I like my code completion tools that helpfully suggest a nearby variable name to use, or the parameters of a function I am calling.
I tried out three of those artificial intelligence code completion tools…
And they’re about what I expected.
I guess they serve their purpose if your kung-fu is weak sauce or you’re a junior programmer cranking out boiler plate code all day long for yet another mobile crypto wallet CRUD app, something that your manager should have just outsourced to someone on Craigslist or Fiverr for 25 bucks an hour.
I guess these tools are supposed to get better as they watch you work and analyze your code base, but I don’t have time to wait for a brain-dead, mentally retarded “programmer’s helper” to get up to speed and still have a lower IQ than my cat.
The code completion is distracting, like pair programming with someone who wants to helpfully suggest things that don’t actually solve the problem. “Oh, thank you for suggesting code to iterate over the array I just declared, I guess that saved me the trouble of putting in the curly braces myself.”
It’s like having a workshop assistant that moves your tools around. The assistant thinks you might need the push stick to move the stock through the blade of the table saw, and so he puts it on the far side of the blade, so you have to reach over to get it, and you have to glance away from the spinning blade because the push stick isn’t where it is meant to be, where you would naturally reach for it. And no matter how many times you tell him not to do that, he continues to do it.
I always look at these tools and think “Okay, what are we doing here other than wasting my fucking time?” They are the programmer’s equivalent of a website’s chat bot, except with curly brackets and indentation.
All of the code completion tools state “We won’t siphon off your code to our servers, we pinky promise!”
Except the preferences/settings on many are “stored in the cloud” and you have a metric fuckton of telemetry to track everything I do via the plugin.
Of course I would trust any plugin that immediately stops working the moment you block it from the internet. FFS.
AI code completion is yet another over-promise, under-deliver developer tool category.
I guess we wait for these code completion tool companies to get bought by someone like Atlassian where they announce that “well ackshually we have been siphoning off your code for the past few years, if you send in a form, signed in triplicate, we’ll delete all of your code from our servers in 90 days. oops! data breach!”