Humans vs AI: Why Software Developers still reign supreme

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BENEFITS OF HIRING VS AI

  1. Contextual intelligence: Software Devs understand project intent, purpose and can foresee challenges
  2. Creativity: AI can mimic existing code but lacks the inventiveness to truly innovate
  3. Readability: Software Devs are accountable for clear, well-commented code that supports collaboration and reduces future maintenance costs, AI is not
  4.  Agility: AI is trained on static data and may struggle with ever changing situations, potentially introducing errors and inconsistencies
  5. Judgement: AI algorithms can inherit biases from their training data, leading to discriminatory or unfair outcomes
The rise of AI-powered code generation tools has too many people asking: Are software developers still relevant?

While AI’s impact on coding is undeniable, the reality is far more nuanced.

Yes, AI can write code – often faster and more efficiently than humans. And AI excels at specific tasks – analysing vast datasets, automating repetitive coding procedures and generating basic code structures.

But this creates an opportunity to free up developers’ time for the truly human aspects of the job: conceptualising solutions, tackling complex problems and bringing creativity into the coding process.

Here's where AI shines

Speed and efficiency

Repetitive tasks like data validation, API calls and boilerplate code become lightning-fast with AI. Which allows programmers to focus on the bigger picture – logic and innovation.

Error reduction

AI’s ability to scan massive codebases for bugs and potential errors exceeds human capabilities, leading to more robust and secure software.

Code optimisation

AI can analyse code performance and suggest optimisations – for faster, more efficient performance.

Here’s where humans shine

Contextual Intelligence

DeepMind’s AlphaCode impressed in coding competitions but struggled with unique tasks demanding real-world context and complex logic. While AI can replicate patterns, it falls short of understanding project intent, purpose and the broader ecosystem. Software Developers can adapt code to specific needs and unforeseen challenges, creating solutions that truly fit the bill.

CREATIVITY

Software development is more than just writing lines of code. It’s about problem-solving creativity. We come up with novel approaches, tackle unique challenges and craft complex solutions every day. AI can be adept at mimicking existing code but lacks the inventiveness to truly innovate.

OpenAI’s Codex can translate natural language to code but falls short when creativity is key. Researchers from the University of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan tested Codex’s ability to generate new video game levels for Super Mario Brothers. They found that Codex could produce functional levels that followed the game’s rules and logic, but the levels were often bland, repetitive and unbalanced because Codex lacked the human intuition and creativity that are essential for designing engaging and challenging video game levels.

Readability

GitHub Copilot, a popular AI coder, has been known to generate code that is not optimal, accurate or consistent with the user’s intentions. One developer reported receiving code from Copilot with nested ternary operators and unnecessary abstractions, making it difficult to understand and maintain.

And maintainable code is critical. Code written by software developers is typically clear, well-commented and structured logically. This allows for collaboration, reduces future maintenance costs and makes life easier for everyone involved.

“Hiring the right developers who follow best practice and include clear documentation are the key. When speaking to developers or managers on a regular basis – confusing, undocumented or incorrectly documented code led to frustrations within the team and business.

But when done well and proper practices followed, this is a huge benefit to the company and developer morale compared to a complex AI’s counterpart.”

Callum Beveridge

Senior Consultant in Technology, Change & Transformation

Adapting to the flow

Development is an iterative process. Requirements evolve and adaptability is key. Humans are great at understanding the impact of changes and ensuring the code’s overall stability.

AI, trained on static data, may struggle with ever changing situations, potentially introducing errors and inconsistencies.

Human judgment prevails

Back in 2022, Amazon’s AI-powered resume screening tool was found to discriminate against women. And human oversight is still crucial to prevent such biases from creeping into code.

AI algorithms can inherit biases from their training data, leading to discriminatory or unfair outcomes. Humans, aware of these pitfalls, can actively mitigate bias and ensure ethical coding practices.

Human software developers remain the unmatched cornerstone of high-quality software development. By focusing on attracting and retaining talented, creative and adaptable developers, you’ll build innovative and ethical software solutions.

Talk to Denholm

We’re problem-solvers. Whether it’s a Technical Director or a Network Engineer… We are experts in hiring the talent you simply can’t find yourself.

