Are web developers under threat with the use of AI in web development?
If you feel your favorite science fiction movies are coming to life, then you are not the only one! Driverless cars, Generative AI, Automation, IoT, VR—the list goes on; all the things that were deemed futuristic are now our reality.
Traditionally, future technology was portrayed somewhat negatively in mass media (remember, Terminator!) leading to a rash of news articles and blogs predicting a wholesale loss of jobs to machines.
Is it true? For some, we would say yes.
Every technology disruption has created a shift in the workforce; when mechanization came to agriculture in the form of tractors, farm laborers lost out, and Photoshop and similar computer-based design software put typesetters out of business. However, once the period of adjustment passed, the jobs were still there; they just looked different.
Coming back to AI and web development, we predict something similar with web developers. But let us first find out how AI has disrupted the industry directly from a web development agency.
The Role of AI in Web Development
Driven by the exponential growth of the Internet and the need for businesses to establish a strong online presence, web development has been growing by leaps and bounds.
In 2021, the global web development market value was estimated to be $56 billion; now it is expected to touch $89 billion or more by 2027. It is safe to say there is no dearth of jobs in the sector!
So why are web developers worried? The answer lies in the democratization of web design; what was once a very niche skill is now open to people with no coding background.
1. Template-Driven Websites
AI-powered website builders have made it easier for individuals and small businesses to create websites without extensive coding knowledge.
Platforms like Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress with AI-driven templates provide users with the ability to create visually appealing websites effortlessly. As a result, the demand for traditional web development services could potentially decrease.
2. Automated Coding
AI-assisted coding tools like GitHub Copilot might not replace developers completely, but they are opening up the sector to fresh and less skilled enthusiasts.
These tools also reduce the time and effort required for coding, making it hard for developers to ask for higher fees for a process that has become significantly shorter and cheaper.
3. Design Automation
Design professionals have already faced disruption with tools such as Canva that have broken down the hegemony of Photoshop and Adobe-driven siloed design processes. With generative AI in the mix, this transformation goes even deeper.
These AI-powered tools are here to stay and will evolve even further. However, if we look at past instances of technology shifts, new tech is only a threat if you don’t harness its power and find fresh ways to apply it to your industry.
AI is likely to become even more entrenched in the web development industry across all functionalities. From design to cybersecurity and decision-making, AI is already transforming the way we build and interact with websites.
The web development industry has evolved at a clipping pace over the last two decades, and developers have coped well with each new shift. AI doesn’t have to be different!
Adaptation and Upskilling: Leveraging AI as a Tool For Web Developers
A survey by Stack Overflow in 2020 revealed that 57.9 percent of web developers viewed AI as having a positive impact on employment prospects in the field. We feel the industry can benefit from a collaborative approach to AI.
- View AI as a catalyst for increased efficiency and use AI tools for automating tasks such as testing, debugging, and code optimization. Rather than a direct threat, AI now becomes a tool for improving code and speeding up development cycles.
- AI algorithms are already heavily embedded in tools analyzing user behavior; web developers can use this to personalize website content in real-time, enhancing the user experience.
- The gargantuan amounts of data can only be turned to use with the help of AI, which can assist developers in solving complex challenges by analyzing data and suggesting optimal solutions, leading to better design options.
What Should Web Developers Do to Accommodate AI?
In a nutshell, embrace it, learn it, and use it!
Developers need to jump in and learn AI-related competencies. This involves learning about AI fundamentals, machine learning algorithms, and AI tools specific to web development.
Rather than viewing AI as a competitor, they should work towards combining human creativity with AI capabilities to bring more innovative and immersive digital experiences to end users.
Here we must keep in mind a crucial part of web developers’ role in this new symbiotic relationship: their role as gatekeepers for maintaining the integrity of the development process. They must guard against potential biases that can creep into AI algorithms.
Web developers will continue in their roles as architects of the virtual world. The use of AI in web development will only make them stronger, faster, and more creative.
If you are looking to test the perfect collaboration of humans and machines in web development, then do get in touch.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, an SEO Specialist helping online businesses grow through content creation and proven SEO strategies. Proficient in WordPress CMS, Technical Site Audits, Search Engine Optimization, Keyword Research, and Technical Writing (Portfolio).
Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, an online business resource for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.