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Meet my new Junior Developer: ChatGPT


I’ve been enjoying round with ChatGPT for just a few days now, that I used to be in a position to create an account. In fact I needed to have it generate some limericks, some poems and responses to emails. However essentially the most burning query on my thoughts is that this: will AI take my job?

I discovered that ChatGPT has plenty of syntax and conceptual data about Swift and SwiftUI. So I needed to place it to the take a look at to see how sensible it will be in fulfilling my requests. I used to be taking up the function of the mentor and ChatGPT was principally a pupil that took my authentic request and refined it over a number of iterations till I ended up with a stupendous easy resolution.

For a present challenge I wanted a view that shows a circle however I didn’t need to draw it however as an alternative use a CAShapeLayer and a property that may replace the colour of the form. So I had in my thoughts already an thought how I might do it, now the query was, how would I switch this psychological image from my thoughts to the AI’s “thoughts”.

Me: Create a UIKit view that makes use of CAShapeLayer to show a crammed circle

ChatGPT: Right here is an instance of the way to create a UIKit view with a crammed circle displayed utilizing a CAShapeLayer in Swift:

import UIKit

class CircleView: UIView {

    override func draw(_ rect: CGRect) {
        let circleLayer = CAShapeLayer()
        let circlePath = UIBezierPath(arcCenter: CGPoint(x: rect.dimension.width / 2, y: rect.dimension.peak / 2), radius: rect.dimension.width / 2, startAngle: 0.0, endAngle: CGFloat.pi * 2, clockwise: true)
        circleLayer.path = circlePath.cgPath
        circleLayer.fillColor = UIColor.crimson.cgColor
        layer.addSublayer(circleLayer)
    }
}

I instantly observed a number of issues right here.

At this level the outcome was in high quality lower than most responses I might see on Stack Overflow. The sport was on!

Me: That is nonsense as a result of it will add a brand new sublayer each time that the draw operate is being known as!

ChatGPT: I apologize for that mistake. Right here is an up to date instance that solely provides the CAShapeLayer as soon as:

import UIKit

class CircleView: UIView {
  
    override init(body: CGRect) {
        tremendous.init(body: body)
        setupCircle()
    }
  
    required init?(coder aDecoder: NSCoder) {
        tremendous.init(coder: aDecoder)
        setupCircle()
    }
  
    non-public func setupCircle() {
        let circleLayer = CAShapeLayer()
        let circlePath = UIBezierPath(arcCenter: CGPoint(x: bounds.dimension.width / 2, y: bounds.dimension.peak / 2), radius: bounds.dimension.width / 2, startAngle: 0.0, endAngle: CGFloat.pi * 2, clockwise: true)
        circleLayer.path = circlePath.cgPath
        circleLayer.fillColor = UIColor.crimson.cgColor
        layer.addSublayer(circleLayer)
    }
}

It moved the creation of the form layer right into a setup operate which was known as from each inits. The one with body is used from code, the one with decoder is used when loading the view from a XIB or storyboard. This was an sudden side-benefit.

I observed although that this wouldn’t replace the trail when the bounds of the view would change.

Me: It additionally must replace the circle path when the bounds of the view change.

ChatGPT: Right here’s an up to date model of the code that updates the circle path when the bounds of the view change:

import UIKit

class CircleView: UIView {
  
    non-public let circleLayer = CAShapeLayer()
  
    override init(body: CGRect) {
        tremendous.init(body: body)
        setupCircle()
    }
  
    required init?(coder aDecoder: NSCoder) {
        tremendous.init(coder: aDecoder)
        setupCircle()
    }
  
    override func layoutSubviews() {
        tremendous.layoutSubviews()
        updateCirclePath()
    }
  
    non-public func setupCircle() {
        layer.addSublayer(circleLayer)
        updateCirclePath()
    }
  
    non-public func updateCirclePath() {
        let circlePath = UIBezierPath(arcCenter: CGPoint(x: bounds.dimension.width / 2, y: bounds.dimension.peak / 2), radius: bounds.dimension.width / 2, startAngle: 0.0, endAngle: CGFloat.pi * 2, clockwise: true)
        circleLayer.path = circlePath.cgPath
        circleLayer.fillColor = UIColor.crimson.cgColor
    }
}

Attention-grabbing! It additionally is aware of that layoutSubviews is a good place to do one thing when structure modifications. Subsequent to the setup operate it additionally added an operate that updates the form.

