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Codium helps developers automate the all-important test creation process. The company said it received $11 million in seed funding to develop this AI model.
The cost of getting software wrong
The potential for such a tool is significant. In 2020, the cost of software errors in the U.S. alone was a staggering $2 trillion, leaving many companies questioning the quality of their software. Errors propagate throughout the software development life cycle, and the cost of addressing them compounds. But software testing is a laborious and time-consuming process.
Having led product and R&D teams at companies like Alibaba Cloud, Itamar Friedman and Dedy Kredo understood these challenges firsthand. Backgrounds in software development, machine learning and product management convinced them of the potential of AI large language models (LLMs) for software test validation, and they built Codium AI in 2022.
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TestGPT eases the testing pain
“As a developer, testing your code is important,” said Friedman, Codium’s cofounder and CEO. “Aside from catching bugs, it gives you valuable insight into your code, and lets you know you’re coding with a purpose.”
Writing non-trivial test cases is tedious and frustrating, he said. “Sometimes you even hate writing tests, but the alternative of letting a bug get into production can be a disaster.”
Codium’s first tool is an IDE (integrated development environment) extension that enables an iterative process of generating tests and then tweaking code based on the outcomes of those tests. This interaction with the developer helps the tool understand the code better and generate more accurate and meaningful tests, while guiding the developer to write better code.
The company claims that developers who use Codium AI can expect to catch bugs and gain valuable insight into their code, improving the quality and functionality of their software.
Greater code integrity for faster development
Like ChatGPT, Copilot and other generative dev tools, the TestGPT system exploits generative AI models. But TestGPT is focused on verifying the correctness of code versus the desired specification, according to Friedman. It is meant to enable high code integrity so developers can develop faster.
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“It embeds testing best practices in its prompting process, and does a series of pre- and post-processing steps to ensure high-quality outcomes,” Friedman said.
Codium is currently available as an extension for popular IDEs such as VS Code and PyCharm. Coverage for more IDEs and programming languages is planned, as well as support for additional features and collaborations. Codium has already been installed by thousands of users since its closed-alpha release in January 2023, the company said.
In the future, Codium AI plans to expand and integrate into other parts of the software development life cycle with the goal of continuing to ensure high code integrity. This expansion is expected to include test and test data management, CI/CD integration, auto-fixing of bugs, code improvement suggestions, and the enablement of next-generation, test-driven development.
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Author: Sri Krishna