Software developers have to keep track of a lot of information at once. While deciding the best way to approach a problem and develop software, they must remember which lines of code they’ve already used, keep code straight, and never forget to close a parenthesis or bracket.
AI coding tools simplify this process by reducing human error and keeping track of coding grammar and functions. This frees software developers to spend more of their time on the creative aspects of coding rather than the foundational nuances of it. By reducing human error, auto-completing source codes, or writing functional codes that get software developers started on a project, coding AI technology improves the efficiency and accuracy of the software development process.
Here’s what you need to know about using AI tools for coding in 2023.
What Are AI Coding Tools?
AI coding tools, also known as AI coding assistants or no-code AI tools, help software developers write, edit, and refine code.
AI coding tools are designed to improve coding generation efficiency and accuracy. Developers can use coding AI to pull codes together more quickly while reducing human error.
Keep in mind that AI coding tools are just that — tools. They are designed to assist skilled software developers, not to replace developers in the workplace. AI coding tools don’t have the creativity, flexibility, or human understanding needed to create ethical and functional software from scratch. But by using artificial intelligence coding alongside a skilled software developer, you can produce improved software faster than if you used a developer’s skills alone.
How AI Helps Coders
There are two major types of AI coding tools: tools that write secure code for developers based on developers’ prompts or tools that auto-suggest how to complete a line of code in real-time based on what the developer has already written. Both types of tools are designed to help developers achieve existing goals.
Coding AI tools are not intended to come up with the vision for software, and they’re not designed to understand the nuance of everything a company needs software to do. They’re designed to automate coding as much as possible so developers have more time to think of the best way to accomplish more nuanced tasks while sticking to a deadline.
Below are the top 11 best AI coding tools to help developers write better code in 2023.
1. Copilot (GitHub)
Although GitHub Copilot is built on top of one of the more popular free no-code AI tools, OpenAI Codex (which we’ll talk about in-depth later in this article), Copilot expands those existing features to support more programming languages and generate more complex code than you could ever dream of doing with OpenAI Codex alone.
Copilot is one of the no-code AI tools on this list, which means your developer types a prompt in English, and Copilot generates code in many different programming languages. By reducing the time it takes your programmers to develop simple, repetitive code patterns, Copilot allows them to spend more time building the robust software that code fits into.
Users describe Copilot as being hard to train initially but useful long term. It’s known for understanding multiple written languages and churning code in multiple programming languages, making it adaptable for most companies.
Some of Copilot’s key features include the following:
- Detects errors in existing codes and recommends fixes
- Writes original code based on natural language prompts in more than a dozen large language models
- Integrates with several different code editors, including Neovim, Visual Studio Code, and JetBrains IDEs
Tabnine is a code completion tool designed to help software developers improve their flow and efficiency. It works like autocomplete on a cell phone; based on the developer’s syntax, Tabnine predicts and suggests the rest of a line of code. If the line looks right to the developer, it only takes one click to accept the suggestion, and the developer can begin typing the following line of code.
Although Tabnine uses a lot of storage to run, it can significantly speed up the software development process. But Tabnine can also help by reducing coding errors. Software developers are much less likely to forget a closing bracket or parenthesis, with Tabnine software actively reminding them to finish their line of code.
Tabnine has been noted as not always being accurate. Like with text message autofill suggestions, it can’t read a developer’s mind every time. But it simplifies code production, especially for simple or redundant codes, reduces human error, and reduces a team’s overall tech debt.
Key features of Tabnine include the following:
- Makes accurate code suggestions as code is being typed, reducing the amount of time software developers have to spend writing each line of code
- Identifies potential errors in code and suggests fixes for those errors in real-time
- Designed to fit different security protocols, and can be run from regular laptops, firewall-protected servers, or even the cloud
Codiga is an AI coding tool focused on reducing technology debt by reviewing existing code and helping your team clean it up. While it can write short snippets of fresh AI-powered code, Codiga’s main focus is simplifying the code refactoring process.