These profitable refinements emboldened me. How about making the fill shade be configurable from outdoors the view through a property? Additionally, whereas is technically appropriate to attract a circle through an arc bezier path, that solely offers me a top level view.

Me: Exchange the arc bezier path with one for an oval that additionally will get crammed with the UIColor set within the fillColor property.

ChatGPT: Right here’s an up to date model of the code that attracts an oval form as an alternative of a circle and fills it with the colour set within the fillColor property:

import UIKit

class OvalView: UIView {
  
    non-public let ovalLayer = CAShapeLayer()
  
    override init(body: CGRect) {
        tremendous.init(body: body)
        setupOval()
    }
  
    required init?(coder aDecoder: NSCoder) {
        tremendous.init(coder: aDecoder)
        setupOval()
    }
  
    override func layoutSubviews() {
        tremendous.layoutSubviews()
        updateOvalPath()
    }
  
    non-public func setupOval() {
        layer.addSublayer(ovalLayer)
        updateOvalPath()
    }
  
    non-public func updateOvalPath() {
        let ovalPath = UIBezierPath(ovalIn: bounds)
        ovalLayer.path = ovalPath.cgPath
        ovalLayer.fillColor = UIColor.crimson.cgColor
    }
}

Hm, it says that it did it, specifically including a fillColor property, however that’s nowhere to be discovered. So I attempted to say it in a greater manner.

Me: Don’t laborious code the fillColor, however make it a property of the view that updates the overLayer when set.

ChatGPT: Right here’s an up to date model of the code the place the fill shade is just not hardcoded and could be set as a property of the view:

import UIKit

class OvalView: UIView {
  
    non-public let ovalLayer = CAShapeLayer()
  
    var fillColor: UIColor = UIColor.crimson {
        didSet {
            updateOvalPath()
        }
    }
  
    override init(body: CGRect) {
        tremendous.init(body: body)
        setupOval()
    }
  
    required init?(coder aDecoder: NSCoder) {
        tremendous.init(coder: aDecoder)
        setupOval()
    }
  
    override func layoutSubviews() {
        tremendous.layoutSubviews()
        updateOvalPath()
    }
  
    non-public func setupOval() {
        layer.addSublayer(ovalLayer)
        updateOvalPath()
    }
  
    non-public func updateOvalPath() {
        let ovalPath = UIBezierPath(ovalIn: bounds)
        ovalLayer.path = ovalPath.cgPath
        ovalLayer.fillColor = fillColor.cgColor
    }
}

I had mistyped “overLayer”, however ChatGPT nonetheless understood my request and executed it flawlessly. This was already fairly good, however an professional programmer wouldn’t be happy with this and preserve sharpening the outcome till it shines.

Me: Separate the replace of the fill shade from updating the form path. The trail ought to solely be up to date when the bounds change and the colour solely when the property modifications.

ChatGPT: Right here’s an up to date model of the code the place the fill shade and the form path are separated, and the form path is simply up to date when the bounds change:

import UIKit

class OvalView: UIView {
  
    non-public let ovalLayer = CAShapeLayer()
  
    var fillColor: UIColor = UIColor.crimson {
        didSet {
            ovalLayer.fillColor = fillColor.cgColor
        }
    }
  
    override init(body: CGRect) {
        tremendous.init(body: body)
        setupOval()
    }
  
    required init?(coder aDecoder: NSCoder) {
        tremendous.init(coder: aDecoder)
        setupOval()
    }
  
    override func layoutSubviews() {
        tremendous.layoutSubviews()
        updateOvalPath()
    }
  
    non-public func setupOval() {
        layer.addSublayer(ovalLayer)
        updateOvalPath()
    }
  
    non-public func updateOvalPath() {
        let ovalPath = UIBezierPath(ovalIn: bounds)
        ovalLayer.path = ovalPath.cgPath
    }
}

Ha! I noticed one other mistake! This manner the fill shade wouldn’t stay the default and solely be up to date if the property is modified.

