Robert Melton's Writings

AI in Software Development: Adapt or Die, Suckers

Remember when some genius suggested that cities would be built around Segways? Yeah, that was about as likely as pigs flying. There was no overarching, essential need for such a ridiculous shift. But when it comes to software development, we’ve got a whole different story unfolding. Teams and system architectures are being flipped upside down to make room for the new sheriff in town: AI. And this ain’t just some random reshuffling, folks. This is a full-blown transformation driven by a desperate need to cut development costs and create software that actually gives a damn about what users want.

I recently found myself contemplating this impending upheaval during a weekend of soul-searching, brought on by a tempting job offer at a small but mighty company. It’s clear that project dynamics and team structures are about to get a serious makeover as we all scramble to integrate AI capabilities and work within its limitations.

Make no mistake, this transformation is going to be huge. Why? Because the companies that figure out how to leverage AI assistance like a boss are going to dominate the field. It’s simple economics, people. The market always chases after profits, and in the tech world, development is the key to unlocking those sweet, sweet dollars. We’ve spent decades chasing after the mythical 10x developer, only to realize that we need to restructure everything around this new AI powerhouse.

In the software development realm, it’s a poorly kept secret that things get about three times easier every three years. That’s why the siren song of the ‘rewrite’ is so damn tempting. But even with this supposed simplification, the speed of software delivery hasn’t kept up. We’ve been bogged down by growing complexities, security concerns, and an industry that’s gotten a little too cozy with its current pace.

But that complacency is about to get kicked to the curb. Project timelines are going to shrink from months to weeks. Incremental delivery won’t be a nice-to-have anymore; it’ll be a non-negotiable requirement.

Teams will be reshaped to keep work chunks small enough for AI to handle. Functional programming, with its built-in superpowers of local reasoning and minimal side effects, is poised to take over as the dominant paradigm. Why? Because it makes it easy for AI to swoop in and save the day. Humans will be left to control the AI and make sure the software actually does what the business needs. Object-Oriented coding, with its bloated state, might take a temporary nosedive until AI systems level up and can handle bigger context windows and more complex data wrangling. In the meantime, teams that are all-in on functional programming and AI will be laughing all the way to the bank.

The rise of AI in software development isn’t some passing fad. The industry is in the middle of a massive shakeup. The glacial pace we’ve grown accustomed to is about to become ancient history. Projects will move at breakneck speed, and incremental delivery will be the new normal. Functional programming will reign supreme.

The era of the AI-enhanced developer is upon us, and the message is clear: adapt or die. This isn’t about keeping up anymore; it’s about upping your game. The quick will be those who master these new paradigms; the dead will be those who don’t. It’s not about finishing the race; it’s about thriving in the face of relentless innovation. The question isn’t whether you’ll join the revolution, but how fast and effectively you’ll adapt to these earth-shattering changes in your development world. In this new age of AI-powered software development, survival belongs to those who don’t just adapt, but master the chaos of constant change.