How to Write Code With ChatGPT
There’s no doubt about it – ChatGPT has taken the world by storm. People worldwide use this handy AI chatbot for various tasks, from translating texts to creating content. It has even given Google a run for its money.
So, it isn’t surprising ChatGPT can also write code. Some programmers are thrilled at the chance to spend less time and effort coding. Others, however, fear how this tool will affect their job and the industry.
No matter which category you fall under, ChatGPT can undoubtedly make your job easier. That is, if you know how to instruct the chatbot properly and what mistakes to expect.
This article has all the details.
How to Write Code Using ChatGPT
Sure, you can use this tool to write code from scratch. However, this is just a fraction of ChatGPT’s coding abilities.
Here’s everything you can do with ChatGPT coding-wise, including helpful prompts to get you going.
Writing New Code
Writing code from scratch is one of ChatGPT’s standout uses in programming. But before you plan on outsourcing every part of the code writing to this tool, you should consider some of ChatGPT’s limitations.
You might be disappointed if you expect ChatGPT to deliver complex code without syntax errors. For now, the chatbot has only proven helpful in writing simple code with clear and concise instructions. Overwhelm ChatGPT with detailed instructions and requests, and you’ll probably end up with incorrect code, often containing completely made-up parts.
To avoid wasting your time (since the point is to save it!), you should use ChatGPT to write basic codes, such as WordPress plugins. Alternatively, you can break a complex project into more manageable tasks and ask your AI friend to help you with them.
Here’s how to ask ChatGPT to write a new code:
“Act as a [specific coding job]. Write code to [concisely describe the purpose of the code and what it should include].”
If you need a code for a specific tech stack, your ChatGPT prompt should reflect this.
Here’s how you can prompt ChatGPT properly:
“Act as a [specific coding job]. You’re writing code for the following tech stack [list the technologies used]. Write [clearly state what you need to build and what each element should accomplish].”
Debugging Existing Codes
Besides writing new code, ChatGPT can help you fix existing ones. Instead of racking your brain on why your code isn’t working, you can simply ask the chatbot the following question:
“This code isn’t working like I expect: [paste the problematic code]. How can I fix it?”
It will take ChatGPT seconds to spot any mistakes, from misplaced brackets to logical errors. The AI helper will outline why the spotted mistake is a problem and suggest ways to fix it.
Sometimes, you might be asked to provide more context. If that’s the case, just add what you’re trying to achieve with your code.
Another way to approach debugging existing code is to paste the error message and ask for a solution. The prompt should go something like this:
“I’m getting the following error in my code: [paste the error]. How do I fix it?”
As before, you might need to answer some questions regarding the language, libraries, frameworks, and servers you’ve used while coding. This will help ChatGPT zero in on the problem.
Improving Existing Codes
Your code can work, and still not be the best possible version. So, even if you’re satisfied, you can ask ChatGPT to optimize it. There are two ways to go about it:
- “This is my code: [paste your code]. How can I optimize it?”
- “Generate an optimized version of this code: [paste your code].”
Besides providing an optimized output, ChatGPT will usually list what was wrong with your original code and what actions it had to take to optimize it.
And don’t worry; this process won’t change your code’s behavior or functionality. It will only improve its design and structure.
Programmers often have to deal with massive, somewhat unsightly blocks of text when coding. Fortunately, this doesn’t always have to be the case. If you’ve written an overly complex code, you can ask ChatGPT to simplify it.
With a few tweaks here and there, your code will become easier to maintain, test, scale, optimize, and many other actions that you’ll probably have to take at some point.
Asking ChatGPT to simplify the code is, well, simple. You can use this template:
“Simplify the following code as much as possible: [paste your code].”
The new (and improved) code will be followed by an explanation of what was changed and why.
Have you ever looked for a solution to a particular issue only to find it in another programming language? If yes, your troubles end here.
Using ChatGPT, you can translate (or port) your code from one language to another with high accuracy.
The prompt for translation is relatively simple, and it goes like this:
“Translate the following code from [original programming language] to [target programming language]: [paste your code].”
Writing Code Documentation
While programmers often find it tedious or challenging, code documentation is vital to software development. The good news is that you can also rely on your AI partner in this task.
Again, the ChatGPT prompt is straightforward:
“Write documentation for this code: [paste your code].”
Of course, ChatGPT will produce said documentation (in great detail, we might add). But you can also expect some usage examples for the code as a nice little bonus.
If you wish to put the documentation online, your prompt should look something like this:
“Write documentation for this code: [paste your code] in HTML format.”
If you’re a beginner, you may have encountered some mysterious codes on platforms like StackOverflow. You don’t understand the code, so you don’t know if it’s useful to you. This is where ChatGPT can help.
While not writing code per se, this functionality can help you get better at coding. Once you understand a convoluted code, you’re one step closer to writing one yourself.
All you need to do is copy the code that baffles you and ask ChatGPT the following question:
“What does this code do? [paste your code]”
The AI chatbot will provide a detailed explanation that can help you make similar codes a part of your arsenal.
Your AI-Powered Coding Assistant
As valuable as ChatGPT is for coding, you shouldn’t expect it to do all the work. After all, the tool is only as knowledgeable as its training data allows. This means that you can expect ChatGPT to make mistakes. And that is if we put it lightly.
If not used correctly, ChatGPT can produce absolutely unusable strings of letters and numbers.
So, think of ChatGPT as your coding assistant. It can give you plenty of useful information, help you spot shortcomings, and cover the basics. The rest is up to you.
Have you used ChatGPT for writing codes? How has this AI chatbot helped you the most? Let us know in the comments section below.
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