One Month of Using GitHub Copilot

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2021-08-17 14:30:04

I was lucky enough to get an invite to the beta preview of Copilot, and I've been using it for the last month. It truly is amazing.

I'm a sucker for anything that can improve my productivity as a developer and I had a lot of ideas around Copilot – my tweet about applying the model to merge conflicts went viral. If you haven't, go read my Reflections on 10,000 Hours of Programming.

After a few weeks, accepting Copilot's suggestions was second nature. I was cranking out significantly more lines of code than usual. But every programmer knows, lines of code aren't a good measure of productivity (in fact, may have a negative correlation with most productivity metrics).

Copilot is a system that's optimized for write. It has made my code more verbose. Lines of code can be liabilities. Longer files to parse, and more instances to refactor. Before, where I might have tried to consolidate an API surface, I find myself maintaining both and Copiloting mapping functions in seconds.

It's not always a bad thing. Verbosity can mean readability. It has changed the cost equation for writing code: where it might have taken too long to go the extra step to be more verbosee, Copilot let me be verbose in the same (sometimes less) time.

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