GitHub has revealed that generative AI-based developer tools such as GitHub Copilot will lead to a $1.5 trillion boost to global GDP by 2030. The announcement comes as GitHub Copilot gets activated by more than a million developers and adopted by more than 20,000 organizations.
According to the developer platform, AI tools give developers a 30% productivity boost because they can quickly get over issues in their code. It projected that there would be 45 million professional developers by the end of the decade so AI is effectively adding the productivity of an additional 15 million developers.
One of the common problems run into by new programmers is imposter syndrome - where you don't think you possess the skills to be a programmer. The stuff you think you’re expected to know seems insurmountable and can put people off coding. According to GitHub, generative AI can benefit less experienced developers more than experienced developers.
Explaining a bit more, GitHub said:
“Our study also found that less experienced developers have a greater advantage with tools like GitHub Copilot, which is corroborated by other studies, including our own previous experiments on the impact of AI on developer productivity. As developers use these tools to upskill, they will become more fluent in prompting and interacting with AI to power the development lifecycle. This will ultimately help democratize software development for more people, help close the labour gap, and establish AI pair programming tools as part of the standard developer education experience.”
While less experienced developers get the most from generative AI, according to GitHub, all developers seemingly get tasks done faster and feel happier with its assistance. In the cast of GitHub Copilot, it was completing up to 46% of code where it was enabled.
Generative AI tools in programming are quite new so developers are still enabling these tools and unlocking what they can do. Over time, GitHub expects developers to become more proficient at using these AI tools so that an “inextricable link between humankind and artificial intelligence” is formed that defines software development for “generations to come”.