Me: That is lacking the preliminary setting of the fill shade.

ChatGPT: Right here’s an up to date model of the code that units the preliminary worth of the fillColor property:

import UIKit

class OvalView: UIView {
  
    non-public let ovalLayer = CAShapeLayer()
  
    var fillColor: UIColor = UIColor.crimson {
        didSet {
            ovalLayer.fillColor = fillColor.cgColor
        }
    }
  
    override init(body: CGRect) {
        tremendous.init(body: body)
        setupOval()
    }
  
    required init?(coder aDecoder: NSCoder) {
        tremendous.init(coder: aDecoder)
        setupOval()
    }
  
    override func layoutSubviews() {
        tremendous.layoutSubviews()
        updateOvalPath()
    }
  
    non-public func setupOval() {
        layer.addSublayer(ovalLayer)
        updateOvalPath()
        ovalLayer.fillColor = fillColor.cgColor
    }
  
    non-public func updateOvalPath() {
        let ovalPath = UIBezierPath(ovalIn: bounds)
        ovalLayer.path = ovalPath.cgPath
    }
}

That’s appropriate. Now we’re have been at a degree the place I used to be now not so sure as a result of I don’t create CAShapeLayers day by day. We have to set the form layers body one way or the other, don’t we?

Me: I imagine that this code is lacking an replace for the body of the sublayer.

ChatGPT: Right here’s an up to date model of the code that units the body of the ovalLayer sublayer:

import UIKit

class OvalView: UIView {
  
    non-public let ovalLayer = CAShapeLayer()
  
    var fillColor: UIColor = UIColor.crimson {
        didSet {
            ovalLayer.fillColor = fillColor.cgColor
        }
    }
  
    override init(body: CGRect) {
        tremendous.init(body: body)
        setupOval()
    }
  
    required init?(coder aDecoder: NSCoder) {
        tremendous.init(coder: aDecoder)
        setupOval()
    }
  
    override func layoutSubviews() {
        tremendous.layoutSubviews()
        updateOvalPath()
    }
  
    non-public func setupOval() {
        layer.addSublayer(ovalLayer)
        updateOvalPath()
        ovalLayer.fillColor = fillColor.cgColor
    }
  
    non-public func updateOvalPath() {
        ovalLayer.body = bounds
        let ovalPath = UIBezierPath(ovalIn: bounds)
        ovalLayer.path = ovalPath.cgPath
    }
}

Yeah that appears higher, if we set the body each time layoutSubviews is named then that ought to work. At this level I had a thought that I needed to Senior-Programmer’splain to the poor and overwhelmed AI…

Me: layoutSubviews might be the fallacious place to replace the layer body and oval path as a result of that belongs to the view structure move, however there’s a separate structure move for layers. put it there.

ChatGPT, unflinchingly: Right here’s an up to date model of the code the place the body of the ovalLayer and the oval path are up to date within the layoutSublayers operate as an alternative of layoutSubviews:

import UIKit

class OvalView: UIView {
  
    non-public let ovalLayer = CAShapeLayer()
  
    var fillColor: UIColor = UIColor.crimson {
        didSet {
            ovalLayer.fillColor = fillColor.cgColor
        }
    }
  
    override init(body: CGRect) {
        tremendous.init(body: body)
        setupOval()
    }
  
    required init?(coder aDecoder: NSCoder) {
        tremendous.init(coder: aDecoder)
        setupOval()
    }
  
    override func layoutSublayers(of layer: CALayer) {
        tremendous.layoutSublayers(of: layer)
        updateOvalPath()
    }
  
    non-public func setupOval() {
        layer.addSublayer(ovalLayer)
        ovalLayer.fillColor = fillColor.cgColor
    }
  
    non-public func updateOvalPath() {
        ovalLayer.body = bounds
        let ovalPath = UIBezierPath(ovalIn: bounds)
        ovalLayer.path = ovalPath.cgPath
    }
}

Impressed, once more! It is aware of about layoutSublayers.

