Generative coding is the use of Generative AI (GenAI) to assist in software development. It was one of the first applications of Generative AI technology to be commercialized.
Generative AI is at an early stage of development. It often yields impressive, but not perfect results. Generally, the most productive workflows use the generated output as a starting point, and then includes further reviews and improvements. For example, GitHub has released Copilot X which acts as an AI-paired programmer. Some features include:
- Code completion.
- Chat ability that can explain what the code does.
- Ability to generate unit tests.
- Answer questions based on existing documentation such as MDN; a major open source web technology documentation site.
- Voice coding.
- Fill-in-the-text parts of pull requests; for example the summary and description.
GenAI for coding offers many future possibilities. It’s showing promise in many areas such as writing functional code blocks, building user interfaces, and even connecting different systems by mapping fields and values. Some other uses include:
- Bug fixing.
- Code refactoring.
- Style fixing.
- Web site creation.
- Creating fast prototypes.