What is GitHub Co-pilot? | Will it affect existing jobs

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Introduction

GitHub Co-pilot is an AI pair programmer that helps a person to write a code faster with less amount of work. It is basically an AI program that can draw context from comments and code snippets. At the end of June 2021, GitHub and OpenAI announced a technical preview of Co-pilot. It uses OpenAI’s new solution, Codex, after it was trained on a selection of English texts and source code from publicly available sources, including GitHub’s public repositories.

Features of GitHub Co-pilot

The features of GitHub co pilot are

  1. any function can be converted into code if it is defined in plain english
  2. in built function and features are added
  3. it helps the coder to get more ways to solve a particular problem
  4. Can help to explore new API
  5. More advanced than other coding platforms

Will Co-pilot replace existing jobs?

The team has commented on the question of whether it will replace human labor or not. They have said that GitHub Co-pilot has no intention to overpower or replace human programmers. They have stated that,

“GITHUB COPILOT TRIES TO UNDERSTAND YOUR INTENT AND TO GENERATE THE BEST CODE IT CAN, BUT THE CODE IT SUGGESTS MAY NOT ALWAYS WORK OR EVEN MAKE SENSE. WHILE WE ARE WORKING HARD TO MAKE GITHUB COPILOT BETTER, CODE SUGGESTED BY GITHUB COPILOT SHOULD BE CAREFULLY TESTED, REVIEWED, AND VETTED, LIKE ANY OTHER CODE. AS THE DEVELOPER, YOU ARE ALWAYS IN CHARGE.”

Although GitHub co-pilot promises not to replace the human programmers, it will create a rise and fall in various departments.

The ones that will rise are

1 Software architecture

To ensure software engineering principles, the role of software architects will be more crucial. . While generating code that effectively solves a specific problem will be almost a zero cost problem, correctly designing how all that code fits together under a common and coherent software architecture will get more complex if no strong software architecture principles are put in place.

2 Bug finding tools

Training on quality data will be one of the prime keys for tools like co-pilot that it has to adopt. This is the reason why we have more intensive bug fixing challenges.

3 Lowcode/ Nocode — enterprise architecture integration

This will increase the agility of the code and would make the code more consistent with its predefined values while ensuring that the generated code is consistent with predefined software architecture and its principles.

The ones who will fall are

1 Software coders and testers

As we have mentioned, prompt engineering will become key to generate quality code based on Copilot, by correctly defining both business and technical requirements. Coders and testers without deep business and technical capabilities will therefore find it difficult to add value thus increasing the productivity of the software engineering services.

Conclusion

GitHub Co-pilot is a platform where our coding lives are made much more easier. We have seen that this podium will create new roles in the software development industry and will add more job exposure for the young freshers who are technically sound when it comes to bug fixing and software engineering. We have to be the best out of the lot so that we are not overpowered by the likes of this coding platform.

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