From coding to supervising: Microsoft's AutoDev relegates software developers to the job of supervisors

AI replacing humans has a been a long-standing concern

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Microsoft AutoDev affects software developers

Software development as a career option has been booming for the last couple of decades. But with the advent of Artificial Intelligence and its integration into day-to-day tasks, there would soon be less dependency on software developers, with AI doing most of the job.

Microsoft’s AutoDev helps achieve just that!

It’s an automated AI-powered software that leverages the capabilities of AI to the fullest. As per Microsoft’s research paper on AutoDev,

AutoDev enables users to define complex software engineering objectives, which are assigned to AutoDev’s autonomous AI Agents to achieve. These AI agents can perform diverse operations on a codebase, including file editing, retrieval, build processes, execution, testing, and git operations. They also have access to files, compiler output, build and testing logs, static analysis tools, and more. This enables the AI Agents to execute tasks in a fully automated manner with a comprehensive understanding of the contextual information required.

The initial test results for AutoDev are positive. Tested on the HumanEval dataset, AutoDev scored 91.5% of Pass@1 for code generation and 87.8% for test generation.

Microsoft’s research paper goes on to highlight how AutoDev would transform the software development landscape by reassigning responsibilities.

The developer’s role within the AutoDev framework transforms from manual actions and validation of AI suggestions to a supervisor overseeing multi-agent collaboration on tasks, with the option to provide feedback. Developers can monitor AutoDev’s progress toward goals by observing the ongoing
conversation used for communication among agents and the repository.
AutoDev’s framework (Image source: Microsoft)

Developers have an interesting (and humorous) take on Microsoft AutoDev

I could see it be combined with code quality and performance measuring tools. Obviously not perfect solutions, but those are the same tools used by developers today? And while this is probably not ready for widespread use yet, it could be a sign of things to come.

Oh I see how this will go. The suits will be very impressed by this, proceed to fire half their engineers in order to cut costs and then end up with vaporware…

The framework will delete itself after dealing with product managers who say they want a green button but what they really mean is purple.

Cool, I hope the AIs make a better Windows OS and give it to everyone for free.

Speculations have been rife about this, but not many expected it to happen this early. We will have to wait and find out how Microsoft’s AutoDev performs in the coming days and if it could actually relegate software developers to mere supervisors.

Other tech giants, too, have thrown their hats in the ring. Google recently released Gemini Code Assist and CodeGemma, the former assisting coding in a wide array of languages while the latter runs locally on the device.

Do you believe AI-driven software like Microsoft’s AutoDev will replace software developers? Share with our readers in the comments section.

More about the topics: Code editor, microsoft