AI and Software Development – Part 2

Created by Midjourney 5

A fun feature of SwiftUI is the ability to create progress indicators beyond the old-school left-to-right thin rectangle. Yawn. Rectangles are so 20th-century. Users today expect something big, bold and beautiful and circular progress meters fill that UX element nicely.

I also like to practice my software skills in creating digital clocks. I guess it’s a habit born of being an hourly contractor mixed in with having a post-graduate advisor who loved to restore old clocks. Rather than talk about the next steps in my studies, he loved to show off his latest centuries-old clock that was now “purring like a kitten.”

Time to put ChatGPT 4 to the test.

My goal is to describe to ChatGPT 4, a simple application that displays the time of day down to the second, using three nested circular progress meters representing the hour, minute and second on an Apple device. As a bonus, I’d also like the time displayed in the regular hour:minutes:seconds format. ChatGPT will be my software developer and generate all the SwiftUI code the app requires. Then, in a conversational style, I will act as the product manager and describe to ChatGPT the enhancements I want it to make as we drive towards a shared vision of the application.

Note the phrase “shared vision.” Working with an AI is quite similar to how I’ve worked as a member of a team of developers. Each of us has a vision of what the app will look like and how it will perform, and through a series of conversations, we eventually arrive at a shared vision. Not my vision. Our vision. Groupthink is a critical mindset when working with an AI—one of cooperation rather than domination. As a developer working with others, I must put my ego on the back burner and prioritize the shared vision over my vision. It’s not easy, but it’s always worth it.

Published by Douglas J Farmer

I'm a freelance developer of Apple ecosystem apps including the iPhone, iPad and Mac.

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