Then I assumed some extra. I used to be nervous in regards to the circle not being correctly up to date in UIView animations. When you set a layer body in layoutSubviews then the contents jumps to the brand new location and dimension with out animation, as a result of UIView properties are implicitly animated, however layer properties aren’t.

And why do we want the fundamental CALayer in any respect, after we could make the form layer be the view’s essential layer? Ha! Now I knew the way to stump the AI!

Me: It could even be higher to make the form layer the principle layer of the view as an alternative of establishing a separate sublayer for it.

ChatGPT: Right here’s an up to date model of the code the place the CAShapeLayer is about as the principle layer of the OvalView as an alternative of a separate sublayer:

import UIKit

class OvalView: UIView {
  
    var fillColor: UIColor = UIColor.crimson {
        didSet {
            layer.fillColor = fillColor.cgColor
        }
    }
  
    override init(body: CGRect) {
        tremendous.init(body: body)
        setupOval()
    }
  
    required init?(coder aDecoder: NSCoder) {
        tremendous.init(coder: aDecoder)
        setupOval()
    }
  
    override func layoutSublayers(of layer: CALayer) {
        tremendous.layoutSublayers(of: layer)
        updateOvalPath()
    }
  
    non-public func setupOval() {
        layer.fillColor = fillColor.cgColor
        layer.masksToBounds = true
    }
  
    non-public func updateOvalPath() {
        layer.body = bounds
        layer.cornerRadius = bounds.width / 2
    }
}

Gotcha! Gone is the form layer solely to get replaced by setting the layer’s cornerRadius to half of the width of the view. And an expertly inserted masksToBounds makes this work.

Good attempt, however let me let you know what’s fallacious with this:

Me: That doesn’t work when the view is just not sq.. I would like you to create the layer for the view through returning CAShapeLayer because the layerClass of the view.

ChatGPT blushing: Inside server error

Was it one thing I stated? No, in all probability not. ChatGPT’s servers get overloaded steadily. Once I pressed the “Regenerate Response” button I acquired a correct response:

ChatGPT: Right here’s an up to date model of the code the place CAShapeLayer is returned because the layer class for the OvalView:

import UIKit

class OvalView: UIView {
  
    var fillColor: UIColor = UIColor.crimson {
        didSet {
            layer.fillColor = fillColor.cgColor
        }
    }
  
    override class var layerClass: AnyClass {
        return CAShapeLayer.self
    }
  
    override func layoutSubviews() {
        tremendous.layoutSubviews()
        updateOvalPath()
    }
  
    non-public func updateOvalPath() {
        let ovalPath = UIBezierPath(ovalIn: bounds)
        (layer as! CAShapeLayer).path = ovalPath.cgPath
        layer.fillColor = fillColor.cgColor
    }
}

Good! We’re again in enterprise. I pasted this code into Xcode solely to discover a syntax error I had missed from solely glancing at it.

Me: That may produce a syntax error as a result of the layer within the fillColor setter is just not identified to be a CAShapeLayer to the compiler. It’s essential forged it to 1.

ChatGPT: Right here’s an up to date model of the code that casts the layer property to a CAShapeLayer within the fill shade setter:

import UIKit

class OvalView: UIView {
  
    var fillColor: UIColor = UIColor.crimson {
        didSet {
            (layer as! CAShapeLayer).fillColor = fillColor.cgColor
        }
    }
  
    override class var layerClass: AnyClass {
        return CAShapeLayer.self
    }
  
    override func layoutSubviews() {
        tremendous.layoutSubviews()
        updateOvalPath()
    }
  
    non-public func updateOvalPath() {
        let ovalPath = UIBezierPath(ovalIn: bounds)
        (layer as! CAShapeLayer).path = ovalPath.cgPath
        (layer as! CAShapeLayer).fillColor = fillColor.cgColor
    }
}

Technically appropriate now, however nonetheless in want of polish.

