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Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
The future of AI in software development | Inbal Shani (CPO of GitHub)

The future of AI in software development | Inbal Shani (CPO of GitHub)


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Inbal Shani is the chief product officer at GitHub, where she leads core product management, along with product strategy, marketing, open source, and communities, including the development of GitHub Copilot. Prior to joining GitHub, she led engineering and product teams at Amazon and Microsoft. In today’s conversation, we discuss:
• What Inbal believes is overhyped and underhyped in the rapidly changing field of AI
• How AI-driven code generation is changing software development
• Her take on whether AI will replace developers
• How software development looks in 3 to 5 years
• How product teams operate at GitHub
• GitHub’s Next team, and other ways the company fosters a culture of innovation
• The success metrics and philosophy behind GitHub’s Copilot

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Overcast, and YouTube.

Find the transcript at: https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-future-of-ai-in-software-development-inbal-shani-cpo-of-github/#transcript

Where to find Inbal Shani:

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/inbalshani/

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter: https://www.lennysnewsletter.com

• X: https://twitter.com/lennysan

• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lennyrachitsky/

In this episode, we cover:

(00:00) Inbal’s background

(04:17) Why generative AI is not going to replace developers in the near future

(05:54) Why AI-driven testing is underhyped

(07:48) What the next 3 to 5 years will look like

(10:13) Stats around the use of GitHub Copilot

(12:07) How Copilot enables engineers to work more efficiently

(13:38) Common mistakes when adopting AI into your workflows

(16:42) How GitHub operationalizes “dogfooding”

(18:46) The philosophy behind Copilot

(20:24) Copilot’s success metrics

(24:54) How Copilot encourages collaboration

(26:37) What we lose when AI writes code for us

(29:35) A retrospective on the generative AI space

(30:47) Inbal’s thoughts on the future of AI

(32:35) How to make space for innovative product ideas

(34:37) How GitHub stays on the cutting edge of innovation

(36:44) The GitHub Next team

(39:20) Advice for early product managers

(42:17) Inbal’s “biggest learning” from her career

(45:34) Inbal’s closing thoughts

(46:19) Lightning round


• How to measure and improve developer productivity | Nicole Forsgren (Microsoft Research, GitHub, Google): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/how-to-measure-and-improve-developer-productivity-nicole-forsgren-microsoft-research-github-goo/

• DORA: https://dora.dev/

• The role of AI in product development | Ryan J. Salva (VP of Product at GitHub, Copilot): https://www.lennyspodcast.com/the-role-of-ai-in-new-product-development-ryan-j-salva-vp-of-product-at-github-copilot/

• GitHub Universe 2023 day 2 keynote: The productivity platform for all developers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_o9kFPVeiw

• Satya Nadella on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/satyanadella/

• TomTom: https://www.tomtom.com/

Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success: https://www.amazon.com/Failing-Forward-Turning-Mistakes-Stepping/dp/0785288570/

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t: https://www.amazon.com/Good-Great-Some-Companies-Others/dp/0066620996

Turning the Flywheel: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great: https://www.amazon.com/Turning-Flywheel-Monograph-Accompany-Great/dp/0062933795

Dare to Lead Like a Girl: How to Survive and Thrive in the Corporate Jungle: https://www.amazon.com/Dare-Lead-Like-Girl-Corporate/dp/1538163527

All the Light We Cannot See on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81083008

The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime: https://www.amazon.com/Wheel-Time-Season-1/dp/B09F59CZ7R

Production and marketing by https://penname.co/. For inquiries about sponsoring the podcast, email podcast@lennyrachitsky.com.

Lenny may be an investor in the companies discussed.

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Lenny's Newsletter
Lenny's Podcast: Product | Growth | Career
Interviews with world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.