ChatGPT as a Developer How to Use?

Chat GPT as a Developer is an exciting new AI chatbot that has the potential to be incredibly useful for developers. In simple terms, it’s a chatbot you can have conversations with using natural language. Behind the scenes, Chat GPT utilizes a sophisticated deep learning model called GPT-3.5 created by OpenAI.

As a developer, there are a multitude of ways you can use ChatGPT to boost your productivity and expand your skills. In this comprehensive 2000 word guide, we’ll explore practical tips for harnessing the power of ChatGPT as part of your development workflow, including plenty of code examples.

Get Explanations of Development Concepts


As a developer, we have to continuously be learning new frameworks, languages, tools and best practices. ChatGPT is remarkably good at explaining programming concepts in simple ways we can easily understand.

You can ask questions like:

  • Can you explain the difference between arrays and objects in JavaScript?

ChatGPT: Arrays and objects are both used to store data in JavaScript, but they have some key differences:

Arrays are ordered lists of values. They are best for storing multiple, similar data elements like numbers, strings, etc. For example:

let fruits = ['Apple', 'Banana', 'Orange'];

Objects are containers storing data as key-value pairs. They are best for storing complex, unstructured data. For example:

let person = {
  firstName: 'John',
  age: 30,
  hobbies: ['music', 'sports']
};

The main differences are:

  • Arrays store values in ordered, integer-indexed positions
  • Objects store unordered data as properties referenced by unique key names
  • Arrays are better for managing sequential, similar data
  • Objects are better for storing complex nested data structures

I hope this clearly explains how arrays and objects differ in JavaScript! Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions.

  • What is serverless computing in plain English?
  • How do React states work under the hood?

And ChatGPT will give detailed explanations tailored to your knowledge level. It may take a few tries to frame the questions properly, but once you get the knack ChatGPT can teach you so much about the latest development technologies and concepts.

Get Help Debugging Code ChatGpt


Debugging issues in our code can be time consuming and frustrating. Especially when you’re new to a language or framework, simple semantic errors or anti-patterns can be hard to spot yourself.

Paste up to 2000 characters of your code into ChatGPT and ask questions like:

# Python code with bugs

def calculate_average(num_list):
  total = 0
  for i in num_list:
    total += i
  return total / len(num_list)

nums = [1, 2, 3]  
result = calculate_average(nums)
print(result)
  • Can you scan this Python code and identify any potential bugs or issues?

ChatGPT: Yes, I see one main issue with this Python code for calculating the average of a list of numbers:

In the calculate_average() function, you are calculating the total correctly by summing all the numbers. However, you make the mistake when dividing the total.

Instead of dividing the total by the length of the num_list array to find the average, you are simply returning the total. This will give you the sum of the numbers, not the average.

To fix this, replace:

return total / len(num_list)

This will correctly divide the total by the number of elements to compute the average.

Let me know if this makes sense! Please feel free to provide any other code snippets you need help debugging.

Generate Code Examples


Reading documentation references is essential, but nothing aids understanding better than practical code examples. Yet coming up with dummy code yourself to illustrate concepts can be tedious and time-consuming.

With ChatGPT you can simply ask:

# JavaScript class inheritance 

class Vehicle {

  constructor(type, wheels) {
    this.type = type;
    this.wheels = wheels;
  }

  describe() {
    console.log(`A ${this.type} vehicle with ${this.wheels} wheels`);
  }

}

???
  • Give me a basic example of inheritance in JavaScript by extending this Vehicle class into a Car class

And you’ll get syntactically valid, well-commented code examples for your specific use case that help cement your grasp of how something works.

Get Help With Coding Tasks


For simpler coding tasks like parsing/formatting data, computing values, or even some basic business logic, we can utilize ChatGPT as a coding assistant.

Some ways to leverage it:

# Format HTML string into JSX

let html = '<div class="container"><h1>Hello World</h1></div>';
  • Convert this string of HTML into valid JSX code

This can save the tedious parts of development work so you can focus on higher value problems.

Get Ideas for Coding Projects

Coming up with ideas is one of the hardest parts of software development. We can tap into ChatGPT to help generate ideas tailored to our specific skillset and interests using prompts like:

  • Can you suggest 5 beginner Python project ideas related to web scraping?
  • Propose 3 intermediate JavaScript project ideas for a frontend developer looking to practice React skills

And ChatGPT will return a list of ideas with details we can use as a jumping off point or fully implement.

Get Help With Finding and Fixing Security Issues


Security is crucial for developers to understand. We can utilize ChatGPT to scan code or systems and flag potential vulnerabilities.

Some ways to ask:

  • Does this PHP code follow security best practices? Identify any issues.
  • What are some ways I could improve the security of this network architecture diagram?
  • Suggest additional firewall rules for thisGCP infrastructure given heavy traffic anticipated

While no substitute for human auditing, it can catch security anti-patterns we may miss ourselves.

Use As a Sounding Board for System Design Discussions


For complex development projects, high level architecture decisions can have massive downstream implications. Using ChatGPT as a sounding board for system design brainstorming can surface insights human colleagues might miss.

We can frame system design discussions and tradeoffs using natural conversatial language:

  • I’m building an e-commerce marketplace. Should I use a relational DB like Postgres or NoSQL like Mongo for storing product listings? What are the pros and cons?
  • For a real-time chat app, would you recommend using websockets or REST API polling? Explain some reasons why.

ChatGPT can provide thoughtful arguments for technologies and design philosophies tailored to use case constraints.

Get Help With DevOps and Admin Tasks


While less glamorous, developers often have to spend lots of time on devops and sysadmin work. ChatGPT can take care some basic project setup/configuration.

Some tasks you could delegate:

  • Give me the Dockerfile contents needed to containerize this Python Flask app
  • Provide Ansible playbook yaml to deploy a Node app with CI/CD onto an Ubuntu server
  • Suggest some optimal Kubernetes settings and resource limits for a Java Spring app that gets high traffic

This frees us up to focus on higher leverage programming activities.

Automate Repetitive Coding Tasks


Developers have to do lots of repetitive, predictable work converting data, configuring projects, etc. We can use ChatGPT to generate scripts and snippets to self-service such tasks going forward.

For instance:

  • Can you write a Python script to process this CSV and output JSON
  • Give me a bash script to rename all .txt files in a folder to .text

Over time these small utils that ChatGPT spits out can really boost personal productivity.

Help With Coding Interview Practice


Lastly, ChatGPT can help developers prepare for coding interviews by serving as an interviewer stand-in. The AI can provide realistic technical questions and evaluate coding solutions on the fly.

We can simulate interviews asking:

  • Give me mock technical interview questions for a frontend role and assess my responses
  • Act as interviewer and give me javascript coding challenges regarding algorithms

Practicing these rapid fire assessments trains us to demonstrate competency under pressure with an adeptness human interviewers appreciate.

Conclusion


ChatGPT is the most advanced AI assistant available to developers today. Using the tips above, you can integrate ChatGPT into your existing workflows to enhance your development skills, boost productivity beyond human limits and ultimately create higher quality software in less time.

Start applying prompts from the examples above and see what insights ChatGPT can unlock for your projects! Over time as the models continue advancing, the usefulness will only grow. What other innovative ways have you found to harness ChatGPT as part of your development toolkit?

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