Pietro Rea

GitHub Copilot for Business

March 18, 2023

GitHub Copilot for Business came out on Valentine’s day of this year. My personal Copilot license was so game-changing that when the business version came out, I got licenses for all the other software engineers at Meadow

The most reliable way to use Copilot is to let it handle well-structured, “repetitive scaffolding”, which is so common in modern programming. It’s also good at figuring out the right import paths in TypeScript, which reduces my need to context-switch.

I’m more watchful when Copilot suggests business logic. But it’s also surprising (and somewhat spooky) how good these suggestions can be. One time, Copilot figured out the rules to calculate Pell Grants based on the number of credits a college student is currently taking. This information was nowhere else in our code base.

Copilot, or something like Copilot, is the future of programming. If you haven’t tried it yet, I strongly encourage you to try it. Even though Copilot only supports a few IDEs (Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio, Neovim, and JetBrains IDEs), the bump in productivity justifies switching IDEs if you need to.

It’s early enough that we will start to see differences between engineering teams that use AI assistants and ones that don’t.

Pietro Rea
Written by Pietro Rea, a software engineer, engineering manager and author from northern Virginia.