Contact Callum Beveridge on 07745524519 or callum@denholmassociates.com to find the tech talent with the passion, creativity and problem-solving skills that will grow your business.

ANDY BRADY

HEAD OF HR

Andy Brady is a seasoned HR recruitment specialist, with over two decades of expertise in the field. With a foundation in Human Resource Management from the University of Derby, Andy swiftly transitioned into specialised HR recruitment. His diverse portfolio spans FMCG, Manufacturing & Engineering, Financial Services, the Third Sector, and Supply Chain, working at all levels from entry to executive positions.

Our People

Our people are our most important asset, and their mental well-being and happiness are core to our success. We love our diverse workforce, actively embrace flexible working (even pre-pandemic!) and encourage a healthy work-life balance. We have been recognised as one of the most diverse SME workplaces in the UK and are holders of the Scottish Business Pledge which exists to promote a fairer Scotland. We have also just been included in the 2021 Culture Leaders Top 25 – an accolade of which we are very proud!

We are a fully inclusive and nurturing employer and, despite being in tech, the majority of our team are women, leading to accolades in the Computing Magazine Women in IT Awards and the Amazon Growing Business Awards. We currently represent 15 nationalities and speak 20 languages. Age is no barrier, and we recruit for attitude, providing and encouraging appropriate learning and training for each and every role.

We are also proud members of IP Inclusive, a network of professionals working to make the intellectual property industry more diverse.

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Communication Lead

We’re a passionate and professional team who thrive in issue-rich environment and we’re looking to add a Communication Lead to our fast-growing team. You’ll be a trusted advisor to clients across several sectors in all aspects of communication, external affairs, marketing and issues management. Coming from an agency or consultancy environment, at Account Director level or above, you’ll report directly to the Managing Director and be responsible for a small and busy multi-disciplinary team. You’ll have first-class project management skills, be solutions-driven and excellent commercial acumen too. Alongside the senior team, you’ll work to drive the strategic growth of Aspect.

Your core duties will include:

  • Working with the MD to develop and deliver growth strategies 
  • Attracting and retaining profitable clients across a range of sectors 
  • Leading the creation and execution of strategic communication programmes
  • Inspiring, leading and developing multi-disciplinary teams
  • Developing strong relationships with clients, colleagues and associates
  • Producing high quality pitches and proposals to secure new business 
  • Curating, nurturing and managing a team of talented associates.

You’ll be a skilled communicator, interested and knowledgeable about the key issues shaping the external environment. In addition, to be considered for this role, you must be able to demonstrate:

  • 7+ years of senior leadership experience within an agency or consultancy
  • Experience in Energy, Renewables, Financial Services or Life Sciences would be very desirable
  • Outstanding writing skills and the ability to engage and excite an audience
  • An impressive track record of client attraction, retention and growth 
  • The ability to thrive fast-paced environment managing multiple projects simultaneously
  • Strong influencing and leadership skills to motivate and inspire those around you
  • Excellent planning, evaluation and project management skills
  • To develop new processes, systems and ways of working to drive performance

Communication Advisors

We’re a passionate and professional team who thrive in issue-rich environment and we’re looking for Senior Communication Advisors, Communications Advisors and Communications Executives to join their fast-growing team. 

You’ll have previous agency experience at Senior Account Manager or Account Manager level and be passionate about delivering excellent results for clients. You might be a specialist in PR and media relations who produces compelling editorial content across a range of topics and sectors or you might be a public affairs expert who understands the policy landscape and helps clients build influential relationships. Whatever your specialism, you’ll be an excellent writer, full of creative ideas, with proven client management experience and the ability to provide expert advice our clients.

