AI coding assistants are here, and they’re transforming how programming is and will be done. If you know regular expressions, pick up this book and learn all about AI coding assistants. If you don’t know regular expressions, well, pick it up anyway and experience how you learn with AI coding assistants.
Learn how AI-assisted coding using ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot can dramatically increase your productivity (and fun) writing regular expressions and other programs.
Regular Expression Puzzles and AI Coding Assistants is the story of two competitors. On one side is David Mertz, an expert programmer and the author of the Web's most popular Regex tutorial. On the other are the AI powerhouse coding assistants, GitHub Copilot and OpenAI ChatGPT.
Here's how the contest works: David invents 24 Regex problems he calls puzzles and shows you how to tackle each one. When he's done, he has Copilot and ChatGPT work the same puzzles. What they produce intrigues him. Which side is likelier to get it right? Which will write simple and elegant code? Which makes smarter use of lesser known Regex library features? Read the book to find out.
David also offers AI best practices, showing how smart prompts return better results. By the end, you'll be a master at solving your own Regex puzzles, whether you use AI or not.
about the technology
Groundbreaking large language model research from OpenAI, Google, Amazon, and others have transformed expectations of machine-generated software. But how do these AI assistants, like ChatGPT and GitHub Copilot, measure up against regular expressions—a workhorse technology for developers used to describe, find, and manipulate patterns in text. Regular expressions are compact, complex, and subtle. Will AI assistants handle the challenge?
about the book
Regular Expression Puzzles and AI Coding Assistants is the perfect starting point for programmers of any experience level who want to understand the capabilities—and the limitations—of these exciting new tools. Author David Mertz presents 24 challenging regex puzzles, their traditional human-made solutions, and the fascinating answers given by popular AI assistants. Alongside these eye-opening puzzles you’ll learn how to write prompts, integrate AI-generated coding suggestions, and interact with the assistant to get the results you want. By the end of the book, you'll have a clear understanding of where AI assistants can reliably write code for you and where you’ll still need a human touch. Plus, you’ll learn a lot about regular expressions!
about the reader
Code examples use simple Python and Regular Expressions. No experience with AI coding tools required.
about the author
David Mertz is the founder of KDM Training and an acclaimed contributor to the Python community. He is also the author of The Puzzling Quirks of Regular Expressions, Cleaning Data for Effective Data Science: Doing the Other 80% of the Work, and other books.
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How these tools can be both so very amazing in what they produce, and simultaneously so utterly doltish in their numerous failures, is the main thing this book tries to understand. For reasons I attempt to elucidate throughout, of all the domains of computer programming, games with regular expressions are particularly well suited for getting a grasp on the peculiar behaviors of AI.
I am a strong believer in Augmented Intelligence and welcome tools such as ChatGPT & Co-Pilot. To take meaningful steps toward Augmented Intelligence, we will need to understand both Humans' and Machines' strengths and weaknesses. This is where David's book comes in. Through the puzzles, David was able to show it well. Strongly recommended for anyone who is looking to use Artificial Intelligence for their business, to tap into its strength and prepare for potential risks.