ISCAP Proceedings - 2023

Albuquerque NM, November 2023

2023 ISCAP Proceedings: Abstract Presentation

An AI-Assisted Cloud-based Web Development: A Case Study of Web Design and Programming

Taejin Kim
City University of Seattle

Sam Chung
City University of Seattle

Motivation The ever-evolving landscape of web development demands efficient tools and methodologies to streamline the creation of sophisticated and visually appealing websites. The emergence of cloud computing affords web developers the ability to operate within a cloud-based environment, obviating the need for software developers to undertake the downloading and configuration of essential tools onto their local workstations. A novel category of developmental milieus has surfaced in the shape of cloud-based resolutions such as GitHub Codespaces and VS Code Cloud. These pioneering advancements are displacing the established desktop-centric paradigm in software development, with the intention of enhancing the efficacy of software developers (Papageorge, 2022). In addition, an AI-powered code recommendation tool, GitHub Copilot, has emerged as a potential solution to alleviate the challenges encountered during the development process. According to the study of the opportunities of AI-powered pair-programming tools (Bird et al., 2022), AI-driven tools are poised to play a pivotal role in assisting developers across a multitude of tasks with their diverse functionalities. Notably, these tools are anticipated to extend their influence in tasks such as code recommendation, enhancement of code review processes, and the provision of constructive feedback on proposed changes. Another study underscores that GitHub Copilot holds the potential to markedly curtail development timelines while simultaneously imparting a marginal enhancement to the quality of the generated code (Nilsson, 2023). Problem Statement We discover evidence-based practices through an empirical study of applying a cloud development environment with an AI-powered code recommendation tool to web design and programming. We find evidence of zero downloads, very low configuration, source code management, teamwork, and pair programming and examine the developer’s productivity in terms of evidence-based practices. Approach First, we select web design and programming examples focusing on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Second, we set up a cloud-based development equipped with GitHub, GitHub Codespaces, and VSCode Cloud. Third, we develop a website by using the cloud-based development environment. Fourth, we use GitHub Copilot to develop the same examples. Last, we identify and examine the best practices of cloud–based development with AI-powered pair programming. Conclusion This research provides evidence-based practices into how cloud-based development, GitHub, GitHub Codespaces, and VSCode Cloud, along with AI-powered pair programming, GitHub Copilot, contribute to the developer’s productivity in web development. Furthermore, the study identifies the ramifications of cloud-based development on the productivity of web developers and explores the impact of GitHub Copilot on enhancing the efficacy and competence of web developers when dealing with HTML and CSS. Moreover, this research scrutinizes whether Github Copilot's suggestion of code segments hinders or promotes learning opportunities. References Bird, C., Ford, D., Zimmermann, T., Forsgren, N., Kalliamvakou, E., Lowdermilk, T., & Gazit, I. (2022). Taking Flight with Copilot: Early insights and opportunities of AI-powered pair-programming tools. Queue, 20(6), 35-57. Nilsson, I. (2023). An empirical analysis of GitHub Copilot. Papageorge, J. (2022, September 21). 10 Easy Reasons to Escape the Status Quo and Switch to Cloud Dev Environments. Okteto. Retrieved June 19, 2023, from