Your key duties will include:

  • Supporting the key account lead with day-to-day client liaison, providing strategic counsel on day-to-day account matters when required
  • Active involvement in planning and delivering global PR, marketing and digital campaigns
  • Managing content programmes, including mapping out content themes, spotting industry trends and story angles, writing copy when required which may include opinion articles, web and social
  • Building strong media relationships, creating pitches based on your story ideas and delivering content in-to suit the client’s target media and securing opportunities
  • Planning and running client’s social media programmes, and management of their channels
  • Continuously identifying opportunities to grow brand awareness and profile our client’s businesses within their target sector through events, webinars, thought leadership
  • Producing comprehensive and timely reports on client activity 
  • Supporting in the development of client proposals to help grow or win parts of the business


In addition, to be considered for this role, you must be able to demonstrate:

  • Proven background in account handling and direct client liaison – 4 years’ minimum
  • Experience in an agency setting focusing on B2B communication or PR
  • Strong communications skills, verbal and written
  • A background in delivering creative, digitally led B2B communications such as LinkedIn campaigns
  • An innate understanding of earned media, with the ability to create stories and generate coverage across traditional media, digital and social
  • Experience working on content management programmes, with an awareness of the changing way business audiences consume information and an appreciation of search, paid and wider customer marketing activity, and how it all fits together
  • A history of working with clients in a variety of sectors is welcomed but experience in the tech and energy industries is advantageous.

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DATA ENGINEER

Our Purpose

Our aim is to combat illicit online trade by identifying and removing counterfeits for sale. Counterfeits not only damage brands, their reputations, and revenues, but can cause significant harm to the end customer – whether as a fake toy or a fake medicine – and the consequences can be life threatening.

Counterfeiting is a significant economic and social issue.

The OECD reports that counterfeit and fake goods make up more than 3.3% of the world’s global trade. Those involved in the trade of counterfeits have been linked to people trafficking, prostitution, and drug dealing.

As such, reducing illicit trade is about much more than brand protection but also about human rights, safety, and social equity.

And this is what we do, every day.

Our Environment

We deliver purpose-driven work from an extremely welcoming environment near the City Centre. We actively encourage the responsible use of resources, from using public transport to reuse, recycling, and, of course, a minimal impact office environment. We have benefited from the advice of the Energy Saving Trust and Resource Efficient Scotland. Our waste contractor also provides us with a monthly report on volumes and types of material and the carbon emissions avoided through recycling.

Over 80% of our employees can walk or cycle to The Lair and, pre-pandemic, 10% were using public transport as their normal daily commuting mode. Without doubt, online meetings will replace considerable miles, going forward, saving resources, time and energy. Where possible, when possible, the train remains our preferred option. 

ZOE LUMSDEN

Recruitment AdministratoR

Zoe joined Denholm in 2022 as Recruitment Administrator, after working in administration roles for nearly a decade. Most recently within the recruitment industry, she joins us with experience of supporting consultants, clients and candidates at all levels. Zoe has a passion for helping people and applies her positive attitude and approachable manner to support our team and deliver the best possible service to our clients and candidates at all times.

Our Community

As well as working in close collaboration with our clients, and the online marketplaces, we are active members of groups that have been established to combat illicit trade. These include the Scottish Anti-Illicit Trade Group, the European Intellectual Property Office, The Scottish Business Resilience Centre, the Anti-Counterfeiting Group, and the China Britain Business Council. Members of our senior management sit on the boards of ACID (Anti-Copying in Design), the Scottish Ministerial Trade Board, and the European Union Intellectual Property Office’s Observatory Panel for SMEs, amongst others.

Each team member nominates good causes or charities that are supported on both an individual and corporate basis. Wherever possible, we support the employee’s involvement whether through time or fundraising events.

ANGELA MCCANN

DIRECTOR OF GROWTH

Having worked in the recruitment industry since 2000, Angela brings a wealth of experience as a Recruitment Professional and a proven track record of delivering a high-quality search and selection service to both public and private companies in the UK and internationally. Angela believes in a partnership approach to recruitment, ensuring a detailed understanding of employer/jobseeker requirements and delivering a bespoke service underpinned by professionalism, pragmatism and strong market knowledge.

JAMES BLYTH

HEAD OF MANUFACTURING & ENGINEERING

James has a decade of experience within the FMCG sector where he has partnered with a wide range of businesses placing key appointments at all levels including Director/ Board level. Driving growth across our Manufacturing & Engineering function, James specialises in Production, Operations, Engineering, Quality, HSE, Technical, NPD and Supply Chain. With his passion and expertise in these areas, James supports candidates and clients by working closely to understand their needs and wants providing exceptional service.