Codiga locates coding errors and automatically fixes those errors. But it also takes code review a step further by helping teach and enforce high-quality code review rules across your entire team.
Codiga stands out as an AI coding tool focused on improving both coding accuracy and security. For teams looking to improve overall software security, Codiga is a smart AI choice.
Attractive core features of Codiga include the following:
- Locate errors in coding with AI
- Inspects software for common threats and fixes security vulnerabilities automatically
- Customization features allow you to create new review rules and share them with your team in minutes
- Integrates with GitHub, Visual Studio, VS Code, GitLab, JetBrains, and Bitbucket
4. Replit Ghostwriter
Ghostwriter is a generative AI tool designed to learn from your team as you work and automate tasks, freeing your team up to do more creative work behind the scenes.
The chatbot not only translates natural language into lines of code but can also take snippets of code and explain it in basic language. For teams of programmers, this makes it easier to catch up on what another team member was doing and build off of their work. Voice-to-code features allow developers to brainstorm projects on the go.
Replit Ghostwriter is great for companies that don’t already have their own integrated development environment (IDE) and are looking to take on a new AI and IDE simultaneously. Although it only works with Replit, it has a high level of functionality.
Replit Ghostwriter’s key features include the following:
- Fast response time allows developers to work quickly on new projects
- Translates natural language into code and translates code back into natural language
- The brainstorming feature helps with creative projects
5. Sourcegraph Cody
For developers working as a team, Sourcegraph Cody provides support to help different developers continue improving one another’s work. Its code-based assistant provides context-specific information about where code lives and who has updated that code.
Sourcegraph Cody also helps individual developers locate precise code, develop new functions, and explain the details of existing code. This makes Sourcegraph Cody an invaluable tool for seasoned developers and a great resource for helping get new developers up to speed quickly.
Although Sourcegraph is one of the more expensive AI coding solutions, that high price point comes with a robust suite of features to help developers as individuals and as teams.
Some of these features include the following:
- Locates specific lines of code based on natural language descriptions, file names, or function names
- Identifies bugs and errors in your codebase and provides suggestions for correcting those issues
- Explains complex lines of code in simple language
- Answers questions about existing code
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AskCodi is another programming tool powered by OpenAI Codex. It allows programmers to ask programming questions, providing access to a database of useful tips and tricks.
Additionally, AskCodi can generate code based natural language prompts and will attempt to complete lines of code you’ve already generated. It offers a variety of free no-code AI tools, as well as several budget-friendly paid plans, allowing programmers to get a relatively good bang for their buck.
AskCodi can be used to help develop both web and mobile applications. It’s designed to help programmers create shorter code blocks and to help catch mistakes as they’re happening.
Key features of AskCodi include the following:
- Answers programming questions using simple, natural language
- Suggests codes as you type to help prevent coding errors
- Writes lines of code based on natural language prompts
- Partners with key IDEs, including Python, Visual Studio Code, and IntelliJIDEA
7. WP Code
WP Code is specifically designed to simplify WordPress developers’ coding process. It’s designed to help with tasks like designing custom WordPress plugins, improving the functionality of existing WordPress functions, and creating unique post types.
Although WP Code is not ideal for all programmers, WordPress developers will find that it reduces their time spent on each project and improves coding clarity. It’s one of the best AI tools for coding WordPress websites from scratch, cutting down on human errors in the coding process and ensuring clean lines of code.
WP Code makes WordPress programming accessible to a wider range of programmers. It offers low-code AI tools that empower even small companies to create custom WordPress websites.
Attractive features of WP Code include the following:
- Produces editable code based on natural language prompts
- Features pre-made code snippets that can be used across a variety of WordPress use cases
- Supports HTML and CSS
- Integrates with common WordPress plugins, including ACF, WooCommerce, and various page builders
8. OpenAI Codex
OpenAI Codex is ostensibly the best AI code assistant tool that is completely free. While other paid coding AI tools build on the scaffolding OpenAI Codex provides, OpenAI Codex on its own still ranks as one of the best AI coding tools available.
