Using ML to improve developer experience.

I started to write this post in March 2021, and I am getting back around to it... and there's been a lot of changes.

I love watching Corridor Crew. They are a bunch of amazing SFX creators out in LA who push what is possible in VFX using what appears (to me) to be commodity hardware and tools.

They recently showed a video that put their team against each other to rotoscope a person out of a video and put in a new background element using a variety of techniques: traditional (by hand), modern tools, new enhanced Tools, and a special ML way.

The ML way one, it took 6 minutes to complete and is a game changer (according to the team - the traditional way would take weeks etc). Best of all the tool was a web app! The frikin' Web!

It made me think. What challenges do developers have that are incredibly manual, that are hard to solve with traditional software but could be inferred?

Update: In between when I started to write this post and today, there's been a lot more work in this space. Github Co-pilot in particular is one of the reasons why I stopped writing this, it looked like we were just heading towards better code-completion (which is still amazing BTW - also there's still research happening) but now I see DALL-E-2 (it blew my mind) and it made me question my long-term future in software development, but specifically it got me thinking what is the future in this space and can I do anything interesting now?

I started to look "How ML can improve developer experience" and it's mostly vague pieces about the outcome "improved productivity", "fewer errors", "better estimates" and general puff pieces. What I'm not seeing are the products that are being built. I know I'm not searching properly.

I'm still thinking about some of the more practical results. I end up looking at the models that already exist to see if I could think of ideas for what could be created. For example: TensorFlow has a list of "task libraries" and models (and even a catalogue); Meta have a similar set - but it's still kinda hard to work out what to do.

Here's my list of challenges I want to research:

Actually, I remember why I stopped this post - I kept drawing a blank on how ML can be applied. I'm certainly interested to learn about what you're working on with the application of ML to Developer Experience (for web developers at least), I believe the opportunities are incredible, but I'm not sure where to actually start, and that is a challenge for me to process.

Update 2: In between when I started to write this post and then updating it (above) and today. GPT-Chat has just changed everything for me and I'm left questioning a lot of what I do...

GPT-Chat has just changed a lot of things for me, to the point where a lot of what I do as a DevRel lead (help developers understand features and concepts) has been up ended... Maybe my job is to make the materials that train the machines that can bring multiple concepts together...

Build a webpage that has a masonry layout

I'm kinda shocked. It worked.

Add placekitten images to the masonry grid


I lead the Chrome Developer Relations team at Google.

We want people to have the best experience possible on the web without having to install a native app or produce content in a walled garden.

Our team tries to make it easier for developers to build on the web by supporting every Chrome release, creating great content to support developers on, contributing to MDN, helping to improve browser compatibility, and some of the best developer tools like Lighthouse, Workbox, Squoosh to name just a few.

I love to learn about what you are building, and how I can help with Chrome or Web development in general, so if you want to chat with me directly, please feel free to book a consultation.

I'm trialing a newsletter, you can subscribe below (thank you!)