers should be worried, and how they can use it to their advantage.

Do You Really Need To Know What Is ChatGPT?

Before we discuss the impact of ChatGPT on the software industry, let’s break down the technical concepts into simpler terms for those of you who aren’t familiar with it. ChatGPT is a chatbot developed by OpenAI and trained to be the best virtual assistant one can find. Some powerful people spent 12 billion USD to train a computer as an impressive online assistant with natural communication skills in many different languages. Naturally, this innovation has limitations and benefits – just like any other invented thing.

ChatGPT’s most powerful feature is its ability to understand common language queries and questions, and provide somewhat accurate responses. ChatGPT doesn’t know everything; it is only well-informed in the information it is trained on. See it as an older sibling with a wealth of information about different subjects apart from their academic studies. It can assist developers in many ways, from code generation to debugging and test automation.

Is ChatGPT a Good Thing for Software Development?

ChatGPT is a tool. It is not a conscious being, although one might get that impression after working with it initially. Like any tool, if used correctly can save time, increase quality and allow for more productivity. ChatGPT is undoubtedly beneficial to the software industry, part of which includes making software development work faster and easier. Furthermore, this chatbox can understand a piece of code, return a refactored alternative, and identify bugs, thus helping to reduce technical debt. If used judiciously, ChatGPT could significantly and massively reduce the technical debt in the software development industry in a short while. 

To be more specific, below are some ways ChatGPT is changing the world of software engineering:

Generating Code:

ChatGPT has natural language processing capabilities, which developers can leverage to generate codes. Using a natural language, they describe what they want a program to do; ChatGPT will automatically generate corresponding code. Essentially, it reduces developers’ time and effort in building complex software applications.

Automating Testing and Debugging:

ChatGPT is also functional in automated testing and debugging thanks to its ability to understand natural language. This is a feature developers can use to describe the behavior they expect from their code. Then, the chat box will automatically generate test cases to ensure the code works as designed. Also, by analyzing natural language descriptions, ChatGPT is useful in identifying and debugging code issues.

Communication Streamlining:

ChatGPT helps streamline communication, which is key in any software development project, by providing natural language responses to issues. With this, developers can focus on their work as the time and effort needed for communication are drastically reduced.

Greater Accessibility:

ChatGPT can potentially make software engineering more accessible to more people. Thanks to the reduced specialized knowledge required for complex software development, it enables more individuals to get involved in the industry. That means there will be more diversity, newer perspectives, and better innovative ideas in the field.

Code Refactoring Improved:

ChatGPT helps with code refactoring – the process of structure improvement and organization of existing code. It analyzes the code’s natural language descriptions and suggests how to do it. Essentially, it helps improve the scalability of software applications and their maintainability.

Should the Industry be Worried about ChatGPT?

The presence of ChatGPT has made many developers worry about their future; they see it as a threat. Many believe that AI could replace their job in at least ten years, making the future look bleak. However, let’s be realistic, as great as AI advancements are; they cannot satisfy the need for human implementers.

To start with, technology is not as fast-moving as we think; only the hype surrounding it is what moves fast. It is just like getting wrapped up in any new innovation – such as blockchain, AI, and even Harry Potter. Remove the hype around these shiny new tools; you will see that technology does not move fast. JavaScript, for instance, has not changed since it came about in 1995, although the environment in which it runs has.

Thus, the repackaging and different usage of existing technology by opinionated frameworks does not mean an end to human jobs. Likewise, that some AI applications are flooding the industry doesn’t mean your job will become irrelevant. Many have overstated and misinterpreted the promises of technology, but it’s important to know that ChatGPT will not remove the need for software developers. Two reasonable arguments on why ChatGPT cannot eliminate the need for human developers include:

+ ChatGPT is incapable of understanding the requirements for a code, which is equally as important as writing it; and

+ ChatGPT can produce maintainable codes, but it cannot maintain them; that is the job of software engineers.

How Can Developers Use ChatGPT to Help Them Become Better Coders?

As a software engineer, you likely have wondered what generative AI tools will mean for your profession. ChatGPT, in particular, has caused a stir in the community of developers, with some fearing it will take their jobs. However, you don’t have to fear this AI tool; instead, use it in your workflow to improve productivity. Below are ways you can take advantage of the benefits of ChatGPT to become a better coder:


You can use ChatGPT to write code tests and ensure your code is bug-free and working correctly. ChatGPT will suggest test cases and assertions depending on the variables and functions you are using.


You can also use ChatGPT to debug your code; the AI helps by suggesting possible solutions to bugs in your code. If you’re receiving any error message in your codes, describe it and get suggestions on how to fix it from ChatGPT.

Code Completion:

ChatGPT can help you complete your code; once you start typing a code line, the AI will suggest possible completions. As such, you can save time and effort writing the code to completion yourself. You will also avoid making mistakes, especially when working in a library or unfamiliar language.


As a coder, documentation helps other coders understand how your code works; it is an important part of code writing. As a beginner, intermediate, or expert, you can use ChatGPT for detailed code documentation working with any of the templates available.


You can use ChatGPT in refactoring your code to make it more maintainable, reusable, and modular. Refactoring codes also help improve their efficiency and performance. To effectively write codes, you can work with refactoring suggestions provided by ChatGPT.


ChatGPT offers immense benefits to the software development industry, none of which involves making the industry’s practices and work obsolete. ChatGPT uses natural language processing techniques; therefore, coders can use it to gauge the expressed requirements in natural language. Then, they can change the information acquired into actionable requirements that will guide development. Rather than be wary of it, take full advantage of the potential of this generative AI tool to increase your productivity as a coder. You can check out ChatGPT here:


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