OpenAI Codex is one of several AI no-code tools designed to use natural language to build lines of code. It can also interpret simple commands and execute them on the user’s behalf. This means that OpenAI Codex allows programmers to build a natural language interface into their applications, enabling people with no coding experience to execute commands within those applications.
OpenAI Codex uses language learning models to continually improve. It currently has access to billions of lines of code, and that access is increasing daily.
Attractive OpenAI Codex features include the following:
- Creates lines of code based on natural language prompts
- Interprets and executes commands on behalf of users
- Proficient in over a dozen different programming languages
- The coding language completion tool simplifies the code-writing process.
9. Code T5
Code T5 and Code T5+ are open-source, powerful AI code tools that work like a two-way conversation; they can create code from natural language, as well as translate existing code back into natural languages.
In addition to helping programmers create new lines of code and translate existing code back into their native languages, Code T5(+) can be used to find bugs in code and help resolve coding issues. Code autocompletion and code summarization tools simplify the refactoring process, reducing technical debt by cutting down both on errors and cycle time for resolving those errors.
That said, the team behind Code T5 has admitted there may be some security risks. The software might contain personal information or generate vulnerable code, so it’s a good idea to have strict security protocols in place if you’re using this open-source AI tool.
Code T5 was designed by Salesforce programmers to have a deeper understanding of languages than some of its competitors. It’s an open-source tool that provides a suite of compelling features, including the following:
- Text-to-code generation simplifies the programming process and allows programmers to develop new skills on the fly
- Code-to-code translation helps teams work with multiple languages
- Has both an online version and an offline version to improve data security
Programmers often love Polycoder, one of the top open-source competitors to OpenAI Codex, because it generates intelligent code quickly. In addition to offering the AI free to the public, Polycoder’s training modules are also free, setting it apart from other open-source options.
Although trained in more than a dozen programming languages, Polycoder’s developers claim that it’s specifically better at coding in C than other programming tools on the web. It’s designed to help develop code for machine learning, web applications, and natural learning processing.
Polycoder uses a continuous learning module, meaning anyone who uses Polycoder can also help train and improve its functionality. Unfortunately, this also means that Polycoder is vulnerable to certain security risks; it’s possible that someone could train Polycoder to create malicious coding.
Polycoder is a robust open-source coding AI that’s easy to learn and use. Although it’s currently most proficient in C, it’s trained in over a dozen programming languages, and each time you use your preferred coding language, you help Polycoder become more adept at that language as well.
Key features of Polycoder include the following:
- Generates code when given a natural language prompt
- Specializes in C but is proficient in over a dozen programming languages
- A continuing learning model ensures that Polycoder’s understanding of programming improves over time
- An open-source model with free training modules makes it accessible to all
11. CodeWhisperer (Amazon)
CodeWhisperer was developed by Amazon with safety and security in mind. In addition to aligning with security best practices, including OWASP guidelines, CodeWhisperer is trained to scan codes for potential vulnerabilities and suggest immediate adjustments and patches. This makes it one of the best AI coding tools for refactoring code and doing automated testing.
In addition to its security features, CodeWhisperer offers suggestions for completing codes. It also provides potential code matches from open-source AI code tools, reducing how often programmers are forced to “reinvent the wheel.”
CodeWhisperer is designed to help automate simple tasks, boosting the efficiency and productivity of your programmers while also clamping down on vulnerabilities and creating an overall safer code.
Its key features include the following:
- Provides security scans and patch suggestions powered by machine-led learning
- Offers coding recommendations in real-time
- Compatible with numerous IDEs, including Visual Studio Code, JetBrains, and AWS Cloud9
- Understands and can produce code in a wide variety of coding languages
Hire Developers Who Can Leverage AI to Write Code
The right AI coding tools can improve your coding process. But to use those coding tools, you need software developers with the skills to get things done. Revelo can help. By matching companies with rigorously vetted, timezone-aligned developers, Revelo positions businesses to get the most out of the tools they employ every day.
Work with Revelo to hire developers with English proficiency, technical skills, and soft skills to leverage AI tools to write accurate and efficient code.