AI programming tools should be added to the Joel Test

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2024-04-22 09:00:03

Here's a wake-up call to all CTOs: AI programming tools are getting freaking amazing and if you don't allow your teams to use them somehow, it will bite you in the ass in a couple of years. You will be slower and you will lose your best people.

The infamous Joel Test is a list from the year 2000 of 12 things all great software companies do. Since then most companies have implemented Git and CI/CD, checking of three items, so we have some space left in the 2024 update ;) I believe "Do you allow your developers to use AI assisted development environments?" is a necessary addition.

I get that you don't want your source code to end up on some OpenAI / Microsoft / Github server somewhere, sure, but find a way to use your own models or learn to live with it. Note that this is often not the same as "#9 - Do you use the best tools money can buy?" as blocking AI tools is about data security, not money.

So why do I think developers need AI programming tools? I'm a seasoned developer with about 15 years of serious programming experience. In the last 10 years I've done less of it, as I was busy with Product Manager / CTO things. I'm now starting my own company, so I'm programming a lot, and I'm exploring whether some technologies really have a 2-10x impact on my work (supabase does, shout-out to you guys!). I wanted to give AI assistants a try, so I spun up Github Copilot, and .

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