Applying AI to the SDLC: New Ideas and Gotchas! - Leveraging AI to Improve Software Engineering

Generative AI has taken the world by storm, including the realm of software engineering. There's a rush to incorporate AI tools, from code generation to test analysis. We'll begin with a high-level overview of AI in the software development life cycle (SDLC), then dive into the sometimes-tricky world of using Generative AI in software engineering. This is groundbreaking technology that has limitations and challenges to navigate.  AI-assistance can enhance your delivery of value with the speed and quality your end-users demand.  The key is to use assurance-based techniques.

To bring AI into your enterprise usually takes integrating AI governance into your enterprise strategy and understanding the implications.  

We'll then pivot from viewing AI as merely a tool today to envisioning a future filled with AI agents as team members. By the end of this session, you'll have a solid understanding of both the benefits and challenges of applying AI to the SDLC. Plus, you'll walk away with practical knowledge to start safely leveraging GAI to build and deliver software. This session is ideal for software architects, engineers, developers, project managers, and technical leaders eager to explore the cutting-edge applications of AI in Software Engineering.

What's the focus of your work these days?

I wear two hats that actually complement one another.  I’m a software architect and I lead the design of solutions for the US government, that is, we’re solving problems for a safer world.

I am also a researcher focused on researching, experimenting, and applying AI to the software development lifecycle. This is more than adding AI tech to the DevSecOps processes to help humans. I forecast and experiment on how the entire way we design, build, and operate software will dramatically change.

What's the motivation for your talk at QCon London 2024?

Much of my career has been focused on figuring out how to effectively get the solutions I architectured to be built at the quality needed and delivered to end users. The result is that I am laser-focused on improving modern software practices. AI/ML represents the next evolution in how we design and build software.  

Why talk about it?  It is so new for many that they are making poor choices because of the novelty of it all. We are seeing decreases in code quality, increases in security vulnerabilities, and delays due to FOMO-based decisions. 

How would you describe your main persona and target audience for this session?

Technical leaders, software architects, engineers, security pros, and those who need to make decisions on their software processes.

Is there anything specific that you'd like people to walk away with after watching your session?

I want folks to walk away with a solid understanding of both the benefits and challenges of applying AI to the SDLC today. They will have clear questions and actions to take back to their organizations, as well as have a futurist’s mindset about just how dramatic the change may be.


Tracy (“Trac”) Bannon

Software Architect and Researcher @The MITRE Corporation, Host & Journalist of "Real Technologists Podcast", DevOps Ambassador

Passionate Software Architect and Change Agent who writes, speaks, teaches, and practices my craft every day. As an accomplished software architect, engineer, and researcher, I've worked across commercial and government clients. Understanding complex problems and working to deliver value at speed is what drives me. I focus on bringing leading-edge techniques to modern software practices including applying AI/ML/Generative AI to the full software development lifecycle.  

As a long-time advocate for diversity in technology, I am helping to narrow the diversity gaps as a mentor, sponsor, volunteer, and friend.  

𝙒𝙖𝙡𝙠 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙡𝙠 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙖𝙡𝙠 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙩𝙖𝙡𝙠: you see, I'm just as passionate about mentoring and training as I am about delivering valuable software!   I love community and knowledge building with my teams, my clients, and the next generation of technologists by leading working groups and sharing experience stories. Another avenue for mentoring and community building is publishing, speaking, and blogging to get the word out.  You can catch me at industry events, on my website, or through podcasts like 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗹 𝗧𝗲𝗰𝗵𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗴𝗶𝘀𝘁𝘀.

Much of my time is invested as a Senior Principal in MITRE Corporation’s Advanced Software Innovation Center. 

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