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Generative AI In Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

January 24 2024
Author: V2Soft
Generative AI In Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

The origins of “Artificial Intelligence” are still being debated. Some say that Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci had already imagined an AI based future. Others point to Alan Turing’s published work, “Computer Machinery and Intelligence” as the cradle of AI. That book eventually became The Turing Test, which the industry used to measure computer intelligence. The term “artificial intelligence” was coined then.

The works of Alan Turing, Arthur Samuel, Tom M. Mitchell, and many others created the base for the progress of AI and machine learning (ML) technologies and computer algorithms and programming languages in general.

But it’s only in the last few years that momentum for AI has built beyond the confines of scientific labs and universities, and the public at large is now accepting and understanding of what it can do. At CES 2024, the largest consumer electronics and technology show in the world, AI was everywhere and touted from every stage and booth.

What, at bottom, is AI? The ability to solve complex problems and generate information based on specific source parameters. Researchers focus on the similarities between “human” thinking and “machine” thinking. Artificial Intelligence also should have the ability to “learn,” with human collaboration or without it.

Generative AI is creating a buzz in the software development life cycle (SDLC) by promising to transform how software is built at every stage. It does not merely generate code but provides a variety of applications that boost developer productivity, speed up development, and improve software quality. Here's a detailed analysis of its impact:

Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) Analysis

  • Boosting Productivity: Generative AI excels at pattern recognition and synthesis, tackling repetitive tasks like:
    • Translating Natural Language to Code: Imagine describing desired functionality in plain English, and the AI generates the code! This saves developers time and reduces error-prone manual coding.
    • Automating Documentation: AI can churn out user manuals, technical guides, and change logs from existing code and resources, freeing up developers for core tasks.
    • Converting Code: Need to adapt code from one language or framework to another? Generative AI can handle the heavy lifting, ensuring consistency and efficiency.
  • Faster Development: By automating tasks and suggesting efficient solutions, generative AI streamlines the SDLC, leading to:
    • Rapid Prototyping: Experiment with different designs and functionalities quicker, thanks to AI-powered code generation and adaptation.
    • Reduced time-to-market: Get your software out there faster with faster development cycles fuelled by Generative AI.
  • Enhanced Quality: Generative AI doesn't just speed things up; it also contributes to better software:
    • Improved Code Quality: AI can identify and suggest fixes for potential bugs and inefficiencies in code, improving its quality and maintainability.
    • More Comprehensive Testing: Generative AI can create diverse test cases, covering a wider range of scenarios and uncovering edge cases that manual testing might miss.


Empowering Software Development Life Cycle with Generative AI

Generative AI is starting to play a significant role in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC):

  • Requirements Gathering: Generative AI assists in analyzing and generating natural language requirements. It helps in understanding user inputs, generating user stories, and ensuring that the requirements are clear and comprehensive.
  • Code Generation: AI models, especially those based on natural language processing, convert high-level specifications or into actual programming code. This can significantly speed up the development process.
  • Automated Testing: Generative AI automatically generates test cases based on the software specifications and requirements. It also helps identify edge cases and potential negative issues, ensuring better test coverage and ultimately more robust software.
  • Implementation: Write unit tests, suggest code improvements, and automate repetitive coding tasks.
  • Code Review: AI-powered tools assist in code reviews by automatically analyzing code for adherence to coding standards, identifying potential bugs, and suggesting improvements.
  • Bug Prediction and Prevention: Machine learning models are trained to predict potential bugs or areas of the code that are more prone to errors.
  • Project Management: AI tools assist in project management by analyzing historical project data, predicting potential delays, and providing insights into resource allocation.
  • Natural Language Interface: Generative AI is integrated into development tools to provide a natural language interface. Developers can interact with the system using plain language, making it easier for non-technical stakeholders to communicate with the development team.
  • Code Refactoring: AI analyzes codebases and suggest improvements, refactoring, or optimizations. This is particularly useful in maintaining code health and ensuring that the software remains scalable and maintainable.
  • Personalized Developer Tools: AI learns from developers' habits and preferences to provide personalized recommendations and shortcuts within integrated development environments (IDEs), enhancing the developer's productivity.
  • Maintenance: Analyze logs, identify potential issues, and suggest fixes or improvements.


