One thing is sure: machine and AI-powered developer tools are taking over the world of software development. Technologies like Chat GPT, GitHub Copilot, Google's Bard, and what we're building here at Amplication are all designed to empower developers by helping them expedite their coding tasks and creating compelling solutions for developers. I, for one, welcome our new machine overlords.
AI or machine-assisted development is an approach to writing code or creating applications that use pre-built modules or generate code based on trained models, reducing the need for extensive coding knowledge. This method is gaining popularity because it allows faster development times and reduced costs. As a result, developers now have intelligent and extensible tools to build applications quickly; this is a game changer in software development.
A Small Request
At Amplication, we're building an open-source Node.js app development platform to help developers build production-ready Node.js backends without wasting time on repetitive coding.
We're closing in on the 10,000-star milestone on GitHub and would love it if you gave us a 🌟 too. Check out our repo at https://github.com/amplication/amplication; thank you.
Back in June of 2021, GitHub announced its technical preview of GitHub Copilot. It was a product that took developers by surprise and was only possible thanks to the work of OpenAI and their Codex model, a descendent of GPT-3.
GitHub Copilot is an AI-powered code generation tool that utilizes machine learning to provide developers with suggestions and auto-complete code while they write. It uses ML models trained on code made public on GitHub to give developers code suggestions relevant to their current project. When I say relevant recommendations, it's almost scary how well Copilot can understand a code base and make suggestions based on interfaces, functions, and classes in my projects.
Copilot does all this to make programming more straightforward and efficient by reducing the time and effort required to write and understand code. In addition, Copilot helps developers speed up the development process by interpreting natural language and converting it into code.
As impressive as this is, you have yet to hear the best part.
GitHub Copilot X
At the end of March 2023, GitHub announced the next evolution of their Copilot software; Copilot X.
GitHub Copilot X is the next generation of GitHub Copilot, powered by OpenAI's GPT-4 model. It provides an even more complete developer experience beyond code completion. It looks to revolutionize the development process by helping developers with various tasks.
If you remember and miss Clippy, GitHub seeks to help fill that void. Copilot can now provide chat and voice support, allowing developers to interact with it more naturally. More seriously, though, the Copilot Chat functionality adds a ChatGPT-like experience to the editor.
Copilot for Pull Requests
Copilot can now help maintainers and contributors with pull requests. Copilot for Pull Requests adds functionality, again powered by GPT-4, to create descriptions for a pull request automatically. The descriptions are based on the changes made to the code and are easy to modify if you want them phrased differently.
Additionally, Copilot will even warn developers if they're missing testing for their PR and suggest tests.
Copilot for Docs
Copilot X can now answer questions about documentation, providing developers with the information they need to write better code. It's an experimental tool that uses a chat interface and can provide technical answers to questions based on the official docs of different technologies. Currently, the supported docs are limited to React, Azure, and MDN, but this will likely change to cover much more!
While Copilot X is still under development, it is another tool that has the potential to revolutionize the way developers work. It can help developers to be more productive, write better code, and more.
So where does Amplication fit into all of this? GitHub's Copilot does one thing very well: to extend existing code and help enhance a developer's workflow. But it has to start somewhere. You could create a project from scratch using Copilot. However, the experience would be miserable, as there is still much setup work for any project. You'll have to give Copilot many clear and precise commands.
This is where Amplication shines. Amplication is an open-source development platform that simplifies building scalable and maintainable applications. Amplication generates code based on data models you create via an intuitive UI rather than working in the dredges of the code.
The benefits of a UI may seem like only a little victory, but visualizing your data models easily makes it easier to understand the relations between them. In turn, this system makes updating the data models easy as well. For example, when you need to make a small change in a traditional project, you may have to update 5, 10, or 20-plus files dependent on that data model. With Amplication's understanding of your project and models, we can easily update your code in all the places where it matters, saving developers from spending time on repetitive coding tasks.
Amplication's user-friendly interface continues beyond the data models. It enables developers to manage and configure their applications, like swapping database providers, authentication strategies, and how to secure data, all with a couple of clicks of the mouse. In addition, without having an extensive coding background, we democratize software development by allowing anyone to build a backend with little to no code written.
Like GitHub Copilot and other AI-assisted tools, Amplication helps developers speed up the development process, reducing the time and effort required to build applications.
If you're ready to give Amplication a shot, we have a few guides on building amazing applications with Amplication. You can take the traditional route of creating a todo app or something more technical by building a Star Wars API GraphQL server.