As technology continues to evolve, so does the way developers code. Businesses now understand that innovation in technology is key to creating a competitive differentiator and thriving in the market. In the field of software development, this requires elevating the developer’s experience to bring out the best output. In demand are new tools and solutions that automate routine work or assist with complex tasks for developers, helping them channelize their creativity and focus on the big picture.

Taking the developer experience several notches up, GitHub Copilot, claimed to be the world’s first at-scale generative AI development tool, is at the forefront of transforming the way coding functions. With its innovative features and tools, GitHub Copilot Chat, which is an upgraded version of the existing developer’s tool, improves developer productivity and happiness, reduces disruptions, improves flow, and increases the amount of time a developer spends doing satisfying work. A public beta of GitHub Copilot Chat is now available to all GitHub Copilot individual users for free.

The tech industry has been working for a long time to have an NLI (natural language interface) for software programming and coding — how to communicate with machines in a natural language like English, rather than coding languages ​​such as Python and Java, said Jaspreet Bindra , managing director & founder, The Tech Whisperer, a UK-based firm which does advisory and consulting work on digital transformation AI, Blockchain, and the Future of Work.

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“With Github Copilot, we have come closest to that dream, by using ChatGPT like an NLI which can give guidance to software developers to solve coding problems, suggest best practices and routines/subroutines and even analyze code or recommend security patches and debugging steps, ” he added. “I have always maintained that AI will not take your job, but a human using AI will. In this case, a software programmer can enhance his skills in a quantum manner by being the one using AI. Now English (or any other language) promises to be the new coding language and Github Copilot brings us a step closer to that,” he explained.

Next-gen software factories

Putting things into perspective, GitHub Copilot started a new age of software development as an AI pair of programmers that keeps developments in the flow by auto-completing comments and code. And less than two years since its launch, GitHub Copilot is already writing 46% of code, helping developers code up to 55% faster.

Before Copilot Chat, there was no easy way for developers to ask questions or receive additional context without leaving their development environment. Now developers can use Copilot Chat to get immediate, context-specific support – all in their Editor/IDE (integrated development environment), where they spend most of their time coding.

Plainspeak, Copilot Chat is a conversational assistant helping developers stay in the flow. A recent survey found that 63% of developers spend at least 30 minutes to two hours/day looking for answers and solutions. Copilot Chat significantly cuts back on this by providing teams with the context they need to learn and build at the speed of thought.

For example, Copilot Chat goes well beyond what a general purpose chat assistant can do because it’s built for coding and is contextually aware of what a developer is trying to do at any given time. That context allows it to provide guidance that is specifically tailored to the user, rather than offering general tips that may not apply to that scenario. Additionally, users can ask Copilot Chat for assistance with whatever coding challenges they may encounter. There are many other benefits.

Tangible benefits

“The productivity gains we’re seeing with GitHub Copilot have been astonishing, and that’s why it’s trusted by over 20,000 organizations, including Coca-Cola, Duolingo, Shopify, and Stripe,” Mario Rodriguez, vice-president of product management at GitHub, told FE. “Our research shows that Copilot can help developers code 55% faster, and developers using Copilot are able to complete tasks much faster – nearly 90% of them agree. When you quantify those productivity gains organization-wide, it’s so exciting to imagine what that can do for enterprises – for their backlogs, and for developer velocity.”

Microsoft-owned GitHub is the world’s largest platform for storing, hosting and sharing code. India is home to the second largest developer base for this San Francisco, California-based firm. More than 11,400,000 developers and over 440,600 organizations in the country are building on GitHub, according to the company’s Q1, 2023 data.

“Like GitHub Copilot, Copilot Chat is developer-first,” said Rodriguez. “We want to empower developers with a copilot that is ubiquitous throughout the developer lifecycle, conversational, personalized to the end-user and organization, and trustworthy — Copilot Chat helps us do that.”

According to him, most AI developer tools are either in the experimental stages or have yet to be proven at scale, whereas Copilot Chat builds on GitHub Copilot, which is an enterprise-ready product already trusted by over 20,000 organizations and over one million developers. “So we’ve really benefited from being first-to-market, defining how AI can best improve the workflow of developers, and refining GitHub Copilot based on feedback from such a broad user base,” he revealed.

Janakiram MSV (Jani), a practicing architect, research analyst, and advisor to Silicon Valley startups, said: “I’ve been using GitHub Copilot Chat since it was in a private preview. The combination of GitHub Copilot and Chat makes me highly productive in handling the end-to-end lifecycle of an application. When I wear the hat of a developer, GitHub Copilot helps me generate the code, and when I switch to ops, GitHub Copilot Chat generates

the artifacts and commands to deploy and run the code. I believe it’s the only AI assistant that can efficiently handle the entire DevOps workflow.”

DEEP IMPACT

  • GitHub Copilot Chat is a conversational assistant for developers
  • Helps with personalized assistance, fixing security issues, code analysis
  • More than 11.4 million Indian developers and over 440,600 firms are building on GitHub
  • Developers uploaded code to GitHub more than 12.8 million times
  • Data from Q1, 2023, The GitHub Innovation Graph