Benefits of using AI in SDLC

Benefits of using AI in SDLC


Generative AI plays a crucial role in application development and quality assurance. There are several key benefits to using AI in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC):


Increased Productivity and Efficiency:

  • Automation of repetitive tasks: AI can automate tasks like code generation, documentation creation, and test case creation, freeing up developers to focus on more creative and strategic work.
  • Faster development: Automation and AI-powered suggestions can significantly reduce development time, leading to secured product releases and time-to-market.
  • Improved coding efficiency: AI can suggest code improvements, identify potential bugs, and even generate bug fixes, leading to cleaner and more efficient code.

Enhanced Software Quality:

  • More comprehensive testing: AI can generate diverse test cases that cover a broader range of scenarios, including edge cases that manual testing might miss. It leads to better software quality and fewer bugs.
  • Improved code quality: AI analyzes code and reports potential errors like security vulnerabilities, performance bottlenecks, and code smells. It helps developers write cleaner, more maintainable code.
  • Early detection and prediction of failures: AI can analyze data from various sources to predict potential negligence and identify areas for improvement before they become foremost issues.
  • Better Product Quality: AI tools can generate execute test scenarios which ultimately improves the quality of the product among other things by improving test coverage and enhancing the accuracy of test outcomes. It can also assist in code reviews by identifying potential issues, adhering to coding standards, and suggesting improvements. This leads to higher product quality and consistency.

Additional Benefits:

  • Reduced costs: Increased efficiency, fewer bugs, and faster development can all lead to significant cost savings in the long run.
  • Improved collaboration: AI can help teams collaborate more effectively by providing shared insights and recommendations.
  • Scalability: AI can handle large and complex projects more effectively than humans, making it ideal for scaling software development efforts.


How Generative AI Can Help in Developing Software

How Generative AI Can Help in Developing Software


Thanks to the rapid progress of AI and ML technologies, both have been successfully integrated into many key areas of modern life and technology development. The bond between AI and software development is a two-way street of benefits. This means that Artificial Intelligence has two major layers of interaction with software engineering.

AI paired with great computational power and data storage capabilities easily outperforms human abilities. At the same time, software engineers are often tasked to create AI for specific purposes or to integrate an existing AI app into a solution that is being developed.


How Does Generative AI Change Software Development?

How Does Generative AI Change Software Development?


Modern AI can write code based on specific parameters. The results, on average, are quite satisfactory but not enough to completely replace a skilled programmer. That said, specialized AIs and learning models are getting progressively better. It is just a matter of time until they become on par with or ultimately better than junior to mid-level software engineers. This pace of progress should be a clear signal for software engineers to keep improving their skills.

The machine-written code still requires comprehensive checking from experienced specialists, especially regarding its security. In the near future, this tendency may change the role of software developers. It is possible that AI will perform the “writing”, and developers will switch to “editing” the code. This way, Artificial Intelligence will do the bulk of hard and mundane work, and software engineers will oversee this process.


Application of Generative AI at different phases of SDLC

Application of Generative AI at different phases of SDLC


Developers often use Generative AI to compile a set of requirements for a future software product. It optimizes workflow and reduces the flow of documents, while proving to be extremely useful in projects with complex requirements.

Based on the gathered requirements, AI can take over the rest of the software development process because it is more efficient in tasks that require calculations. It also can determine the development team setup and the number of required specialists to meet the deadlines within the set budget.

This process, however, must be closely supervised by people. So, the role of AI here is to make rough drafts rather than final plans. It can also make suggestions regarding workflow optimization. However, humans should still have the final word regarding AI advice.

AI is also invaluable for gathering feedback from users in an automated form. It analyzes reports and divides them into categories depending on the feedback (positive or negative), the severity of a reported error (major or minor), and other parameters. The resulting structured data will be much more useful for the purposes of Quality Assurance than the bulk of assorted reports that would have to be synthesized by humans.

Overall, the principal benefits of Generative AI and Machine Learning in software development come down to increasing efficiency and lowering costs. AI automates numerous time-consuming processes, allowing managers to switch specialists from boring routine tasks to more creative and strategic assignments.