ChatGPT Vs Bard: Which is better for coding?

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Written By Sumon Rana

I enjoy sharing my insights and experience with the programming community through writing articles,

Generative AI has become a valuable asset for programmers, providing them with concrete advantages. Its assistance in code composition and debugging contributes to streamlining our hectic routines. However, a new dynamic has emerged with the emergence of rival tools like ChatGPT Vs Bard, leading us to inquire: which tool aligns best with my needs?

Embarking on the ultimate showdown, we delve into a comprehensive comparison of these tools, aiming to identify the current champion in terms of an array of features catered to programming necessities.

ChatGPT and Bard: What’s the difference?

The primary distinction between ChatGPT Vs Bard lies in the Large Language Models (LLMs) powering them. ChatGPT is driven by the Generative Pre-trained Transformer 4 (GPT-4), whereas Bard relies on the Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMBDA), crafted by Google.

In terms of functionalities, both platforms exhibit comparable capabilities. Programmers can harness ChatGPT for:

1. Suggestions: Both models excel at suggesting accurate syntax and parameters for functions and various code constructs.

2. Completion: ChatGPT adeptly finishes code segments that you’ve initiated.

3. Debugging: It serves as a valuable aid in identifying errors and discrepancies within your code.

4. Explanation: The model provides insights into the generated code or the code you input, aiding comprehension.

Both models underwent extensive training on an expansive dataset, encompassing Common Crawl, Wikipedia, literature, articles, documents, and content harvested from the online sphere. Nonetheless, Bard diverges slightly by being trained on web-based conversations and dialogues, whereas ChatGPT’s training predominantly stems from scraped general content.

Both products continue to evolve, with Bard potentially undergoing more active development than ChatGPT. To tangibly illustrate the impact of these differences, let’s explore their performance when pitted against each other in a practical scenario.

Testing ChatGPT and Bard against each other

We carefully selected seven distinct categories for evaluating the performance of the chatbots in a head-to-head comparison. These categories were chosen based on their relevance and importance: code generation, problem-solving, code refactoring, debugging support, third-party plugins/UI extensions, user-friendliness, and cost-effectiveness. It’s important to note that this assessment is not conducted as a strictly scientific analysis, but rather as a blend of practical tests intertwined with our firsthand experiences up to this point.

1. Code generation

The core essence of what we’re aiming for, isn’t it? To achieve this, we inputted the prompt as follows: “Create a Python function that generates a list of 100 prime numbers.”

Seems robust, but does it function as intended? Based on our experience, chatbots occasionally produce code that doesn’t execute properly, even crafting functions out of thin air! This highlights why deploying AI-generated code without human oversight could lead to significant issues. So, let’s put it to the test and evaluate the outcome.

Upon presenting the same prompt to ChatGPT, the resulting code establishes a function named generate_primes(n), which accepts an integer n as an input and yields a list of prime numbers up to n. The implementation employs the Sieve of Eratosthenes algorithm to identify prime numbers.

Both instances yielded a functional output. ChatGPT’s example excels in this scenario due to its cleaner and more concise nature. Furthermore, it accurately comprehended our somewhat vague prompt. Nonetheless, this represents only a single scenario.

It’s well-known that chatbots can vary significantly in their responses, influenced by factors like the programming language they employ (with less common or documented languages leading to more errors) or the intricacy of the query. Consequently, let’s delve into how Bard and ChatGPT handle diverse use cases.

2. Problem Solving

Sure, let’s approach this differently. Instead of simply requesting an ordinary function, let’s challenge these LLMs with a coding puzzle from LeetCode. Our task is to craft JavaScript code that elevates the capabilities of arrays. This enhancement entails the creation of an array.last() method, accessible for any array.

Upon invocation, this method will furnish us with the last element residing within the array. Should the array be devoid of elements, the method shall dutifully return -1. Let’s dive into the coding journey and see how this conundrum is unraveled.

ChatGPT not only resolves the issue at hand but also provides a clear explanation of the problem, which is quite impressive! Now, let’s proceed to execute the code on LeetCode and determine its performance by examining whether it successfully passes all the test cases.

ChatGPT successfully resolved the issue in its initial attempt! Now it’s Bard’s turn to take the stage and contribute.

In the realm of problem-solving, making a choice between the two options can be quite challenging. Although their outcomes are almost indistinguishable, ChatGPT excels at elucidating the code, rendering a more effective means of acquiring knowledge.

This facilitates a genuine learning experience, enabling you to grasp the intricacies of the process rather than solely relying on ChatGPT to provide the solution outright. Our cumulative encounters with ChatGPT have consistently affirmed this perspective: it doesn’t just furnish a potential remedy for your predicament; rather, it guides you through the solution with added depth.

3. Refactoring Code

Suppose you’re seeking a more streamlined approach to a task. Gaining a fresh perspective on your code can be incredibly valuable. Unlike your team members (if you have any), these tools are perpetually accessible and cost-free, offering a thorough code review. Now, let’s delve into the outcome! Below is the example we presented to the tool for evaluation.

ChatGPT’s refactoring attempt

ChatGPT has provided us with a rather general response. The explanation of the code is quite broad and mentions the possibility of using a ternary operator, which is acceptable and worth exploring. Nonetheless, it seems that there was room for a more comprehensive answer. Now, let’s observe how Bard approaches the identical task.

