Why an “AI Software Engineer” will be incredible for everyone who builds software

Aaron Klein
2 min readMar 13, 2024

Yesterday, Cognition Labs launched Devin, the “AI software engineer.”

It’s clear that AI is creating a new renaissance of creativity and expression. Our time will shift from instructing computers how to implement our vision, to the creation of the vision itself.

To be clear, the technology won’t be as advanced as we think it will be in three years (maybe 60–70%?), and it will be well beyond our current expectations in ten years (maybe 300–400%).

Will it end the jobs of human software engineers? Will it eliminate competition in software because you can build a thousand versions of the same app and flood the market?

These ideas ignore the most important trends of the Internet age.

First, product vision will matter more than ever before. In a vast ocean of poorly-designed AI-generated apps, the well-crafted few will be a powerful force.

Second, beauty in design will matter more than ever before. AI is a machine that implements human design choices, and those with the taste to build beautiful products will have a massive advantage.

Third, most apps have some level of network effect. The best ones will have the most users, because the value to each user is exponentially multiplied by the number of people using the app.

And finally, the idea that people will just build a thousand versions of the same app with minor tweaks and overwhelm an idea by volume defies the basic truth of the Internet age — human attention is now the scarce thing.

Far more likely will be the use of AI to leverage learning from users and drive rapid iteration and innovation in new products.

The time-to-product/market fit is going to shrink tremendously for those with a great product vision, a deep understanding of design, and powerful network effects.

It’s going to be an amazing and abundant future.

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Aaron Klein

Husband and Dad to your typical, average Korean-Ethiopian-American family. Co-Founder and Founding CEO at Nitrogen. Striving to live Isaiah 1:17. Love Idaho.