Me: Refactor these `(layer as! CAShapeLayer)` right into a property

ChatGPT: Right here’s an up to date model of the code that makes use of a computed property to keep away from casting layer to CAShapeLayer a number of occasions:

import UIKit

class OvalView: UIView {
  
    var fillColor: UIColor = UIColor.crimson {
        didSet {
            shapeLayer.fillColor = fillColor.cgColor
        }
    }
  
    non-public var shapeLayer: CAShapeLayer {
        return layer as! CAShapeLayer
    }
  
    override class var layerClass: AnyClass {
        return CAShapeLayer.self
    }
  
    override func layoutSubviews() {
        tremendous.layoutSubviews()
        updateOvalPath()
    }
  
    non-public func updateOvalPath() {
        let ovalPath = UIBezierPath(ovalIn: bounds)
        shapeLayer.path = ovalPath.cgPath
        shapeLayer.fillColor = fillColor.cgColor
    }
}

Ah, now good… we have now a brand new shapeLayer property that drive casts the layer property right into a CAShapeLayer. I put the code into my challenge, it compiled with out situation and displayed the crimson circles I lusted for as requested.

Me: Thanks, that’s the most effective reply for my preliminary query.

ChatGPT: You’re welcome! I’m glad I might assist. If in case you have any extra questions, be happy to ask!

Analysis

Much like tales the place ChatGPT sat college exams with dangerous however passing grades it additionally performs across the junior degree for software program builders. It is ready to produce the proper outcome if an skilled developer has the persistence and expertise to guided it over a number of iterations.

It does require plenty of hand-holding. Inputting your necessities through chat requires that you understand how to specific all these ideas in a manner that the AI can parse. I do have plenty of expertise coaching Junior Engineers and a decade of programming UIKit taught me the way to put issues that they are often understood.

I might have spent a fraction of the time if I had simply coded this view like I envisioned it from the beginning. However the level of this alternate is to not show that I’m higher at programming than ChatGPT. It’s to show that Chat GPT is extra succesful than discovering pattern code on the Web. It’s not even net search on sterioids. It’s clearly way more than that as a result of it may perceive ideas and synthesize a outcome from that together with making refinements that an professional consumer is guiding it to do.

It is a first information level. There was none earlier than it as a result of public entry to ChatGPT was solely activated just a few days in the past. So it’s wonderful that one thing is feasible right now that wasn’t potential earlier than.

The Future

Within the least I would really like ChatGPT constructed into Xcode: as a solution to write new code. And I don’t imply dictating code, however talking in ideas like proven above. How about having this in Xcode? “Hello Xcode, I would like a brand new view that does this and that”. If that have been extra streamlined and quicker that may instantly be helpful. Particularly as a result of it additionally improves your personal studying curve. Having to speak ideas makes you your self perceive them higher. What you train, you be taught!

I can see a future the place ChatGPT turns into increasingly productive to the eventual diploma of a Junior Developer. With this I imply someone who can conceptional execute the itty gritty which you, as a Senior Developer, give it course in a normal imaginative and prescient you keep. Just like the captain of a ship who sees the ice bergs and is aware of the place the ship ought to be going, and ChatGPT is the complete crew.

Then the step after that – within the far future – is to mix ChatGPT with one thing that may perceive sketches and mockups and useful descriptions of apps. That is the place the Senior Developer brains are and can nonetheless be wanted for a very long time. To translate the shopper’s needs and designs into software program ideas.

We haven’t touched on the query what’s going to occur if someday all Juniors could be changed by AI. If there aren’t any new Juniors then there can be no one to mature into Seniors sooner or later. Perhaps our coaching should change to give attention to mastering conceptionalizing and excessive degree idea synthesis and leaving the mundane creation of code to AI as an alternative.



Additionally revealed on Medium.


Classes: Instruments

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