Bard’s refactoring attempt

The distinction between ChatGPT and Bard is striking: Bard has truly exceeded expectations. It not only provides optimized code but also showcases code to establish a benchmark and presents the benchmark results.

Overall, Bard demonstrates a superior ability for refactoring. This could be attributed in part to Bard’s utilization of search engine data in conjunction with its status as a Large Language Model (LLM), whereas ChatGPT currently operates solely as an LLM. It’s worth noting, though, that ChatGPT is in the process of beta-testing a “Search with Bing” feature that will soon be available to free users. This could potentially lead to significant enhancements in ChatGPT’s code refactoring capabilities. However, for the present moment, the advantage in this aspect lies with Bard.

4. Debugging Assistance

In the realm of programming, bugs are an inevitable companion. So, let’s embark on an intriguing journey by subjecting a blatantly flawed piece of code to the scrutiny of two powerful tools: ChatGPT Vs Bard. Join in the challenge and test your keen eye – can you identify the glitch before our dynamic duo does? Here’s the prompt that set the stage: Your mission is to debug the ensuing code snippet, riddled with errors. Your task is to supply the corrective code that rectifies any potential blunders it contains.

ChatGPT’s debugging attempt

Alright, ChatGPT has provided us with a response suggesting the inclusion of logic to safeguard against a potential ZeroDivision error. The solution is outlined, along with an explanation of the underlying issue. Now, it’s Bard’s moment to contribute.

Bard’s debugging attempt

Bard encountered the same issue with the function as ChatGPT did. However, Bard has once again offered an exceptionally comprehensive elucidation. This detailed account not only identifies potential errors but also provides step-by-step instructions for rectification. Furthermore, it guides us on the proper utilization of the function and offers insight into the anticipated output. Quite impressive!

In the realm of debugging, Bard has consistently demonstrated a remarkable depth in its responses and explanations. While there have been instances where ChatGPT excelled in pinpointing bugs, overall, Bard shines through with its ability to furnish users with more lucid examples.

In this round, the laurels go to Bard, thereby bringing the score to an even 2-2. The question remains: which of these two contenders will be the first to break the deadlock?

5. Third-party plugins & UI extensions

Through the integration of third-party plugins with an LLM (Language Model), an exciting realm of possibilities emerges, enabling the augmentation of their functionalities. This empowerment allows them to execute code within a chat conversation or seamlessly merge with applications such as Zapier.

Currently available to premium subscribers in its beta phase, ChatGPT presents an impressive selection of over 80 plugins. If you’re eager to explore these enhancements, delve into our comprehensive piece titled: “Unveiling the Finest ChatGPT Plugins for Visionary Developers.” To offer a glimpse into the dynamic array of offerings, consider the following snapshot from ChatGPT’s plugin emporium today:

And here’s an example of Bard’s plugin store:

Unfortunately, I can’t show you any concrete evidence as of now, since the feature doesn’t currently exist. It’s been circulating as a potential addition to the roadmap, but there’s no specific timeframe available at this moment.

If you’re looking to avoid utilizing the web interface, both ChatGPT and Bard offer API options. However, it’s worth noting that Bard’s API is currently restricted to invitation-only access, so we haven’t had the opportunity to put it through its paces. On the other hand, ChatGPT’s API is notably comprehensive and well-rounded. In addition, ChatGPT has released an official mobile application that is surprisingly user-friendly and quite advantageous during brainstorming and idea generation.

In this particular aspect, ChatGPT seems to take the lead due to Bard’s lack of these features at present or potentially keeping them limited to a select group of users.

6. Ease of Use

First and foremost, let’s discuss the user-friendliness of both ChatGPT and Bard. Both platforms offer a seamless experience, featuring a web interface where you input a prompt and receive a response. This process is intuitive and user-friendly. Additionally, they both incorporate the concept of “conversations” to maintain context. However, notable distinctions exist between the two.

One significant divergence lies in the way ChatGPT manages your ongoing discussions. Your conversation history is conveniently organized on the left-hand side of the screen, and there’s no imposed constraint on the length of these conversations. The best part? They remain accessible to you at all times, providing a comprehensive overview of your interactions. If you wish to declutter, you also have the freedom to remove conversations whenever you see fit.

When it comes to comparison, Bard comes with a limitation – it doesn’t provide the option to store and retrieve past conversations. While you can certainly access your search history and review previous queries, the ability to simply click and initiate a new conversation like ChatGPT offers isn’t available. In the case of Bard, you’re only able to view the text you’ve entered for a particular prompt. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that Bard imposes restrictions on conversation length, necessitating a fresh start if a conversation extends for an extended period.

Conclusion: ChatGPT wins out, but both tools are useful!

In conclusion, while both tools, ChatGPT Vs Bard, have their merits, ChatGPT emerges as the preferred choice due to its ability to store past conversations, facilitate conversation restarts, and offer a more flexible approach to conversation length. However, it’s important to acknowledge that both tools have their own set of valuable applications and use cases.

Whether it’s the convenience of ChatGPT’s features or the specific advantages that Bard brings to the table, both tools offer unique benefits that can cater to different needs and preferences. Ultimately, the decision between the two would depend on the specific requirements of the user and the context in which they intend to use these tools.

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