GitHub Copilot - Future of Programming?

GitHub Copilot - Future of Programming?

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There were a couple of questions that came to my mind when I saw this first. In this article, I'll go through an example of the Copilot peer programming plugin for VSCode.

What is GitHub Copilot?

If you have noticed a recent post by Github, Copilot is an AI engine that helps you to write programs. It is a smart autocomplete peer programming bot that can smarty understand simple English and writes code.

// find images without an alt attribute
// and give them a red border

The above code will create a program that directly can find missing alt attribute images and perform the following action.

// find images without an alt attribute
// and give them a red border
function nonAltImages() {
  const images = document.querySelectorAll("img");
  for (let i = 0; i < images.length; i++) {
    if (!images[i].hasAttribute("alt")) {
      images[i].style.border = "1px solid red";
    }
  }
}
import React from "react";
import { render, fireEvent } from "@testing-library/react";

function Counter() {
  const [count, setCount] = React.useState(0);
  return (
    <div>
      <button onClick={() => setCount((currCount) => currCount + 1)}>
        Increment
      </button>
      <p>Count: {count}</p>
    </div>
  );
}

// a unit test that asserts that count increases when the button is clicked
it("increments count", () => {
  const { getByText } = render(<Counter />);
  const button = getByText("Increment");
  fireEvent.click(button);
  expect(getByText("Count: 1")).toBeInTheDocument();
});

Will AI replace developers?

Alone AIs aren't capable of anything unless you start teaching them. There is no second thought that Copilot is very powerful and has support for industry-leading frameworks and libraries, but it still can't replace humans.

Will you lose your job?

Copilot is very new into the industry and seems very fascinating to see a bot writing code for you, but it has very limited features. It can write simple code snippets for you but for large scale programs, companies still need talent like you :)

Conclusion

I like new things in the programming or tech world to try, whether it's a framework, library, or tool like Copilot. This tool can help people in their future project developments, but can't replace humans. I can see people will defiantly start using this tool in their regular day-2-day work (like we adapt to autocompletion of code syntax tools).

 
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