An Industry Case Study on Adoption of AI-based Programming Assistants

Nicole Davila, Igor Wiese, Igor Steinmacher, Lucas Lucio Da Silva, Andre Kawamoto, Gilson Jose Peres Favaro, Ingrid Nunes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Programming assistants based on artificial intelligence (AI), such as ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot, have gained worldwide popularity recently. Studies in software development have explored the adoption of these tools, investigating their characteristics and impacts and how practitioners interact and perceive them. To contribute to this growing body of knowledge, in this study, we aim to explore the adoption of AI-based programming assistants in the Brazilian industry. More specifically, we aim to understand how practitioners of a particular Brazilian agroindustry-related company perceive and use AI-based tools to develop software. Using an online survey, we collected and analyzed 72 responses from employees of the studied company. Our findings suggest that practitioners mainly adopt ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot, interacting with these tools to accelerate online searching, typing, and syntax recall. A recurrent difficulty is the lack of context in the suggestions provided by these tools, but participants work on detailed descriptions to contextualize and cope with this challenge. Among the reasons for not using AI-based tools, the most influential is that participants use a commercial programming language, i.e., Uniface, which these tools lack examples. Our results provide insights into the state of the practice related to AI-based programming assistants and discuss implications for practitioners and researchers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2024 ACM/IEEE 44th International Conference on Software Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationNew Ideas and Emerging Results, ICSE-SEIP 2024
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages92-102
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9798400705007
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 14 2024
Event2024 ACM/IEEE 44th International Conference on Software Engineering: New Ideas and Emerging Results, ICSE-SEIP 2024 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: Apr 14 2024Apr 20 2024

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Conference

Conference2024 ACM/IEEE 44th International Conference on Software Engineering: New Ideas and Emerging Results, ICSE-SEIP 2024
Country/TerritoryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period4/14/244/20/24

Keywords

  • artificial intelligence
  • ChatGPT
  • generative AI
  • industry case study
  • software development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Software

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