GitHub Copilot

A complete guide to GitHub Copilot, from how to use it to how to use it effectively!

What is GitHub Copilot?

GitHub Copilot is a coding assistance AI service, a joint project of the code repository service GitHub and the AI company OpenAI.

Github Copilot

Although there are other coding assistance services, GitHub Copilot's strength is its combination of "overwhelming amount of code in the background" and "advanced natural language processing AI technology.

By combining Github's "billions of lines of source code" with OpenAI's "natural language processing technology" famous for Chat GPT, GitHub Copilot is able to suggest not only similar source code or standard code, but also more accurate source code!

Key features of GitHub Copilot and what it can do.

Code Completion

The main feature of GitHub Copilot is code completion.

If your programming language or framework supports it, you can automatically generate code snippets for function definitions and general coding tasks on the IDE you have linked.

There is also a function that suggests the most appropriate source code by guessing from comment-outs, function names, and type definition names, so that the general framework of coding can be done simply by describing the comment-outs.

The greatest benefit of code completion is "speeding up programming and maximizing resource allocation to logic," making it possible to devote more time and human resources to "thinking and assembling" rather than "writing.

Security Filtering

A modest but important point of GitHub Copilot is its AI-based security filtering during code completion.

Security checks are a weighty issue in programming, as it is very risky to release a program with security issues.

GitHub Copilot's code suggestion enhances security in the form of "not letting you write insecure code in the first place" by "not suggesting" code that is insecure, such as the following

  1. hard-coded authentication code
  2. existing vulnerabilities
  3. SQL injection or path injection

What GitHub Copilot can't do.

File- or project-wide security checks

GitHub Copilot does not have file or project-wide security checks. As mentioned above, this is just a security feature in the form of "do not propose code with security risks".

On the other hand, Github itself provides a separate security check function for each project, and you can use your own security check using the API or a security check function provided by a third party.

As one of the world's largest repositories, GitHub also provides vulnerability checks and update checks for related software, so you can use those functions when looking at a project as a whole.

Programming in GitHub Copilot

GitHub Copilot is a tool for "pair programming" with an AI that has advanced coding skills and an extensive code library.

When you think of "using AI for programming," you may imagine "AI programming" in which the AI itself does all the programming for you, but GitHub Copilot provides only "support," as the product name "Copilot" suggests.

It is the human user who must create the overall programming image and logic.

GitHub Copilot Pricing Plans

There is no doubt that GitHub Copilot is an attractive service, but "How much does it cost? is an important point.

The difference between the two plans of GitHub Copilot

As of 2023, GitHub Copilot has two plans: GitHub Copilot for Individuals ($10/month) for individual accounts and GitHub Copilot for Business ($19/month) for organizational accounts.

ItemPersonal PlanBusiness Plan
Monthly Fee$10/month
Use of editor plug-ins
Conversion from prompt to code
Multiline Feature Proposal
Speed up test generation
Block proposals that match the public code
License Management-
Organization-wide policy management-
Highest level of privacy-
Corporate proxy support-

There is no difference between the personal and business plans in terms of the experience of pair programming with AI.

The difference between the two is in the management features for organizational users, so the individual plan is sufficient for personal use.

Is GitHub Copilot free to use?

The personal plan of GitHub Copilot has a 60-day trial period. The trial period allows you to use the service for free, but there is no plan that allows you to use the service for free forever.

If you want to use a programming coding support AI service for free, consider using "AWS Codewhiperer" provided by Amazon's AWS, a competitor.

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