ChatGPT for Programming: How ChatGPT Can Help Programmers (+ 5 Common Use Cases)

ChatGPT has been helping business owners write emails, provide information to customers, and create meeting notes for a while now. Still, some businesses are finding new ways to implement the chatbot into their operations, including using it for backend tasks like programming.

Whether you’re a business owner wanting to take on some coding tasks yourself or a programmer interested in increasing productivity, learn what you can expect from ChatGPT. 

In this article: 

Can ChatGPT Help Programmers?

Yes, ChatGPT has proven helpful for programmers to become more efficient at what they do. Furthermore, people without programming experience may even be able to type a prompt into ChatGPT and get a workable piece of code or a fully coded solution. 

However, as helpful as ChatGPT can be for programmers and non-programmers who want to use it to generate code, it’s crucial to remember that ChatGPT is just a tool that’s still progressing and growing. ChatGPT may be able to handle coding for simple applications, but complex code snippets will likely still need skilled programmers to write, test, and implement them.

5 ChatGPT for Programming Use Cases

Taking into consideration the potential limitations of using ChatGPT for programming, here are a few viable ways you might be able to use the software for coding tasks.

  1. Writing New Code

Plug a detailed prompt into ChatGPT and direct it to generate entirely new code based on that prompt in any coding language from basic HTML or CSS to Python or C#. You could end up with a working piece of code to use for creating software, a mobile app, or an email newsletter template.

Sometimes, ChatGPT can produce complex codes, but this ultimately depends on what it’s being asked to do and how well your prompt directed it. As a result, experienced programmers typically get the best results when using ChatGPT to write new code, as they know what details they need to feed the system to get the desired output.

  1. Commenting on Code

ChatGPT can go beyond simply writing code by providing more context to code with comments. If you have a block of code that could benefit from descriptors for organizational purposes, you can feed that code to ChatGPT and prompt it to add comments to that code. 

For instance, a web designer might add comments to each section of a website’s stylesheet to help website users find the pieces of code they need to change to achieve specific color schemes, navigation, and other website features. Using ChatGPT to do this can significantly cut down the amount of time this task can take for large blocks of code.

  1. Optimizing or Fixing Code

Over time, codes can become outdated or stop working correctly with other features or updates. In this case, optimizing code can keep it fresh and compatible with other pieces of code. However, if you’re not entirely sure about what needs to be fixed or updated, ChatGPT might be able to help.

Plug code snippets into ChatGPT and prompt the tool to search for potential errors and, if needed, optimize or fix the code. With the right prompts, ChatGPT can produce a newly optimized codebase to replace the previous one with.

  1. Code a Full Website or Website Features

It’s entirely possible to create a website from scratch using ChatGPT, especially when you prompt the tool with detailed features of the website you want to create. Creating a full website can be quite a feat using AI, though, so it’s best to know the necessary elements of a working website so you can piece everything together properly when it’s time to install the code.

Higher chances of success seem to come from building different website elements separately, like creating an ‘About Us’ page with a specific prompt before asking ChatGPT to write the stylesheet for your website. Play around with it to see what works best.

  1. Translating Code to Other Programming Languages

Codes behave differently in various programming languages; therefore, you may want to translate code from one language to another. 

If you’re not as experienced with the new language as the current one, you can try translating the code with ChatGPT. It might take some back-and-forth conversation with the bot to get the most precise results, so try to be as specific as possible when feeding information in prompts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is ChatGPT good for programming?

ChatGPT’s use cases are being explored across many industries and professions. So far, programmers have found ChatGPT useful for a variety of tasks, such as: 

  • Writing new code
  • Commenting on code
  • Optimizing or fixing code
  • Translating code
  • Coding websites or specific features
  • Generating placeholder or filler content (e.g., for databases) 
  • Converting code into different formats 
  • Generating algorithms
  • Formatting data
  • …and more

ChatGPT can write entire codebases, but it requires some programming expertise to fact-check and identify potential coding errors before using the code on a live program or website.

Is ChatGPT replacing programmers? While discussion about what roles ChatGPT will eventually place shows no signs of slowing anytime soon, the general consensus is that ChatGPT — at least in its current form — won’t replace programmers entirely but will supplement their work and help streamline tasks. 

However, there are some who speculate that future iterations of ChatGPT could be powerful enough to replace programmers within the next decade.

How good is ChatGPT 4 at programming? ChatGPT produces code based on a prompt entered by the user, so how well it does programming relies heavily on the user’s programming knowledge and the quality of the prompt.  

In general, programmers using ChatGPT 4 to create code should be sure to fact-check any code it produces, test it before rolling it out on a live system, and leverage other sources to check for coding errors and other potential issues.

Is ChatGPT good for debugging? Yes, ChatGPT is a valuable tool for debugging code. Provide ChatGPT with a code snippet, and ChatGPT will then analyze it and identify syntax errors or bugs. 

Programmers can also ask about error messages or unwanted behavior, and ChatGPT can suggest alternative approaches to solving coding problems to help programmers resolve issues quickly.

Making the Most of Programming with ChatGPT

ChatGPT has been surprising the world with everything it can accomplish, including its programming capabilities. With specific and clear prompts, it’s possible for programming beginners to experts to complete a wide range of tasks, from writing code comments to building new websites.

However, accuracy is a common concern with ChatGPT. Your code results may look perfect at first glance, but testing and verifying them is the only way to make sure they’re viable. If you’re not an experienced programmer, you might consider having one review your code results before using them to avoid unnecessary functionality, compatibility, or privacy issues.

ChatGPT isn’t the only technology tool that can save you time. Add social media share buttons to your newly built websites with a simple snippet of code, and let your visitors spread the word about your website. With a single click, they can share your content across their favorite social media networks, increasing your site’s exposure to a broader audience. 

About ShareThis

ShareThis has unlocked the power of global digital behavior by synthesizing social share, interest, and intent data since 2007. Powered by consumer behavior on over three million global domains, ShareThis observes real-time actions from real people on real digital destinations.

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