Is an AI Coding Assistant Right For You?
Though some have worried that coding assistants might take the place of data scientists, as we’ve discussed in the past, that won’t be the case. Instead, these programs are tuned to enhance a user’s existing skills while providing a bit of extra help where they might lack. So whether you’re a seasoned data scientist, engineer, or just getting your feet wet in the data science field, let’s take a look at how AI coding assistants can help data process regardless of their skill level.
Beginner Data Scientists
For someone who’s a beginner in the data science field, many of the concepts can be daunting. But with an AI coding assistant, you have a partner that can help you along the way as you develop a strong foundation and become an experienced data scientist. One of the most obvious ways is to help with syntax. Though you might know how to write a script in Python or R or pull data using SQL, most beginners will often find themselves stuck because they haven’t had to chance to exercise those coding muscles enough. With an AI coding assistant, syntax becomes easier to remember as these programs can help you correct your mistakes, but most importantly, explain why a certain script that is coming up wrong is wrong.
But as you’d expect, that’s not all. An AI coding assistant can help you in a collaborative setting helping the beginner data scientist stay consistent with the team’s codebases, and giving you other opportunities to collaborate as well. Those opportunities tend to be the best times for data scientist to really exercise their data powers.
Expert Data Scientists
So we were on one side of the spectrum, what about the other? How could AI coding assistants be useful for someone who is an expert in data science? It’s not like these programs would be much help with remembering foundational syntax or maintaining consistency. All of that should already be built it. Well, I’m glad that you asked. First, AI coding assistants are a massive time saver for expert data scientists. When it comes to data cleaning and other operations within data manipulations, these assistants can help with basic, yet time-consuming tasks.
This frees up the data scientist to focus on more difficult tasks that require their attention and overall, can potentially help them in streamlining the data analysis process. Plus, it never hurts to have a second set of (metaphorical) eyes to bounce ideas off of.
Oftentimes, in conversations surrounding coding assistants, researchers, and research analysts often don’t get their time to shine. But believe it or not, AI coding assistants can also become a useful tool for even the most seasoned researcher. That’s because researchers often find themselves elbow-deep in large data sets and complex algorithms. As these grow, so does their complexity, and this is where coding assistants can shine. Like with any machine learning algorithms, they can seek out patterns, and assist researchers in finding bugs, and other issues that could be plaguing their projects. One example of this is by using an AI coding assistant, a researcher, the team of researchers, can task the assistant to seek out bugs that they are unable to find quickly enough.
Then, the problem is brought directly to their attention and what would have taken the possibility of hundreds of man-hours is done in a fraction of the time. This doesn’t even touch on optimization tasks that the coding assistant could be primed for such as data preprocessing, analysis, and visualizations.
Now this is one that is also overlooked. As the world continues to quickly adopt AI in every industry imaginable, and scale both vertically and horizontally, the need for experts who can write and understand code will also grow. And this is where a coding assistant can help. As mentioned with entry-level data scientists, these bots are an amazing tool when it comes to building up your foundational coding skills. With the right prompts, they can help students reinforce good coding habits.
Though they can’t replace the educator, and they shouldn’t, what they can do is provide the educators with the extensions they need to help build out effective lesions for individual students so they can take greater risks, with a proper assistant there to help them navigate the unknown.
This wouldn’t be a proper blog if we didn’t touch the elephant in the room -software engineers. So you might ask, what can a software engineer get from a coding assistant that he doesn’t already have? Well, there are a few things. First, a coding assistant can help experienced programmers expand their language library. Though most syntaxes have some similarities, as you dive a bit deeper you often find significant differences as you go from programming language to programming language. A coding assistant can help software engineers quickly get their footing in a new programing language, faster, by providing them with suggestions, and snippets that they might not have thought of.
Secondly, like with data scientists, coding assistants could become a massive time saver. This is because, other than suggestions and code snippets, these bots can help to automate repetitive tasks, help with documentation, and provide insights to help optimize their programs.
As you can see, overall coding assistants can benefit so many different groups of people within, and outside of the data science world, thanks to their versatility and other benefits. This allows them to be utilized by professionals at any skill level and still provide a net benefit to their work. Whether it’s learning a new programing language, automating a repetitive task, or just providing some guidance, the utility of these programs is quite clear.
But before they can be of any use to you, it’s best that you prepare and upskill yourself. The best way to do this is by joining us at ODSC Europe. Whether you’re in-person or joining us virtually, you’ll enjoy a world-class training event that will take your skills to the next level. Just in time to get ready for the coding assistants coming your way. So, what are you waiting for? Join us at ODSC Europe 2023 this June 14th-15th!