I started using Tabnine recently, and have been highly impressed with what the tool can do.
Simply put, the goal of Tabnine is to make development simpler, and most importantly – a lot faster. Working through an implementation with the tool helping in the background is just a lot less time intensive.
1. What Is Tabnine
The best I can describe it is – Tabnine is learning as I’m writing code, and helping me code better. It’s using AI and machine learning under the hood, and it basically gives relevant suggestions, as I’m working.
2. Coding with Tabnine
But, ultimately, it’s the quality of these suggestions that really makes or breaks a product like this.
And the fact that Tabnine actually gets these right and whenever it does have a suggestion – it’s almost invariably the right one – is the amazing part. It’s also why I accepted them as the second ever sponsor on the site.
I did a quick implementation here, consuming a REST API with OkHttp, using Tabnine:
3. Strengths and Limitations
Coding with Tabnine in the background changes the core of the programming experience – sometimes.
When using some libraries, and some frameworks, working with Tabnine in the background is incredible, as I’m sure you saw in the video above. Suggestions are spot on, and I’m significantly faster – as I simply have to do a lot less exploration of the API or reading.
But, of course, there are areas where Tabnine is still growing and getting refind. Understanding annotations, for example, is still work-in-progress, so the suggestions of the tool on annotation-heavy frameworks aren’t as good.
4. The Road Forward
In the time I took to use the tool, learn its ins and outs and create this video, the Tabnine team shipped something like 6 or so updates to the plugin. Full line suggestions weren’t a thing when I started, just a few months ago. Now, they’re in and highly useful.
The potential and ambition of the tool are quite high, and they’re moving fast, so I’m personally optimistic that the tool is only going to get better.
But, at the end of the day, I’m coding today, not in the future. And, today, Tabnine is a must-have plugin – simply install it in your IDE and let it run in the background and help.