It’s been a year since GPT sparked the Gen revolution and kicked off a new era of innovation in both business and software engineering. GitHub Copilot is described as the world’s first at-scale pair programmer, offering a large language model for developers.
In this article, we will discuss the most recent advancements and updates from GitHub.
What is GitHub Copilot
GitHub Copilot is an AI-powered code completion tool developed by GitHub in collaboration with OpenAI. It is designed to assist developers by providing suggestions and autocompletion as they write code.
It has gained immense popularity, with over 1 million paid users across 190 countries. Copilot has made developers 55% more productive in coding, the largest productivity gain ever seen in a developer tool’s first year. It is being used by various organizations, including Fortune 500 companies.
Copilot aims to democratize access to software development, making AI and natural language accessible to a broader audience. It is transforming how software is developed and how ideas are turned into code.
Most recent advancements and updates from GitHub:
Copilot Chat is a feature integrated into the GitHub.com platform, allowing developers to have in-context conversations and interactions related to code and development tasks. Copilot Chat on GitHub facilitates collaboration among developers working on the same repositories or projects. It enables real-time communication within the GitHub interface.
Developers can use Copilot Chat to discuss and provide feedback on pull requests, making it easier to review and refine code changes. Copilot Chat is integrated into the development workflow and enhances productivity with slash commands, smart actions, and inline Chat.
Developers can use Copilot Chat to request and provide explanations of code sections, making it easier to understand complex code structures or changes made by other team members.
Copilot Chat may suggest actions or provide code snippets based on the conversation. For example, it can offer solutions to code-related issues or generate code based on natural language commands.
Copilot Chat is seamlessly integrated into the GitHub interface, making it a convenient tool for in-platform communication without the need to switch to external messaging or collaboration tools.
AI-Powered Secret Scanning Tool
This tool is designed to help you find secrets that don’t follow patterns, such as passwords stored in source control, which have been the cause of some of the most costly exploits in recent years.
As we all know, the two most challenging problems in computer science are naming things and regular expressions. To address this, copilot made it easier for you to write your own custom patterns with our new AI-powered regular expression assistant. All of these features will be included in your company’s GitHub Advanced Security.
The use of custom patterns and regular expressions is essential for identifying and protecting sensitive information in code. It helps in identifying potential data leaks or security vulnerabilities related to the mishandling of sensitive data.
These custom patterns may be integrated with GitHub’s security scanning tools to identify and flag instances of sensitive data in code repositories, enhancing code security and data privacy.
Code Scanning Autofix
GitHub Copilot can assist with finding and fixing security vulnerabilities. While the text doesn’t go into great detail, here’s a general explanation of how GitHub Copilot might help in finding and addressing security vulnerabilities:
GitHub Copilot may be integrated with code analysis and security scanning tools. These tools can automatically identify common security vulnerabilities in the code, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), or sensitive data exposure.
When a vulnerability is detected, GitHub Copilot can provide suggestions and code recommendations to address the security issue.
When a security vulnerability is identified, Copilot can suggest code changes to fix the issue, called code scanning auto fix. These suggestions may include changes to input validation, data sanitization, or code patterns that are known to introduce vulnerabilities.
Copilot’s suggestions aim to provide secure code patterns and practices to prevent security vulnerabilities. GitHub Copilot can assist in promoting security best practices throughout the development process. It may suggest secure coding guidelines, recommend using security libraries, and provide guidance on how to follow secure coding principles.
Chat on the Mobile App
GitHub is set to integrate the Copilot Chat feature in mobile applications both in Android and iOS, providing developers with the convenience of utilizing its robust capabilities on the go. This enhancement ensures a seamless coding experience for developers, irrespective of their location.
Copilots Integration with GitHub
Copilot is now integrated into GitHub, allowing developers to utilize its capabilities directly within the GitHub platform. It can assist in generating pull requests, writing PR descriptions, and providing explanations for code in pull requests.
GitHub Advanced Security’s code scanning offers auto-fixes for security issues.
Copilots Integration With Code Editors
GitHub Copilot has a deep integration with Visual Studio Code, one of the most widely used and highly regarded code editors. It provides code suggestions, autocompletion, and assistance within VS Code.
GitHub Copilot is also integrated into Microsoft’s Visual Studio, making it accessible to developers who use this integrated development environment (IDE).
Also, GitHub Copilot has been made available in JetBrains IDEs such as WebStorm, PyCharm, and others.
GitHub Copilot Workspace and Integration
The research team at GitHub Next has unveiled the AI-powered GitHub Copilot Workspace, a platform designed to assist developers in converting their ideas into code. This new development represents GitHub’s ongoing exploration and innovation in the realm of software development.
Copilot Workspace is described as a tool for collaborative coding and communication across an organization. It can integrate information from various tools and services like databases, feature flags, and APIs.
Helpful for Explaining Code
GitHub Copilot can help developers explain and understand code segments. In the example provided, Allison uses Copilot to request an explanation of a specific code section.
Copilot Chat within GitHub can provide detailed explanations of code, breaking down complex sections into more understandable parts.
This feature is especially useful for code reviews and collaborative development, where it helps in comprehending and clarifying code changes made by other developers.
You can see the full video here:
Creating Test Code
You can include unit tests to ensure code quality with the help of Copilot. As we know, testing code before merging is important for any developer, Copilot will be a game changer for us.
We can use Copilot to generate a test suite for a specific component, and Copilot provides the necessary test code.
GitHub Copilot can assist in generating code documentation. In the example, Thomas mentions using a Copilot action to generate documentation for a code function.
This feature streamlines the process of creating code documentation, ensuring that the codebase is well-documented, which is crucial for code maintainability and collaboration.
Code Description for Commits
The text suggests that Copilot can help in creating descriptions for commits. It implies that Copilot can assist in writing meaningful and descriptive commit messages when developers are committing their code changes.
Clear and informative commit messages are essential for version control and understanding the history of changes in a codebase.
GitHub Copilot enhanced the efficiency of developers by 55% by serving as an autocomplete function in the IDE. The previous pricing remains unchanged for both individuals and organizations, with the cost being $10 and $19, respectively.
Now, GitHub is launching Copilot for Enterprise, a feature designed to assist teams with navigating codebases, generating documentation, offering personalized suggestions, and expediting the review of pull requests.
This feature is set to be widely available from February 2024, with a monthly subscription cost of $39 USD per user.
GitHub Copilot Partner Program
GitHub Copilot Partner Program is joining forces with more than 25 industry leaders, including Datastax, LaunchDarkly, Postman, Hashicorp, and Datadog, to broaden the scope of Copilot’s functionalities.
This collaboration aims to establish an ecosystem of AI-powered coding solutions.
In the end, I want to say that, we are in the future where copilot chat will be our coding mentor who will always be there to solve any problem regarding our code. The slash functions can be more useful for us. You might interested in the best GitHub backup tools for data protection.