Introducing Devin - The "First" AI Agent Software Engineer

Matthew Berman
15 Mar 202419:51

TLDRCognition AI's launch of Devin, an AI software engineer, has garnered significant attention. While not the first of its kind, Devin's unique user interface and ability to perform complex coding tasks, such as debugging and long-term planning, set it apart. The platform's impressive demos, including building a website and fine-tuning AI models, showcase its capabilities. Despite not being open-source, Devin's integration of common development tools into a single UI and its ability to learn and adapt make it a compelling step towards AI's role in programming.


  • 🚀 Cognition AI introduced Devin, an AI software engineer, with impressive demos showcasing its capabilities.
  • 🎥 The launch video, hosted by CEO Scott Woo, demonstrated Devin's problem-solving and coding abilities in real-time.
  • 💰 Devin's successful launch was amplified by a $21 million Series A funding led by Founders Fund, a prominent Silicon Valley firm.
  • 🌐 The viral video of Scott Woo's intellectual prowess contributed to the widespread interest in Devin.
  • 🛠️ Devin's unique UI integrates a shell, code editor, and browser within a sandbox compute environment for a seamless coding experience.
  • 🔍 Devin can execute complex engineering tasks, learn over time, and fix mistakes, similar to other AI coding assistants.
  • 🔗 Devin's ability to understand and work on large codebases was demonstrated, although limited to single-file issues in the examples provided.
  • 🔄 Devin's performance on a software engineering benchmark, SWE Bench, was significantly higher than previous models at 14% issue resolution.
  • 🔄 The comparison of Devin's performance with other large language models may not be entirely accurate due to differences in task approach.
  • 💼 Devin's ability to take on a job on Upwork and complete it successfully indicates its potential to perform real-world programming tasks.
  • 📝 Despite the impressive demos, Devin is not open source, which limits customization and integration with other models.

Q & A

  • What is the name of the AI software engineer unveiled by Cognition AI?

    -The name of the AI software engineer unveiled by Cognition AI is Devon.

  • How does Devon demonstrate its problem-solving capabilities?

    -Devon demonstrates its problem-solving capabilities by creating a step-by-step plan to tackle problems, building projects using standard tools that a human software engineer would use, and troubleshooting errors by adding debugging statements and fixing bugs.

  • What unique UI features does Devon have?

    -Devon has a unique UI that integrates a command line, code editor, and browser within a Sandbox compute environment, providing a single, cohesive view for coding tasks.

  • How did Cognition AI's marketing strategy contribute to Devon's successful launch?

    -Cognition AI's marketing strategy involved raising significant funding, notably a $21 million Series A led by Founders Fund, and leveraging the CEO's viral video showcasing his intelligence, which helped garner attention and reach for Devon.

  • What is one limitation of Devon compared to other AI coding assistants?

    -A limitation of Devon is that it is not open source, and users cannot plug in their own models or run local models of other AI systems.

  • How did Devon handle a real-world task given by a user involving an image with hidden text?

    -Devon handled the task by scanning the page, scraping the content, understanding the requirements, and setting up and installing everything needed to generate the image with hidden text.

  • What was Devon's performance on the SWE Bench software engineering benchmark?

    -Devon correctly resolved about 14% of the issues on the SWE Bench, significantly outperforming previous state-of-the-art models, which were around 2%.

  • How did the comparison of Devon with other large language models on the SWE Bench benchmark raise concerns?

    -The comparison raised concerns because it was not an apples-to-apples comparison, as Devon, being an agent, likely had multiple agents working together, whereas the other models were tested in a zero-shot, one-go manner.

  • What was Devon's role in the demonstration involving the Game of Life website?

    -In the demonstration, Devon was tasked with building a personal website for an engineer that runs the Game of Life. Devon followed up with clarifying questions, built the website customized to the engineer's preferences, and outputted the code, which was then deployed on Netlify.

  • How did Devon assist in debugging a software issue?

    -Devon assisted by reviewing the code, adding print statements to identify the cause of the issue, fixing the problem in the code, and then running tests to ensure the fix was successful and no other issues were introduced.

  • What was the outcome of Devon's attempt to complete a job on Upwork?

    -Devon successfully completed a job on Upwork, which involved setting up a computer vision model. It handled issues with versioning, debugged the code, and produced a report with sample images and explanations of the model's outputs.



🚀 Introduction to Devin - The AI Software Engineer

The video begins with the introduction of Devin, an AI software engineer developed by Cognition AI. The presenter expresses initial skepticism due to the existence of other AI engineers, but is impressed by the marketing traction Devin has gained. The video showcases Devin's capabilities through various demos, highlighting its unique user interface and the impressive launch facilitated by a $21 million Series A funding led by Founders Fund. The presenter also discusses the viral video of CEO Scott Woo, emphasizing the positive impact on Devin's publicity.


🌟 Unique UI and Functionality of Devin

This paragraph delves into the unique aspects of Devin, particularly its user interface (UI) and the ability to execute complex engineering tasks. Devin can recall context, learn over time, and fix mistakes, similar to other AI coding assistants. However, what sets Devin apart is its consolidated UI, which includes a shell, code editor, and browser within a sandbox compute environment. This allows for a seamless coding experience without the need to switch between multiple tools. The presenter also discusses the limitations of Devin, such as not being open source and the inability to integrate external models.


