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Tech Productivity

Issue #277  (Impact of AI on Developer Productivity) 06/03/24


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In early 2023, researchers from Microsoft, GitHub, and MIT released a study called The Impact of AI on Developer Productivity: Evidence from GitHub Copilot (PDF).

The overall study and methods are described in detail in the 19-page document, but the abstract succinctly explains the results (which aren't going to surprise anyone!):
"This paper presents results from a controlled experiment with GitHub Copilot, an AI pair programmer. Recruited software developers were asked to implement an HTTP server in JavaScript as quickly as possible. The treatment group, with access to the AI pair programmer, completed the task 55.8% faster than the control group."

That's a significant speed increase, which is what we want to see – putting aside any possible drawbacks like failure to understand the code, inability to remember syntax, etc.
The Impact of AI on Developer Productivity: Evidence from GitHub Copilot

Another relevant quote from the results:

"Developers with less programming experience, older programmers, and those who program more hours per day benefited the most."

I should also point out that the total number of developers involved in the study was 95, which is a fairly small sample. Of course, the sample size probably isn't as relevant in a study like this but it's possible a larger sample may have yielded a similar but smaller increase for AI group.

Now on to this week's hand-picked productivity links!


Tools & Apps

VisualInvoicer — A simple visual editor that enables you to create professional PDF invoices in minutes, with access to previous invoices, and option to use preexisting professionally designed templates or use your own custom branding.

Notion to Calendar — A tool that lets you subscribe to your Notion databases from Apple Calendar or Outlook, which makes Notion changes appear instantly in your calendar, receive notifications, among other features.

The Morning Paper for Tech — Want a byte-sized version of Hacker News that takes just a few minutes to read? Try TLDR's free daily newsletter. It covers the most interesting tech, startup, and programming stories in just 5 minutes.   sponsor  

Yep — A web-based video chat service that's free, has no time limits, doesn't require log in, allows up to 12 people per call, includes screen sharing, and doesn't require anything to install.

Namviek — An open-source task manager for small teams with a lot of built-in features like views, import, export, notifications, dashboard, meeting, etc.

StayFocusd — A Chrome extension that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites.

Row Zero — A spreadsheet app for teams to run business intelligence, explore hundreds of millions of rows, perform ad-hoc analyses, monitor trends, and lots more.

Articles & Resources

Measuring Developer Productivity via Humans — A comprehensive primer on measuring developer productivity using a qualitative approach, how to advocate for it, and some practical guidance on how to capture, track, and utilize this data.

What Does Switching From Paper to Screens Mean for How We Read? — The authors recently conducted a review of the scientific research that bears on this subject and, based on these findings, offer some likely answers.

The Complete Full-Stack JavaScript Course — Learn full-stack JavaScript development with over 24 hours of HD video tutorials covering React, Node.js, LoopBack, Redux, Material UI, and Socket programming.     sponsor  

20 Ways Leaders Can Remotely Optimize Employee Productivity and Morale — Specifically this article offers different insights from 20 Forbes Business Council members based on what they’ve learned from managing a remote team over the past few years.

Is Productivity Technology Going Too Far? — An episode of Carl Pullein's podcast, with a transcript, exploring where technology helps and where it hinders your productivity.

7 Common Mistakes We Make When Working From Home — I'm guessing many of you have already heard all these suggestions before, but it's a good review (I'm guilty of two or more of these myself!).

How to Track Your Habits: Are Habit Trackers the Key to Career Success? — This is an excellent introduction to the concept of tracking habits, including some suggestions for apps and how to do this with just pan and paper.


Have a suggestion for a productivity-related tool, article, or other resource? Send me a direct message via X (@LouisLazaris) and I’ll consider including it in a future issue.

Stay productive!


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