02. Jul 2024

Initiative AI-assisted Software Engineering at Accso

"AI is a powerhouse when it comes to boosting efficiency. It handles mundane tasks like code generation and debugging with ease, giving developers more time to tackle truly challenging problems that require a human touch." This is how ChatGPT responded to the question of why AI should be used in programming. We share this view. That’s why we have made it our goal to integrate artificial intelligence into our daily routine.


Jens Lorek

20240702 AI assisted SE

It all began in 2023 with an internal initiative on AI-assisted Software Engineering. A group of employees tested AI tools like GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT in their projects. Our conclusion: These tools are indeed useful and help in learning and working faster.

With this result from the team and our belief in the benefits of such AI tools like GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT, they were made available to all employees after a review of information security, confidentiality, and data protection. ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot are also used in some customer projects.

AI Tools at Accso Clients

Our colleague Jens Lorek provides insight into how this works in practice.

As a Technical Lead, Jens is involved in a client project in the media sector. He and his colleagues were one of the first teams at Accso to test GitHub Copilot—right at this client. A good decision, as the tools have been in use for a year now and make the team's daily work easier.

What Benefits Does the Use of AI in Software Development Offer Our Clients?

"Most projects today are technologically diverse, and the desire for cross-functional teams is a challenge. Therefore, it is extremely helpful for us to provide all developers with the best possible tools. Tools like ChatGPT simplify knowledge transfer across technological boundaries and enable rapid development of new expertise.

An increase in development speed is thus clearly evident. But the tools also show their strengths beyond pure development. They serve to generate test cases, documentation, or as sparring partners in data modeling or architectural questions. ChatGPT & Co. are thus a natural evolution of existing development tools.

Developer happiness was also an argument—working with the latest tools is very motivating. The mentioned benefits are also reflected in the statements of our developers."

"It's a different lifestyle."Accso employees
"I no longer want to program without it."Accso employees
"Once you've had it, you don't want to go without it."Accso employees

How Do We Address Possible Concerns?

"Of course, there are concerns, but they can usually be quickly dispelled. There are no real risks for the clients. There are no costs involved—Accso provides all licenses—and data sovereignty is maintained. The aforementioned benefits clearly outweigh any concerns. Additionally, we established a three-month evaluation period in the project, at the end of which we drew a conclusion. The presentation and discussion of our results with the project management team were completely convincing. We were very pleased that the interest was also enormously high across projects. This allowed the client to easily realize a flagship project for the use of AI."

How Do We Ensure Data Protection?

"This question needs to be answered for each tool individually. The use of ChatGPT is often referred to as the “new Googling.” However, we should always be aware that we should not use confidential data in the queries. For GitHub Copilot, we use business accounts where prompts and context data are not stored or used for training. Additionally, there is no upload of the entire codebase, as many assume. For both services, we have created guides for our clients, where the advantages and functionalities are briefly and clearly summarized. Moreover, we are experimenting with self-hosted solutions in the EU and locally running AI models, for example, based on LM Studio."

What Else Should Be Noted?

When using AI technologies, many people try to offload their work. Don’t do that! Try to develop your knowledge and skills further with the help of AI. Let AI help you learn. With ChatGPT and similar tools acting as a kind of always-available and smart team member, everyday work can be greatly facilitated.

Jens Lorek

Your contact for AI-assisted software engineering at Accso
Jens Lorek Raute