ANDY MACEWAN

HEAD OF TECHNOLOGY, CHANGE & TRANSFORMATION

Andy has been recruiting in Technology, Change & Transformation since 2001. Delivering tailored resource solutions as trusted advisor to clients ranging from start-ups through to global blue-chip organisations across contract, permanent, fixed term, and managed service/statement of work solutions. He has experience providing candidates for Helpdesk through to CIO and takes great pride in providing excellent customer service and ensuring each candidate journey is a positive one. An expert in his market he can provide guidance across current market trends.

SCOTT CAITHNESS

CLIENT RELATIONSHIP PARTNER

Scott started his career working for one of the leading Advertising & Comms agencies in Edinburgh where he spent 7 years before moving in to recruitment in 2011. As such, he is well-networked in the Marketing & Comms space across Scotland. With a friendly and consultative approach, Scott is genuinely passionate about providing a positive journey to both candidates and clients alike and believes communication plays a big part in this.  A “thinking-outside-the-box recruiter”, he is known for helping candidates portray the best version of themselves and helping clients find talent for those hard to fill roles.

DAVID RANDALL

SENIOR CONSULTANT - MARKETING & SALES

David started recruitment at the age of 23 and while it isn’t for everyone, it was for David. What he really enjoys is looking beyond the CV and really getting to know the people sitting across the table, learning all about them and building relationships with new people. And that hasn’t changed to this day. David loves solving the puzzle of balancing the needs and wants clients and candidates to reach a point where everyone is happy. Based in Glasgow, he covers the B2B market for sales and marketing roles across Scotland.

LIZ PARSONS

SENIOR CONSULTANT - MARKETING

Liz has over 14 years’ experience in recruitment working across primarily the high-tech, pharmaceutical and FMCG sectors. She joined Denholm on December 1st 2021 following a relocation from Ireland to focus on Marketing recruitment. Liz’s experience ranges from high volume recruitment to executive search and she prides herself in her ability to fully understand a brief and her accurate matching skills. Frequently praised as being a clear communicator with a strong customer service ethic, Liz is well suited to the culture here at Denholm, where the client and the candidates’ needs are paramount.

EUAN ARCHIBALD

SENIOR CONSULTANT - Technology, Change & Transformation

Euan has been working in the world of recruitment since 2012, working to deliver bespoke services to both clients and candidates. Prioritising ‘future-fit’ candidates for clients, he works as an extension of his client’s business ensuring great representation in the market. He consults with each client to ensure excellent candidate journeys. Euan works focuses primarily on business analysis, project management and technical support opportunities.

CALLUM BEVERIDGE

SENIOR CONSULTANT - TECHNOLOGY, CHANGE & TRANSFORMATION

Callum has been working in recruitment since 2018 where he has solely focussed on the Technology, Change and Transformation market across the UK and ROI. He works closely with his clients and candidates to build long-lasting relationships across several industries, including Technology, Financial Services, Professional Services, Healthcare, Education, Public Sector and more. He specialises in engineering roles across Software, Infrastructure, Systems, DevOps and Cloud, along with Software Testing.

DREW GILLIES

HEAD OF AGENCY

Drew arrived at Denholm as an award-winning creative, having headed content strategy teams for marketing/advertising agencies in the UK/USA before a successful career in HR, people and culture. He has years of marketing experience and building teams on both sides of the Atlantic, priding himself on going the extra mile for clients and candidates alike. Drew always works with passion as our specialist in account management, planning and strategy, digital marketing, full-spectrum creative and traffic/studio management.

OPTIMISE

CVs and interviews will take you to Level 2. Our behavioural profile will take you to Level 3, vital to identifying future potential.

LEVEL 1

Appears to...

  • Appearance
  • Expressiveness
  • Manner
  • Presence

LEVEL 2

Can do...

  • Knowledge
  • Acquired skills
  • Training
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Credentials

LEVEL 3

Will do...

  • Capability to learn
  • Aptitude
  • Attitude
  • Self-motivation
  • Stability
  • Persistence
  • Maturity
  • Temperament
  • Behaviour patterns