First and boring stuff out of the way, GitHub Copilot is an AI pair programmer that can suggest whole lines or functions inside of VSCode.
About a week ago, I heard this Copilot announcement. Whoah, an AI extension that can help you program? Github ran an AI learning model on all the lines of code publicly available on GitHub? Am I going to be out of a job by an AI machine? I decided to sign up for the technical preview to take a look. A supervisor of the Copilot project accepted my request within the week! So now I started to program away with Copilot enabled.
I received multiple emails from Copilot Github discussions. So I turned off my watch mode for that repo. Before that, there was one discussion that caught my eye though! You can “chat” with CoPilot! So I had to try it out. I thought to see if I can name Copilot “CHEWIE” since Chewbacca is the best copilot!
Yes, I don’t know how Chewie learned English, and this Chewie doesn’t seem like a good Copilot for the Millenium Falcon at least. And, I’m not sure if this is a good start for Copilot.
After a few days, I did find Copilot helpful for completing the line that I’ll probably want to do. For example, I am a prolific user of
println! in Rust. Copilot is able to speed up the logging very effectively. In regular programming and not debugging, Copilot has been around 80% - 90% helpful with completing the line. I’m digging it.
So it’s an intellisense plugin on steroids.
Copilot is able to write whole functions from a comment description. I have yet to try that out yet. It seems to me that I’ll have to write effective comments now. I’m not sure if it will truly be the code that I am wanting, so I have to review the code nonetheless. Maybe this can get me into writing better comments.
Overall, GitHub Copilot is a very interesting extension, and I am intrigued to see where it’ll go. Since being named Copilot, the developer is obviously the pilot. The Copilot is just meant to help speed up development work, and I think I have been able to develop faster.