Developer Gen AI Chart

How Much Generative AI Can Improve Developer Efficiency and Experience [Charts]

Developers are much more productive when using generative AI, and likely to feel better about their job too, according to a McKinsey study. Software developers employing generative AI tools to write and optimize code can be as much as 60% faster, though the exact amount varies with the complexity of the code.

Happy Efficiency

The study examined using generative AI coding tools for documenting functionality, writing new code, and refactoring existing code. Generative AI tools cut documenting code times in half, while new code took 40% less time than before, and refactoring time shrank to barely more than a third of the standard period.

Faster coding also led to a vastly improved developer experience overall. Coders reported being twice as happy and fulfilled when using AI to automate repetitive parts of projects, as seen in the chart above. Study participants cited relief from drudgery and quicker access to solutions as major factors in their satisfaction. The AI allowed focusing energy on higher-value creative problem-solving versus searches across documentation. Developers found that the tools freed them from much of the more mundane tasks, allowing them to focus on the more challenging, yet rewarding core programming

The dramatic speed boost demonstrates AI’s potential to transform software development cycles. However, realizing productivity gains requires changing processes and skills around generative AI-assisted coding. Companies will need to support adapting workflows and provide training on responsibly leveraging AI. With the right preparations, generative programming AI could accelerate development while making the job more enjoyable and creatively fulfilling.