🔍 Demonstrations of Devin's Capabilities

The presenter reviews several demos showcasing Devin's capabilities. These include generating images with hidden text, building a personalized website with the Game of Life algorithm, and finding bugs in existing code bases. Devin's ability to understand and work with large code bases is highlighted, as well as its capacity to train other AI models. The presenter also notes that while Devin's demos are impressive, the claims of being the first AI software engineer are not entirely accurate, given the existence of similar projects.


📈 Performance Evaluation and Market Positioning

In the final paragraph, the presenter discusses the performance of Devin on a software engineering benchmark, noting that it resolves about 14% of the issues, which is significantly higher than previous models. However, the presenter questions the accuracy of this comparison, as Devin is likely using multiple agents working in tandem, unlike the other models which are being tested in a zero-shot manner. The presenter concludes by acknowledging the impressive nature of Devin's capabilities and the potential impact on the future of programming jobs, while also expressing a preference for open-source platforms.



💡Cognition AI

Cognition AI is the company behind Devin, the AI software engineer introduced in the video. The company is responsible for developing this innovative technology that aims to revolutionize software engineering by automating complex tasks. In the context of the video, Cognition AI's launch of Devin has garnered significant attention and traction in the tech community.


Devin is an AI software engineer developed by Cognition AI. It is designed to perform tasks that a human software engineer would do, such as coding, debugging, and project management. Devin stands out for its unique user interface and its ability to execute complex engineering tasks with long-term reasoning and planning.

💡AI Software Engineer

An AI software engineer refers to an artificial intelligence system, like Devin, that is capable of performing software engineering tasks. These tasks include coding, debugging, and project management, which traditionally require human expertise. The term highlights the advanced capabilities of AI in mimicking and enhancing the work of human software engineers.

💡User Interface (UI)

The user interface (UI) refers to the point of interaction between a user and a computer program, in this case, the Devin AI software. A well-designed UI allows users to interact with the system efficiently and effectively. In the context of the video, Devin's UI is praised for being clean, integrated, and easy to use, which is essential for its functionality as an AI software engineer.

💡Long-term Planning

Long-term planning in the context of AI refers to the ability of an artificial intelligence system to strategize and execute tasks over an extended period, considering future outcomes and potential challenges. This capability is crucial for complex problem-solving and project management in software engineering.


Debugging is the process of identifying and removing errors or bugs in computer code. It is a critical aspect of software development that ensures the code functions as intended. In the video, Devin showcases its debugging skills by adding print statements to trace the flow of data and fix issues in the code.

💡API Integration

API integration is the process of connecting a software application with external services or databases through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). This allows the application to interact with and utilize the functionalities provided by these services. Devin's ability to integrate with APIs demonstrates its capacity to work with various software tools and systems.

💡Open Source

Open source refers to software or a product whose source code is made publicly available, allowing anyone to view, use, modify, and distribute the code. This concept promotes collaboration, transparency, and community involvement in software development. Devin, however, is not open source, which means users cannot customize or modify its underlying model.


Upwork is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals can find work or freelancers for various projects, including software development. In the context of the video, Devin's ability to take on a job from Upwork and successfully complete it signifies the potential of AI to perform tasks traditionally done by human freelancers.


A benchmark is a standard or point of reference against which things may be compared, typically used to evaluate the performance of a product, service, or system. In the context of the video, Devin's performance is benchmarked against other AI models to demonstrate its effectiveness in resolving software engineering issues.


Cognition AI unveils Devin, the first AI software engineer.

Devin's impressive demos showcase its capabilities in programming and debugging.

The marketing strategy for Devin's launch, including a $21 million series A funding led by Founders Fund, contributed to its significant traction.

Scott Woo, the CEO of Cognition AI, hosts the launch video and demonstrates Devin's functionalities.

Devin can plan and execute complex engineering tasks, learn over time, and fix mistakes.

Devin's unique user interface integrates a shell, code editor, and browser within a sandbox compute environment.

Devin's ability to understand and work with large codebases, such as the one in the simpai repo, is showcased.

Devin's performance on the SWE Bench is highlighted, resolving about 14% of the issues compared to previous state-of-the-art models.

Devin's capability to train other AI models, as demonstrated by fine-tuning a 7B llama model, is a notable feature.

The video goes viral featuring Scott Woo's intelligence, boosting Devin's public image.

Devin's ability to find and fix bugs in existing codebases, as shown in the GitHub repository demonstration.

Devin's potential to earn money by taking on jobs on platforms like Upwork, indicating a future where AI might perform programming tasks for monetary gain.

Devin's limitation of not being open source is discussed, which could be a drawback for some users.

The comparison of Devin's performance on SWE Bench against other large language models is critiqued for not being an apples-to-apples comparison.

Devin's ability to generate a website with full styling and interact with API documentation is demonstrated.

Devin's interaction with a user to set up a computer vision model, showcasing its problem-solving and iterative debugging skills.

The video discusses the potential of AI taking over programming jobs and Devin's role in this progression.

Devin's capacity to understand and execute tasks from a blog post, highlighting its comprehension and execution abilities.

The video emphasizes the importance of an engaging and clean user interface in making Devin stand out among other AI coding assistants.