Is GitHub Copilot Here To Steal Your Job?

GitHub Copilot is an AI tool that helps write code.


GitHub Copilot was announced on June 29th, 2021. It aims to simplify the way that developers write code by offering suggestions. It is kind of like an autofill for coding. The AI programmer was released as a technical preview. GitHub has limited it to a small group of testers.

As an experienced developer with over six years of Full Stack experience and a computer science degree, I managed to get approved. I have tried GitHub Copilot and found it incredibly helpful for improving my productivity.

The Copilot program is still new, so it is not without a few kinks. The general reaction from the public has also been mixed. Some people are concerned about the ethics of using AI that was trained on developer code submitted by the public. Developers also fear that Copilot and similar concepts may take their jobs.

So, is GitHub Copilot going to steal your job or help you get your job done more efficiently? Here is what you should know about this new tool.

What Is GitHub Copilot?

GitHub Copilot is an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that helps write code. It offers suggestions as you write, allowing you to code faster. The suggestions may include single lines or entire functions. GitHub Copilot relies on the code hosted publicly on GitHub. The tool was trained on the more than 28 million public repositories hosted on GitHub, which includes billions of lines of code.

Copilot understands a wide range of programming languages and frameworks. You can use it with Python, JavaScript, Ruby, TypeScript, and more. GitHub also ensured that Copilot works quickly. It integrates with Visual Studio Code as an extension, allowing the suggestions to appear in real-time. You can even cycle through suggestions and manually edit the code.

Will GitHub Copilot Replace Dev Jobs?

The effectiveness of GitHub Copilot has some developers worried. The fear is that Copilot may eventually replace Devs. In the past, people worried that CMS platforms, such as WordPress, would replace Dev jobs. Now, the concern is that AI is going to replace Dev jobs. Luckily, GitHub Copilot is not going to eliminate the need for developers. Continue to focus on good ideas instead of worrying about an AI system replacing your job. People still need to know how to program, as Copilot is not a perfect tool. GitHub Copilot cannot develop an entire project without human input. Developers write solutions to problems. There is currently no AI that can take that away from you, which is why GitHub’s tool is called “Copilot.” You remain in control of the code and Copilot assists.

Can GitHub Copilot Use Your Code Without Permission?

As mentioned, GitHub Copilot trains on code from public repositories, which may include projects that you have uploaded to the platform. The CEO of GitHub has stated that training Copilot on publicly available code is an example of fair use in the machine learning community. Some developers question the legality of GitHub Copilot. Yet, past examples suggest that GitHub would easily win any legal challenges. In 2016, the US Supreme Court upheld Google’s claim of fair use for its Google Books database. Google downloaded and then indexed over 20 million books to create an online literary database. The Supreme Court ruled that the database was transformative of the original work and beneficial to users. GitHub Copilot is also transformative of the original code that it trains on and is beneficial to programmers.

How Should Developers Deal with GitHub Copilot?

While Copilot is not perfect, it is a time saver. It is also likely to become more skilled at coding through machine learning. Developers should also consider preparing for a potential reduction in manpower. GitHub Copilot may allow software development teams to complete projects with fewer developers.

The following tips may help you maintain your job stability if Copilot ends up limiting demand for developers:

  • Switch to no-code solutions
  • Stay up to date on popular languages and frameworks
  • Diversify your skills
  • Embrace the power of GitHub Copilot

If you do not have any concerns about allowing GitHub Copilot to potentially use your code, consider signing up for the waiting list. You should test the software yourself to explore the advantages that it offers.

Switch to No-Code Solutions to Avoid Writing Code

You do not need to write code to develop software. Instead of writing code, you can use no-code development. No-code development solutions, such as Web-flow, provide a graphical user interface (GUI) for developing software, web apps, and websites.

No-code platforms are typically designed for those with no coding experience. However, developers also benefit from these solutions. You avoid the need to write large amounts of code from scratch. You can spend more time on other areas of software development, such as design and testing. The extra time that you gain may help you develop better software solutions.

Keep Track of Changes to Popular Languages and Frameworks

Even when using a no-code development solution, you may still need to write scripts or edit code to ensure that the software meets your needs. Developers who want to remain competitive should continue to stay up to date on all changes to popular programming languages and frameworks.

Using GitHub Copilot may also help you stay updated on the most used languages. The software continues to train on a wide range of programming languages and newly uploaded repositories. Copilot is likely to remain aware of the latest changes to Python, JavaScript, and other popular languages.

Diversify Your Skills Instead of Relying on Coding

Coding should not be your only contribution to a software development team. Diversify your skills so that you can take on more responsibilities. With some additional training, you may qualify for a variety of other roles, such as:

  • Quality assurance engineer
  • Project manager
  • Business analyst
  • Scrum master
  • Designer
  • DevOps engineer
  • Database administrator

Branch out into other areas of software development to remain a valuable member of any software development project. Some of your skills as a developer are directly transferable to quality assurance, database administration, and DevOps. Working as a business analyst, project manager, or Scrum master may involve obtaining additional certifications or even going back to school.

Developers may also consider working as designers. Developing your design skills can open the doors to new job opportunities outside of software development, such as website design, UX design, and UI design.

Use GitHub Copilot to Save Time Writing Code

Along with the previous suggestions, you may want to try using GitHub Copilot. Embrace the benefits of Copilot. Using the software after it becomes publicly available may help you spend even less time writing code.

It may also improve the efficiency of your final product and limit the need for testing. As GitHub Copilot becomes more effective, it will become better at offering error-free code for a greater variety of situations.


GitHub Copilot may be a gamechanger for the software development community. Some developers worry about Copilot taking their jobs. However, customized software is always needed.

AI is unlikely to replace the need for highly skilled individuals. Continue to develop your coding skills. You may also want to explore other roles within software development to remain more employable. Instead of just coding, diversify your skills to qualify for a wider range of jobs.


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