AI Technology will Create More Work, Not Replace Developers: GitHub CEO Dohmke

GitHub

GitHub CEO Thomas Dohmke envisions India as a potential global leader in artificial intelligence (AI), driven by its rapidly expanding developer base. Currently, India is the world’s second-largest internet economy and is projected to surpass the United States as the largest developer community on GitHub by 2027.

According to GitHub, India now boasts over 15.4 million developers on the Microsoft-owned platform, reflecting a 33 percent year-on-year growth from 13.2 million developers at the end of 2023. Dohmke noted that India is the company’s fastest-growing market, outpacing even the United States.

Dohmke emphasized that GitHub, acquired by Microsoft for $7.5 billion in 2018, is integrating AI throughout the developer lifecycle. This includes the introduction of the code completion tool Copilot in 2022, Copilot Chat for natural language-powered coding in 2023, and the AI developer environment GitHub Copilot Workspace in April 2024. He believes these advancements will make natural language the universal programming language, enabling anyone to code in their spoken language.

Dohmke also asserted that AI will not replace developers but will instead create more work opportunities. As of May 2024, GitHub hosts over 100 million accounts globally, with India accounting for 15.4 million of these developers. India’s rapid growth is attributed to its large population and the high number of computer science and engineering students.

India’s developer community includes a significant number of students who gain free access to GitHub Copilot, starting coding at a young age with Python classes in school. Additionally, the startup ecosystem and commercial sector, featuring companies like Infosys, Paytm, Makemytrip, and Cognizant, contribute to the vibrant developer landscape in India.

He added saying, “We’re part of Microsoft which has over 20,000 employees in India. Many of them are engineers in Hyderabad, and also here in Bengaluru. We are closely collaborating with the Microsoft Research team in Bengaluru on the future of Copilot and Copilot workspace.

At GitHub, we are the earliest adopter of Copilot ourselves. We started using Copilot about six months after we had access to OpenAI’s GPT-3 in June 2020.”

So we now have three years of experience utilizing a Copilot to develop software. At the end of the day, we are pretty comparable to many other software companies in India. We are creating software. And we are experiencing the same suffering as they are: an infinite backlog of items, tremendous demands, and we are asking all of our developers to move quickly and produce more, all while increasing the amount of work due to laws and compliance, etc.

Our partnership with Infosys has resulted in the establishment of a center of excellence in India. The goal is for GitHub and Infosys employees to collaborate on-site to teach and train Infosys employees on Copilot prompting, allowing them to apply these skills in their daily work and customer interactions.

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